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Nebraska 53 Minnesota 28: Recap and Reaction Thread

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It was domination, until it wasn’t, and then it was. The long walk in the winless woods is over.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Will this be the day our long state nightmare comes to an end? Will Nebraska get the W?

Nebraska won the toss and elected to receive. The wind is swirling in the stadium and will likely affect the kickers and punters. It may swirl enough at times to affect the passing game. Minnesota has a stout run defense. What will the game plan be for Coach Frost? #RideOzigbo or #InMartinezWeTrust?

First Quarter

How about all of the above? After a variety of Huskers got to play with the rock... Devine Ozigbo, Kade Warner, Stanley Morgan Jr., JD Spielman, and an Adrian Martinez keeper. Ozigbo found a YUUUUGE hole on the right side and galloped 40+ yards to the end zone. TOUCHDOWN HUSKERS!

Nebraska 7 Minnesota 0

The Gophers also broke out a balanced game plan, trying to see where the Blackshirts were willing to give ground. They converted three third downs (including two third and long) to move into Husker territory. One of those was followed by the home run ball from Zack Annexstad. BUT WAIT - Apparently Husker opponents can hold as the score was pulled off the board with the first offensive hold on a Husker opponent (on a pass play) since 2016. It proved to be a costly penalty as the Blackshirts didn’t give any more ground and sacked Annexstad back at the 50 yard line to force the punt.

The Husker offense took over at the nine yard line and promptly went three-and-out. The Isaac Armstrong punt was returned to the Minnesota 40ish yard line, giving the Gophers good field position.

Freshman cornerback Cameron Taylor is getting a lot of playing time today opposite DiCaprio Bootle.

They worked their way across midfield, but the Blackshirts again put up the stop sign. The Gophers lined up for a 54 yard field goal (wind at their backs) and JD Spielman was back deep. The Gophers couldn’t get the kick off in time (it missed) and took a delay of game penalty. They brought out the punt team and pinned Nebraska at the 10 yard line.

A really nifty fake pass by Martinez resulted in a behind-the-back handoff to Maurice Washington who got the edge and made a nice gain. Devine Ozigbo promptly said “hold my beer” and ran 59 yards for the touchdown. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!

Fun fact: Devine Ozigbo has 100 yards on THREE carries. Wide receiver Mike Williams sprung Ziggy with a nice block.

Nebraska 14 Minnesota 0

The Gophers again were approaching midfield as the quarter ended.

We interrupt your game recap to bring you some “Can he play o-line?” news...

Former Husker Aaron Taylor (he can definitely play o-line) was honored as a college football hall of fame inductee between the quarters.

Second Quarter

The Gophers now are moving into the wind. Annexstad took a hard hit by Ben Stille on third down and the Gophers punted. Spielman fair caught the ball at the Husker 15 yard line. On this drive, Spielman notched his 100th career reception as a Husker. Nebraska was playing playground football with Spielman running wild, Martinez scrambling for yards, and a trick play (RB pass by Mo Washington to Austin Allen that fell incomplete.)

Mo Washington wanted in on the fun and took a long run down to set up first and goal (Mike Williams again with the key block to spring his back.)

Adrian Martinez galloped around the weakside for a Husker touchdown. #Martiwashingspiel is gonna cause Big Ten DC nightmares for years to come.

IS THIS WHAT IT IS LIKE TO ENJOY FOOTBALL AGAIN??? I THINK I’M ENJOYING HUSKER FOOTBALL RIGHT NOW AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!

Nebraska 21 Minnesota 0

Tre Neal, Mohamed Barry and the rest of their Blackshirted buddies forced a three-and-out by the Gophers. After converting their first three third downs, they have failed on the following four.

The punt took a great Minnesota roll and Nebraska’s offense started at their 11 yard line.

Devine Ozigbo’s first down carry went nowhere lowering his per carry average from 32 ypc to something like 26 ypc. It was followed by two incomplete passes and a missed pass interference call that should have been made on the Gophers and the Huskers punted. It went out of bounds at the Husker 44.

The Gophers could not cash in on the field position.

Spielman fair caught the punt at the 10 yard line. On the next drive he also took a hard hit that had most Husker fans holding their collective breaths. The game plan appears to be the quick passing game with just enough running game (by the RBs as well as the QB).

Damn. Do you have your bingo cards out? A missed handoff resulted in a fumble that was recovered by the Gophers. First and ten Minnesota at the Husker 37 yard line.

Tyrin Ferguson forced a third and two. Minnesota lined up in the wildcat with Seth Green taking the snap. He promptly tripped over his own player and Aaron Williams was there to make the ‘tackle’. PJ Fleck chose to go for it on fourth and two but the Blackshirts stuffed the run. FIRST DOWN NEBRASKA!

This was the best starting field position of the day (I believe) for the Huskers.

It was the Adrian Martinez show as he ran, and ran again to set up first and goal. No one would mistake that second run for a previous Husker QB named Martinez, but it was effective. The Statue of Liberty lost some yards, bringing up second and goal. 2AM found Spielman with a fastball on the slant, but a flag in the backfield could only mean bad things...

Whew! The flag (on Brenden Jaimes) came after the touchdown. There are less than two minutes left in the half.

Nebraska 28 Minnesota 0

The Gophers made hay through the air and moved across midfield, but Annexstad again took a wicked hit. There was an air of desperation for the Gophers as they needed points before the break. They also get the ball to start the second half.

They got what they needed. Touchdown Gophers. The trick two point conversion was good.

Nebraska 28 Minnesota 8

The Huskers got the ball back with under a minute left. It wasn’t pretty, but a Devine Ozigbo run put at least a Hail Mary into play. Unfortunately, Adrian Martinez spiked the ball with two seconds on the clock, which is a penalty. Apparently, a recent rule change states that there must be four seconds left in order to spike.

Halftime

JD Spielman became the first Husker to catch 100 passes before his junior season. He is one reception and 21 receiving yards from cracking top 10 in both career catches and receiving yards. He is also one touchdown reception from cracking the top 10 on the NU single-season touchdown list

Devine Ozigbo rushed seven times for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Today marks Ozigbo’s third 100-yard rushing game in the past four weeks.

Stanley Morgan, Jr. caught six passes in the first half to increase his career total to 152 receptions, becoming the fourth Husker with 150 career receptions.

Third Quarter

Tanner Morgan came in at quarterback for Minnesota. Aaaaand, Husker fans collectively began to say “here we go again”. The Gophers took a little over a minute to score. Touchdown Gophers.

Nebraska 28 Minnesota 13

After the touchback, the Husker offense was in business at the 25 yard line. Martinez was promptly flagged for an illegal forward pass as he pitched ahead to Spielman after crossing the line of scrimmage. There was also a block in the back on the same play.

Stanley Morgan, Jr. took the short pass 11 yards to set up third and short. He is quietly having a very good game. After much hullaboo and an intentional grounding penalty, Nebraska punted back to the Gophers.

It was fair caught at the 21 yard line.

The Husker defense went into full implosion mode as the Gopher backup QB made play after play and set up Minnesota with first and goal halfway through the third quarter. It didn’t take them long as they found the end zone with their 22nd unanswered point.

Nebraska 28 Minnesota 22

That “enjoying Nebraska football” sensation didn’t last long enough that any Husker fans were required to call their doctors.

The ensuing Husker drive was powered by Maurice Washington as he got the Huskers across midfield (and more). And then Stanley Morgan finally gets some time in the spotlight as he caught a 35 yard pass from Martinez and took it into the end zone. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA as an entire state exhales at once. Morgan added the two point conversion despite a Gopher defender trying to give him a hug.

Nebraska 36 Minnesota 22

The Gophers were on the march again until Mo Barry and Dedrick Young forced a fourth down. The Gophers brought out the wildcat for the fourth and one. They got the conversion and entered the red zone. Every Husker defender seemed like they were a day late and a dollar short. There were holes everywhere as Nebraska went into desperation mode.

Tempers got heated as dual flags flew for unsportsmanlike penalties on Tre Neal and a Gopher player.

The Gophers got called for offensive pass interference in the end zone pushing them back to the 20 yard line on second and goal. On third and goal from the 17, the tackle was made on the two yard line, bringing up a fourth down. End of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

DiCaprio Bootle turns away the Gophers as the pass falls incomplete. First and ten Nebraska at the three yard line.

Time for Devine and a 97 yard drive that eats up 14 minutes on the clock. All in favor??

It looked like Devine was stopped short on third down, but a measurement showed he got it by the nose of the ball and the drive continued. The Truly Devine show continued as he ran the ball and caught the ball. To mix it up, the Huskers threw one to Spielman and took a deep shot to Morgan (incomplete).

The panicked feeling was gone. The Huskers were very businesslike and just went at the Gophers one play at a time. Until, Adrian Martinez displayed his wheels (again) as he went over 100 yards rushing with a keeper that got the Huskers into the red zone.

They couldn’t cash in for seven and brought out Barret Pickering. The kick was perfect. There is 7:53 left in the game.

Nebraska 39 Minnesota 22

Just when Husker fans dared to take a breath, the Gophers returned the kickoff 87 yards to set up inside the red zone. Cornerback Eric Lee gets a shoutout for the touchdown saving tackle.

MAYBE THE FOOTBALL GODS DON’T HATE US AFTER ALL.

Khalil Davis’ helmet and DiCaprio Bootle deflected the ball and Dedrick Young II secured the interception in the end zone for a touchback. There is a little more than six minutes left in the game.

Conventional wisdom says to RunTheDangBall and grind the game out. Nebraska 2018 has flown in the face of conventional wisdom all season, mostly in a bad way.

The Gopher defense subscribed to conventional wisdom and let Stanley slip behind them. Adrian Martinez didn’t forget about the senior wide receiver, put a pass on the money and Morgan did the rest. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!!

Nebraska 46 Minnesota 22

The Gophers quickly moved to first and goal with 4 12 minutes left in the game. Minnesota’s QB ran it in on the next play. Touchdown Gophers. The two-point conversion was no good.

Nebraska 46 Minnesota 28

Flags flew at the end of the play as emotions were running high. Minnesota’s penalty was enforced on the kickoff. 4:14 left in the game.

Minnesota tried the onside kick and Luke Gifford fielded it at the Minnesota 33 yard line. The Huskers are over 600 yards of offense - the first time they have ever done that against a Big Ten opponent.

On third and eight, Martinez took a shot at Mo Washington near the end zone and Minnesota was flagged on a PI to give Nebraska the ball on the 20 yard line. Mo Washington took a second and 11 handoff to the four yard line. 2:12 left in the game. He became the third Husker over 100 yards rushing.

He couldn’t be denied on the next play and found pay dirt. Touchdown Nebraska. Tanner Farmer was hurt on the play. I hope he is okay.

Nebraska 53 Minnesota 28

It sure is nice to be on the giving end of a 50 burger. 1:57 left in the game.

Garbage time words go here.

Final Nebraska 52 Minnesota 28

Let’s see if this team can adjust to being winners faster than they did being losers. It has to feel good for the players to finally get a taste of victory.

Go Big Red. Enjoy this Husker Nation. I have a feeling there is more of this to come.