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Knee-Jerk Reactions: Wisconsin

Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire

Wisconsin bested the Nebraska in traditional style while the 1997 national championship team looked on as the college football season rolled on into October. This Badger team had done an excellent job of adjusting at halftime throughout the season. They would do so again in a fashion familiar to Husker fans dating back to Nebraska’s entry into the Big 10 conference.

Let’s review.

1.) Tanner Lee’s latest pick-six should be filed under “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”. A pass bouncing off Devine Ozigbo’s helmet and into the hands of Chris Oor seemed almost too appropriate and took the wind out of Memorial Stadium, however…

2.) Overall, Lee showed improvement for the second week in a row. He threw for 262 yards and a touchdown while making good choices in throwing the ball away and taking sacks. Yes, those are smudges on the stat sheet, but he’s headed in the right direction.

3.) Helmet bump aside, Ozigbo had another fantastic night rushing for 112 yards making him the first Nebraska running back to do so in three straight games since Ameer Abdullah in 2014. He also put up the most yards against the Badgers of any running back since Leonard Fournette in last year’s season opener (138).

4.) I was anticipating seeing Jaylin Bradley at least a little. However, when you’ve got a player in Ozgibo that’s far and away your bell cow in a game where every inch matters, I can’t say I was too surprised by his absence.

5.) Stanley Morgan continued to show why he was anticipated to be the leader of this receiving corps. He notched another 100-yard game and the unit’s only touchdown of the evening.

6.) JD Spielman’s turning into a clutch receiver. He had six receptions on the day for 76 yards. Every catch was on a third down.

7.) The Huskers are starting their best offensive line, but Nick Gates continues to be overwhelmed. He’s simply not what Nebraska needs as a left tackle — or at any tackle spot, he’s clearly a guard. It’d be nice if the Big Red could move Brendan Jaimes over to relieve him, but his efforts best David Knevel’s or Matt Farniok’s. It’s a horrific Catch-22,

8.) This game gave us a good look at where the defense is top to bottom against a very burly top-10 team. The front seven struggled with the physicality and there are far too many issues with tackling, especially in the secondary.

9.) Nebraska’s 3-4 obviously isn’t a world-beater as it stands today, but with some quality depth, it could be just as nasty as any you’ll see (**hint hint to those recruits that were on the sidelines**).

10.) Hopefully Chris Jones will feel even better next week, because these defensive backs are going to need all the help they can get against a potent Ohio State offense.

11.) We begin to enter some interesting waters. Will the Powers That Be consider this performance to be “competitive” and if not, how much of a hit does the idea of Mike Riley staying to coach 2018 take? Ideally, you have some manner of device that can keep you up-to-the-minute on Nebraska sports news. You may need it for the foreseeable future.

Comment below or keep up with the author by following Brandon on Twitter at @eightlaces

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. BMW

    October 11, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    It seems to be our pattern to find the right coach, give them an unrealistic task to build a program in three years and boot them out because they didn’t achieve a national championship. It’s been a statistical fact that a 9 win season isn’t good enough, but unfortunately this continual pattern of coaching turnover has sent our football program into mediocrity.
    As fans, I’m very disappointed that we boo’d during a football game. We’ve been known as the fans that cheer the visiting team whether we win or lose.
    So now the thought of losing Mike Riley for any reason is just deflating. We as Husker fans should be supportive to a young team. We have new coaches each year, this year a new defensive scheme injured players, lack of depth. Not to mention the firing of the Athletic director.
    Please, someone try and get the fans fired up for the right reasons. Bring back pride in our University and show the country that we support our team win or lose, not belittle it. The bad comments, bad fans and disgruntled fans hurt recruiting the very thing that will build our football program.
    Be the great fans and our players will have more self confidence, want to achieve things they may not have the ability to do. Give them the confidence to learn and grow.

    We need to be better fans.
    Life long Husker fan.
    Go Big Red!!

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