I’m disappointed. Again.
However, unlike the games against Purdue, Indiana and Minnesota I didn’t walk away discouraged after the 37-21 loss to Wisconsin. I was relatively encouraged actually.
This might upset some people but I do believe it is completely natural and healthy to be disappointed and encouraged at the same time. It doesn’t have to be either/or.
I left the game disappointed because many of the same issues continue to haunt Nebraska. Poor tackling. Inability to get off the field on third and long. An apparent allergic reaction to the thought of capitalizing on opportunities and finishing drives. To me these are the three main things which need to get fixed before expecting to contend with the likes of Wisconsin.
They have been addressed. Many times. However, the issues have yet to get fixed.
I left encouraged by the play of the offense, particularly when it came to running the ball yesterday by one of the best rushing defenses in the entire country. Dedrick Mills ran for a career high 188 yards. In fact, it was the most rushing yards given up by Wisconsin all year long.
While there was some poor tackling by Wisconsin (at least it isn’t just Nebraska), there were some large holes for Mills to run through throughout the game. To me that shows a lot of improvement by the offensive line.
We aren’t seeing improvement from the offense against a team like Northern Illinois. We are seeing improvement against Wisconsin. That means something and that is one of the reasons I walked away encouraged.
Adrian Martinez has also improved, though admittedly, he had been playing so poorly that he almost had no other choice than to play better. He accounted for 309 yards of total offense, again, against one of the top defenses in the country.
Coach Frost said that health has plagued Martinez all year long and the play around him has not been good enough. This is where perspective comes into play. You can choose to label those things as excuses for Martinez’s play or you can label them as mitigating factors.
If Martinez, who relies on athleticism, has not been healthy then he will not play as well. If his teammates around him have not been good enough, then he as the conductor of this offense will not play as well.
Even with those mitigating factors (or excuses if you will) Martinez has made many poor mental mistakes and missed on some game-changing throws this season.
His poor play is a combination of health, below average play around him and less than desirable play himself. This is called nuance. It does not have to be “either/or.” It can be “both.” The 2019 season has been a bunch of both.
Adrian Martinez needed to play better and he did. He did that on Saturday against the one of the best defenses in the country.
There are many reasons to be disappointed but that will not stop me from being encouraged at the same time.
Wisconsin 37, Nebraska 21: Jonathan Taylor surpasses NCAA rushing mark through junior season
Nebraska held Wisconsin tailback Jonathan Taylor in check early.
The Cornhuskers offense at times moved so quickly down the field to score it appeared UW was fielding a unit full of reserves.
UW three times had to settle for field goals when it appeared close to punching the ball into the end zone.
Yet when the final seconds ticked off the clock Saturday at Memorial Stadium, the Badgers had escaped with a critical 37-21 victory in front of a crowd of 88,842.
Explosive second quarter leads to Wisconsin running through Huskers
The Nebraska Cornhuskers couldn't keep up with the Wisconsin Badgers.
An offensive explosion in the second quarter led to the Badgers beating the Huskers by 16 points.
After beating Nebraska, Wisconsin improves to 8-2 in 2019.
FULL RECAP: No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers shuck Nebraska, 37-21 - Bucky's 5th Quarter
Wisconsin is now 6-0 all time in Freedom Trophy games.
Nebraska Huskers football: Jonathan Taylor, Badgers too much for NU to handle in 37-21 loss
In a game where many already felt they knew what was going to happen all week leading up to kickoff, Nebraska’s showdown with Wisconsin went a little different than the expected script.
In the end, though, the Badgers proved to be too much for NU to handle.
Nebraska Huskers football: Here are 10 things we learned from NU's loss to Wisconsin
Nebraska fell to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in Big Ten play following Saturday's home loss to No. 15 Wisconsin.
Here are 10 of the most interesting things we learned from the game...
Nebraska Huskers football: Scott Frost gives his thoughts on NU's 37-21 loss to Wisconsin
Here’s a quick recap of what Nebraska head coach Scott Frost had to say following the Huskers' 37-21 loss to No. 14 Wisconsin on Saturday...
Nebraska Huskers Football: Final takes and grades in NU's loss to the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday
Nebraska played better on offense than we've seen all season at times on Saturday, but the final result still remained the same.
Yes, the Huskers put some chinks in the armor of Wisconsin, but they still are nowhere near a complete enough team to finish off a Big Ten heavyweight like the Badgers.
Frost 'grateful' for support, contract extension
Nebraska head coach walked onto the field at Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning, fresh off the news that he had been rewarded with a two-year contract extension from athletic director Bill Moos.
The contract keeps Frost with the Huskers through the 2026 season. The terms of his initial contract were unchanged.
Notable quotables from Nebraska, Wisconsin
Nebraska fell 37-21 to Wisconsin on Saturday, and Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said afterwards that while his offense played well, the second-year Husker head coach is tired of silver linings.
In defeat, a closer picture of the old Adrian Martinez emerges
The quarterback, the one dressed in No. 2 for the Huskers, was more recognizable on Saturday to the Nebraska fan base that had seen him torment defenses and elevate hopes a season ago about what might come.
More recognizable to his head coach too.
Four notable performances from Nebraska on Saturday
Nebraska lost again on Saturday, this time to Wisconsin, falling 37-21. Despite the loss, or even the fact the Huskers didn’t cover the spread, there were still several things and performances to like from the game.
Here’s the players I thought showed up well for Nebraska...
The most rushing yards Wisconsin gave up all year was 264 yards to Ohio State.— HuskGuys (@HuskGuys) November 16, 2019
Nebraska finished with 273 today.
Nebraska averaged 10.3(!) yards per play in the second half across 27 total snaps. Drove to the Wisconsin 24 on all four of its after-halftime possessions but produced just seven points (missed FG, two turnovers on downs).— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) November 16, 2019
Frost on the defense: "It needs to be better. If we can get to the point where we’re giving up less than 30 a game, I like our chances where our offense is going."— Christopher Heady (@heady_chris) November 16, 2019
Plenty of #Huskers positives today despite a tough loss:— Jake Sorensen (@937JakeSorensen) November 16, 2019
-Offensive line as a whole
-Some tight end involvement
-Nebrasketball still won last night
Nebraska had 4 drives in the second half. All 4 reached the Wisconsin 25.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 16, 2019
NU scored 7 points.
All these tweets about Scott Frosts contract extension and losing today by national media is comical. None of you clowns picked #Huskers to win. They lost.He got an extension that I’m guessing was agreed upon long before this game. Read a book & try to get smarter.— Nick Gregath (@Husker_Nick) November 16, 2019
During the first half of today’s Wisconsin at Nebraska game there was a time out in Memorial Stadium for an injured Indiana player......— Doug Bush (@DougBush2) November 16, 2019
Walking out of the stadium now. From outside of the weight room, you can see a little bit into the football offices.— Christopher Heady (@heady_chris) November 16, 2019
A lot of lights on. A few coaches up on white boards.