Nebraska was 35 point favorites against Kansas. They won by 17. How did this happen? Perhaps you could argue that some of the reasons below are just excuses, but I would argue that they are very logical reasons why we shouldn't worry that Nebraska only beat Kansas by 17 points.
1. Kansas just came off their greatest come-from-behind victory in school history, and the 2nd greatest in NCAA history. This team has been improving gradually since getting blown-out early in Big 12 play, and they really believe that they can beat anyone. Turner Gill has them believing.
2. Aside from one play against Iowa State, Taylor Martinez hadn't played in 6 consecutive quarters. He was a bit rusty, and it seems like he's not quite his explosive self yet. When defenses don't have to account for Martinez on the ground, they have a much easier time slowing down our offense.
3. Our defense played their best game of the season. Say what you want about Kansas' offense, but when your defense only gives up 87 total yards, 5 first downs, and 3 points- that's an incredible team performance. We also had 5 sacks, which hasn't happened since a man named Suh played for us. Don't overlook the fact that this was an amazing game for the Blackshirts.
4. Don't forget that Taylor Martinez is still a redshirt freshman. He's bound to make some freshman mistakes. Don't get me wrong, he's as talented of a freshman as there is, but still learning to play at the college level. Compound that with #2, and you get a fumble and an interception. Both turnovers came when Nebraska had good field position and could have scored more points.
5. We are 9-1, we have control of the Big 12 North. Are we getting spoiled already? 9-1 is a darn good record, and I don't think many of us expected the Huskers to be 9-1 at this point in the season. It's very likely we will be playing in the Big 12 championship, and win or lose we will be going to a BCS bowl game. A lot of you are saying we are inconsistent, but you can't be truly inconsistent and be 9-1. We have consistently won games this season.
6. A win is a win! T-magic has spoiled us. Remember last year when we didn't have an offense? Everyone was pretty happy when we beat a pretty mediocre Kansas State team 17-3. Last season we understood that a win is a win and it doesn't matter how many points you score. I think that is an excellent mentality to have when it comes to college football because anything can happen in any game.
7. Bo Pelini has won at least 9 games in his first 3 seasons as head coach of Nebraska. Tom Osborne won at least 9 games every season he was head coach...that has always been our standard until Callahan when 9 wins was his best season). Well, after 3 years I'd say it's safe to say that once again 9 wins is our standard.
So it wasn't the best offensive performance of the year...who cares? We won the game, and perhaps a close game is just what the doctor ordered for our offense heading into the last two weeks. They are reminded once again that they aren't unstoppable and that they have to bring their A game every week or they could lose. We had some penalties and some turnovers, but statistically speaking it wasn't a horrible game. Some drives stalled out just outside of field goal range, and I really think that with a healthy and non-rusty Martinez , this game would have been 35-3 pretty easily. Nebraska may have struggled offensively, but this game wasn't ever really in doubt. Just breathe in, and breathe out. There's nothing to worry about.