Nebraska Escapes Evanston with a Win
Apologies for our tardiness. The BRN staff were attending this game (and actively poisoning our livers). However, in the light of day we offer our recap on a game that was both exhilarating and infuriating at the same time.
On paper, the game doesn't even seem close. The Huskers gained 543 yards to just 301 for Northwestern. The critical statistic of course were the turnovers and penalties by Nebraska that made the game far closer than it needed to be.
The Blackshirts played well in this one and were a huge component of the victory. Dual (or triple) threat quarterback Kain Colter was held to just 35 yards on 14 carries and 1 of 2 passing for 5 yards. As a receiver he managed just 3 catches for 17 yards. Venric Mark was the offensive star for the Wildcats. Take away his 80-yard touchdown run however, and he tallied just 38 yards on fifteen carries.
Taylor Martinez by contrast had a huge passing day by completing 27 of 39 passes for 342 yards with three touchdown passes. He also managed 65 rushing yards on 18 carries. Take out the 3 sacks for 24 yards and he tallied 89 yards on 15 carries. He also had a rushing touchdown.
Quincy Enunwa made huge, tough, leaping catches often in traffic at critical times. He finished with 110 yards receiving on six catches. Ameer Abdullah contributed 101 yards on 19 carries without breaking any huge runs. Rex Burkhead exited the game (with another re-aggravation of the knee injury) after just 4 carries for 13 yards.
Still, it came down to a missed 53-yard field goal attempt by Northwestern to give Nebraska the 29-28 victory. The major positive was the play of the defense. If they are anywhere near as effective with Denard Robinson as they were with Kain Colter, they will have an excellent chance to beat the Wolverines next week in the biggest game of the season. A game that will no doubt decide who wins the division.
Last night wasn't pretty. But it was just good enough to keep hope alive for the Huskers for a trip to Indianapolis.