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Nebraska 28 Buffalo 3: Recap

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Three touchdowns called back on penalties. Three missed field goals. Somehow, Nebraska found a way to win. #ThankYouBlackshirts

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 28 Nebraska at Illinois

The ranch has a new puppy! She’s yet to be named, but is pretty sweet and mellow so far. Our old ranch dog is reaching the age where it is time to have her replacement ready to go and my cousin told me about this litter of puppies that are Border Collie - Australian Sheperd - Blue Heeler cross. #AllTheRanchDogBreeds

The Huskers honored 9/11 victims and first responders by having police, fire and military service members lead the team out of the tunnel, recreating the famous Tunnel Walk of 2001. The alternate uniforms look pretty sharp - a camoflauge print on mostly white uniforms. The NU on the side of the helmets makes me do a double take, but overall I like the look.

Oliver Martin and Omar Manning are not available today. Travis Vokolek is still not playing either.

First Quarter

Nebraska kicked off - Franke touchback.

The Huskers seemed well prepared for the Bull run game, but Buffalo used that to set up their passing to good effect and moved past midfield two minutes into the game. They continued to mix up their playcalling well and continued to churn the yards until a Buffalo holding call put them behind the sticks at 3rd and 15. The Bulls went for it on fourth and seven. False start. Fourth and 12. Punt.

Samori Toure wisely let the punt fly over his head. Touchback.

Markese Stepp is the starting running back for the Huskers.

Zavier Betts!

Austin Allen was hurt on a play. I hope it’s not serious - the Huskers do not have many bodies at TE.

It sounds like Allen may have hit his head on the turf pretty hard.

Markese Stepp picks up the first down and had his facemask grabbed, pushing Nebraska 15 more yards down the field.

Nate Boerkircher sighting. Chris Hickman sighting. Third and three. Adrian converts and puts Nebraska into the red zone.

Gabe Ervin is dropped for a one yard loss. No gain on second down. Adrian escapes a collapsing pocket and keeps the Huskers in field goal range.

NO Good. Sigh.

The Blackshirts force a three and out - Cam Taylor-Britt nearly pulled down an interception. He was sent back to return this punt.

Fair catch. Whew.

The Huskers were putting together a decent drive as the first quarter ended with a 0-0 tie.

Second Quarter

Option!

Martinez and Toure miscommunicated on third and three - incomplete. The Huskers went for it - THE 26 YARD PASS TOUCHDOWN WAS CALLED BACK BECAUSE OF AN OFFENSIVE PI.

Punt. The Huskers have left 10 points on the field already.

A Buffalo catch on third down looked like it might be short, but they got a favorable spot (no challenge) and they converted. Buffalo worked their way to midfield where they faced another third and three. DAMION DANIELS SACK!!

Touchback on the punt.

Sevion Morrison is the running back for Nebraska now. The coaches were serious that they wanted a lot of guys to play. Given this heat, I am definitely okay with this.

Sigh. False start.

Chris Hickman catches one in traffic to make a second and 14 into a third and five.

HOW DID HE DO THAT?!?!?!?

Adrian escaped an almost certain sack and ran all the way to the five yard line. He looked like the heat got to him at the end of that run. Two Buffalo players went down on the play.

First and goal Nebraska at the five. A facemask on Buffalo during the Martinez run gave Nebraska first and goal at the two.

GABE ERVIN TOUCHDOWN!!! Anyone who hadn’t let their balloon go earlier did so now.

Nebraska 7 Buffalo 0

Buffalo put together a nice drive but a Garrett Nelson tackle for loss and Luke Reimer sack (on fourth down) got the ball back for Nebraska on the Bull side of the field with 4:23 left in the half.

How ‘bout them Nebraska boys?!?

An amazing Zavier Betts touchdown catch (he tipped up into the air and got it) was negated by a Bryce Benhart holding call.

The Huskers ended up punting back to Buffalo with 2:36 left. Poorly timed penalties and mistakes are once again coming back to bite the Huskers. Bull ball at the 14.

JOJO TACKLE FOR LOSS!

Another Buffalo player is down (offensive lineman). It is third and seven with 1:46 left in the half - and Buffalo has to punt with 1:40 left in the half.

It was an 81 yard punt that thankfully went into the end zone (Nebraska had no returner back - which is a decision I approve of even with the result).

The Bulls went three and out and punted back to Nebraska with 1:41 in the half. The Huskers were very conservative. Zavier Betts was hurt on a second down play. He is holding his side - he might have taken a knee to the ribs.

Gabe Ervin registered a first down, which will allow Nebraska to use up the time left in the half OR THEY COULD THROW IT DEEP TO TOURE!!! TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!!!

Nebraska 14 Buffalo 0

Buffalo had two timeouts and worked their way down to the Husker half of the field with seven seconds left. The quick hitter gave them a chance at a 52 yard field goal with four seconds.

No good.

Nebraska 14 Buffalo 0

Halftime

  • First responders taking part in today’s Tunnel Walk included Terry Wagner, Lancaster County Sheriff (also participated in First Responder Tunnel walk on 9/20/2001); Dr. Alissa Clough, President, Inpatient Physician Associates; Vicki Barada, Firefighter/EMT; Alex Nobbe, Firefighter/Paramedic.
  • Kickoff temperature for this afternoon’s game was 91 degrees. In games at Memorial Stadium since 1985, that ties for the 5th-warmest kickoff temperature. It is the warmest kickoff temperature since it was also 91 degrees at kickoff for a 2017 game between Nebraska and Rutgers.
  • Quarterback Adrian Martinez rushed 6 times for 110 yards in the first half. With his 110 rushing yards, Martinez moved into fifth place among Nebraska quarterbacks with 2,030 career rushing yards, passing Tommie Frazier (1,955 yards).
  • With his 2,030 career rushing yards, Martinez became the 12th quarterback in Big Ten history to rush for 2,000 career yards. Martinez is the fifth player in Big Ten history with 6,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards, joining Taylor Martinez (Nebraska), Antwaan Randle El (Indiana), Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Braxton Miller (Ohio State).
  • Before today’s game, Buffalo had not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the past 16 games, and just one in the past 23 games.
  • Buffalo quarterback Kyle Vantrease had an 81-yard punt in the second quarter. It is the fourth-longest punt by a Nebraska opponent and the longest since 1995.

Third Quarter

The Huskers got the ball to start the third. A Buffalo defensive penalty put Nebraska in good position after they found the first few plays to be tough sledding.

Martinez escaped again and shovel-passed to Chris Hickaman who moved Nebraska down to the 27. The Husker run game is getting bottled up, so those pass plays are there if the Huskers can find them.

Alas, the Huskers could get no further and Connor Culp came out for the 42 yarder. Also no good.

Nebraska 14 Buffalo 0

I don’t think Culp is on track to defend his kicker of the year award right now.

For those of you keeping score, Nebraska has missed two field goals and had two touchdowns called back.

Buffalo found a soft spot in the Blackshirt zone for a big gain and Caleb Tannor was injured on the play. Buffalo went uptempo and broke a big run to the Husker 24. Cam Taylor-Britt limped off the field.

Buffalo went backward from there, mosltly due to another unsportsmanlike penalty. They did get into field goal range on third and 24. The 45 yarder was good.

Nebraska 14 Buffalo 3

Nebraska’s first play was a slant that Martinez threw just behind Toure. Then Martinez escaped the pocket and then found Chancellor Brewington on a third down to move the sticks. Nebraska returned to the ground game, but continued to find yards few and far between there. The Huskers had to punt near midfield.

The Buffalo bench was called for a penalty which backed them up to their own 10. Damion Daniels lost his helmet on the second and 21 play in which he was called for continuing the play wihtout a helmet, giving the Bulls a first down.

Buffalo is finding holes in the defense, Nebraska needs to tighten things up. The Bulls reached midfield with 4:53 in the third quarter. The third and four play was defended by Marquel Dismuke - incomplete. Punt. Toure fair caught the ball and Nebraska took over.

Brody Belt sighting! Matt Sichterman had to be stretched out by trainers, but he looks like he will be okay.

Gabe Ervin found a hole and moved the chains. Nouredin Nouili was in for Sichterman.

Another Buffalo player (cornerback) laid on teh field for a while. This heat is brutal.

OPTION!! Gabe Ervin moves the chains again.

On the next play, Adrian tried to pass the ball, but it was nearly intercepted. Then, it looked like it could hae been a fumble, but Nebraska recovered anyway. He overthrew Toure while rolling to his left bringing up fourth and 11. The punt unit came out as Frost passed on having Culp try the 58 yard field goal.

DOWNED AT THE TWO!! We can haz a nice special teams play!

After a four yard gain by the Bulls, Ty Robinson decided to push them backwards.

Cam Taylor-Britt tried to jump the pass on third down but missed and the Bulls converted.

Fourth Quarter

LUKE REIMER INTERCEPTION!! He returned it to the two yard line.

On first and goal - GAVE ERVIN TOUCHDOWN!

Nebraska 21 Buffalo 3

The Blackshirts get to come right back out on the field and see what they can do. It looked like another Reimer interception, but the ball hit the ground. Incomplete.

False start Buffalo. But then they converted the long third down.

Another Buffalo penalty (ineligible downfield) negated another long catch.

The Husker pass rush is not getting home. They need to get to the QB more to really get this game back in hand.

Buffalo passed midfield and reached the Husker 34 where they faced fourth and two. With 11:28 left in the half. They did NOT convert. Husker ball.

Gabe Ervin is not stepping aside for Markese Stepp as he gets a first down and has amassed 50+ yards (and counting in this half). The Huskers go into four minute offense with 10 minutes left in the game - and a three score lead.

Nebraska gets to midfield and has to use a timeout before the play clock expires on third down. Unfortunately, Nebraska loses two and has to punt. They take a delay of game to give Cerni a little bit more room to pin the Bulls.

Buffalo ball on their 18 yard line.

The Blackshirts force a three and out. Punt.

Cam Taylor-Britt waved for a fair catch and was shoved down (some Bulls pushed a couple of Huskers into Cam). Buffalo recovered the ball, but the refs said it wasn’t touched by Nebraska. On replay, it looked like it was touched by Nebraska and Buffalo was awarded the ball.

#TheNebraskaWay #SpecialTeamsAreVerySpecial

Nick Henrich forced a fourth and three, and Buffalo decided to attempt the 52 yard field goal with 6:16 left. Caleb Tannor had to be helped off the field (I think it was heat cramps). It was close, but no good.

Everyone expected Nebraska to go to the ground and run out the clock, so Scott Frost sent Toure deep. DAGGER!! (Yes, I’m mixing my Husker sports announcer signature calls). Martinez found him for the TOUCHDOWN!!!

Nebraska 28 Buffalo 3

The only bad thing about that is that the defense has to go back on the field right away again. But, I’m being nitpicky and the Huskers have a four-score lead with 5:53 left in the game.

Luke Reimer nearly intercepted another ball on first down. The second down pass was deflected and nearly intercepted. Buffalo converted one first down but then one of their receivers was hurt after making a catch over the middle. The Huskers were called for pass interference (Braxton Clark) which pushed the Bulls near midfield.

Other teams can do Nebraska things! Buffalo fumbled a snap and the QB picked it up and chucked it out of bounds without even trying to make the play.

Sigh. They converted a long pass play but the clock is ticking.

Damien Jackson sighting!!

Buffalo got into the red zone, but the clock continues to work against the Bulls. The Blackshirts forced a fourth and 10 and a lot of Husker second-teamers are in the game. After a penalty, they decided to kick the field goal instead. The 42 yarder was no good.

Nebraska 28 Buffalo 3

It is not a good day for either team’s kicker.

Logan Smothers comes out for Nebraska and hands off to Rahmir Johnson.

SMOTHERS TO HICKMAN gets Nebraska into the red zone.

The Smothers to Nixon option touchdown is called back for being an illegal forward pass. On replay, that looked like a really close call, and was upheld on review.

On fourth down and 10 seconds left, Scott Frost took a timeout just so he could yell at all the refs. I like that coach called as many officials over as possible and told them all what he thought of that call.

Frost decided to kick the field goal while continuing to chew out the officials. I think he wants Culp to get a short kick and gain some confidence.

The 34 yarder is NO GOOD.

Nebraska 28 Buffalo 3

Now, on to...

What could possibly go wrong?