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Official Husker Locker Blog

2008 Nov 25

Seven 'Bad Blood' Moments of the NU-CU Rivalry


By SMcKewon

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Seven moments in the Nebraska-Colorado series that played a role in the continuing “bad blood” between the teams.

Red Letter Game: CU Coach Bill McCartney started it all by identifying Nebraska as the program he wanted to emulate - then beat. He did both, taking NU’s option-based offense, infusing it with a dose of California speed, and staying ahead of the game with a 4-3 defense. Nebraska fans tended to resent McCartney calling his shot. They resented even more that he made it.

“Sal Is Dead, Go Big Red” The phrase appeared on an Interstate 70 sign in Colorado. It appeared on bumper stickers. Whatever – it was awful, Nebraska fans poking fun at the death of CU quarterback Sal Aunese. NU received its due punishment, losing games in 1989 and 1990 and tying the Buffs in 1991.

The Snowballs: At the end of that 1991 game, Nebraska kicker Byron Bennett lined up for a field goal to beat CU. Meanwhile, Colorado fans threw snowballs at the kicker, some landing at his feet just before the kick. How a penalty wasn’t called, we’ll never really know.

Halloween Nightmare: Not that Nebraska’s fans were particularly lewd, but they were unruly, loud and vicious the Halloween night NU thrashed CU 52-7 in 1992. Both teams were ranked No. 9 at the time, and Tom Osborne released the hounds on that night, even pulling out a fumblerooski for Will Shields. It remains one of the great victories in recent Nebraska history, and a rainy night of mayhem in that stadium.

The Tirade: Senior Colorado linebacker Matt Russell launched into a speech just before the 1996 NU-CU game that simply can’t be reprinted here. It was a classic, though – something Alec Baldwin or Joe Pesci might relish saying.

The Day After Thanksgiving Massacre: Colorado got its revenge in full for the 1992 Halloween game, exorcising all kinds of demons in a 62-36 pummeling of No. 1 Nebraska. It was the first CU win since 1990 for the Buffs, and they celebrated like Buff fans only can, by rushing the field and getting in the face of every NU player they could find.

Restore The Order: Nebraska heads out to Colorado in 2005 hoping to “restore the order” against the Buffs, who are headed for the Big 12 Championship. Mission accomplished, as NU wins 30-3 and then-athletic director Steve Pederson practically re-enacts the scene from “An Officer and a Gentleman” as he strides on the field to celebrate. Meanwhile, CU is forced to clear its own student section and Gary Barnett finds his team embarrassed by Nebraska’s no-huddle offense.

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Tags: colorado week, snowballs, the day after thanksgiving massacre

Comments (1)

Profile image for jweir48

I have fond memories of the 1992 "Halloween Nightmare"; the old house was rocking and NU hadn't beaten CU since 1988 (that was my first Husker game by the way). If NU had scored 100 we would still have been screaming for more. Koy Detmer was shell shocked. Sweet. After all these years, I still hate CU, and I always will.

– Nov 25, 2008 at 5:24 pm

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