SOC - Nebraska 2022
151 miles to Lincoln. I feel like once we've reached a 150-mile radius of Lincoln, we're within "someone in Lincoln would just come get us before the game" range, so I think I can now confidently say I'll get to be at the game tomorrow. That wasn't the case 12 hours ago.
I explained this in a podcast that I recorded with my son a few hours ago, but this has been a very long day. I'll try to explain it quickly and then get to a game prediction.
- My middle son lives in Idaho. He and his wife had a baby in June.
- They are building a house in Idaho.
- My youngest son went out there six weeks ago to help them with the build.
- I went out there during the bye week to see our granddaughter.
- My wife joined for the weekend and then went off on a work trip.
This meant that four of us were in Idaho last week. And since my youngest son was finished helping with the house and driving back to Missouri, we developed a plan.
- Since he's driving back (and would be driving back right through Lincoln), he'd go to the game with me.
- Our oldest son would drive in for the game.
- My wife would fly in for the game.
- Our youngest son and I would drive from Idaho to Nebraska.
So that's what we did. Left yesterday evening when he was finished working, drove about 4.5 of the 15 hours, and stayed in a hotel. Then got up this morning, left the hotel at 7:30, and pointed his truck towards Lincoln. ETA: right around 8:00 pm.
It's now 11:34 pm and we still have 136 miles to go. Why? It's an interesting story that involves many twists and turns but maybe we go back to the bullets here and knock this out.
- 20 miles into our trip the truck was overheating.
- The radiator cap had an issue and we needed a good one. The world's nicest rancher named Jake drove his side-by-side up the offramp, asked if we needed a lift to the nearest auto parts store, returned with his truck, and drove my son to get a new radiator cap. We refilled with more coolant and were on our way.
- 30 more miles down the road the truck began overheating again.
- We let it cool down and then limped it (and I mean limped it) to Evanston, Wyoming and an auto parts store.
- We borrowed a radiator pressurization kit and pressurized the system. And there it was - a hiss from a hose attachment with a faulty o-ring.
- We replace the o-ring and repressurize. No more hiss. Which means that once the coolant system is pressurized, no more coolant leaking out leading to an overheating truck.
- We put everything back together, go to start the truck, and... we left the doors open too long and the battery is dead.
- The nicest dude named Avrum asked if we needed any help. We told him we needed a jump. He couldn't get his truck close enough to hook up the jumper cables so he drove to the business next door, hopped over their curb, and drove down the hill so his truck was facing my son's truck.
- The truck started up but now the real test. Would the coolant leak once everything was heated up and pressurized?
- We drove 5 miles and checked it. Still good.
- We drove 15 miles and checked it. Still good.
- We drove 20 more miles and checked it. Still good.
And now we've driven 700 miles and we're still good. 122 more miles and we're in Lincoln. During our four hour escapade trying to fix the radiator leak, I would have given us a 23% chance of making it to Lincoln before sun-up. I even looked into a Greyhound bus that would have gotten us there at 3:53 am (we missed the bus going through Evanston, Wyoming by 40 minutes),. But here we are, almost there. And the temperature gauge still right where it's supposed to be.
Now to the part you came to read about: the game tomorrow (which I'll get to attend!).
I'm feeling "close, but a win". Close because it's on the road against a team that has nothing to lose, but a win because of our defense. Let's do one more bullet list.
- We've done really well with turnovers so far and no school can escape turnovers so I think some turnovers are coming.
- This means that we'll have another "can we overcome the turnovers?" game and I think we can.
- Nebraska is probably the best offense we've faced (Minnesota's offensive numbers were all a mirage based on playing a horrific schedule) so this will be a real test for our defense.
- The one thing we've struggled with defensively this year: two minute offense (Indiana, even Iowa) and Nebraska might be able to string together some passing drives.
- They have a very poor defense, though, so once we overcome what feels like a turnover game, we should come out on top.
- I'm gonna call a "way too nervous most of the game, but then an 'oh yeah, Chase Brown' moment puts the game away late" kind of game.
Took me forever to get to Lincoln. Really sluggish drive. Maybe that's why I'm seeing a really sluggish game tomorrow.
But in 2022, a really sluggish game ends in a win.
Illinois 27, Nebraska 23