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Nebraska Football: A Fumble Does Not Mean That Nothing Has Changed

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Minnesota Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Did you know that the sayings “sleep on it” or “I’m going to sleep on it” actually have legitimate scientific backing?

Studies have shown (and no I’m not going to cite them you weirdo) that when we are upset or have an important decision to make that we should always sleep on it. Why? Because through the process of sleep our brain starts detaching the emotional attachments to prior days events.

That’s why most of the time, though not all of them, we usually feel better after a good night of sleep.

So here I am.

Twenty-four hours ago, if you would have told me that Nebraska would lose to Minnesota 13-10 on a last second field goal I would have taken it 10 times out of 10. I had almost no expectation that Nebraska would win the game last night. I should have been satisfied.

However, when we get wrapped up in the events of the actual game our reaction is different.

It is easy to get frustrated, and rightfully so, at four turnovers. Particularly the one by Anthony Grant when Nebraska was in the process of closing out the game.

Also, less than 24 hours ago I published an article with a list of predictions. One of those predictions went as follows:

Nebraska Will Fail to Close out Games in the 1st Half of the Year

Are we going to see some bad habits? I think they are going to be hard to break until the bullets start flying. It might be the Minnesota game or maybe even Michigan. They might have an opportunity to close out the game but will fail to do so.

For what it is worth, here is the very next prediction:

Nebraska Will Make the Plays to Close Out Games in the 2nd Half of the Year

Matt Rhule addresses the problems and they actually get fixed. Then in games against Purdue, Michigan State he might have opportunities to close it out and they get it done.

Nebraska did not close out the game. It was as I predicted. But the Huskers also exceeded my expectations.

Should I be allowed to scream to the high heavens that this is just the same thing over and over again and that Frank Solich showing up to the Spring Game did not in fact break the curse? Maybe I should send out some tweets or texts to my friends that Matt Rhule is just like Scott Frost who is just like Mike Riley who is just like...

For what it is worth, we are seeing a much better coached team than we have seen in the past. The special teams was better. The defense was much better. However, the offense is likely going to struggle this year without explosive playmakers. Garret McGuire needs to figure out how to get some speed on the field.

It’s a better coached team but a fumble will make it impossible to see it that way.

Nebraska will not get over the hump as a program until they learn to close out games. Sadly, we blame an entire program when one guy fumbles the football. All other ten players on offense could have been doing their job in closing out the game.

We also forget that the Nebraska defense had Minnesota at 4th and 10 at the 13 yard line when Minnesota’s Daniel Jackson made a great catch with almost zero inches to spare for the touchdown to tie the game.

Minnesota went out and made the play and Nebraska gave them that opportunity.

As Rhule said after the game - “So it’s my job, it’s our job, to show the guys like, Hey, these plays are here. You’re not a bad team. These plays are here. We got to go make them.”

Hopefully Nebraska will have plenty of opportunities to make them this season. Plenty of opportunities to get over the hump.

Interesting Notes from the Game (From the Athletic Department)

  • Last night’s game marked the fourth consecutive season Nebraska has opened away from home against a Big Ten Conference opponent.
  • Nebraska lost to Minnesota for the fifth straight time, as the Gophers improved to 8-5 against the Huskers as Big Ten Conference foes and 37-25-2 all-time.
  • Running back Rahmir Johnson had a 63-yard kickoff return to open the second half. The 63-yard kickoff return was a career long for Johnson and the longest by a Husker since a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by JD Spielman against Arkansas State in 2017.
  • True freshman defensive end Cameron Lenhardt earned a start in last night’s game. He is only the ninth Husker true freshman (excluding kickers) to start a season opener since freshmen regained eligibility in 1972.
  • Minnesota native Bryce Benhart made his 30th career start, all of which have come at right tackle. Benhart joins Eric Anderson, Dan Vili Waldrop and Zach Wiegert as the fourth Husker to start 30 games at right tackle.
  • Punter Brian Buschini had a 60-yard punt in the first quarter of tonight’s game. He now has 50 punts of 50 yards or more in his collegiate career.
  • Cornerback Quinton Newsome made his 25th consecutive start in tonight’s game.
  • Tonight’s game captains were OT Bryce Benhart, RB Gabe Ervin, DE Blaise Gunnerson and S Omar Brown.