Oklahoma (2-0) at Nebraska (1-2)
September 17th, 2022, 11:00 AM CT
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Weather – Cloudy, 68 degrees
Oklahoma 49 – Nebraska 14
I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this game. Nebraska just fired Scott Frost so you didn’t know if the Cornhuskers would rise to the occasion or just give up on the season. On the flip side, this was Oklahoma’s first road trip of the season so how would the Sooners step up?
Coming out of the gate, Nebraska got a stop and then immediately went down the field 77 yards in just six plays to take an early 7-0 lead. They were efficient and you had to think Nebraska was going to fight hard.
That was basically the only offense Nebraska would show in the game, however. Oklahoma immediately responded to tie the game up. The rest of the half Nebraska had the ball six times and punted on five of those drives and turned the ball over on downs on the sixth. On the flip side, Oklahoma just drove down the field with ease on most of their possessions and took a 35-7 lead into the half. A lot of Nebraska fans left during halftime.
The third quarter did not get much better for the Huskers. On the first drive of the second half Nebraska fumbled the ball. Oklahoma took over and immediately scored again. They would also score on the second possession of the second half to take a 49-7 lead before starting to pull their first string out of the game. Nebraska would score on their last drive of the game to account for the final score.
Final score: Oklahoma 49 – Nebraska 7.
Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium is one of the more prestigious stadiums in the country so I was excited to visit this location. I was not disappointed as it was one of the more beautiful stadiums I’ve been to and I was able to land a seat right along the fifty-yard line in the upper deck.
With the University of Nebraska being right in the heart of downtown Lincoln, I took a bus to the stadium from an offsite location. This ended up being a very smart move as it made it easy to get to and from the stadium. The atmosphere around the stadium was great as OU and Nebraska had such an intense, friendly rivalry that fans were just open to talk with each other. This extended to inside the stadium as well as many Nebraska fans welcomed me to the stadium and talked with me about the game ahead of kickoff as well.
The outside of the stadium was an amazing sight. They actually had glass doors in front of all of the openings of the stadium that you walked through after you scanned your ticket. Once inside the doors you saw some of the old school motif including an opening with the saying “Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football” and a huge stadium clock on one side as well.
Inside, the stadium featured a full bowl alignment with multiple tiers. There was a large video board on the North side of the stadium and small video boards in all four corners. Runner boards also ran between tiers across both side lines.
Just like at Kansas State the prior week, there were no specialized concession stands. They did have stands that sold Runza sandwiches and Valentino’s pizza along with the normal concessions. There were also a lot of teenagers that they had walking around the concourse areas that were selling Runza sandwiches and bottled soda as well. One big difference at this stadium was that outside before the game there were stands selling food there, including Chick-Fil-A.
Hot dog – $4.00
Souvenir Soda – $5.00
Beer – No Beer Sold
Other Sporting Event
Women’s Volleyball – #9 Stanford (4-2) vs. #2 Nebraska (7-0)
Nebraska seems to always be in top 5 of the college volleyball standings, so I was excited to see the atmosphere at a game here. In short, it did not disappoint in the slightest.
First thing, the game was a complete sell out and I had to go through Stubhub to get a ticket to the game. I never experienced that with a non-football game before. Nebraska does play in a slightly smaller arena, but it still had a standing room only crowd of over 8,000 people. The Bob Delaney sports center has a full bowl on the lower sections and a ¾ bowl on the top. On the other side they had an open area that went out into the concourse. As mentioned, they sell standing room only seats above the bowl area. They had a four-sided video board above center court, small video boards in all four corners, and a small runner board court side.
The crowd was loud throughout and they were rewarded with a gem of a game. The first set went into sudden death where Stanford was able to edge out the win 27-25. After winning the second set, you thought Stanford might sweep the match. But, Nebraska fought back to take the third rather easily and you wondered if they could make the full comeback. The fourth set was just as nail-biting as the first, with Stanford winning the set, and thus the match, 27-25.
Final: Stanford 3 – Nebraska 1; 27-25, 25-22, 19-25, 27-25
The University of Nebraska is right in the middle of downtown Lincoln. That gave it an interesting dynamic that I had not experienced at any other school to this point. I saw pros and cons of having this type of location.
On the plus side, everything was centrally located. It was easy to get through the whole campus pretty quickly. On the negative side, there didn’t seem to be a lot of open spaces. Nothing on the campus really stood out as being special.
I did spend a little time in the student union waiting for the National History Museum on campus to open. The union was very nice and seemed like a place a lot people enjoyed hanging out before class. Outside was a set of fountains that was probably the prettiest and most relaxing place on campus.
Homestead National Historical Park – Beatrice
Beatrice was the first major town I hit after driving up from Kansas. It is home to Homestead National Historical Park, which is a tribute to the Homestead Act. The first homestead from this act was located on this property.
The Homestead Act allowed people to claim 160 acres of land as long as they promised to live on the land and cultivate the land to try to improve it. What I appreciated about the attached museum was they looked at this act from all angles, not just the positive ones. They talked about the struggles people had due to weather such as the dust bowl and also discussed how this act in some areas displaced Native Americans and that impact as well.
Outside of the museum there was a lot of open areas that you could hike through. It was a beautiful morning so I took advantage of that by walking through the open prairie lands. They have done a nice job trying to plant native plants in the area. Overall, this was a relaxing way to start off my Nebraska trip.
Nebraska State Capitol
The Nebraska State Capitol was drastically different from the Kansas State Capitol, both in the way the building looked as well as overall function. One thing that always fascinates me is how some capitols have a lot of security, including having to go through metal detectors, such as Kansas, and others where all the doors are wide open with no security in sight, like in Nebraska.
From a building perspective, Nebraska does not have the usual dome. It is a much narrower building, but very tall, rising up 14 floors. On the top floor, you were able to go outside and look out into the city from every direction. The views were great and seemed to be what most people that were visiting looked forward to the most.
The main difference inside the building is how the government works for Nebraska. Nebraska is the only state that has a unicameral system. This means they only have one house of legislators as opposed to the normal two.
Nebraska History Museum
The Nebraska History Museum in downtown Lincoln is a smaller history museum. On the first floor were a few exhibits about the history of the state. One fact I found interesting is that the state capitol was originally called Lancaster. They changed the city name to Lincoln as way to persuade (or dissuade, depending on your political views) the move of the state capitol from Omaha after President Lincoln died.
The upper levels had temporary displays that were focused on women’s impact to the state. Specifically, there was a large area that focused on women getting the right to vote in the state. This focused on the struggle to get the right to vote through the backlash that occurred once the finally got that right.
Although the museum was put together well enough, I don’t feel like there was enough on display to make it worth the trip. This stuck out even more after visiting the Durham Museum in Omaha which had much more around the history of the Omaha area specifically.
Nebraska State Museum of Natural History
The Nebraska Natural History Museum was located in a building on the University of Nebraska campus. Out front of the building was a bronze mammoth to let you know that you were in the right place.
The museum is large and features four floors of displays. On the second floor, which is where the main entrance resides, is the paleontology area which focuses on a lot of the animals that use to live in the area that is now Nebraska. The main area of this display focused on mammoths that used to live in the area.
On the first floor of the museum was the hall of Nebraska wildlife, which focused on the other animals that live throughout all parts of the state. The third floor had a display on the types of rocks and minerals found throughout the state of Nebraska. They also had an interesting area focused on evolution and various scientific experiments around evolution.
Finally, the fourth floor is the newest area of the museum. This floor focused on the sustainable resources across the state. There was a display about the Nebraska landscapes over time and current modern landscapes. This museum was a lot of fun to visit and definitely a preferred museum over the state history museum.
When I was finalizing my schedule of activities, I originally took this location of my list. But when I had a couple of extra hours free up, I added it back in. I’m glad I did, because the Sunken Gardens turned out to be a beautiful place.
The gardens were originally built in 1930 and are located on about 1.5 acres. This includes a couple koi ponds, many statues, and a huge variety of different flowers. The number of colors throughout the entire garden just made it light up. There were many gardeners working throughout, showing how much care they put into making sure the gardens are kept up as well as possible.
My favorite moment came while watching a hummingbird enjoying one of the flowers near the front of the gardens. It just zoomed along from flower to flower, barely slowing down along the way. There were also quite a few bumblebees along the path enjoying all the flowers as well.
Museum of American Speed
The Museum of American Speed is a large, three-story museum that is buried away within an industrial area close to the Lincoln airport. When I first parked, I almost walked into the wrong building because the museum building really did not stick out at all. But, once you got inside, you were treated to a very well put together museum that covered so many different types of automotive history.
The first floor of the museum mainly focused on racing history. One cool thing about this area was how they focused on all types of racing. There were areas around NASCAR and Indy racing all the way to drag racing and land speed races. There were full cars on displays as well as specialized displays just around the engines that went into the car.
The second and third floors of the museum focused more on automotive history. They had one section that focused on the origins of the everyday automobile like the Model T. On the other side, they had a lot of displays around toys and races for kids. They had hundreds of pedal cars from multiple eras on display. Soap box derbies were also a focus as they had a video showing one of the most competitive soap box derbies in the country.
This museum was a lot of fun and I am not a huge racing fan. I would imaging someone that is more into competitive racing and automobiles could spend hours within this museum.
Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum – Ashland
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum is located in a large facility near Ashland, Nebraska. It was originally created to specifically specialize in aircraft that was part of the Strategic Air Command, but has since expanded to include aircraft from all eras and some space-based programs as well.
I had not heard of the Strategic Air Command prior to this trip. It is a specialized force of the military that focused on strategic bombings starting during World War II. They would continue to operate through the entire Cold War and have a focus on the nuclear arsenal of the United States as well.
There were a lot of aircraft throughout the museum, but a lot of them did not have much descriptions associated with them. This made it hard to know the significance of a lot of the planes within the museum. The ones that did helped understand the importance and added a lot more to the viewing. I hope that over time they will continue to add more to history of some of the aircraft within the museum.
The Durham Museum – Omaha
The Durham Museum is located near downtown Omaha and offers a history of the Omaha area. It is located within the former Union Station, which is an absolutely beautiful former train depot. Walking into the museum leads into some wide open, amazing architecture in the waiting area of the former depot.
In the upstairs area there was a lot of history of the depot, including how the railroad industry, particularly passenger travel, played such a pivotal part in how Omaha become such a prominent city in the Midwest.
Downstairs, there were a lot of other history exhibits about the Omaha area. There was an interesting history of old movie houses and theaters in the downtown area. It documents both their rise in popularity as well as their eventual demise. The most interesting exhibit to me was around the Trans-Mississippi Exposition gallery. This featured the 1898 event that built up an amazing area that welcomed over 2.5 million people from around the world, but was torn down after five months once the exposition was over.
Back upstairs, they also had an old school soda fountain. So, of course, I had to order myself a chocolate mall before I left. This museum was a great place to visit and curated very well.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – Omaha
Unknown by me going in, the Omaha Zoo is one of the highest rated zoos in the country. After visiting, it was easy to see why. This zoo has a lot of exhibits including a large aquarium that made it easy to spend a full half day here without getting bored or running out of things to see.
I started the visit by going through the aquarium. This was one of the larger zoo aquariums I’ve been through and they had a large variety of puffins, penguins, as well as a large shark tank that you walked underneath to see them swimming above you.
There were many other special areas around the zoo as well. There was the gorilla habitat where many gorillas were just lounging around right next to the windows which were very popular. The kingdoms of the night area, where they had a lot of alligators, bats, beavers, and other animals that are mainly nocturnal, was a fun area as well. Finally, there was the butterfly pavilion where there were hundreds of butterflies flying around of many different sizes and colors.
My favorite part of my trip was probably walking by the elephant area as there were two baby elephants that were playing around with their parents. It was adorable and attracted a lot people watching and taking pictures.
Toast is a popular American restaurant located in Northwest Lincoln. I went during the lunch rush on a Tuesday and it was busy, though there was not a wait for a seat. The entire shopping area Toast was located in looked like fairly new development.
I went with my usual American style food I get whenever I see it on the menu which is the meatloaf. Well, as long as it comes with a ketchup glaze and not brown gravy. This one was topped with a ketchup and brown sugar glaze, and came with sides of mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans.
The meatloaf was very good and the glaze gave it a nice flavor. Although the edge of the meatloaf was a little crispy, it was not so much that it took away from the overall taste. The mashed potatoes were good, and sautéing the green beans with garlic made them tasty as well. I was disappointed with the dinner roll as it seemed like they just took a roll out of a bag and just put it on the plate. If you are going to take such pride in your dishes, at least put a warm dinner roll on the plate.
The Banhwich Café was a locally owned restaurant located in a shopping center filled with Asian-owned businesses. I have never had a Banh Mi sandwich before, but knew I wanted to try one at some point. Having one at a small place like this gave me confidence that I would have an authentic one.
The typical Banh Mi sandwich comes with a protein and toppings including aioli, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, and jalapenos on a baguette. There were a large variety of proteins to choose from, but I went with the Korean bulgogi.
I was a little nervous about was not being a huge jalapeno fan, but I decided to get the sandwich with them anyway. The flavors definitely fit very well together. Luckily, the jalapeno did not overwhelm the other ingredients. The size of the sandwich was very good for the price, so it was a very good value. This is the type of place that would definitely have customers that came back often.
They also served a variety of bubble teas. I saw several people come in just to order a drink to go. I did not try a bubble tea on my visit, however.
Lee’s Chicken Restaurant
Lee’s Chicken Restaurant is an old school fried chicken restaurant through and through. It feels like you step back in time from the time you walk in the door. The hostess was an older woman who you could tell has worked at the restaurant for ages.
The nostalgia continued with an older gentleman who played the piano in the background. He would walk around and ask people if they had any requests and seemed like a very sweet guy.
For the food, of course you had to go with the fried chicken. The chicken was fried using a family recipe and came with a leg and thigh and sides of mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.
The chicken was pretty decent and had good flavor, which is good news since chicken is what this place is famous for. I also enjoyed the mashed potatoes , but the macaroni and cheese was not very impressive. That was disappointing since they charged more for that side. I would definitely pick a different side if I went to this place again.
Block 16 – Omaha
When I looked up places to eat in Omaha basically every must visit list listed Block 16, so I knew I had to try it out. It is a small sandwich shop located in downtown Omaha. You could tell this was a popular place as I went just after it opened and there were already a lot of people in line in front of me.
The menu at Block 16 was very wide ranging, which it made it hard to decide what to choose. They had a Sloppy Nick on jalapeno cornbread which was very tempting, but I decided to be a little healthier on this day and went with the Salmon Tartine. This was grilled salmon with cucumber, pickled red onion, arugula, and a lemon-caper aioli on ciabatta bread.
The sandwich was very good. Onions are my favorite thing so having pickled onions on this sandwich to offset the salmon was the perfect combination. The only complaint I had is that the aioli was a little thin which made the sandwich pretty messy to eat. If I worked in the downtown area I would definitely eat here again. They have a daily special as well, so it would be interesting to see what inventive dishes they would come up.
Mouth of the South – Omaha
The best part of my trip to Mouth of the South was the chance to catch up with an old friend from my former church that I had not seen in many years. This was a Cajun style restaurant that had a lot of Southern favorites. They were very busy and had a nice outdoor dining area where we could enjoy the weather.
I went with the jambalaya, which is one of my favorite Cajun dishes that I had not had in many years. This place did the dish very well. I prefer my jambalaya to be thicker, and this bowl was the perfect texture. The other thing I appreciated about the dish was the amount of spice they put in the dish that gave it a perfect kick. Some of the ingredients did seem to blend together which made it hard to differentiate the various flavors, but the great spice blend made up for that.
But, as a big warning, do NOT order the sweet tea at this place! Apparently, people in Nebraska do not know how to make a proper sweet tea like people do in the South!
Koko’s Korean Fried Chickin – Omaha
After coming back to Omaha from the football game in Lincoln, I decided to find some place local for my last night in town. Within walking distance of my hotel was Koko’s Korean Fried Chickin. It is a small restaurant this serves chicken wings and tenders along with a lot of different bubble teas. There were a few other people in the restaurant while I was there, and the people there did seem to be regulars as they seemed to have usual go to orders.
I am not a huge wing guy, so I went with the chicken tenders with a side of white rice. You had a choice of sauces for your chicken and I went with the sweet chili sauce which had a medium heat.
The chicken was very good, with a perfect texture and not too much batter on the outside which is always the first thing I want in a chicken tender. I thought the tenders would have been cooked with the sauce, but instead they just put a small sauce on the side which was not enough for six tenders. Finally, the rice was very mushy and did not have much flavor which I thought was a disappointment for a Korean restaurant. So, if you go, get your order with fries instead of rice.
Runza is a famous fast-food chain that is only located in Nebraska and is one of the most popular places to local Nebraskans. They also sold Runza sandwiches at the Nebraska volleyball and football games as well and everyone was eating them left and right and talking about how amazing they were. I knew I had to try one of these out while I was in the state.
So, what is a Runza? It’s bread that is filled with beef, cabbage, onions and spices. I went with a Runza sandwich with cheese with ‘frings’ (which is an order of half French fries and half onion rings). The sandwich was fairly large and the mix of ingredients were a perfect blend.
This restaurant was very busy as there were always cars lined up around the drive thru which I could see directly from my hotel room. I really enjoyed the sandwich and could definitely eat here pretty often if I was a native Nebraskan. It reminded me a lot of the bierock that I had in California for the Fresno State game.