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Report Card: Iowa Hawkeyes 56, Program that Used to Be Nebraska 14

NCAA Football: Iowa at Nebraska
This simply cannot continue.
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

For a half, it looked like Nebraska finish the season strong. For a half.

Then it all came crashing down as Nebraska gave up their third straight fifty-burger to finish the season with their worst record since 1961. Mike Riley was 6-12 in his last 18 games and 19-19 overall at Nebraska. Really, Mike Riley made Bill Moos’ decision to change coaches for him; the only question is who Moos will hire. And maybe even that is already done as well.

Frost’s Central Florida team has a game next Saturday against Memphis, so nothing is happening until that’s over. So we wait, because there isn’t any reason not to.

Yes, the waiting is the hardest part.

I was finishing this up on Saturday morning when suddenly news of players and coaches being summoned to Memorial Stadium hit. So the report card got set aside for a day as the “Breaking News” took priority. Removed some speculation about when Bill Moos would fire Riley, and here we are. One final report card for the season, and as always, your comments are welcome below:

QB: The whole “Tanner Lee is an NFL prospect” fallacy is one that just refuses to die. You’d like to think his 54% and three interception performance would bury it for a year, but it’s one that keeps coming back to life. Lee had a meh first quarter, a pretty good second, another meh third quarter and a bleah fourth. It would be premature to assume anything about Nebraska for next season, but Lee would be well-advised to pursue a graduate transfer to another program if he doesn’t want to be a Husker. Grade: C-

I-Back: Mikale Wilbon showed a little something running the ball out of the shotgun in the second and third quarter. I’m curious to see how Wilbon and Jaylin Bradley could be utilized in a modern college offense next season. I don’t think we got an accurate look at what any NU running back could do this season. Grade: C

Wide Receivers: When Stanley Morgan is on, he’s Nebraska’s best wide receiver. Granted, J.D. Spielman has been more consistent, but Morgan has been the bigger playmaker. As long as the only loss this offseason is De’Mornay Pierson-El, the next staff should have a decent group of receivers to work with next season. Hopefully whomever coaches wideouts in 2017 will teach them to not consistently run routes short of the first down marker on third and fourth down. Grade: C

Offensive Line: Nebraska didn’t really try to run the ball much, but the pass protection wasn’t all that bad this week. Not great, mind you...but not quite as awful either. Grade: D

Defensive Line: Mick Stoltenberg was having a whale of a first quarter until injuring his foot. And to be honest, the Davis twins and Freedom Akinmoladun had their moments as well in the first half. But that second half... Grade: D

Linebacker: Dedrick Young wasn’t too bad in the first half, but as things imploded in the second half, well, it wasn’t pretty. I’m not sure whether Marcus Newby would have helped much, but he couldn’t have hurt. Grade: F

Secondary: Joshua Kalu was another first half performer, but as things melted down in the second half, it was more horrors. Grade: F

Overall: F Really, is there no other way to grade this final, futile finish to the Mike Riley era?


When did you conclude that Mike Riley had failed at Nebraska?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    I never gave him a chance; I knew he wasn’t going to work based on his Oregon State record.
    (264 votes)
  • 8%
    Illinois 14-13, throwing Tommy Armstrong under the bus
    (92 votes)
  • 13%
    Purdue scoring 55 on the Huskers for the Boilers’ only 1-A victory in 2015.
    (148 votes)
  • 6%
    The first bloodbath: Iowa 40-10.
    (77 votes)
  • 22%
    Northern Illinois 21-17
    (247 votes)
  • 1%
    Wisconsin 38-17
    (20 votes)
  • 3%
    Ohio State 56-14
    (39 votes)
  • 9%
    Minnesota hanging 54 on the Huskers
    (102 votes)
  • 2%
    The final bloodletting: Iowa 56-14.
    (28 votes)
  • 8%
    I never did. Mike Riley didn’t have enough time to prove himself.
    (93 votes)
1110 votes total Vote Now

Elsewhere in College Football

Iowa: A- Let’s give credit where credit is due. The Hawkeyes definitely outplayed the Huskers on Friday. The only reason for the demerit? That brain-dead decision to field a kickoff at the one yard line while going out of bounds. Of course, it led to a 99 yard touchdown drive, so it’s not like it really hurt Iowa this week. Against anybody else, though...

Minnes0ta: 0 The last p0ints the G0phers scored this seas0n were against the Huskers tw0 weeks ag0.

Rutgers: F The only thing Buttgers was able to stop were the stadium toilets.