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Nebraska vs. Northern Illinois: Most Valuable Players

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Even in yesterday’s debacle, some players stood out for their play.

Northern Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

In the mired shitstorm of the Nebraska loss to Northern Illinois yesterday, there were a few individuals that stood out and performed well. We’re going to celebrate those folks here.

Offense: De’Mornay Pierson-El

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that Tanner Lee had a brutal time getting the ball out and the OL not helping his cause, Pierson-El was the bright spot in that WR crew, amassing the most catches with eight, and getting to 101 yards on the day, one yard short of his career high of 102. It was the second time that DPE got to 100 yards receiving in his Nebraska career, which just speaks of what he lost to that knee injury in his Sophomore season.

Honorable mention: Mikale Wilbon

24 carries and 90 rushing yards were both career highs for Wilbon on Saturday. It was his first time with double digit carries in his Nebraska career. While he didn’t really wow anyone with his runs, he did well in the aspect of what he was asked to do. I don’t think he’s the complete back that Nebraska wants, as he only had 14 yards on 3 receptions coming out of the backfield. Even with his liability in pass protection, Wilbon played alright yesterday.

Defense: Antonio Reed

NCAA Football: Foster Farms Bowl-UCLA vs Nebraska Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The lesser known safety out of Memphis didn’t have the most tackles on the day for the Huskers (Luke Gifford - 8), but the five he did have, with one of those for a loss, was impressive when you realize that Reed is playing with a broken hand. Playing for Josh Kalu, who’s iffy with a hamstring injury, Reed has bounced back from being not even close to finding the field last year.

Special Teams: Caleb Lightbourn

Arkansas State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The sophomore keeps doing what the game asks him to, averaging over 47 yards per kick with a net of over 45 yards on the day. Lightbourn is currently averaging just under 4 more yards per kick on the season in comparison to last year.

Honorable mention: J.D. Spielman

The redshirt freshman had another big kick return yesterday, taking the kick after NIU went up 14-0 out to midfield. J.D. averaged 37 yards per kick return on his two touches back there, along with a solid three catches for 52 yards on offense.


Do you agree with our picks? Or do you have others you’d like to nominate? Tell us and why!