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The most memorable — and infuriating — moment in the past two decades of Nebraska football involved officials putting one second back on the clock so Texas could attempt a game-winning field goal in the 2009 Big 12 championship.
That story is well known by now. But former NU coach Bo Pelini dropped a previously unheard theory on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast, co-hosted by former Husker linebacker Will Compton.
“I heard — whether it’s true or not, I don’t know — that it wasn’t the replay official who hit the (replay) button to review it,” Pelini said. “There was nothing to review. It was over.”
So who hit the replay button?
According to Pelini: “I heard a Big 12 official reached over and hit the button. That’s what I was told a couple months after. And I was like, ‘Well, what are you going to do?’”
Compton’s co-host, Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, asked Pelini why he didn’t say something publicly after hearing that.
“What are you going to do after the fact?” Pelini said. “I probably spoke out more that night. I got fined more than once for my press conferences. I don’t know if that was one of them.”
Ten years gone and the 2009 Huskers remember that fateful Big 12 championship game like yesterday. The jubilation. The agony. The wildest four-minute roller coaster of their lives.
Pelini spent 90 minutes on the podcast, mostly recapping his days at Nebraska.
He lightly conceded that his tendency to lose his cool on the sideline during games negatively affected the team. Compton, who played in a couple of those games in 2011 and 2012, critiqued Pelini when Lewan asked him.
“When you get in tough parts of the game, and Bo — from stories I’ve heard — blacks out and doesn’t necessarily remember how much he gets after people,” Compton said. “But when Bo gets (expletive) pissed off and you feel like (expletive) hitting the fan, and you feel like you’re letting everybody down, I feel like it festers in a young kid’s psyche. And then you play more not to mess up instead of needing like somebody to say, ‘Hey, it’s all going to be (expletive) good.’”
Said Pelini: “You play not to make a mistake, you don’t play to win.”
Compton answered, “I felt like it happened more so, too, when you’re a younger guy.”
Pelini described a drive against Penn State in 2012 — the long Zach Zwinak touchdown run when he jawed with Daimion Stafford. Though Pelini was angry, a “good group” of seniors could “chirp” back at the coach.
Compton said he noticed “watching from afar” that NU melted down in the 2014 Wisconsin game — when a 17-3 lead turned into a 59-24 loss — after Melvin Gordon busted off a long touchdown run. Compton thought Nebraska should have handled the moment better. Pelini did, too.
“Yeah, I agree,” Pelini said.
Compton then referenced a Youngstown State meltdown in which Pelini picked up a personal foul penalty late in a game against North Dakota State.
Pelini said “the kids (at Nebraska) had so much pressure on them” and his personality might have added to the pressure.
“Something bad would happen and it just compounded itself,” Pelini said. “All of the sudden, they totally lost their — certain guys would totally lose it.”
Despite winning just one national championship in the last 50 years, Texas is storming through college football like a Longhorn in a china shop. But the SEC won't be as forgiving, writes Dirk Chatelain.