The final score was 45-7 and I am not sure that it was that close.
One team looked like a potential National Champion and the other looked like a team that will likely struggle to win six games this season.
Michigan was methodical. It was was nasty (in a good way). It rarely made mistakes. It was physical and brought the wood. It looked like a teach with unfinished business and had sights on bigger things.
Nebraska was a team that looked like it wasn’t sure it could hang with a team like Michigan. For all of Nebraska’s deficiencies, the one thing it has done this year is fly around and tackle well. I would say that it did not fly around against Michigan. It played on it’s heels and got embarrassed.
It took two possessions and I messaged another one of our writers. I said “It’s going to be 56-0.” Nebraska’s offense is simply so below average that it cannot go out there and keep the Huskers in games. For this season it will rely on the defense to do so.
The defense did not look interested in doing so yesterday against Michigan. It wasn’t flying around. It looked flat footed and it looked — well intimidated.
So what is Matt Rhule’s mentality going forward? It was one of the best lines of the press conference. He said that “you hate these moments, but you can’t waste these moments.” Absolutely. You do not forget what happened against Michigan. You use these moments to get better. Both as fuel and as a barometer of how to improve.
Here’s the full quote:
“I always just feel like you hate these moments, but you can’t waste these moments. You can’t sit there and feel sorry for yourself and I can’t say ‘hey, let’s just get ready for Illinois.’ You have to get ready for Illinois. But we have to identify what happened and why and fix it. I didn’t feel like our guys weren’t responding, I think they were a good team. I think our guys – if the word is hesitant from the beginning – maybe a little hesitant to go out there. Some of the mistakes we made aren’t the typical mistakes we make and that part was disappointing to be out there, even that last drive. Those things are going to happen and you have to battle back. We’ll learn from it.”
I know that we might want the team to “flush it.” Especially, when you have Illinois waiting for Nebraska on Friday. However, I think this coaching staff does not intend to flush it. As Rhule said follwing the game:
A lot of things happened that we have to get corrected. The good news is we got to see probably the best run game and what it looked like and people probably will copy that. (Coach) Tony (White) and his guys have a lot of work to do to correct those things.
These things do not get corrected by “flushing it.”
It would be a waste of an opportunity to get beatdown by a really good football team if you don’t learn and improve from it.