Bethune-Cookman’s Alfred Adams wasn’t sure what to think when he ran out onto the Memorial Stadium field Saturday.
But the senior running back quickly figured out he was in a very different place from the stadiums he’s visited in his four years as a Wildcat.
“There’s 90,000 people out here, every one excited,” said Adams, who scored the game-ending touchdown. “Their fans were cheering us on before the game even started. They were very friendly. Honestly, I’m not used to that. Usually other fans are saying, 'Boo' (and) 'You suck.’ They were very welcoming.
“I was confused. At first I didn’t know if it was fake or cockiness or what. Soon I realized they were just encouraging us. It was love because we didn’t have any fans here. It was love the whole game.”
Wildcat coach Terry Sims had the same reaction, even after a 45-9 loss. But he said he initially wanted to turn down the trip to Lincoln.
“No way,” he said. “But after a couple more phone calls and really taking in the whole idea of coming, I couldn’t take this away from our players. This is something they’ll remember the rest of their lives. Having the opportunity to come in here and play a program like Nebraska, it’s something that needed to be done.”
And Sims said Bethune-Cookman will benefit from the game in more ways than just financially. The Wildcats received $800,000 to come from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Lincoln.
“This won’t do nothing but help our program,” he said. “It’s going to increase our game speed. You play a program like this you have to increase your game speed. I guess you guys saw the first couple series we had to step it up a little because the game speed was a little bit faster than what we’re used to. We picked it up. I think we made some positive plays out there. Something to build on.”
What were those positives from a game in which Sims said the Wildcats didn’t play their best?
“Number one, we can look at the time of possession (35 of 60 minutes). We can look at turnovers (three for the Wildcats, two for the Huskers). We can look at third-down stops and third-down conversions for our team. There are a few things we can take back and build on for next week.”
And they can reflect on having played a memorable game that wasn’t on the schedule when the season started.
Just ask Uriel Hernandez, the 5-foot-7, at least 185-pound Bethune-Cookman punter and kicker who instantly became something of a crowd and Twitter favorite.
“Me, a kid from Homestead (Florida), this is great experience,” Hernandez said. “It was wonderful. It was fun."
The Wildcats were without injured starting quarterback Akevious Williams on Saturday.