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The Morning After: Loss to Iowa is a Reflection of Nebraska Football’s 2019 Season

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Moving forward...

Iowa v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

That’s it. It’s over. Mercifully.

Nebraska needed the win against a motivated Iowa Hawkeyes team in order to qualify for a bowl. There is an extremely long shot that they may qualify as a five-win team but we might as well assume the 2019 season is over for the Nebraska football team after the loss to Iowa.

In many ways the 27-24 loss was a great reflection of the season. Missed tackles leading to huge plays. Substandard special teams, especially on kick-off coverage. Rotation of quarterbacks throughout. Unable to close on drives. The defense playing well in chunks but unable to close the deal. And oh ya. Six different kickers.

Also continued conversations about the state of the quarterback position. Today Adrian Martinez went 10-18 for 50 yards. That will not quiet the conversations.

There is always room for nuance. The protection of the offensive line is no longer an excuse. Martinez had time throughout the game to work through his progressions. The Iowa defensive line wanted to keep him in the pocket. If Martinez left the pocket the Iowa defensive linemen disengaged their “pass rush” and stopped him most of the time.

Martinez had 44 yards rushing on 21 attempts. So the conversation continues to happen. Would Vedral or McCaffrey have been more effective? Why the insistence to play a quarterback who did not look like he was confident nor healthy enough to play. A question I wish could be asked at some point is if Scott Frost and Coach Mario Verduzco actually believed he was their best chance to win. Or maybe they playing for next year? Or maybe it really the supporting cast was not good enough around Martinez. It could be both.

Nuance.

That is a legit reason that we need to remind ourselves. As a quarterback you cannot throw to covered receivers. Matt Millen, the color analyst for yesterday’s game, continued to remind us time-and-time again that all of Martinez’s options were covered down the field.

So is that Martinez’s fault? Maybe we will find out someday. One thing I hope to see is that there be a legitimate quarterback competition going into spring football and into fall camp next season.

There are so many questions about this season that only Coach Frost, his coaches and the players know. I do know my answer to at least one question.

Am I somewhat relieved that the Nebraska Football 2019 season is over?

Yes.

From the Seniors

I will probably miss some, but I will do my best to add as more pop up


And Everyone Else

Report Card: Close game belies ugly grades
Nebraska football played in what felt like a carbon copy of the 2018 Iowa game against the Hawkeyes on Friday. This time a time management gaffe allowed the Hawkeyes to get the ball back, and Nate Stanley drove 45 yards on two passes, setting up the game winning field goal.

The loss prevented Nebraska from reaching a bowl game and the Huskers head into the offseason at 5-7 and 9-15 through two seasons under the Scott Frost coaching staff.

Here’s the final report card of the season

Frost, Martinez discuss how Huskers handled final drive
The Huskers seemed to be the team controlling the lever. But as we have learned this year with Nebraska football, never believe things to be as they might seem.

The game was tied in the final minute and Nebraska had the ball at midfield and ... is that laundry on the field? What could this be?

Notable quotes from Nebraska and Iowa
Nebraska saw its regular season end Friday night with a last-second loss to Iowa -- a heartbreaking result considering how Nebraska clawed back into the game, and had a chance to take the lead late before Iowa made two big plays to set up a game winning field goal.

After the game, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said he thanked the seniors for their hard work, and talked about where the program stands in year two.

6 Points, 12 Games, 1 Field Goal - Where Nebraska's at After Year 2 | Hail Varsity
That’s the total difference between Nebraska over two games against Iowa under Scott Frost. Those Hawkeyes teams in 2018 and 2019 were a combined 18-7, the Huskers 9-15.

Husker Seniors Confident in the Future of Nebraska Football | Hail Varsity
Lamar Jackson was the first player at the podium following Nebraska’s 27-24 loss to Iowa. The senior had just played his final game as a Husker and his message was one of “no regrets.” Because he doesn’t have any, even if things didn’t exactly go according to plan during his time at Nebraska.

Good Enough to Win, Poor Enough to Lose: Nebraska's Cruel Calculus | Hail Varsity
On its sixth play from scrimmage, Iowa got 45 yards on the ground. A stretch run concept that picked up 11 yards one play earlier set up a reverse that initially looked like a copy of the concept prior. The next drive, the Hawkeyes went three-and-out.

3 Thoughts From Nebraska's 27-24 Loss to Iowa | Hail Varsity
Iowa beat Nebraska on (what was basically) a walk-off field goal for the second year in a row. This time, the Hawkeyes connected from 47 yards out with just one second remaining to beat Nebraska 27-24.

Iowa gets to 9-3 on the year with the win, its fifth straight in this series. Nebraska ends the year 5-7.

Here are three thoughts from the game.

Nebraska Huskers football: 10 things we learned from Nebraska's loss to Iowa
Nebraska's season likely came to an end on Black Friday, and the Huskers fell to Iowa to finish the year 5-7.

Here are 10 of the most interesting things we learned from the loss...

Nebraska Huskers football: Final take and grades following NU's Black Friday loss to Iowa
Nebraska's 27-24 loss to Iowa on Friday delivered a little bit of everything.

Iowa 27, Nebraska 24: FIVE IN A ROW - Black Heart Gold Pants
I don’t think Charles Dickens could say it any better than that regarding the Iowa Hawkeyes’ 27-24 win against the Nebraska Cornhuskers today (or really, the entire Iowa football season). A 24-10 Iowa lead heading into the second half turned into a 24-all tie that seemed like it would go Nebraska’s way (with a little assistance from the refs).