You feel that? I do. The air is cooling and the leaves in my front yard are slowly starting to wilt from the trees. It’s the calm before the storm, the best storm of every year. Fall camp has begun. Guys, it’s football season and it’s absolutely wonderful.
In 2015, I will be doing a series of posts for you BYU football fans traveling to see your Cougars play away from Provo. For each of the five out of state road games on the schedule TornBySports will feature a writer/blogger from each respective football program hosting Coach Mendenhall and the 2015 BYU Cougars.
First up to open the season is the trip to Lincoln, Nebraska and Brian Towle of CornNation, the Huskers SBNation affiliate has offered to be featured for this match up as they open a new era in Lincoln:
Q: How does Husker Nation view the BYU football program?
Nebraska definitely doesn’t take the Cougar program lightly, as many think that Mike Riley is a 50-50 split to lose this game with the unknown of what he and his coaching staff can do with this roster, especially with the QB situation and the LB core on defense. To be honest, we won’t know how well Taysom Hill will play, nor will we have an idea of what team Nebraska will be facing until if (at all) the suspensions of the issues with Memphis in the Bowl game last year come to light for BYU.
Q: Do you think BYU belongs in a power five conference?
Absolutely. BYU has the components that would work well in the Pac 12 or Big 12, to be honest. Now, would the Big 12 come calling? I think they should, as it would improve the footprint of the conference. If they are willing to include West Virginia in their fun, why not Utah? That being said, Louisville begged and pleaded to come to the Big 12, and the powers that be ignored that.
Q: How are the Husker fans anticipating the era of a new head coach in Mike Riley?
Another good question. Many, many people wondered who Nebraska would hire if/when Bo Pelini was fired by Nebraska. If it was about Wins & Losses, Bo would still be in Lincoln. However, Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst saw a coach that was an issue off the field, and decided to move on. Not many folks have called Riley “the next Bill Callahan”… yet. Riley has done everything he could in winning the fanbase over with newfound energy and a glass half-full type of atmosphere, but the proof will be what happens on the field. As many folks think there is something Riley and Nebraska can do on the field in 2015, just as many think it’s a rebuilding and installing year for the Huskers.
Q: What are some local landmarks or other “must see” places for the traveling fans to visit?
Well, depending on where you stay in Lincoln, one of the first places is heading to Downtown Lincoln, especially the revitalized Haymarket District. There may be more bars than most folks are comfortable being around (especially on O Street), however taking in the sights and sounds is something fun. Check out the Sidetrack band over at The Single Barrel the Friday night before the game.
Q: What local food places would you recommend for BYU fans?
If you get there early Friday, make sure to make a point of hitting Misty’s, primarily the one on Holdredge. If outstanding steaks & prime rib isn’t your thing, Lazlo’s in the Haymarket and Leadbelly’s for some good food. Gameday, there’s always food to be had in the tailgating areas around Memorial Stadium, and the fanbase is a friendly type that will offer you some. During the game, make sure you get the obligatory Runza, and the Vals Hamburger Pizza.
Q: Are there any specific pregame festivities or tailgating activities that BYU fans wouldn’t want to miss?
The Pride of All Nebraska comes marching up 10th street about the time the gates open. Get there early because everyone else will do so (except the students of course). It’s a fantastic pregame experience if you’ve never seen/heard it before.
Q: Is there anything else that is a part of the Nebraska football gameday experience that BYU fans wouldn’t want to miss while they’re in town?
99 percent of the fanbase will be kind to you. I mean, so kind you wonder what’s going on. They will welcome you to Lincoln, drink/chat with you, help you find where you’re going, and wish you well as you leave Memorial Stadium/Lincoln. Sure, there will be some donks along the ride, but ignore them. The mass of folks want you to have fun and make this a memorable experience for you and your group.
Even though this is the first ever match up between these two schools, Coach Mendenhall and Coach Riley aren’t strangers, as they’ve opposed each other several times before during Riley’s time in Corvallis as the Head Coach of the Oregon State Beavers.
Thanks again to Brian for being willing to help us out on things to look for while we’re out there. Check him out on twitter @BrianRTowle and good luck to the Huskers this season … after September 12th.
follow Jimmie on twitter @CheshSports