Never ask a 58-year-old dude to rank loud noises. At a certain age, these are things that just make you jump.
So I won’t rank the sounds we heard on Saturday in Lincoln, compared to other sounds I’ve heard over the last 40 years. Loud, louder, loudest. It was loud.
Instead, let’s do some lists. And see where Huskers 35, Ducks 32 pops up.
» Earthquake Games, or moments where Memorial Stadium moved:
1. Oklahoma, 2001. When Eric Crouch caught the pass and sprinted down the field, the stadium literally shook. Only time I’ve ever felt that. For me, this was the loudest moment at Memorial Stadium I’ve witnessed.
2. Colorado, 1992. Calvin Jones’ 47-yard touchdown run, when he took his helmet off in the end zone. Husker fans thought the stands were a trampoline.
3. Oregon, 2016. Tommy Armstrong’s 34-yard touchdown run. This had more meaning and emotion than Jordan Westerkamp’s Hail Mary catch. Sorry, roomie.
» Bloodthirsty Noises:
1. Colorado, 1992. It was Halloween and 78,000 Husker fans came dressed as Dracula. Whether they would admit it or not, NU fans hated Colorado. It all came spilling out in this unforgettable crowd.
2. Miami, 2014. Just behind the Halloween game for intense screaming most every play. Finally, the Hurricanes were in Lincoln, and those unsportsmanlike fouls just turned up the volume.
3. Texas, 2010. This was the goodbye party that wasn’t, but early on, this had the makings of a No. 1 noise day.
» Loud Because It Meant So Much:
1. Oklahoma, 1978. I wasn’t at this one, but I remember watching it on TV. You could hear and feel the crowd through the airwaves. The images of all those oranges bouncing around Rick Berns in the end zone, Jim Pillen’s fumble recovery, the goalposts coming down. The euphoria didn’t last long, but Tom Osborne’s first win over Barry Switzer still echoes in the old stadium.
2. Colorado, 1992.
3. Oregon, 2016. I rank this one over Oklahoma 2001, because back then Husker fans hadn’t had a drought yet, they weren’t as hungry as now. And ahead of Michigan State 2015, because the Ducks are a little bigger name than MSU, and the win means more at this time than it did last November.
So, to review:
Loudest moment: Eric Crouch’s Heisman gallop.
Loudest game: Halloween, 1992.
Most meaningful noise: Oklahoma, 1978.
Say this for Oregon, 2016: It should be on any list of wild and crazy games at Memorial Stadium. It’s the “Loud” game of this era, so this generation has that going for it. Which is nice.
» If you are an FBS athletic director who schedules North Dakota State in football, you A) Have a strange sense of humor, B) Like jumping out of planes without a parachute, C) Want to fire your football coach or D) Your coach has a Kirk Ferentz-type contract.
» For the aforementioned reasons, I’m not sure Easton Stick will ever have a better day than Saturday.
Don’t know how many FBS schools told the NDSU quarterback from Creighton Prep “no thanks,” but he got the last word on Saturday. Well done, sir.
» Mike Riley said he received more than 100 texts from friends and well-wishers on Saturday night, including good friends Mack Brown and Jim Grobe, the current Baylor interim coach. Riley said he heard from a lot of Oregon State folks. Wonder who they were rooting for.
» Several Oregon fans were not happy with our Sunday headlines calling Oregon football “glam” and “glitz.” One chap said it was bulletin board material for next year’s game. Man, if that’s what it takes ...
Personally, I thought Saturday’s game was a terrific display of class and guts on both sides, big hits and bigger plays. Can’t wait for next year’s return game in Oregon. Anybody have any connections at Bandon Dunes?
» Sign me up for the nine-game league schedule every time. I’d much rather have a Big Ten game this week than another Somebody State game. And this is a Big Ten game in September. I wouldn’t mind seeing one even earlier in the month.
» I’m thinking that if there was any chance of Oklahoma joining the Big Ten, that’s over now. Thanks, Urban Meyer.
» Creighton volleyball made a big impression at the Devaney Center on Saturday night, but of course Kirsten Bernthal Booth’s program is to the point where it’s not happy with mere impressions. The Jays are gaining on Nebraska, but the Huskers keep raising the ceiling. On Monday, NU coach John Cook said CU is “really good” and that “they shouldn’t lose a set all year in the Big East. You can quote me on that.” I’m sure Coach Booth appreciates that.
» How badly did De’Mornay Pierson-El need that breakout punt return on Saturday? The two fair catches looked like a golfer with the yips.
“He was having some confidence issues,” Riley said. “It was huge for him.”
That must have been some pep talk from Tommy Armstrong, quarterback and leader.
» Expect plenty of Husker red and Cardinal red in Chicago this weekend, which should make for an interesting time for Nebraska Cubs fans.
» Again, I love having two wild cards in baseball. Look what they’ve added to the last two weeks of the season.
» You deserve better from the football gods, Danny Woodhead. Much better. Heal fast.
» There’s an interesting debate going on at Kinnick Stadium these days: Should the Hawks join the fun on playing a big neutral-site game on opening weekend? And if so, does that mean taking a break from the Iowa State series? It’s a great question. Hard to see dropping ISU, but very few Power Five schools take on two P5 schools in the nonconference — especially with the Big Ten now with only three nonconference games. I think the only given right now is that Iowa will not be playing North Dakota State.
» One more and I’m outta here: Good friend and colleague Chris Low of ESPN, who has covered Tennessee football and the SEC for 20 years, covered the Nebraska-Oregon game on Saturday. He said covering a Nebraska home game was a “bucket list” game for him.
The Knoxville, Tennessee, resident did it right: He had dinner at the original Misty’s on Friday night, hung out in the Haymarket, and on Saturday walked around town and Memorial Stadium and took in all the sights. I asked him for his impressions:
“The passion and energy of the fans rate with anywhere I’ve been, but what’s so refreshing is I didn’t run into any nastiness. The Oregon fans mingled with the Nebraska fans, and I even heard a lady tell a family adorned in Duck colors, ‘Welcome to Nebraska.’ You don’t see that every day at an SEC game.
“To me, one of the things that separates Nebraska is the oneness of the state — the entire state is Big Red, and that creates an environment on game weekend in Lincoln that’s hard to top.
“I love the view of the downtown and campus from the upper parts of the stadium, and even though I knew about the tradition, it’s still pretty neat to see that sportsmanship is alive and well with the fans applauding the opposing team as they leave the field after the game.
“I hope to be back soon.”
Come back anytime, Chris. And bring the Vols or LSU Tigers with you next time.