Gary Barnett has his share of history with Nebraska football.
It wouldn’t be too terribly hard to draw a line from Barnett’s 2001 Colorado team beating NU 62-36 in 2001 to December, when Scott Frost was brought back to Lincoln to rebuild a program that began crumbling on that fall day in Boulder.
So as Barnett took a lap around the Memorial Stadium turf Saturday before the Huskers and CU kicked off, he may have been a little surprised at the reception he received.
“I went down on the field beforehand, and all the Nebraska fans said 'hi' to me and welcomed me back. They all knew me. So, yeah, it’s been great,” Barnett said. “A lot of memories from here. I love coming here, loved playing.
“Liked winning more than I liked losing.”
Barnett won his share against the Huskers. Despite finishing his tenure at CU 3-4 against the Huskers, his teams owned a pair of wins in Lincoln to go with the 2001 massacre.
He has friends in eastern Nebraska, making trips to the area easier. And since settling into a role in radio after the end of his coaching career, he’s kept up with Nebraska’s program as part of his work.
He was impressed with Nebraska’s line play through the first two quarters as the Huskers averaged more than 7 yards per play and piled up six sacks.
That’s music to a Nebraska fan’s ears, no matter who’s saying it.
Seen on gameday
* Lincoln native Ross Els, the inside linebackers and special teams coach for Colorado, had his game face on during pregame warmups.
Els, in his second season at CU, made his second trip to Memorial Stadium as an assistant for the opposing team. He was also a part of Purdue’s staff in 2016.
The Lincoln Northeast graduate was an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2011-2014, working under Bo Pelini.
* In your weekly Tunnel Walk news, there was once again a new video to start Nebraska’s entrance. This one centered on NU’s strength program, with former Husker Jason Peter doing his best to work the crowd into a frenzy while walking through Nebraska’s weight room.
After the opening bars of “Sirius” played, the team walked through the tunnel to “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.
* A new change on Nebraska’s scoreboards saw a television timeout clock added so that fans could see how much time remained in each commercial break.
The clocks appeared on the ribbon boards in East and West Stadium at the 50-yard line and just above the HuskerVision screens in each corner of the field.
* A new unity walk. Instead of making the traditional entrance through East Stadium about two hours before game time, the Huskers instead walked past the columns that have long stood between Memorial Stadium and Ed Weir Stadium. The team then made its way around to a North Stadium entrance where, of course, the locker room is located.
* The relatively short trip brought a good number of Colorado fans to Lincoln. There were squares of black atop the northeast and southwest corners of the stadium, as well as the usual fans at the bottom of Section 20.