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Turning Point Games

Mr.Bennett

Recruit
Reading through the best teams since 2003 thread, on thing that gets touched on a lot are turning points - when the program could have turned the corner (for the positive) but things just went sideways. We win that game, and everything's different. There are a number of these games that I'm sure we could all come up with, but the one I'll highlight 2011 Michigan, a 45-17 loss.

We were ranked 17, they were ranked 20th, and we'd beaten two top 15 teams in three weeks (sandwiching a loss to a 3-5 Northwestern team, the inconsistencies of the Pelini era) leading up to the game. We put up a fight in the first half, but then Mich found something that worked, and just kept doing it. The lack of adjustments, the willingness to give up... this was for me when the bloom truly fell from Bo Pelini's rose. Bo had had blowout losses (Wis. earlier that year) and head scratching losses (Texas in 2010, ISU in 2009) but this one just left me feeling resigned. Michigan wasn't a great team, but not only could we not beat them, we couldn't hang with them.

If we win, this still wasn't a great team but it changes the phycology of the program. This game would have won the division for us. In the title game we'd have had a rematch against Wisconsin. Wis. was a better team, but strange things can happen in rematches. Just as important, it'd have shown we belong in the Big 10. In year one we win the division and hang some "pelts" on the wall. The national conversation around us is different. We'd have had momentum within the league, and maybe a bit of belief. Instead, I went from thinking "this isn't the year we return to greatness" to "this isn't the coach that returns us to greatness".
 

DuckTownHusker

Blackshirt Sith Lord
10 Year Member
Pretty much every ugly loss since 2001 could have been a turning point.

Three come to mind immediately, though: 2009 Texas, 2010 Oklahoma and 2012 Wisconsin.

Three championship games over four years in two conferences. And zero wins.

We win the 2009 game and Texas doesn't go to the NT game. We probably finish #5-8 and go to a BCS Bowl.

We win the 2010 game and we finish #15ish. We make a BCS Bowl and avoid the ugly Holiday Bowl loss to Washington.

We win the 2012 game and we finish #15-20. We make a BCS Bowl and a big statement to the Big Ten.

Win those three games and we're being talked about as a team on the rise and we'd be seeing an increase in recruiting. Assuming Frost still winds up in Lincoln, we're probably riding that wave of success into a couple of B1G West Division titles and maybe gearing up for Frost to win big with a conference title or be a dark horse playoff team.

Just my $0.02
 

Mr.Bennett

Recruit
Pretty much every ugly loss since 2001 could have been a turning point.
Stealth turning point game, KSU in 2000, which we lost 29-28. We were controlling that game in the 4th quarter, our offense was rolling. KSU managed to score to take the lead, but there was no doubt we were going to march right down the field and score.... that's all we'd done the second half. But but then the weather turned - Snow/ice got heavy and the wind picked up. On TV the field went from green to white in the space of a set of downs. Dan Alexander - never known to have the surest feet, could no longer run on the slick field and Crouch - never the strongest of arms, couldn't throw through the wind. The weather killed the O and we couldn't get back into field goal range.

We win that game we have a rematch against OU in the Big XII title game. We win that, we likely play for the title (would have been similar to 2001 or 2003 - there were a gaggle of 1 loss teams) against FSU. We may not have won that game, but it wouldn't have been a program defining trouncing like the 2001 loses. Take some momentum from a top 5 finish into 2001, and we wouldn't in the title, but it's unlikely we loose to CU and MU by a combined 800 points. Frank gets at least one more year, and the history of Husker football changes.
 
I'm going with 2005 against TT. The LeKevin Smith INT and subsequent fumble. No reason other than that was the moment where I became convinced the football Gods had turned on NU and all the good luck from the past was now requiring pay back.

Also, my son was 2 at the time. As soon as the INT happened I jumped up and screamed YES! Then he fumbled and I kicked my son's inflatable castle. For months afterwards my son would scream YES and then run over and kick that stupid castle. My wife gave me a dirty look each and every time!
 
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NUinID

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
Reading through the best teams since 2003 thread, on thing that gets touched on a lot are turning points - when the program could have turned the corner (for the positive) but things just went sideways. We win that game, and everything's different. There are a number of these games that I'm sure we could all come up with, but the one I'll highlight 2011 Michigan, a 45-17 loss.

We were ranked 17, they were ranked 20th, and we'd beaten two top 15 teams in three weeks (sandwiching a loss to a 3-5 Northwestern team, the inconsistencies of the Pelini era) leading up to the game. We put up a fight in the first half, but then Mich found something that worked, and just kept doing it. The lack of adjustments, the willingness to give up... this was for me when the bloom truly fell from Bo Pelini's rose. Bo had had blowout losses (Wis. earlier that year) and head scratching losses (Texas in 2010, ISU in 2009) but this one just left me feeling resigned. Michigan wasn't a great team, but not only could we not beat them, we couldn't hang with them.

If we win, this still wasn't a great team but it changes the phycology of the program. This game would have won the division for us. In the title game we'd have had a rematch against Wisconsin. Wis. was a better team, but strange things can happen in rematches. Just as important, it'd have shown we belong in the Big 10. In year one we win the division and hang some "pelts" on the wall. The national conversation around us is different. We'd have had momentum within the league, and maybe a bit of belief. Instead, I went from thinking "this isn't the year we return to greatness" to "this isn't the coach that returns us to greatness".

Its an interesting thought. I truly do not even remember watching the Michigan game that year. I went back and looked at the box score stuff under "The Essentials" and still don't remember the game at all. I checked Michigan's record that year. They were 11-2 with a win over Va Tech in the Sugar Bowl and a top 10 finish. Looks like a pretty good team to me. There losses were to Michigan St and Iowa.

I was at the Michigan State game that year. MSU was a great team that year and Nebraska beat them bad, it was a great game. The NW game was a killer. They come into the game ranked 7th I think and looked as unprepared and disinterested in playing a game as I have ever seen. They only lost by 3 but it sure looked worse than that. They win that game they are 10-2 having only lost to Michigan and Wisconsin and get a rematch with Wisconsin.

Losing bad sucks but if it is to a good team I understand it to an extent. The losses to teams that Nebraska had no business losing to bugs me a lot more than losing big to a good team. Bo Pelini was the king of losing to inferior teams. You mentioned a couple ISU 09, Texas 2010, NW 2011, UCLA 2012, Minnesota in 2013 and 2014.

Pelini used to lose those games because he didn't respect the opponent. Players can pick up on that and then they don't respect the opponent. I was driving around do errands listening to the pregame show in 2013 for the Minnesota game. They were playing Pelini's pregame show about 15 minutes before the start of the game. You could just here the lack of respect he had for Minnesota in his voice. He couldn't even remember any of their players names. I knew they were going to lose.

That is why I knew he would never return Nebraska to greatness. TO always talked up the other team like they were a top 10 team even if they were sitting at 1-7 at that point. I think he truly believed they could lose that team. That is why he only had 1 loss to a team with a losing record in 25 years.
 

YUENGLING

Junior Varsity
10 Year Member
Reading through the best teams since 2003 thread, on thing that gets touched on a lot are turning points - when the program could have turned the corner (for the positive) but things just went sideways. We win that game, and everything's different. There are a number of these games that I'm sure we could all come up with, but the one I'll highlight 2011 Michigan, a 45-17 loss.

We were ranked 17, they were ranked 20th, and we'd beaten two top 15 teams in three weeks (sandwiching a loss to a 3-5 Northwestern team, the inconsistencies of the Pelini era) leading up to the game. We put up a fight in the first half, but then Mich found something that worked, and just kept doing it. The lack of adjustments, the willingness to give up... this was for me when the bloom truly fell from Bo Pelini's rose. Bo had had blowout losses (Wis. earlier that year) and head scratching losses (Texas in 2010, ISU in 2009) but this one just left me feeling resigned. Michigan wasn't a great team, but not only could we not beat them, we couldn't hang with them.

If we win, this still wasn't a great team but it changes the phycology of the program. This game would have won the division for us. In the title game we'd have had a rematch against Wisconsin. Wis. was a better team, but strange things can happen in rematches. Just as important, it'd have shown we belong in the Big 10. In year one we win the division and hang some "pelts" on the wall. The national conversation around us is different. We'd have had momentum within the league, and maybe a bit of belief. Instead, I went from thinking "this isn't the year we return to greatness" to "this isn't the coach that returns us to greatness".
Bo’s 4th year as head coach and first year in the Big Ten ( with a team he recruited to play in the Big XII) he goes 9-4 and is ranked EVERY week. Please stop blaming Bo Pelini for the Huskers current problems.
 

Bigger Ed

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
I'm going with 2005 against TT. The LeKevin Smith INT and subsequent fumble. No reason other than that was the moment where I became convinced the football Gods had turned on NU and all the good luck from the past was now requiring pay back.

Also, my son was 2 at the time. As soon as the INT happened I jumped up and screamed YES! Then he fumbled and I kicked my son's inflatable castle. For months afterwards my son would scream YES and then run over and kick that stupid castle. My wife gave me a dirty look each and every time!
Oh, gosh, that reminds me...who was it that caught a pass, made a critical first down late in the game, and then lost a fumble at home against TX. Popular WR, just can't think of his name right now.
 

Kwajsker

Scout Team
In trying to think about turning point games, I immediately thought of bad losses prior to about 2017. In the last few years, though, it has been harder to think of a game as a turning point opportunity. Just not quite enough momentum overall to feel like any where turning points. Seemed like we should have won more of the close ones recently, but I don't know that any of them would have been the thing that really changed our seasons.

Plain and Simple, we gotta beat the teams we are more talented than. We need to hang with and be in the game with teams much better than us. We have to win half against teams we are even with. That would put us around 10 wins every year and with a good chance to win our division every single year.

I am hoping for a turning point season!!!!!!
 
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