Lincoln, Nebraska (KMOV) -- Missouri made easy work of Nebraska two of the last three seasons. One problem remains for the Tigers - they haven't defeated the Huskers in Lincoln since 1978.
Knowing this has a few fans in Nebraska holding on to hope for this Saturday's contest. An ugly, 35-30 loss to Virginia Tech last weekend has most others thinking the Huskers don't stand a chance against the third-ranked Tigers.
A 1977 graduate of the University of Nebraska, 53-year-old Dan Stork of York, Neb., has had season tickets to Nebraska football games for the past 25 years.
"I don't know if we'll win the game," Stork said, "but I think there are some good chances that we could."
The lifelong Husker fan fell in love with Husker football listening to games on the radio during the days of Bob Devaney. He's been to 13 of Nebraska's 14 straight home victories over Missouri.
"If our defense can come up big in the red zone and hold Missouri to field goals and force a key turnover or two, I can see us pulling off the upset," said Stork.
While Stork and a few others are still looking for ways for Nebraska to win, most Husker fans are looking for ways to simply stay within a touchdown or two of the Tigers.
"I just hope our defense can stop their offense once or twice," Nebraska sophomore Evan Bodtke said.
"They haven't beat us here since 1978, but they've never been this good, and we've rarely been this bad. I'm not going to go to the game thinking we're going to win."
Brian Ortmeier is a senior broadcasting major at Nebraska and co-host of the Huskers pre-game show on the university's radio station, 90.3 KRNU. The 21-year-old from Dodge, Neb., is hoping for the best this weekend, but fearing the worst.
"When you play a team like Missouri you have to be able to run the ball and keep their offense off of the field," Ortmeier said. " I think they're going to spread us five-wide and pick apart our secondary. After watching our defense last Saturday against a mediocre offense, this could be ugly."
In a state that has long expected its team to win each and every game, especially at home, the tide seems to have turned. The majority of the Husker fans I spoke with are simply hoping for Nebraska to hang with the Tigers.
Times have changed in Lincoln. But one game, one upset over a top-caliber team like Missouri, could quickly restore the expectations most Husker fans once had for their football team.