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Nebraska vs Illinois: Three Things We Learned

I feel like we’ve seen this before...

Las Vegas Groundhog Day Celebration Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

OK. That was not the game we were hoping for.

What did we learn yesterday?

1. The More Things Change...The More They Stay the Same

Once again, we saw a Nebraska team that seemed less prepared than their opponent. We saw a team that only turned the ball over once and was penalized fewer times than Illinois. Unfortunately, the turnover and the penalties occurred at crucial times that completely changed the momentum of the game. The Huskers had two opponents - Illinois and themselves.

The Huskers did make a valiant effort at the comeback. Whatever else we say about this team and the lack of execution, there was no quit in them.

2. Special Teams are Still a Disaster

A safety on a punt return. Two missed extra points.

But - we didn’t let their punter run for a first down. #BrightSide

3. We Can Haz Pass Rush

I didn’t want all three things to be negative. One bright spot was Pheldarius Payne and his two sacks. Payne also registered two tackles for loss. As a matter of fact, Nebraska’s entire linebacking corps deserves a mention here. They were active and were making plays all over the field. When you see that, it usually means the big boys up front were doing their job well and keeping the backers clean. The Husker front seven really stood out. In a good way.