The Nebraska Cornhuskers have one final game to play on Tom Osborne Field this season. This will undoubtedly be an emotional senior day for the Huskers as they will see so many decorated Huskers depart from the team. It may take five years to find a player to replace senior guard Spencer Long. Still it could take another ten years to replace a record setting quarterback like Taylor Martinez. Players of this caliber do not come along at Nebraska every year like they may at other major college football programs. Nebraska has long relied on their ability to develop more local or underrated talent. The person most responsible for this most ominous task is the head coach Bo Pelini. While the Huskers say goodbye to their seniors could they be saying goodbye to their head coach? The question has been debated since the Huskers’ early season loss to the visiting UCLA Bruins. Coach Pelini says the rumors do not affect him and he will continue to prepare and ignore the dreadful gossip.
What can the Huskers do to defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Heroes game? They can embrace these rumors and prove to all doubters that coach Pelini deserves to remain at his position as head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The most important thing that the Big Red can do to ensure a victory over coach Kirk Ferentz’s squad is to stand behind their coach. It would be too easy to say that the Husker players should ignore the buzz surrounding Pelini’s future at Nebraska; the fact is that they cannot ignore it. It encompasses their lives daily filling the pages of the Omaha World Hearld and the Lincoln Star Journal. Husker fan pages also feature posts plentiful with suggestions regarding the future of the head coaching position at Nebaraska. Not to mention the fact that most of the players have their own Facebook and twitter accounts, there is no way for the players to escape from the reports about their coach. The players should embrace the rumors and use it as a challenge to win one for their coach. Pelini coached teams have always proved that they prefer to compete with a chip on their shoulder, and the Huskers would be wise to use the distain for their coach as motivation to defeat the Hawkeyes.
The Huskers can also win the game by keeping their crowd in the game. The Husker fans have seen a once in a lifetime home victory via Hail Mary from senior quarterback Ron Kellogg III to freshman wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp to knock off the Northwestern Wildcats. Just a week ago Husker Nation was blessed with a walk off game ending field goal by Pat Smith. If anyone is keeping tack that is two first-year Huskers from the state of Illinois who have won games for the Big Red (Westerkamp and Smith) in 2013. The Huskers would be wise to keep their crowd in this week’s matchup and give them another thrilling victory. The Husker home crowd is a very powerful weapon when used correctly, and they could help the Huskers win their final home game this week as well as save the career of coach Pelini.