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.

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Comments 23 comments so far

This is the husker team that we have come to love and expect the last 15 yrs the only way this team makes it to Indy this year is if they hold big 10 media days again

The good thing about “good enough” is just that. Perils still lie ahead. The very definition of “dual threat” will come a callin’, next week. Not a good time for front runners. That’s the thing about this conference. It’s a week to week load.
Maddening mistakes. But, massive displays of heart and talent won the day, fortunately. Through it all, the talent picture of this team can start to become clearer. Players like Enunwa and Jean-Baptiste showed up. The game changing catches and passes defended, were clutch. Big time efforts like those brings a tear, to Bo’s eyes.
Like Fitzgerald said- “great Big Ten game” and Pelini was highly complimentary of “NU’s” coach.
This may seem like nothing to build on, because of the turnovers and mistakes. The qualities I look for, in a Nebraska team, were just as obvious.

If big time efforts like that bring a tear to Bo’s eye in big time college football it’s easy to see why Nebraska is irrelevant especially recruits that can be program changers

Week after week, we beat ourselves.  The penalties, the dropped passes, the missed assignments…’s hard to watch sometimes because we all know how GREAT these kids can be, and should be!  It should have clicked by this point in the season.  I’ve got my tickets to Indy, with my Huskers jersey packed, but I’m still waiting to put on the face paint!

You know…it is true that Pelini isn’t the best recruiter and we don’t have as high a calaber athlete as some of the SEC teams of even some B1G teams, but you know, if these guys that are on our team now can quite making stupid mistakes, penalties and turnovers…quit beating themselves essentially and play up to their ability, we could easily be a top 10-15 team. Maybe not National Championship calaber but one heck of a lot better than we’ve seen in some games these last 2-3 years. You could just tell we were a lot bigger and stronger than they were yesterday. The announcers even mentioned it. We should have beat them handily if we play up to our own level. I guess all coaches have to deal with getting the absolute most out of their players, but some coaches and programs just seem to be better than others. Oregon gets top level play out of their guys, so does Alabama. We used to but that was when we had legendary level coaching…that’s really the backbone of a winning program. The question is will Pelini get there? Usually I say no. But then again…?
I was very impressed with the way Taylor Martinez handled himself teh last 8 minutes especially…he was excellent and again, even the announcers said it.

Bill Snyder WOW.  look at KSU.  Maybe Tom O should have considered him after Cally…..  NU - a win is a win but too many mistakes across the team!  What was Pelini screaming back and forth with that NU player for.  first time I have seen a NU player give it back to him hmmmmm.

Anyone consider with crowd noise you have to yell to be heard?

HskrFan, you hit one point right on the head. They are not clicking. That can be caused by any number of things; coaching, player chemistry, self-confidence, fully understanding the scheme; these are just a few. We’ve seen them play well, push strong teams around, but not consistantly. As you said, it hasn’t clicked for them yet. Maybe it won’t. But god help the team we’re playing if/when it does. PE, you’re right about TM. A world better than last year. Still makes some scary decisions under pressure, but our line needs to help him in that regard.

yes on the crowd noise except it was right after the 2nd muffed punt and Pelini had that look on his face like someone was gonna pay…..
How about that Brian Kelly…...

While there are still problems that need to be cleaned up, I really like how our defense played.  Nice to see them put the clamps down on a duel threat QB.  Hope they do the same thing next week to Robinson.

BRUTUS…..right on about our line…think about how really good this offense could be if Barney and his merry bandits could teach these guys proper blocking technique.  Watch other QB’s around the country that the pundits rave about…then watch how much time they have to throw…Taylor has shown time and time again he can be just as good if he didn’t have to run for his life after two seconds.And, one more thing…when Beck learns (Hopefully soon) there is this thing called: “misdirection” it would relieve a bit more pressure on Taylor…(Notice I didn’t mention TRICK PLAYS because that is well beyond his expertise)..

Captain Bly,

ROFL.  Well let’s give Beck and Pelini a little more time.  This is the second year of Beck’s offense.  (Trick plays)  You sir, made me chuckle.  :)

Captain Bly,
Dead on about misdirection…glad to see there are a few people tired of yelling at the TV about it!  Although we did run a reverse in the game.  It seems trickery has slowly gone away…Callahan ran some nice trick plays, Watson dropped the creativity a notch but incorporated the halfback pass…and Beck…does nothing.  We have two former QB’s in Burkhead (when he’s healthy) and Turner out there regularly.  It’s not like we would have to bring in a new package that would sell out our plan.  I don’t understand why we don’t throw in a few wrinkles to keep people honest.  Nope, toss sweep and repeat.

I do think our o-line does an ok job…at least compared to our d-line.  That is, of course, ignoring the three stooges routine that Kyler Reed employed in the game.  That was like bad deja vu from our days trying to run the WCO.

On misdirection, what do you call the two touchdown plays against Ohio State where Burkhead took the snap, pitched it to Abdullah and then lead blocked to the TD?

Would liked to have seen a little more creativity on the 3 and short and 4th down attempt.

Lets not get 2 excited here. We barley won this game. Our dine once again was a non factor and we couldn’t get a sack even when we blitzed. Taylor played better but should of had a few picks for sure towards the end that they dropped. Also we didn’t stop a mobile quarterback yet cause kain colter barley played as a quarterback that game and when he did he just ran cause they didn’t let him throw so we knew it was coming. Stop a mobile quarterback that plays the whole game there and throws then ill be convinced. Until then I can’t see us beating Michigan this week

A win is a win - and winning solves almost all problems in football.  You have to consider what would be said if that 1 point game went NW’s way!  The Huskers can build from there.

I’m just sad that BIG is so emasculated.  Even with OSU undefeated and Michigan surging, this is a conference where everyone is riding the little bus.

Upon a cursory look at the spelling and grammar of the article and most of the posts, it would appear that substantially more brain cells were lost than livers poisoned. C’mon, Man!

Once you all get sobered up you might want to actually post the score so that when we click on the Northwestern vs Nebraska game, the score shows up and not information about when and where we can “see” the game.

Sounds like you all had a LOT of fun in Chicago!

Did i actually read that Bo is just like TO. That his 5-6 years has gone the same as TO’s first 5-6 years. All i can say is BS. TO had composure were BO has panic attacks. The NW win was as ugly as it could get on tv once again. Im glad TMart pulled it off, butt can Bo and company do the same this sat. I predict more of the same, bone head mistakes.

It was great fun to meet and talk to so many Nebraska fans last weekend.  The people that I met were uniformly polite, intelligent, loyal to their team and extremely well versed in college football.
I cannot say the same of all of the other opposing fans in the conference, including followers of some of the storied programs.

Despite the narrow margin of victory, the game would not have been close if the Cornhuskers had not turned over the ball so often during the First Half. Nebraska would have romped, but for fumbles. There was some sloppiness on both sides and all of the players will be hearing it from their coaches when it comes time to watch film.

Northwestern fans are kicking about the poor clock management and play calling in the final quarter by the Wildcats (how about putting the FG kicker in position to have a more realistic shot by rushing the ball on third and seven?), but the one gripe that will keep us up nights are a few of the missed calls by the officials. Taylor Martinez could have been flagged for a safety, but the officials let him ground the football without assessing a penalty. It was a close call, but it will lend itself to some arguments among the tavern crowd.

You have an excellent Cornhuskers blog!

Finally a defense shows up!!!! They had their backs against the wall almost every minute of the first half. The same S*** showed its ugly head AGAIN!!!! Turnovers,penalties,and the lack of concentration on the part of the the players. This is coaching,for what ever reason BO and company haven’t got threw to the players about turnovers and stupid penalties that not only kill mighty moe,but drives as well our they keep the other teams drives alive. Come on husker nation its clear its the damn coaching staff. Wow have the mighty fallen when we our all happy about a one point victory over fricken NW. Listening to all the national collage football shows on my XM radio ch.91. Nebraska couldn’t be more irrelevant. We are a laughing stock in collage football right now,not ever a after thought. We as husker nation need 2 hold this coaching staff,and the team to a higher standard. If we don’t we will never see ELITE ever again. Demand more don’t settle for mediocore playR,and demand coaching excellence. DR. Tom gave us this,why should it be any difrent right now? DR. Tom gave us a nebraska team we all could be proud of,not one were all trying to hide from. COME ON HUSKER NATION LET’S RESTORE THE ORDER GO BIG RED just saying folks!!!!!!

I’ll take the win.  Now let’s see if the team can put everything together.  We’ve seen great offensive play periodically.  We finally saw the defense, save for one blown running play, play for 60 minutes.  Special teams is still baffling, but the skill is there.  Put all three together and we have a great chance to beat Michigan.  Turnovers and mistakes against a good team = loss for sure.

Husker fans:
First in passion.
Last in spelling.

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