As he stood on the second floor of the Hawks Championship Center, Erik Chinander must’ve known it was coming. After all, he graduated from Iowa. Its natural there would be some questions about what’s on his mind as he prepares to coach against his Alma Mater.
At first though, Chinander was coy about his thoughts when asked by reporters. “Obviously it’ll be good to go back to that stadium. I’ve got a lot of friends and family coming wearing red, so that’ll be good.” Chinander then pivoted to the importance of the game and what it would mean to the players.
Of course, Chinander wouldn’t escape that easily. He was asked next about his friendly rivalry he maintained with Scott Frost where they would rib one another about their respective schools.
“It was fun to go back and forth alumni to alumni,” Chinander said. “I tell the kids all the time, you’ve got great stuff here. The facilities are unbelievable… the training table, the academics.” Chinander then offered an impassioned statement on his pride for being a part of Nebraska’s football program.
“My favorite place in the whole building and the whole complex, is when we get to walk out of that gate and it says ‘I play for Nebraska.’ I coach at Nebraska. I get to coach at Nebraska. There’s no doubt about it, I grew up in Iowa. But my home is in Lincoln. My heart is in Lincoln.”
Offensive coordinator Troy Walters says that it’s business as usual for Chinander. “He’s the same guy,” Walters said. “This means a lot to him, but he’s approaching it the same way.” Coach Frost knows the feeling.
“I’m sure it’ll be as emotional for him going over there as it was for me coming back here,” Frost said. “But we have to put all that aside when we go play, and it all comes down to what happens on the field.”
Kickoff set for 11 A.M. Central on FOX. The Hawkeyes are 7-4 (4-4 Big 10) and are coming off a 63-0 victory over Illinois.
In other news and notes from the Husker’s practice:
-Sophomore receiver J.D. Spielman is still considered “day to day” according to Walters.
-Redshirt senior from Hiawatha, Kansas, Peyton Newell is now a Blackshirt