Oregon vs. Nebraska, 9/17

Nebraska cornerback Joshua Kalu (10) leads the cheering after the Huskers 35-32 victory over Oregon at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept., 17, 2016.

You've heard it everywhere the last few days. Man, it was loud on Saturday, wasn't it? Have you ever heard it louder?

A very good question, neighbor. And a fair one.

The loudest I've ever heard it in Memorial Stadium for a single play was the Mike Stuntz pass to Eric Crouch to break Oklahoma's back in 2001.

Everyone in the stadium realized at the same time, 'Holy crap, Frank is calling a trick play to one-up Stoops,' and then, 'Hey, there's a guy wide open,' and then the brainwaves took that extra second before processing it fully, 'Hey, that guy who is wide open is frickin' Eric Crouch.'

It was just incredible sound. The student section looked like a mosh pit from the press box.

The loudest Husker game, from start to finish, I've ever heard through my television (and anyone in the stadium will back it up) was the 1992 Nebraska-Colorado game on Halloween. Again, I was not there. I was Trick or Treating in Omaha during the second quarter. And let me tell you, kids never got so much candy from happy homeowners as that night.

Koy Detmer got sacked again? Dig in, kids. Take as many Kit-Kats as you want.

I hate to use the word hate, but Nebraska and Colorado basically hated each other right then. Anyone around for it knows what I mean. The previous year was the snowball game when CU fans threw snowballs at Nebraska kicker Byron Bennett before a game-winning field goal attempt. It was blocked. A 19-19 tie. Nebraska hadn't beaten the Buffs since 1988.

Husker fans are usually known for their manners, but that night they were some mean cusses. They wanted blood and they got it in a 52-7 win that still makes anyone who was around it smile.

If you want to go back further, the great Husker historian Mike Babcock will tell you Nebraska-Oklahoma in 1978 belongs near the top on any list of loud Husker games, too. Maybe the loudest he's heard the place, he's told me.

But let's focus in on recent Husker history.

I have this theory, which I'll admit might be half-baked, that Husker fans have actually trained themselves to be a louder crowd in close games the more they've grown used to them. When I was a kid, and Nebraska was in a tight game at Memorial Stadium, it sometimes seemed more nervous noise than shake-the-foundation sound. Because for decades, NU fans had witnessed more blowouts than knee-knockers in that place.

But now, close games are more common and Husker fans don't seem to hold back as much. They know they can impact the outcome. They did on Saturday.

It made me want to think of the loudest games (and moments) at Memorial Stadium in the last 15 years.

This excludes 2001, which had some incredibly loud moments not only limited to the Crouch touchdown against Oklahoma, but including a night game noisebox against Notre Dame and a DeJuan Groce punt return that buried Kansas State and absolutely shook the place. (Seriously, go to 1:25.50 and hear the place.)

For the last 15 seasons, in my opinion the three loudest games in Memorial Stadium from start to finish are these:

1) 2016 Nebraska-Oregon

2) 2009 Nebraska-Oklahoma

3) 2014 Nebraska-Miami

That's a different list from loudest moments. These are the loudest moments that come to mind:

* Michael Rose-Ivey's tackle on Dakota Prukop to seal the win Saturday. That's not being a prisoner of the moment. It was that loud.

* The Alex Henery 57-yard field goal roar, followed by the insanity in the stadium after Ndamukong Suh's pick six to seal it.

* Nebraska's fourth-and-1 stop against Wisconsin 2012, in which Monte Ball never got the handoff and Harvey Jackson picked up the fumble.

* The moment Rex Burkhead sidestepped a Buckeye in 2011 and had clear space ahead for a 30-yard touchdown to tie the game and complete a 21-point comeback.

* The sound when the hole opened on each of Roy Helu's long touchdown runs against Missouri in 2010, particularly the first one on Nebraska's first play from scrimmage.

* DeJuan Groce's long punt return in the final minute against Texas that set the Huskers up for a game-tying field goal or game-winning touchdown. Jammal Lord followed it with an interception. Horns won 27-24.

* The explosion after the Jordan Westerkamp Hail Mary against Northwestern in 2013.

Best parties in the stands in the last 15 years:

1) The "Let Me Clear My Throat" dance-athon after Nebraska beat Michigan State in 2015.

2) After Saturday's game. Haven't seen people leaving the stadium that happy about their team in a while.

3) The 2008 win over CU. No question. Fans thought the Huskers were buried. Then the Henery kick made it a heckuva Thanksgiving weekend and happy December for all.

4) The way the stadium exploded after Andy Janovich's late touchdown run against Wisconsin in 2015. The game that made "Let Me Clear My Throat" really take off as a thing.

Anyhow, I'm sure I left some things out. There are the moments that were top of mind to me.

Your turn. What are the loudest games and moments you remember at Memorial Stadium?

Reach the writer at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.


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