Husker Dan: Huskers’ stock is on the rise
It’s almost December and the cold reality (and the weather, too) is that the Huskers have played their last game of the season. And for the second straight year, there will be no bowl game for Nebraska. Even more painful is that there will be no extra practice time for this year’s young Husker program that is on the rise.
Nebraska football fans will have to wait an agonizing nine months for Year Two of the Scott Frost Era.
Let’s take a look back at the season:
JUST LIKE MIKE?
This year, the Huskers finished at 4-8 – the same record Mike Riley had last year at Nebraska.
But last year, Riley’s Husker team went 1-5 in the second half of the season, while Scott Frost’s first Husker squad finished at 4-2. And for the record, both of those Husker losses were on the road and by a total of 8 points. (Note: The second half of MR’s ’17 season, the Huskers suffered blowout losses to Ohio State (56-14), @Minnesota (54-21) and to Iowa (56-14).
And of the four Husker wins this fall, three were over teams that finished the season with winning records (Michigan State, Minnesota and FCS Bethune-Cookman). And the other win was over a 4-8 Illinois team.
FIVE POINTS OR LESS
Noteworthy is that the Huskers lost 5 games this season by 5 points or less. And two were decided by 3 points (@Iowa and @Northwestern in OT).
Had Nebraska discovered its footing earlier, it may have found a way to beat Northwestern in OT on the road and both Colorado and Troy at home.
Had that happened, Nebraska would have had 7 wins – more than enough to become bowl eligible. And if Nebraska could have made maybe one more stop Friday at Iowa City, maybe, just maybe the Huskers could have ended the season at 8-4.
But you are what your record says you are. I totally get that.
A GAME OF INCHES
What must be encouraging to the players and coaches is that the program isn’t that far away from being a winning program – one that vies each year for bowl eligibility and conference championships.
And who knows, the Huskers may be vying for national honors in a couple of years. Nebraska is a stock that is clearly on the rise.
Only a couple of plays, a couple of timely stops could have made such a difference this fall. Football, as we all know, is a game of inches and this year the Huskers just didn’t measure up.
You may contact the writer at HuskerDan@cox.net