Turner Gill was mostly unnoticed when he led the Kansas football team onto the field before Saturday's game against Nebraska.
That was because, even if Gill was a star quarterback and beloved assistant coach at Nebraska, there still are few things that can take Husker fans' attention from the Tunnel Walk.
And, in fact, Gill didn't even really lead his team onto the field. Many of the KU players were already huddled in the end zone when Gill came out of the locker room and onto the field. He jogged only about five yards with the players.
Then he stopped to be interviewed by television sideline reporter Jim Rose, and while calmly waiting had the huge KU flag blow in his face for a moment. Gill watched the end of the Tunnel Walk on the HuskerVision screen above North Stadium.
During the game, Gill walked the sideline and had few players or assistants around him, leaving the play calling to his coordinators. Buddy Wyatt, the former Husker assistant and KU defensive line coach, helped signal defensive plays. Gill often blended in with the other coaches and players on the sideline.
Gill clapped and encouraged his players, but also barked at an offensive player who failed to pick up a Nebraska blitz on the Jayhawks' first possession.
Some of the biggest signs that the opposing head coach was different than any other were the posters: "We love Turner, but we love the Huskers more," read one. "NU vs. KU 1892-2010 We Love Turner," another one read.
In a recorded message shown on the HuskerVision screens about 20 minute before the game, Tom Osborne welcomed Gill back to Nebraska.
After the game, Gill shook hands with Bo Pelini at midfield and they shared a few words. Gill also shook hands with NU assistant coach Ron Brown, but did not join in the traditional postgame prayer.
As Gill left the field, Husker fans clapped, but only a little louder than they usually do for the visiting team. "Good job, coach," one fan yelled.
And then some youngsters treated Kansas players like they would any other college football player.
"Can I have your (receiving) gloves?" they asked.
Nebraska hosted three official visitors Saturday, but two have already committed to play for the Huskers: Kicker Niklas Sade from Raleigh, N.C., and offensive linemen Ryan Klachko of Springfield, Ill. Also visiting was Max Pirman, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound linebacker from Orrville, Ohio, who is believed to have committed to Indiana.
Cool (temperature) game
After nice weather for most of the first five home games this season, Husker fans bundled up for the 6 p.m. kickoff with a game-time temperature of 34 degrees.
There were several heaters on the Husker sideline, and some players wore stocking caps (OK, it was mostly the backup quarterbacks and kickers).
Players and fans did luck out that there was little wind and no sign of the snow that fell in Lincoln on Friday night.
- Another poster: "Henery for Heisman," in reference to the Husker kicker/punter.
- Game captains were center Mike Caputo, fullback Tyler Legate and special-teams standout Eric Martin.
- The crowd was pretty tame, but booed when the Huskers had to take a timeout with 10 seconds remaining in the game. After all, it was cold, and it was time to go home.