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Turnovers are Surprisingly Not to Blame in Nebraska Football’s Heartbreaking Loss to Wisconsin

Nebraska v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Maybe the script writers for the 2023 Nebraska Football season are sitting us up for quite the ending against Iowa on Black Friday in Memorial Stadium.

Or maybe it will just end in another bowl-less season for Nebraska in Matt Rhule’s first season as head coach of Nebraska.

Regardless of what will happen, the way the game ended last night was just another step in the embattled journey of this football program. Starting up 14-0 against Wisconsin and it looked like it was going to be a blowout. Chubba Purdy looked like Joe Ganz 2.0 for stretches and the defense was flying around.

Then things started to flip and Wisconsin found some momentum on offense and Joe Ganz 2.0 disappeared as the Nebraska offense stalled. Then you add poor punting from Brian Buschini (downing your own punt isn’t a great thing right?) and a shank from Tristan Alvano and you start to see the recipe for disappointment.

The most frustrating part of it for me is that of Nebraska’s now six losses, with the exception of Michigan, could almost single handedly be blamed on offensive turnovers. Against Wisconsin it was not turnovers that lost Nebraska the game (I am aware of the Purdy interception in overtime).

At least for one week the coaching staff fixed the turnover issue. It however did not have a great answer for Wisconsin’s quarterback Tanner Mordecai’s feet as he appeared to be tough to bring down for the Nebraska defense as he made timely plays.

Now this staff has quite the job in front of itself this week. It is a short week and the team is going to have to find a way to pick itself up after a difficult heartbreaking loss. Iowa has the division wrapped up and Nebraska has bowl eligibility on the line.

It also appears that a lot of members of the Nebraska fan base are going to have to pick themselves off of the mat after that loss to Wisconsin. The players are going to need all the help they can get on Black Friday.

Here’s Jon’s Instant Reaction

Game Notes of Note

  • NU, which lost its seventh straight overtime game, fell to 8-8 all-time in overtime games The Huskers lost in overtime for the second time in their past four trips to Madison (also in 2016).
  • Nebraska scored 14 points in the first quarter tonight, after entering the game with 13 first-quarter points this season.
  • Bryce Benhart made his 40th career start in tonight’s game, all at right tackle. Benhart is the third offensive lineman in school history to make 40 career starts, joining Jeremiah Sirles (41) and Brenden Jaimes (40).
  • Nebraska recorded two sacks in the game, giving the Huskers 31 sacks on the season. This is the first time Nebraska has had 30 sacks in a season since 2013.
  • Wisconsin’s third-quarter touchdown run was the first against Nebraska since Michigan, ending a streak of five straight games without allowing a rushing touchdown.