The November 2020 issue of Hail Varsity is on its way to mailboxes and newsstands this week. To preview the issue, here is the issues letter from editor Mike Babcock. Make sure you don’t miss an issue by subscribing today.
Nebraska’s defense gave up 501 yards to Penn State. Even so, the Huskers won. Go figure.
Penn State ran 91 plays, for starters. But the Nittany Lions managed only 23 points, seven fewer than Nebraska—which got its first victory in the 2020 season.
There needs to be an adjective or two before “season.” Nothing seems to work, though.
Having acknowledged that, this issue of Hail Varsity includes images of the game, made with restrictions necessary because of COVID-19 concerns. The Huskers have four regular-season (though, again, there’s nothing “regular” about this season) games remaining, a plus-one, and the possibility of a bowl game; every FBS team is considered bowl-eligible this season, regardless of record.
However, in 2020 it’s week-to-week, or, more accurately, day-to-day.
In any case, if the stats mentioned earlier interest you, Brandon Vogel offers some numbers in Hot Reads that indicate statistically Scott Frost’s two-plus seasons at Nebraska might have been slightly better, that 17 losses might be a bit higher than certain numbers would indicate.
This issue includes the third in a four-part series on Nebraska’s first national championship in 1970, context more so than game detail, about which much has been written in various news sources during this 50th anniversary season of that title run in Bob Devaney’s ninth season as coach.
With the basketball season drawing closer, hopefully, Jacob Padilla and Derek Peterson provide Husker men’s and women’s notebooks. Men’s coach Fred Hoiberg has landed Nebraska’s first-ever 5-star basketball recruit in Bryce McGowens from Legacy Charter in Greenville, South Carolina.
Peterson also has written what easily could have been this issue’s cover story, if not for Nebraska’s picking up its first win, the up-lifting subject of which is only marginally Husker-related.
With Nebraska football access limited to Zoom interviews, Peterson followed the Kearney (Neb.) Catholic Stars during the high school football season. The Stars were led by quarterback Heinrich Haarberg, a Husker commit in the class of 2021, hence the connection.
Matt Johnson is Kearney Catholic’s special teams coordinator, even though he is wheelchair-bound because of an accident during the summer before his junior year at Nebraska-Kearney.
Peterson was allowed unique, inside access throughout the Stars’ season, about which he regularly wrote for the Hail Varsity website—the Stars lost in the Class C-1 semifinals—with an insight that makes his story on Johnson special, as well as uplifting in this time like no other.
I’m still trying to think of an adjective or two that I can go back and add to the second paragraph before “season.” But I’ve coming up short. Maybe you can add your own.