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The Morning After: Nebraska Wastes A Dominant Defensive Performance As Special Teams Mistakes Show Up Again

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It’s frustrating when something simple like either kicking left or kicking right is what determines a game like this.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Nebraska at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The call was “punt right.” The punter ended up punting it left and the rest is history.

Another dominant performance by the Nebraska defense was wasted once again by more poor offensive line play and egregious special teams mistakes.

Calling the defensive performance “dominant” might not be fair to the guys on that side of the ball who are giving every ounce of sweat to keep this football team in games. It could have been considered historic.

Last night was against a Top 25 team on the road. Nebraska went into halftime down by three. In the second half Michigan State had five possessions and gained only 14 yards.

That’s the perfect recipe for a Nebraska win.

Yet, they still couldn’t get it done.

There are hidden yards all over the field that continue to frustrate Nebraska football fans. The inability to catch a punt so it doesn’t bounce another 20 yards down the field head scratching. The offensive line not trusting the snap count and getting four more false starts is infuriating. Well at least those penalties weren’t all on the same drive. Is that progress? I couldn’t tell you and I couldn’t care less.

What I do know is that the defense is playing at a near 2009 level. It ain’t there, but it sure is close.

What I also know is that Adrian Martinez is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the country and his team is 2-3. If he isn’t earning the respect of every Nebraska football fan by now then I am not sure what you are watching. The offensive line is giving him zero chances to be proficient.

Yes, I know he threw the interception in overtime and he missed his read running wide open on the first play of OT. It should have been a touchdown. I suspect he was worried he was going to get sacked for the 8th time of the game instead of throwing the ball.

It’s back to the small things that, again, cost Scott Frost another football game.

What should Frost do with Daniel Cerni? When the call is to punt right but you punt it left you should probably lose your job. Well Cerni’s replacement also had a seven yard punt in the game last night.

At least Connor Culp was perfect against Michigan State. Nebraska has that going for itself.


The Morning After

Report Card: Two A's but an ugly F to undue Nebraska in loss
The report card exists in an effort to separate that sometimes a team wins or loses despite any one individual unit being great or struggling. That couldn’t be more evident than Nebraska’s 23-20 overtime loss in which the Huskers finished with 14 more first downs and 186 more yards on offense, this on a day where the offense was simply just fine and not particularly good.

Nevertheless Nebraska leaves with a loss and has to pick itself up next week against Northwestern.

Fast Takes after Huskers lose in gut punch to Spartans
Your final score was 23-20 Michigan State in overtime and there's plenty to digest from it.

Here are some Fast Takes while we wait for all the postgame comments from the Husker locker room.

Shatel: Nebraska seizes defeat from jaws of victory — again. Is pain progress for Huskers? | Football | omaha.com
It was almost a night to remember for Husker football. Instead it will be a game nobody can forget, says Tom Shatel. How much can a program and fan base

Husker Report Card: Grading Nebraska's performance against Michigan State | Football | omaha.com
After each game, The World-Herald's Sam McKewon hands out his Husker Report Card, assessing Nebraska's performance in several areas. Here are the grades coming out of the Michigan State game.

After a half of near perfect football, Blackshirts couldn't get the one turnover NU needed | Football | omaha.com
Nebraska needed a takeaway. And the Blackshirts couldn’t provide one. That isn’t to say the Huskers' defense didn’t do its part to win a game that ultimately slipped away during

Huskers surrender late punt return TD, fall to Michigan State 23-20 in overtime gut punch | Football | journalstar.com
The Spartans pulled out the victory despite running 15 plays for 14 yards and zero first downs in the final 30 minutes of regulation.

Steven M. Sipple: Husker fans face key question: Do they trust Frost to fix cataclysmic errors? | Football | journalstar.com
Scott Frost was angry in the post mortem. He should be angry. His players gave an incredible effort. But the big mistakes keep happening.

The grades: Michigan State 23, Nebraska 20 | Football | journalstar.com
Chris Basnett weighs in with his report card from the Huskers' game against Michigan State.

3 Thoughts on Nebraska's 23-20 Overtime Loss to No. 20 Michigan State - Nebraska Football - Hail Varsity
Nebraska lost yet another one by one score under Scott Frost, falling 23-20 to Michigan State. Here are three quick thoughts on the game.

Nebraska Huskers Football: Michigan State postgame nuggets
Here are some quick notes from Nebraska’s postgame press conference following its 23-20 OT loss to Michigan State.

Michigan State Spartans outlast Nebraska Cornhuskers in overtime, 23-20 - The Only Colors
The Michigan State Spartans hosted the Nebraska Cornhuskers under the lights in a striped-out Spartan Stadium, and in a very physical contest, the Spartans were able to outlast the Cornhuskers in...