Hostile Memorial Stadium awaits Jacks

Justin Hardend Sports Editor

Saturday may not be the most important game the Jackrabbits will play this season but it will most certainly be the most talked about of the regular season.

SDSU will be walking into a hostile environment with crowd levels they aren’t accustomed to. The Jacks have not played the Nebraska Cornhuskers since their 2010 season in which they lost 17-3 in what some would call a moral victory, if you’re into that kind of thing. To some players, this will be the highlight game of their career, especially if they walk away winners.

“It’s a big game,” wide receiver Jason Schneider said. “I know as a freshman you picked out some of the games in your career that are going to be big games in front of big crowds and this is definitely one of them … We are going to go in with the same mentality as any other game that we are going to win.”

Head coach John Stiegelmeier has preached the highly touted “1-0” concept that has caught on like wildfire here at SDSU and the Jackrabbits know they have to stick to their script in entering a passionate Memorial Stadium.


“With the crowd we know it’s going to be loud,” Schneider said. “They’re a good team and so you know they will make plays, we just got to fight through the adversity as an offense make plays … Do our job and move the ball downfield.”

Opened in 1923, Momorial Stadium has been home to the Cornhuskers for just under 100 years. It has since been recently renovated in 2006 the stadium can seat up to 87,091 screaming fans. College football arguably has the loudest atmospheres known to sports. In comparison to the newly Metlife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey can only seat 82, 556 people, the largest NFL venue in capacity. College football tends to house young college students as compared to a variety of age groups like an NFL game might. Senior defensive lineman Doug Peete knows it’s a great opportunity to build a stronger resume as a program.

“You really grow as a program playing this school,” Peete said. “It really defines your character and how you overcome that adversity, I think it’s a good test for us, it’ll be fun.”

The defense has played well through the first three games of the season taking the ball away six times and the team bond has been strong this season.

“Playing for the man next to you … A lot of us lived together, we really got a strong bond,” Peete said. “I think we are all doing pretty good, everyone is playing for each other.”

Playing in big games can be exciting and hyped up more than they really should; after all it is a game right? It may be easy to forget it’s just a regular season game and a loss doesn’t mean the season is over. Coach Stig will re-enforce his players with a sense of reality that this game is not everything.

“I don’t think it’s the Super Bowl,” Stigelmeir said. “I think it’s natural to look forward to this game, but I don’t think we’ve overlooked any of our opponents to this point.”

Although the venue may be bigger and more glamorous than the Jacks are used to the coach, Stigelmeier knows the team has a job to do and they aren’t tourists, they’re football players.

“You don’t talk down about Nebraska or about their football program … You don’t say ‘look, they lost to UCLA’ we’re not UCLA,” Stigelmeier said. “You know your parents are going to be here, the only thing they are going to be excited about is you playing your best football, not being here with you, you’re not a tourist.”

The Jackrabbits will play the Cornhuskers at 2:30 p.m. in Lincoln, Neb. Available to watch on Jackrabbit Sports Network or the Big Ten Network.