Nebraska and Buffalo combined to fill 10 coolers with water and a few more with ice towels before kickoff. The Huskers set up two tents covering benches with built-in air conditioning. Buffalo positioned three fans that blew cold air along its sideline.
With a 91-degree temperature at kickoff — and a 129-degree field temperature, according to on-site meteorologist Rusty Dawkins — the players needed every gadget available to help with stand the heat at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
“We’ve got the guys as prepped for that as we possibly can,” Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Thursday. “I hope the fans take care of themselves too when it gets that hot in the stadium. Hope everybody can be safe on the field and off.”
The fans fought the heat with sun hats and water. Nebraska allowed them to bring one bottle into the stadium on Saturday and set up water-fountain stations for refills. The band swapped their white jackets for red polos. Photographers in the south end zone huddled under the shade provided by the stands and railing behind them.
The players, meanwhile, took advantage of the cooling stations provided. The Buffalo defense crammed between two of its fans during a timeout. And Nebraska players hunched their shoulders to make room for as many teammates as possible on their cooling benches.
Both teams stayed hydrated, at least. Nebraska suffered zero cramps in the first half while Buffalo suffered just one. And ninety minutes after kickoff, a couple hundred sweaty football players jogged off the sauna-soaked field and into their shaded tunnels.