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“I Think We Would Have Lost this Game at the Beginning of the Year” - Opportunity Awaits for Nebraska Football

Northwestern v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Win and advance.


Win by one.

At this point for Nebraska it is win by one. The Huskers are now two games from a bowl eligibility.

Win two in the next five games and Matt Rhule is officially ahead of schedule. At Temple and Baylor, Rhule did not sacrifice the future for the present. It appears to continue that way. He still wants to go snap by snap. Play by play. Win that next play.

Lost the last one? Then win the next one.

Win by one.

This game was ugly. It wasn’t great football. Northwestern is a team dealing with great adversity. I would say that Nebraska has been a program that lives and swims in adversity. Not adversity that involves firing coaches for cause (rightfully or wrongfully).

But adversity that comes with dealing with excessive expectations and losing at the same time. It feels like Nebraska fans want the Huskers to go on a “diet.”

Please stick with me here. I hope this analogy makes sense.

They want to see Nebraska football lose “10 pounds” in a week.

Is that sustainable? No. Rhule doesn’t want to “lose 10 pounds” in a week. He wants to go day-by-day. Make good decisions. Small decisions. Good small decisions, over and over again, stack up.

What does “stacking” look like? Well according to Matt Rhule after the game, it sure looks like stacking good and small decisions is working.

“I think we would have lost this game at the beginning of the year,” Coach Rhule said after the game.

Back to the analogy.

Those dieters looking to drop 10 pounds in a week are bothered by the turnovers and the lack of offensive production. They probably want Satterfield fired. Or whatever. They want it all now.

The dieters who are hoping to make good stackable decisions are happy that Nebraska is 4-3 and are in control of their own destiny.

Win and advance. I mean, win by one.

Opportunity awaits.

Interesting Game Notes

  • With the win, Nebraska improved to 10-7 in the series with Northwestern, including a 6-3 record in Lincoln.
  • Nebraska limited Northwestern to nine points after holding Illinois to seven points in its last game. The Huskers have held back-to-back conference opponents to single-digit points for the first time since November of 2010, when Nebraska limited Kansas to three points and then allowed only nine points the next week at Texas A&M.
  • Nebraska limited Northwestern to 81 rushing yards on 39 carries, including negative yards (-5) on 18 carries in the second half. The Huskers have held six of their seven opponents under 100 rushing yards this season.
  • Defensive tackle Nash Hutmacher had 2.5 sacks, including 1.5 in the first half, marking a career high for Hutmacher. He finished the game with a career-high seven tackles, bettering his previous high of 6 vs. Northern Illinois earlier this season.
  • Freshman place-kicker Tristan Alvano connected on a 47-yard field goal to open Nebraska’s scoring, marking the longest field goal of his Husker career.
  • Freshman linebacker Princewill Umanmielen had seven tackles, marking his career best. His previous high was two stops against Northern Illinois. Umanmielen also set career highs with 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack.