Husker Dan: Are the Huskers Closer Than We Think?
After six games, the Huskers stand at 3-3 overall and 2-1 in B1G conference play. And as we all know, NU suffered yet another blowout loss to a ranked team Saturday night, losing at home to divisional leader, Wisconsin 38-17. The Badgers dominated the second half allowing Nebraska only 68 yards of Total Offense and outscoring Nebraska 21-7.
On the surface, this game was a rout with Wisconsin running through the Blackshirts. And that was true.
But I’m sure when the coaches showed the game film to the players, the players may have kicked themselves, knowing that just a few key plays by Nebraska could have made the game much closer Saturday night.
Let me explain. It’s true, the bad, bad Badgers wore Nebraska down in the second half with its power running game. NU had no answers. I get that.
But upon closer review, there were a couple of key plays that had they gone the Huskers’ way, the game could have been much closer. I’m not saying Nebraska would have won the game, but maybe, just maybe the game would have been a lot tighter.
Tanner Lee’s early first quarter Pik-Six began as a swing pass to running back, Devine Ozigbo. Had that pass been delivered with the precision that had been shown in practices all week, there’s a really good chance #22 would have scored on that play.
No Pik-Six and a TD for NU. That’s a 14 point swing. (Take 7 points off Wisconsin’s total of 38 and add 7 to Nebraska’s total of 17 and you could have had a 31-24 Badger lead in the 4th quarter). And in a 7 point game with the Husker crowd behind them, who knows what would have happened.
With about six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Stanely Morgan, Jr. fumbled the ball and the Badgers recovered. If Morgan would have hung on to the ball, Nebraska would have had plenty of time to score.
OR PLAY THREE:
Right after SMJr. caught the 80 TD pass from Lee to pull the Huskers within 10-7 before halftime, Badger RB Jonathan Taylor raced 75 yards for a momentum turning touchdown. That put Wisky up 17-7. Had Nebraska just plugged the gap and stopped Taylor, maybe the Dubs don’t score on that series and the Huskers get a field goal (as they did) just before the first half ended. The score would have been tied at 10 at the half.
Of course, we’ll never know. But the point I’m trying to make is, not that the Huskers would have pulled out a win, it’s just that just a couple of plays could have made a huge difference in a crucial game like Saturday night’s
Maybe if the the Huskers can correct some of these errors, they might be in position to win more games this fall.
CLONE THE ‘CLONES’ GAME?
Nebraska fans may take some inspiration from Iowa State’s unbelievable, unfathomable, incredible 38-31 win over the #3 ranked Sooners Saturday in Norman.
The ‘Clones went into that game as 30.5 point dogs. And this week, NU is a 24 point dog at home to the Buckeyes.
Is there room for another amazing upset like the ‘Clones’ this Saturday in Lincoln? Hey, Husker fans can dream, can’t they?
SCORES TO KEEP IN MIND THIS WEEK
September 23rd: NU 24 Rutgers 17
September 30th: OSU 56 Rutgers 0
Some of you (and you know who you are) took me to task last week for using a cliche. All I can say is, at the end of the day, what goes around comes around…
You may contact the writer at HuskerDan@cox.net