Delayed Reaction: Huskers Shine in Opener
Apologies for the delay. The Labor Day weekend disrupted BRN in-season routine. The Huskers amassed nearly 800 yards and held their opponent to 200 yards. As the saying goes, things are never as good as they look in victory or as bad as they look in defeat. Had Florida Atlantic made their 45-yard field goal to narrow the game at 17-10 and Jaquez Johnson survived the hit from Zaire Anderson, the game might have been more of a contest. The Owls also missed a chance to fall on a fumble in the second quarter that could have given them a short field. Their receivers dropped some passes as well.
Then again, the Huskers probably could have put more points on the board as well. Tommy Armstrong missed some wide open receivers. The clock management at the end of the first half also cost NU a chance to get some more points on the board. While the early penalties didn't cost Nebraska on the scoreboard, they did slow the game down a bit. The Huskers also had the chance to collect a turnover or two that didn't materialize.
Abdullah had a great day in rushing for 232 yards on 21 attempts, but they probably could have gotten him out of the game sooner. Imani Cross should have had more than three carries on the day, assuming he's OK physically. Likewise, Tommy Armstrong probably could have taken a seat sooner. He lasted long enough to complete Jordan Westerkamp 7 passes for 125 yards and Kenny Bell 4 for 116 with a touchdown for Westerkamp and true freshman De'Mornay Pierson-El. Terrell Newby mopped up with 107 yards on 16 carries, with Ryker Fyfe leading the Huskers to their last 10 points.
The Randy Gregory injury gave pause, but it now sounds as though he could be available for the Fresno State game. You'd prefer him not be hurt, but getting rest for a couple weeks could keep him fresher later. Don't be surprised if McNeese State is able to provide more of a challenge than Florida Atlantic. Not many games are ever this one sided.