Well, I didn’t see that one coming. Prior to this game, Coach Riley had not lost a game by more than 10 points. So we lost a lot of games last season....at least the blowouts had stopped, right?
Wrong. The second worst butt-kicking in the history of Husker football was a comedy of errors - only most of us weren’t laughing.
Sidenote: The Buckeye program and fans went up several notches in my mind for their tribute to Sam and their cheering for Tommy when he was carted off the field. It is easy to see why their program is held in such high regard. It isn’t just the long history of winning, but gestures like that which make up a quality program.
Some Huskers are moving up the career charts. These numbers are courtesy of Nebraska media relations.
- 10,254 –– Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. accounted for 93 yards of total offense, including 19 rushing yards and 74 passing yards. He increased his career total to 10,254 yards, setting a new Nebraska career record in that category. He surpassed the previous record of 10,233 yards by Taylor Martinez. Armstrong set the record on a 32-yard second-quarter completion to Jordan Westerkamp. Armstrong moved to into a tie for ninth in Big Ten history in total offense, passing Martinez and tying Iowa’s Chuck Long (10,254 yards).
- 258 –– Senior safety Nathan Gerry had a season-high-tying nine tackles in tonight’s game to increase his career total to 258, good for eighth place on the Nebraska career tackles list and second among Husker defensive backs. Gerry passed Jim Wightman (254), Marc Munford (256) and Ed Stewart (257).
- Nebraska senior receiver Jordan Westerkamp caught four passes for 51 yards. Westerkamp increased his career receptions total to 149, moving him within 17 receptions of second place on the NU career receptions list. Westerkamp increased his career yardage total to 2,289 moving him within 187 yards of second place on the NU career chart. Westerkamp caught a catch for the 33rd straight game.
- Junior kicker Drew Brown connected on a first-quarter field goal to give him 44 in his career, good for sole possession of third place in school history. Brown increased his career scoring total to 266 moving him past Johnny Rodgers (264) into eighth place on the NU scoring list.
Numbers - Statistics - Lies
Numbers: 204 and 251
Statistic: The Huskers gained 204 yards of total offense and punted for 251 yards. Seventy-two of the offense’s yards came on the one drive that led to the field goal. They gained 47% of their season average to this point (430 yards per game) and Saturday’s debacle dropped them from alright (#48 in FBS total offense) to decidedly average (#68 in FBS) in total offense.
Lie: It’s just one game. No worries, the Huskers will get back on track soon.
The reality is that this offense has been declining for several weeks in both points and yards (not to mention ‘eye-test’). Injuries have certainly played a part, as well as the caliber of defenses the Huskers have faced recently.
Let’s hope last week’s meltdown did not take away too much confidence and that Nebraska’s “O” gets back on track soon. (Get well soon Tommy!)
Numbers - Statistics - Lies II
Numbers: 11 and 6
Statistics: The Husker defense allowed the Buckeyes to convert 11 of 15 third downs and to score on all six red zone possessions. Previous to this game, the Blackshirts were #24 in FBS in preventing teams from converting third downs. They were also #48 in red zone defense. The carnage in Columbus knocked the Husker “D” down to 59 and 86 respectively in FBS.
Lie: Time to panic!
The reality is that the defense had been on a different trajectory than the offense in recent weeks. Saturday’s loss includes plenty of blame to go around to all phases and coaches, but the Blackshirts have been the least of Husker worries recently.
Obligatory Pile of Numbers
You will notice a lot more red and yellow this week.
In a “glass half full” take, the net punting clawed up another spot adding almost 2 yards per punt to the season average. Caleb Lightbourn seems to be finding his stride as a college punter and the willingness of some Husker starters to play special teams is starting to shore up a leaky punt return defense.
Huskers are red
Minnesota is maroon
The Broken Chair on the line
Right before the super moon