The Bobby Bowden bit on Fox is interrupted by a severe storm warning in Minnesota. Straight-line winds and tornadoes near St. Cloud.
This is a good description of how I feel right now.
Nebraska will start with the ball. Illinois won the toss and deferred. We’re gonna find out starters immediately.
Brant Banks starting at left tackle. Wyatt Liewer, Samori Toure, and Oliver Martin starting at WR. Gabe Ervin is at Running back.
Nebraska gets a first down, then punts. It’s a 26-yard punt.
Illinois starts with play-action to Luke Ford for 19 yards. Then Illinois punts to inside the Nebraska one-yard line.
Gabe Ervin has a nice run to get out of end zone, then Nebraska does nothing. Martinez misses an open receiver on 2nd down, but nothing on third, so our beloved Huskers punt. Illinois start at the 37 yard line after a 44-yard Cerni punt.
My thought is Nebraska’s defense is going to have to win this game. Our receivers aren’t getting separation. Martinez doesn’t have the mindset or the accuracy to make the throws.
Nebraska gets a sack by Payne to force a punt.
Cam Taylor-Britt fields the ball inside the one, then gets tackled and somehow pitches the ball forward out of the end zone. The initial call is an illegal forward pass, but this should be reviewed and Nebraska’s ball at the zero.
Review - ball was down at the goal line, so it’s still a safety.
It’s still dumb. Good lord. The good thing is Taylor-Britt won’t likely make that same mistake again this season. Nebraska free kicks,
Mike Esptein rips off a 45-yard run, but the Blackshirt defense comes up with two sacks in a row to stop the drive. Brandon Peters is injured on a Nebraska sack.
Illinois tries a field goal and misses wide left. Nebraska has three sacks and 5 TFL’s in the first quarter vs. Illinois, two of those sacks by Pheldarius Payne!
Martinez hits Markese Stepp for a huge 30-yard reception to the Illini 14. Samori Stoure ran a sweep to the two. Stepp scores from two yards out, then Connor Culp misses the PAT.
Nebraska’s Deontai Williams stuffs Illlinois on a third and short to force a punt. GREAT PLAY!
Martinez hits Oliver Martin for a 43-yard reception to start the drive. It equals the total production of last year’s 40-plus yard plays! WooooooO!
Nebraska works their way down to the 13 yard line. Martinez misses a wide-open Liewer in the end zone. He misses an open Austin Allen on third down. Both are overthrows. Martin is 6-1, and Allen is 6-9.
Connor Culp hits a 27 yard field goal.
Scoring Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards, 03:01
Brendan Franke boots his second touchback of the game! At least that’s one special team bright point!
Cam Taylor-Britt picks off the ball on an Illini 3rd and 7th. It gets wiped out because of a roughing call. Nebraska gets two penalties as Caleb Tannor gets the roughing call and an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting?
This enables second-string QB Artur Sitkowski to hit Jakari Norwood for an eight-yard play to the almost zero yard line. It’s initially called a touchdown but called out of bounds. Mike Esptein scored from one yard out on the next play.
Scoring Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 05:55
Martinez fumbles the ball, Illinois Calvin Hart picks it up and runs for 41 yards for an Illinois touchdown.
This is just after Martinez missed a wide open Chris Hickman on another overthrow.
That’s the Half
Bad things happened and Nebraska goes straight into the toilet.
Adrian Martinez finished the first half 6-of-14 for 112 yards. No touchdowns, no interceptions. A fumble returned for a touchdown.
You can’t continue with this if you expect to have any Nebraska fans left next week. You just can’t.