The Oregon vs. Nebraska game was supposed to be one on the best non-conference games of the 2016 College Football season. It definitely didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere alone might have been the best I have seen at Memorial Stadium. Husker fans knew how big of a game this was just as much as the players did. Here are the players that stepped up the most, and earn Most Valuable Player awards.
Offense: Tommy Armstrong
Husker fans have known this for a while. Nebraska will go as far as Tommy Armstrong goes. Armstrong stepped up on Saturday afternoon. He may have played his best overall game at Nebraska. The senior leader led Nebraska to a program defining win. The final drive where Nebraska scored the winning touchdown, Armstrong had some key plays. First, that fourth down pass to Jordan Westerkamp was absolutely incredible. Then two plays later, Armstrong ran a 32 yard QB draw for the winning touchdown. What a game he had. You have love how hard he fought in this game, while dealing with cramping and dehydration. Armstrong is a gamer and if he can keep this up, Nebraska can continue to win! Armstrong finished the game 17/33 for 200 yards and three touchdowns, with zero interceptions. He also had 16 carries for 95 yards and one touchdown.
Honorable Mention: Devine Ozigbo
I really liked Divine Ozigbo last season. He’s a hard nosed runner and knows how to find holes through that offensive line. Oregon’s run defense definitely isn’t anything to scream about, but they actually played pretty well yesterday. Nebraska rushed for 228 yards in this game. Ozigbo had 21 carries for 95 yards and one touchdown. The biggest thing that Nebraska did was they continued to ware down that Oregon defensive line. It reminded me a lot of the UCLA game last season. Nebraska also kept the Oregon offense off the field for the majority of that fourth quarter, which was huge. Ozigbo ran really well in that first drive of the third quarter. That may have been the best play calling I have seen under Mike Riley’s staff. What an incredible game.
Defense: Nate Gerry
This one was a little more tough to decide. Nate Gerry had four solo tackles and five assisted tackles in this game. That may not sound like a lot, but he played great. I noticed that when ever Prukop was trying to run, Gerry was usually there to make the tackle. Some of those runs could have been touchdowns but Gerry stepped up and made some key tackles to secure the victory. This Oregon offense is one of the best offenses in the country. We knew they were going to score points, but Nebraska made the key plays in the end and won the game.
Honorable Mention: The Nebraska Defense
Now let me explain this one. Oregon had 482 yards in this game, not great for the defense! Before the game I was watching Oregon warm up. I knew this team had speed, but seeing it in person is totally different. Once Oregon was on the edge, they can break down the field for big plays. At the beginning of the game, Oregon was making some great plays on the edge for huge gains. But credit Mark Banker and this staff. Oregon only scored 12 points in the second half. The defense came up HUGE during that last Oregon drive as the clock was dwindling down. Give the Blackshirts credit. They made just enough plays to win the game!
So what do you think? Who should be honored that isn’t above? Let me know in the comments below!