It’s Chair Week! Nebraska is in Minneapolis for a chance to retain the only college football trophy created by Twitter, i.e. the best trophy in college football. The two schools are using the trophy to raise money for a good cause, indeed two good causes, Team Jack and the Masonic Children’s Hospital. So give early and give often!
Minnesota is 5-0, and Nebraska is, well, not. The Huskers came into the season riding a huge wave of hype. Indeed, Nebraska was picked by many to win the Big Ten West, and as a darkhorse playoff contender. But the hype train crashed squarely into the Colorado Buffaloes and was nearly upended again by Illinois, and now, seven weeks into the season, the Huskers are 4-2 and no longer favorites to win the West.
— Nebraska fans, notorious for still—constantly—living in 1995, are a bit petulant right now, but Bill Moos, the school’s athletic director is counseling patience and hoping fans will allow second-year coach Scott Frost to build for the long term.
— Will Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez, a preseason favorite to be the league’s player of the year, actually take the field against the Gophers? Well, who knows? Frost, doing his best imitation of a poker player, is not offering any specifics, but Martinez is at least traveling to Minneapolis.
— Should Martinez not suit up tomorrow, Frost likes his backup quarterbacks too. He and his assistants are particularly high on dual threat player Noah Vedral, who played at UCF and then followed Frost to Lincoln. Offensive line coach Greg Austin even added, “I’m really excited about what he’s going to do on Saturday.”
— Receiver JD Spielman has been practicing, but is still limited, so other receivers have been getting reps with the first team offense.
What do the Huskers expect against Minnesota?
— Bad weather, for starters. While the Huskers are practicing outdoors to prep for cold weather in Minneapolis, Frost is concerned that snow/rain could make things worse for his team.
— In terms of offensive development, Minnesota is young but still at least a year further along than Nebraska.
—Our frenemies of the week at CornNation think the Huskers will win because every time that has started 5-0 since 2004 has lost the sixth game. Well, there’s a first time for everything.
— Then again, those CornNation guys are nothing if not contrary, because they also say that the Gophers are mentally tough and have a strong identity.
Finally, here’s a lasting image from a Minnesota-Nebraska game of the not-so-distant past. Channel its spirit, Gophers!