Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald: Heart and guts won't win without better execution.
Miami won the game 36-33 in overtime. And it was easy to get caught up in the breathless finish, with Nebraska storming back from 23 down, quarterback Tommy Armstrong heaving lightning bolts and 2-point conversions everywhere and folks conjuring up the ghosts of Nebraska-Miami past.
Certainly, the mood back home flipped in the span of a quarter, and the Huskers will feel the back slaps this week for having heart and guts, and all of that is deserved. Well deserved.
And someone, somewhere will repeat what Riley himself told the dejected team after this latest gut punch.
"Coach Riley told us we are literally one minute away from being a perfect 3-0," said punter Sam Foltz.
But even Riley knows that wouldn’t be perfect. Far from it.
There’s a lot to like here. There’s a lot more to work on.
Steve Sipple, Lincoln Journal-Star: Huskers late arrival to party perplexing.
The Huskers showed up late for the party. Too late, it turns out.
At least they eventually showed. They showed the level of moxie any fan should appreciate. But when the music was finished blaring, the Huskers boarded team buses with a 1-2 record after falling 36-33 in overtime before a crowd that was announced at 53,580.
If you're a Husker fan, how do you view 1-2?
You could chew on that question all week.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald: The planes overhead are coming for Al Golden
Clearly, Saturday’s visit by Nebraska had the window dressing of a big game. Didn’t matter much that neither team came into this game ranked. It still was an "event" game. It felt special. The stage was big. Anticipation was great. ABC carried it. The crowd was large. There were the distant echoes of UM’s three national championships won at Nebraska’s expense, and Nebraska’s one over Miami.
The result would be symbolic as much as anything.
But also clearly the renewal of a series that once defined the highest echelon of college football is now a shell of its old self.
Once, four national championships were determined (three in Miami’s favor) when Canes vs. Cornhuskers topped marquees.
Now it was two once-great programs trying to recapture old mojo and climb back up into national relevance.
Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald: Another battle in Huskers emotional tug of war.
So much has changed at Nebraska in 10 months. So much. Yet the Huskers basically mirrored the band we watched last November at Wisconsin. Mike Riley wasn’t Bo Pelini. He was Bill Callahan 2.0. And he was violating the No. 1 rule of coaching at Nebraska: Don’t embarrass the program.
Then, out of nowhere, hope tugged back. Tommy Armstrong scrambled like a fourth-grader at recess, eluding blitzers and picking apart Miami’s defense. The Blackshirts (with a little help from Miami’s sputtering offense) forced punts. The Huskers closed a 23-point deficit in the final 9 minutes. When Armstrong completed the tying two-point conversion, Husker fans exploded.
"Go Big Red. Go Big Red."
You know what happened next. Game over. 36-33, Miami.
The record says 1-2 for the first time since 1981. But this is way more complicated than wins and losses. Hope and hopelessness are waging an epic tug of war in Husker hearts. It’s been going on for, oh, about 18 years now and it shows no signs of resolution.
Is Nebraska an underachieving program that just needs the right coach? Or a program whose younger generation will forever have to listen to stories of the glory years? Saturday provided zero answers.
Andrea Adelson, ESPN: Miami survives late rally from Nebraska to win in OT
What the loss means for Nebraska: The Huskers tried to claw their way back into the game late, a remarkable comeback and performance from Armstrong, whose heroics were simply not to overcome the gap they faced. They have to be completely deflated after this loss, especially since they lost the opener to BYU in heartbreaking fashion, too. It took three quarters for Armstrong to get going -- he looks like the only big-time player on an offense that doesn't seem to have a true identity. The Huskers also had problems defending the speedy Miami receivers, and left the middle of the field open for large stretches of the game. Nebraska was widely regarded as one of the better Big Ten teams going into this game. We will see how the Huskers rebound after two tough losses.
Brandon Vogel, Hail Varsity: A Hurricane party nearly spoiled.
But even during Nebraska’s rally for 23 four-quarter points to force overtime, it’s hard to say the Huskers were playing well. Nebraska’s first touchdown drive of the fourth quarter was helped along by a personal foul. Miami forced a fourth-and-12 from its own 21 on the second touchdown drive and Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a touchdown to Brandon Reilly anyway. The last touchdown drive featured another personal foul, turning a 41-yard reception from Reilly into a 56-yard gain.
Better, sure. Probably not "well." A lot had to go right even to get to overtime but that Nebraska did says something. The record, however, reads the same.
"It’s football," Riley said of dropping two games by a total of eight points. "I really like this team. You can’t help but appreciate what happened in that second half today. But there’s always going to be something that gnaws at you because you know it doesn’t have to be like that."
Two losses on game's final play. What kind of resolve does this team have? #Huskers— Brian Rosenthal (@HuskerExtraBR) September 19, 2015
Im proud of these boys. We have a lot to fix, but our potential to be great is UNREAL. #Huskers— Jack Gangwish (@jackgangwish) September 20, 2015
Forever. #Huskers— Trai Mosley (@PlatinumPapi_) September 20, 2015
Win lose or draw get off of Tommy Armstrong's back. Dude is the consummate competitor. Having been in the fire matters.— Damon Benning (@damonbenning) September 19, 2015
Banker, on Daniel Davie: "He’s fighting it. I don’t know. He came off after that first series and had a bad look in his face." #Huskers— Brian Rosenthal (@HuskerExtraBR) September 20, 2015
the crazy thing, of course, Nebraska can still easily win the B1G West.— James Stevenson (@JamesStevenson) September 20, 2015