MINNEAPOLIS — Lisa Falck was wearing sunglasses, but it wasn't hard to hear the words she was saying Saturday.
As she looked down to the field from the second deck of Huntington Bank Stadium, Falck spotted her son, 23-year-old Nebraska receiver Levi, and pointed him out to her father.
"Oh, my gosh, I've got tears in my eyes," Lisa said. "I'm overwhelmed."
The Falcks are Minnesota natives, hailing from Circle Pines, about 15 miles from Huntington Bank Stadium. This game was a homecoming for Levi and offensive lineman Bryce Benhart, who grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of Lakeville.
Lisa said the Falcks started out with about 20 tickets for Saturday's game. As kickoff neared, that number had grown to 150, and her phone was still buzzing with requests in the minutes before kickoff.
Minnesota was "great" in helping the Falcks secure more tickets, Lisa said.
The group gathered at Stub and Herbs, a college bar near the stadium, before the game. Lisa sported her red No. 88 jersey, and wore her emotions on her sleeve.
While Lisa sat with the other Nebraska football parents in Section 206, the other Falck supporters gathered in Section 233, in the opposite corner of the stadium.
Levi had support from both sides.
"I know it's always been his dream to play bigger, and so when he threw his name in the transfer portal, he was just so excited to have the look at Nebraska," Lisa said. "He just feels blessed."
Levi caught 70 passes for 774 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons at South Dakota before deciding to try his hand at the FBS level.
After growing up watching the Golden Gophers, he didn't get much of a look. Minnesota talked to him about walking on, but didn't really follow up, Lisa said. The Gophers' baseball team wanted him to come home to play shortstop.
"When I entered the transfer portal (after the 2019 season), they kind of were iffy on that and backed out," Levi said earlier this week. "So I don’t like Minnesota. I don’t like Minnesota at all."
The game is a subject that came up often between Falck and Benhart leading up to the game.
“We’re locker buddies, so he’s right next to me in the locker room,” Falck said. “We always talk about how we don’t like Minnesota and we’ve got to beat them.”
“He’s fired up just to be starting,” Falck added. “And even more fired up to get a chance to beat our hometown.”
The not liking Minnesota thing isn't exactly true, Lisa said. Levi loves his home state. But Nebraska gave him an opportunity that the hometown team didn't.
"And they couldn't have treated him better," Lisa said of Nebraska. "From the day he got there, they say what they're going to do, and they do it. He's been in every game since he's been there, so he's been pretty blessed."