Sometimes I don’t understand Husker football. Nebraska spent most of their game against Purdue looking listless and terrible. Then, all of a sudden, the end of the 4th quarter happened and the Tanner Lee who was promised appeared on a game-winning drive. Consistency, that ol’ adversary of Mike Riley, reared its head yet again. This time, the Huskers escaped. The offense looked good on the last drive. I won’t say I see improvement but I liked what I saw on that particular drive. Can the Huskers keep it up over the course of an entire game? That’s a much tougher road.
Enter Northwestern. A program that is sort of fine where they’re at. A team that beat no. 16 Michigan State in triple overtime one week ago. A coach that all sportswriters deem to be one of the elite for some reason. As the Wildcats find a more consistent play over the last couple of weeks, the Huskers have (for now) exited the tailspin where they’d been stuck. How can Nebraska keep it going for a second week in a row? Be prepared.
Exit, Run the Ball Guy
Sorry, RBG, but your time is done. In the month of October, Nebraska rushed for only 64.7 yards per game and an astound zero touchdowns. They were 1-2 in that stretch but, with improved play from Tanner Lee, the coaches are going to go where the bread is buttered. After throwing nine interceptions in the first four games of the season, Lee has only thrown one in the last four (against much better competition, by the way). He’s clearly more comfortable even as the offensive line gets worse. Watch for Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf to put the season in Lee’s hand. Also, Stanley Morgan and JD Spielman need the ball.
Do You Even Tackle, Bro?
The Blackshirt defense bowed up and made plays in the late stages of the game but no-arm hit-sticking appeared yet again. Nebraska’s defense, especially the secondary, has a habit of going for the big hit on every single play. It costs the defense yards. So put the FUN in fundamental and give the Wildcat ball carrier a hug while you drive him into Memorial Stadium’s turf.
Ignore the Noise
Not the ambient cheering of Nebraska’s fans during the game, of course. Ignore the news that Mike Riley is gone and that Scott Frost is waiting in the wings to take over in 2018. Get better every day in practice and stay focused on the opponent at hand. Nebraska is fighting for bowl eligibility right now and outside distractions can beat them worse than any opponent on the field.
- 11 – times Tanner Lee has been sacked through 8 games.
- 118 – rushing yards per game given up by Northwestern’s defense.
- 2 & 1 – Northwestern’s record at Memorial Stadium since Nebraska joined the Big Ten.
- 50 pass attempts from Tanner Lee.
- Husker fans keeping one eye on the UCF game.
- Lots and lots of field goals.