Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a game like today happens. Two teams who both redefine ineptness when it comes to things like bowl eligibility and, well, the month of November.
When the contest kicked off, the storyline was which one of these teams would screw up more? Maryland’s ability to become the complete opposite of their 1st four games in the second half of the season had become almost legendary. And the Huskers ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory had been hammered home over and over again in the turkey month.
The details are below and most of you probably watched, but there’s no reason to hash it out, because next week is going to dumpster fire - on these pages and all others that care. Maryland boots a chip shot for for the win 13-10. That is all.
- As always, please note that incomplete is a generous way to describe the Big 10 injury report. It does not include Deshon Singleton (still out) or everyone who is out for the season. Or maybe back by a potential bowl game. Or Iowa. I don’t know.
Otherwise in Lincoln, morning clouds are moving out. Looks like a nice day for football, considering that it’s November, as Maryland visits Nebraska.— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) November 11, 2023
A breeze out of the south figures to aid the passing and kicking games of the team moving toward the north end zone. pic.twitter.com/IzjuD7Nv3y
- Mitch sez it’s looking like classic November weather for Husker football.
- SO LET’S PLAY SOME FOOTBALL!!
1ST QUARTER NOTES
- Blackshirts open by allowing a 1st down through the air in the middle of the field on 3rd & medium.
- Another Terp 1st down gets them quickly over the 50.
- Huskers jump offsides but it doesn’t matter as the Terps convert on 3rd & 10.
- Tagovaiola continues to have his way with the Blackshirts after another completion.
- But then a 6-yard Jimari Butler sack slows things up and Taulia throws incomplete for the Blackshirt stop.
- Kemp is back deep to Santino another punt inside the 10. If Buschini can’t start matching those like last week, that’s a big makeup ask of the offense and probably a disappointing result.
- Emmett goes for 10 and a 1st down.
- Everyone screaming at Haarberg after that pick, but yeah, defensive holding - relax, folks.
- Boerkircher goes for 11 on the fake punt…and can you blame us for trying that after last week?
- And then Haarberg throws high yet again and the INT counts this time. We could be looking at Chubba time.
- Blackshirts give up yet another 3rd & long and the B1G officials throw a delay of game flag - quickly pick it up - then change their mind and it is delay of game. Because you can’t pick up a delay of game flag.
- Nothing shady going on here, folks.
- No worries - Maryland completes a 17-yard diving catch for a 1st down on 3rd and longer. But we have a review. Ball clearly on the ground, so of course it’s 1st down Maryland!
- More questionable shit out of the refs as they bail Taulia out of a sack by calling illegal procedure…but not blowing the play dead. 2nd chance for the Terps.
- No matter, the defense eats up the weak screen pass attempt.
First quarter summary: On the one hand, that was not a pretty quarter and the Blackshirts gave up too many 3rd & longs. On the other hand, it’s 0-0 and the Blackshirts did throw a donut up there.
Two things - Haarberg, enough already and Big 10 refs - just stop it.
2ND QUARTER NOTES
- Emmett kicks off the 2nd quarter with an old school 10 yard run with the O-line doing an impression of the pipeline.
- Huskers punt and Buschini gets off a respectable 43-yarder with a long sideways return for 6.
- Haarberg is in the tent after being injured at the end of the previous series but no one warming up. Meanwhile, the Blackshirts continue to cook. They stop the Terps on 3rd & 12 and Ethan Nation fields on the 4! But returns it to the 10.
- It appears Sims was set to come in, but they went to commercial. If he plays today, he burns a redshirt.
- Yep, here comes the Sims show. I disagree in favor of Purdy but I wish him well. And it starts with a 10-yard dash for a 1st down.
- The story may be turning into Emmitt and the O-line? 1st down, Huskers.
- And tack on 15 for a late hit. Maryland getting frustrated.
- Sims scrambles, thinks throw a few times, finally runs it - ball loosened but he hangs on.
- On 4th & 2, Huskers try to make them jump then call time. Going to have another go…and it’s Emmitt for 7 and a 1st down.
- Unless they spring something big off it this decade, I’m getting that old Scott Frost screen pass hatred going again. It was a failure last week too.
- Sims goes backwards on 4th & 2 and Maryland will take over on their 31. Very questionable call. Outside of a run or 2, they’ve had the QB’s swarmed.
- The Blackshirts quickly give up a 53-yard bomb and a 16-yard TD to Tai Felton. Maryland 7 Huskers 0.
- Whether it’s Sims or Haarberg, we’re gonna have to take some chances eventually. And that doesn’t bode well.
- Sims looks a little confused on 1st down on an option pitch for 3, But he recovers to hit Jalen Lloyd for 25 and Fleeks for 8.
- Sims forces it under pressure into double coverage and is picked in the end zone. He had looked good up till then honestly.
- Taulia drops another 43-yarder on the Husker secondary and the Blackshirts Achilles heel has been fully exposed if anyone was still wondering.
- Maryland moves in to FG range but gets dirty again and the 15-yarder takes them out of it. An incomplete bomb in the end zone and it’s halftime.
Halftime summary: Maryland finally started trying the Huskers deep with the same results MSU found. The bad news is it’s still decent production for them as it’s not greedy to expect the lead if you only give up 7 points at halftime. And the offense as is it’s custom this season moves the ball but can’t sustain drives long enough to score. No matter who’s at QB, it seems like leaning on the RB’s and passing only to surprise, may be the way forward. But for Maryland, it’s bombs away from here on out.
3RD QUARTER NOTES
- The Huskers opening drive contains both another pointless screen pass and a high Sims bullet which was probably covered too well anyway. It was a fine job of ignoring the running backs, though.
- Maryland executes a well-blocked screen play but fumbles! Neither one of these teams wants to win in November. They just don’t.
- Sims bursts outside for 11 and a 1st to the Terp’s 16. But Bullock is down. Or Boerkircher. I don’t know. OK, spotted Bullock up and in the huddle.
- Grant blasts for 9 down to the 7 and then Emmitt hits to the 4 for a first. Screw taking chances. Run the damn ball.
- I wasn’t lying - this running back shit will work.
- I lose my shit on 2nd and goal on the 1 as we try the old shotgun with a QB sweep for no gain. Followed by some trickery which amounts to a FB sweep by Janiran Bonner. I curse right up until the moment he bursts around the edge for a touchdown! Huskers 7 Maryland 7!
- The Polar Bear almost sacks Taulia, but he escapes, let’s it rip..and it’s Javin Wright with pick! Huskers get it back!
- Alvano comes in and nails the 38-yarder for the lead! I’m starting to trust this young man. Huskers 10 Maryland 7
- Two straight TO’s hopefully has Maryland a little gun shy.
- But then it’s the Blackshirts with a rare missed tackle for a loss which turns into a 1st down at the 36.
- But the third & long bugaboos return as Maryland gets the 1st.
- They follow up with a short toss which turns into 29 yards after more missed tackles ..but HOLDING! Bring it on back. 1st & 20.
- We can’t have nice things. Another missed tackle on 3rd & 15. Another Terp 1st down on 3rd & long. It’s a Maryland drive.
- Taulia scrambles for it forgetting he’s not THAT fast, comes up short and the Terps send out the FG unit, but then call timeout. Do they try to tie it up or change their mind & go for it on the road?
- They going.
- Pardon my French, but eat shit, Maryland. Polar Bear with the stop, Husker ball.
- Sorry, but in what’s becoming a broken record in the last few games, this Maryland team is a tad cheap.
3rd quarter summary: We’ve been begging the Blackshirts to start getting some TO’s and they finally responded with a recovered fumble and pick on the opening two Maryland drives. The offense stays turnover free and converts them into 10 points. It’s time for a solid 4th quarter.
4TH QUARTER NOTES
- And Sims kicks things off with a fumble. I have no words.
- And the Blackshirts respond with an 11 yard sack. I have no words for different reasons.
- And now comes potentially the biggest 3rd & long of the game.
- The safety blitz just misses but it’s FG time for the Terps. We have more block magic?
- Nope - Huskers 10 Maryland 10.
- And Sims (and Satterfield for the call) may have put the nail in the coffin even though it’s tied. Tried to throw in double coverage while being swarmed.
- Here comes a 3rd & 10. (Odds say we gotta stop it, right?)
- Wrong. We let Taulia wander for 22 yards.
- And holy shit. Huskers recover the fumble after more missed tackles. No one wants to win this game. No one.
- Purdy is in and his first meaningful snaps of the year will start on his own 3. I wish him nice things, that’s a tough start.
- And on 2nd down, it’s Purdy for 13 because why not?? The staff is so stunned they have to burn their 2nd timeout.
- And on 3rd down, it’s a catch & run for 24 yards to Billy Kemp followed by a Purdy run for 9.
- Then it’s Emmitt for 29 to the Maryland 16! (Let’s f*cking go. Shhh!)
- And Chubba for 11 more.
- And Purdy gets picked and WTSF - WHY IS HE THROWING??? I’ve defended Marcus Satterfield a lot. That’s over for awhile. (I’m sure he cares deeply.) There was no reason not to run it and take a field goal if stopped. None. This is the 2nd straight INT which falls squarely on the coaches.
- If this goes to OT, no one will score.
- Tommie appears to have his receiver blanketed, so of course he never looks for the ball, runs into the receiver, gets a PI & it’s another 3rd & long conversion for the Terps.
- Welp, I’m calling it now in hopes of reverse hexing Maryland - It’s a FG as time runs out to drop this on 10-13.
- Just watching Maryland march down for the chip shot. They fumbled one after about 22 more missed tackles…but it went out of bounds. They tried to give it back. They did. Literally no one wants to win this game.
- Here’s a fun stat - when Maryland kicks this FG, we will still have scored more points off their 3 TO’s (10) than they did off our 5 TO’s (6).
- And that’s that.
4th quarter summary: This is potentially the worst football game I ever watched in my life, overtaking a wasted afternoon in Arrowhead in the late 80’s when the Chiefs beat the Browns 6-3. And I’m not just saying that because we lost. Although that did make it worse.
See y’all next week.