LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 29: The Nebraska Cornhuskers take the field against the Michigan State Spartans during their game at Memorial Stadium October 29, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Michigan State 24-3.(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Although BYU basketball is gearing up for its biggest opportunity of the season tonight, there are some football news items that rolled out today, including a game on the schedule against Nebraska.
One of the larger schedule rumors over recent months was that BYU and Nebraska were working on a home-home-neutral three-game series. Today, BYU announced that the Cougars will travel to Lincoln to play Nebraska to open the 2015 football season. While no other dates have been announced, athletic director Tom Holmoe did say, "I look forward to developing a long term relationship with Nebraska." It feels like the hope is to announce what was agreed upon, and use the one game to create a future home-home like BYU has done with Texas. (A schedule aside: Don't be surprised if another Big Red team finds itself on BYU's schedule soon.)
By itself, the game is still welcome on the schedule. Memorial Stadium is a Top-10 if not Top-5 college football experience. Huskers fans have sold out the place for what feels like 50 years, and our Twitter timeline was full of people already planning trips to Lincoln to have the experience. Let's hope almost-governor Tom Osborne gets the Huskers to Provo at some point.
Thanks to Greg Wrubell, we learn that the game came to be in part because of a friendship between Bo Pelini (Nebraska's head coach) and Holmoe, who coached the 49ers defensive secondary together in the mid-90s. I would have never guessed!
INJURIES HEADED INTO SPRING BALL
Ever hard at work, BYUtv's Robbie Bullough posted a blog at BYUtvsports.com today detailing who will miss spring practice due to injuries. Aside from the trio of tight ends who were injured in season, Kyle Van Noy and and kicker Justin Sorenson both had surgeries. They will miss spring ball but are expected to be fully healthy for fall camp. Of concern to me is the number of shoulder surgeries that BYU players underwent. Is that normal for a football team?
Robbie also noted that Iona Pritchard is expected to be ready for spring practice (hope he can bounce back), and that Riley Nelson suffered a broken rib early in the Armed Forces Bowl. Ah, so there is a reason we couldn't stop thinking "Wow, Riley looks awfully slow and sloppy today."
Spring practice is scheduled to begin on March 5.