Monday, September 29, 2008

Road Trip No. 3: VT at NU

Gobbler Country Road Trip No. 3
Football: Virginia Tech at Nebraska
Memorial Stadium
Lincoln, Neb.
Miles Round Trip: 900
Total Dollars Spent: $380 ($200 hotel, $50 gas [split], $65 ticket, $5 program, $60 food and drink)

It was on of the biggest wins in program history. The win over Texas in the 1995 Sugar Bowl and the 2003 win over Miami are the only other two that come to mind as far as wins that boosted the programs national stature. No, this Nebraska team wasn't close to being on par with the Nebraska team that beat the Hokies in 1996. But the Hokies still went to one of college football's grand venue and came away with a huge win.

The Nebraska defense did a good job of stifling the Hokie run game early and often. However, Tyrod Taylor was the difference. His ability to escape pressure and get first downs with his feet helped sustain drives. His ability to finally see open receivers downfield helped set up a lot of points for the Hokies.

Tech was unafraid of the Sea of Red and played lights out from the beginning. I can't think of another game where I was as proud of the Hokies as I was after this one. Maybe Georgia Tech last year when the Hokies followed a disappointing loss to BC by going on the road and thrashing the Yellow Jackets. But Saturday night the team played like I knew they were capable of playing. It was great to see them show where their ceiling is at the most opportune time.

Lincoln is a great place to be for the weekend of a big college football game. The Husker fans were very welcoming. Some were really, really welcoming. There was plenty of good-natured trash talk the night before the game, but the Husker fans were first class all the way. They were even gracious in defeat, a quality I like to think the Hokie fans have but many fan bases don't.

O Street was the place to be Friday and Saturday Night. It's a row of bars just south of the stadium that tries to emulate 6th Street in Austin. It isn't nearly as big as the 6th Street area, but it has something for everyone. There are hole in the wall bars for folk who want a quiet atmosphere, sports bars for mingling with fans and full fledged clubs blaring techno and hip hop. The place I ended up spending most of my time was a sports bar called Brother's. It had a decent beer selection, including a favorite of mine, Leinenkugel Honey Weiss.

I ran into a friend of mine I knew was in town on Friday night and we bar hopped until last call, which for some un-Godly reason is at 1 a.m. in Nebraska. What a gyp. Saturday night I ran into another friend of mine at Brother's who I didn't know was in town and who I hadn't seen since the '05 Miami game. We proceeded to close the place down.

Saturday was spent with the guys from the Clubhouse Tailgate. I was able to watch the early and afternoon games and sample some of the best homemade BBQ I've had. And this is coming from someone whose family owns a BBQ restaurant. Great food as always, guys.

Thanks to all the Huskers for making my first "real" Lincoln experience a pleasurable one. Thanks to all the Hokies who made bar-hopping and tailgating before the game and partying after the game a success. What a weekend and what a game.

Corn. Everywhere.

Clubhouse Tailgate enjoys the UNC-Miami finish.

No words, really.

Communion call at Clubhouse Tailgate.

Memorial Stadium from the bridge to Haymarket Park.

Kickoff of VT-NU.

Husker score and release a Sea of Red (Balloons).


Brother's on O Street after the game.

Lost a bet with Hokie Nation.

Hokie fans celebrate a hard-earned victory.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I used to live in Omaha. Corn everywhere and they got their drinkin' in early b/c they gotta go back on the farm at the crack of dawn!

Jared said...

is that bartender wearing pants!?!