Published Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm / Updated at 11:02 pm
FOOTBALL
From the sidelines: Irish hoops coach Bray likes atmosphere of Husker football

LINCOLN — A crowded sideline Saturday included a coach who is used to being near a different sort of bench.

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey was standing around about 30 minutes before kickoff, taking in the entire atmosphere of Memorial Stadium.

Brey's son, Kyle, is an offensive graduate assistant for NU. The Irish coach said it was the first time he had ever been in the state.

“I just came off the recruiting trail and had to check this out,” he said.

His first impressions?

“Pretty awesome.”

Brey had gotten the message from Kyle about Saturday's blackout. He said he snagged an Adidas polo — the company makes his team's uniforms, too — and said he had only one real choice.

“My only other one was blue,” Brey said. “And I couldn't wear that today.”

Brey said he had seen the fresh digs of Nebraska basketball (the newly opened Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln) on his way to Saturday's game.

He was planning to check out the Huskers' new practice facility as well, jokingly saying he was going to “spy and get some ideas” for a future facility for the Irish.

As for the state of Husker hoops, Brey said there are whispers in basketball circles about something building in Lincoln. While Brey said he doesn't know NU coach Tim Miles personally, he is familiar with new Husker assistant Kenya Hunter from his days with Georgetown.

“I do think in the college basketball world there is a little buzz about Nebraska basketball,” he said. “It's kind of the perfect storm right now for Nebraska hoops.”

Brey also had some praise for a Creighton team that joined seven of Notre Dame's ex-league mates in the new Big East.

He said that teams taking a trip to Omaha lightly will be in for a rude awakening.

“That's a tough place to play,” Brey said. “I don't know how many teams are going to get out of there with a win.”

Wearing black catches on with some fans

It wasn't quite the Black Hole in Oakland — but Memorial Stadium on Saturday probably was closer than it's ever been.

Nebraska fans — some guessed about half of them in attendance — showed up in black to match the special uniforms the Huskers wore against UCLA.

The NU student section was almost entirely decked out in black.

As for the uniforms, Nebraska wore their classic white pants, a dark top and a white helmet with a red “N” on the side.

But the Adidas alternate uniforms had a much more modern feel. The tops were black with white, more futuristic-looking numbers and names in red.

The helmet and pants each featured a black stripe instead of the traditional red.

Short list of recruits takes in UCLA game

For the biggest home game of the season, Nebraska's list of official visitors was light.

The early kickoff played a large part in that as only four prospects took officials on Saturday. And two of those were in-state prospects already committed to the Huskers.

Lincoln Southeast's Luke Gifford and DJ Foster were joined by Brandon Powell, a running back from Florida, and defensive end Ricky Walker of Hampton, Va.

Gifford and Foster led the Knights to a win Thursday night over Millard South. On Saturday, they were doing their part to help boost the 2014 Nebraska recruiting class.

Foster was close by Powell during much of the pregame festivities. Powell, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound back, is a Miami commit. He looked to be enjoying himself, especially during the Tunnel Walk entrance. Both Powell and Walker pulled out cellphones to record the happenings.

Walker, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound lineman, was making his first official visit of the year. He has offers from the likes of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, South Carolina and Michigan State.

Husker transfer draws crowd of old buddies

Players and coaches don't make special trips to the fan areas during pregame warm-ups for just anyone.

On Saturday, a handful of them did just that for one of their own.

Former Husker Brion Carnes, who transferred to Northern Iowa in May, was in attendance Saturday, cheering on NU.

Carnes got the attention of defensive backs coach Terry Joseph before the team came onto the field. The two shared a couple of words.

Just before the teams started warming up, receiver Jamal Turner came sprinting over for a hug.

Carnes, a junior out of Florida, has played in both of the Panthers' games already, including a season-opening win at Iowa State.

Contact the writer: Nick Rubek

nickrubek@gmail.com    |   402-850-0781    |  

Nick Rubek covers Nebraska football, Omaha Beef football and high school sports throughout the state, including football, wrestling and soccer.

PHOTO GALLERY AND VIDEO »

 

< >
SPOTLIGHT »
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Omaha.com? Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.
Omaha.com's Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from Omaha.com and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
BRT ON TWITTER »
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT »
< >