The paint was chipping off the walls and the foundation was cracking.
And that was just during the first quarter.
Dang, I had a tough time watching the Huskers start to play Wisconsin and I had a few choice words “slip” out. It’s been a while since such angry yells were heard during a game. It was just embarrassing at times.
The game, not me.
But what happened early on is the exact same thing I’ve been harping on for so long. For periods in the matchup, Nebraska loves nothing more than to make an average opponent look like the national champs by giving up turnovers, committing silly penalties and constantly digging itself in a hole with horrible offensive execution and bad field position.
It’s a Jekyll and Hyde mentality. Maybe they get so jacked up for the game that they stammer, stutter and lose focus. This isn’t coaching. This is on the players.
Keep composure, keep focused, execute and win. Look at what happens when the Big Red is clicking on all cylinders.
Nebraska can’t afford to do that during every big-time, nationally televised night game. But it happens anyway. Let me tell you, if it happens this weekend against Ohio State, I’m not so sure the Huskers will be celebrating the outcome.
Cover that guy
Jared Abbrederis has been a thorn in Nebraska’s side. He’s one of those guys with deceptive speed who runs excellent routes. The smaller defenders who NU deployed to cover him were simply outmatched at times.
But during halftime, Ciante Evans was back at cornerback and assigned to follow Abbrederis all over the field. Evans essentially shut him down in the second half, allowing only a measly two catches.
Compton shows up
As hoped for, Will Compton had a great game. His 10 tackles, two pass breakups and one sack were instrumental.
Playing against a ground-and-pound offense is his bread and butter. Let’s just hope he can keep that aggression next week as Ohio State will test every defender’s discipline and gap integrity by running some power plays, yet stretching the field to create lanes for Braxton Miller to run.
Maher was special
Kicker Brett Maher was solid against the Badgers by going 3-for-4 in field goals and booting six out of seven kickoffs for touchbacks.
This do-it-all kicker also averaged a tremendous 46.7 average per punt. The “hidden yardage” in the kicking game can be vital in deciding the outcome of a game.
Abdullah still shining
Ameer Abdullah is not only shining as a running back and returner, but he’s also showing his skills as a receiving threat. So far, he’s snatched the ball out of the air diving into the end zone, stretching high above his shoulders and with several sliding, finger-tip catches as he showcased last week.
Coming out of the backfield, or split out wide of the formation, Abdullah is just another weapon for this offense. But one knock on him is his penchant for one fumble a game.
Can’t see the numbers
It might seem a little silly, but the alternate uniforms caused more hesitation than just the different helmets. Husker defenders said they had trouble matching up against Wisconsin because the small numbers on the jerseys were almost unreadable.
Coaches and players rely on matching personnel that’s on the field. If you can’t see the numbers, it’s tough to do that.
Offensive line push
Give kudos to the Husker offensive linemen for mauling the Badgers. They were flat-out dominant late in the game.
Freshman fullback Andy Janovich deserves some pub, too. The Gretna native puts on a clinic on how you serve pancakes.