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UNK students venture into enemy territory to cheer on Huskers at Cowboys Stadium
Clayton Kush
Antelope Staff
Photo espn.com
Nebraska star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh takes Texas quarterback Colt McCoy for a ride during Saturday night's Big XII championship game. Suh, named a finalist for the Heisman trophy, recorded a championship record 4.5 sacks to push his season total to 12. The students who went enjoyed a good game, but saw Nebraska fall just short of a Fiesta Bowl invitation.

This past Saturday’s game was huge for the Husker football team and a memorable Big 12 showdown for a few UNK students who were lucky enough to watch it live in person at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. UNK students Keller Batterman, Kayanne Hamling and Eugene Bichlmeier, were just a few students from Kearney who made the nearly 11-hour road trip down to the Lone Star State to root on the Huskers as they faced off against the undefeated Longhorns on Saturday night.

All three students drove down with separate groups of people, not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to witness their Huskers win their first Big 12 Championship since the 1999 season.

Keller Batterman, a grad student in the psychology department decided to get tickets the day they became available because he was excited about the Huskers playing the Longhorns and having a chance to win the conference title.

Batterman felt let down by how the game played out, but was not disappointed by the atmosphere at the game. “The crowd was really into it and fired up. It was one of the loudest games I have ever been to,” Batterman said.

Batterman wasn’t the only fan disappointed by the outcome. Senior Kayanne Hamling, a speech pathology major, felt the Huskers got cheated” and was shocked by the outcome. Her main reason for making the trip down to Dallas? To go on a road trip and see the new Cowboys Stadium. Her favorite part of the trip was the tailgating before the game; Hamling was surprised by how friendly everyone was. “Tailgating outside the stadium was an awesome experience; I was able to meet so many cool Husker and Longhorn fans. Both fans were fun and were very respectful of the opposing team,” Hamling said.

Though he worked late the night before the game, senior communications major Eugene Bichlmeier  drove all night Friday night to cheer on his Huskers and said that the game and crowd atmosphere was well worth the trip. “The atmosphere inside the stadium was intense the entire game. Even with all the energy that both the teams and fans had, they were still very respectable to each other.”    

Despite the fact that the Huskers were two touchdown underdogs, Bichlmeier felt confident before the game that the Huskers had what it takes to beat the Longhorns and wasn’t happy with how it ended. “On the last drive, I really felt our defense was going to stop the Longhorns offense and was very disgusted when the referees put one second back on the clock. From where I was sitting, it appeared the clock had run out,” Bichlmeier said. 

Despite the narrow loss, all three Husker fans were proud that that the team had made it to the big game and feel that Bo and the Huskers are on the right track. “I’m satisfied with our performance this season, I just feel that if we had a good quarterback like Joe Ganz this season, we would be competing for a National Championship,” Bichlmeier said.

“Considering all the change this program has gone through in the last couple years, I am very happy with where we are at and feel really good about the future of Nebraska football,” Keller said.

Hopefully the Huskers will be Dallas bound again in December 2010 as next year’s Big 12 Championship Game will once again be held at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

It was a great trip, and an amazing, unforgettable game for these three UNK students who say the game and championship atmosphere was well worth the drive and a time they will never forget.

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