Adam Furley is out for the weekend, so I’m picking up the slack this weekend.
I’m going in a interesting direction on offense for this week’s MVPs of the game for Nebraska. It was a interesting game for Nebraska, who played one of their worst quarters in the second quarter of this one, while being so dominant in the second half.
MVP: Nebraska’s Offensive Line
Now, this seems odd off hand, due to it not being a purely single person. However, given what Nebraska was facing in the final 30 minutes and what they pulled off.
Let’s go over what Nebraska was missing in the game:
- Jerald Foster, starting LG, out for the year.
- Tanner Farmer, starting RG, out for the game.
- David Knevel, starting RT, played one series and was deemed out.
- Cethan Carter, starting TE, out for who knows how long after injury in 1st Q.
That’s a lot, granted they’ve lived without Foster all season but it’s a lot to be out in the game. Farmer and Knevel have held their own through the season, plus you are taking out the edge blocking of Carter, and it’s a fair way to see how Nebraska was struggling.
That being said, the way the Huskers came out in the second half, especially the massive 18-play, 75-yard drive that took 10:42 of gametime and was in real time over a half-hour long made Milt Tenopir smile from the heavens above.
Consider these things about the final 30 minutes:
- Nebraska had three walk-ons on the OL for the majority of the game (Sam Hahn, Dylan Utter, Cole Conrad)
- Nebraska allowed zero sacks on the day on 23 attempts.
- ZERO penalties for Nebraska in the second half. No false starts, no holding calls, nothing.
- Nebraska held the ball for nearly 21 minutes of the 30 second half minutes on 33 plays, going 6 for 8 on 3rd down and making their only 4th down attempt with the Newby 1st down inside the Illini red zone. As comparison, Illinois had the ball for literally 10 plays and 3:56 of gametime after the FG to make it 16-10 Illinois with 7:40 to go in the 3rd Q.
Honorable Mention: Terrell Newby
Newby has been a solid guy while at Nebraska, but hasn’t really become the superstar that we all hoped he may be in his junior and senior years. However, when the game was on the line, Newby found a niche and carried the ball 17 times for 105 yards alone in the 4th quarter. With Devine Ozigbo toting a turned ankle, the fumbles with Mikale Wilbon and Tre Bryant on a milk carton, Newby helped save the day and make #RUNTHEDAMNBALL guy happy.
Defensive MVP: Michael Rose-Ivey
It was not the greatest day for the linebacking crew yesterday. Arguably, you could say that it was the roughest day for the entire crew since Trent Bray took over. That being said, picking MRI for the MVP isn’t too hard. With all the distractions that Rose-Ivey had to deal with after last week’s kneeling during the national anthem, he ended up having the most tackles for the Husker defense with 6 tackles and a half tackle for loss. Not too bad of a day.
Honorable Mention: Dedrick Young
We’ve all seen Young go through a Sophomore slump, struggling for the game to come to him. That being said, he tied MRI with 6 tackles and had a impressive breakup in the end zone on a Wes Lunt to Nathan Echard pass that should have been a touchdown. But, Young broke up the play and the Illini had to settle for a FG. That was one of those 4 point plays that kept it a one-score game.
Who do you think deserved nods for yesterday’s performance? Tell us in the comments below!