It's 20/20 hindsight that makes it easy to discuss what went wrong during and leading up to the game versus Football Championship Subdivision South Dakota State for #6 Nebraska. Let's look back over the week and see what our 20/20 vision holds. You might start with coach Bo Pelini's weekly press conference when he expressed disappointment for having to subject the paying fans to playing a subdivision team. You might even look out west to the Vegas sports books, that weren't offering a line for the game until the night before game day, perhaps because they couldn't imagine a number high enough to entice bettors to take the underdog (-41.5).
I'm going to start with the cover of the Omaha World Hearld sports page Saturday covered from top to bottom with images of blue, gold, and white SDSU frosted cupcakes. The national media's weekly preview coverage skipped over the game with a wave of the hand expecting a blow out and added a little criticism against the Huskers for "not playing anybody." And then my own feelings of always cautious and reserve changing after hearing the Badgers annihilating Austin Peay 70-3, I couldn't help but shine with enthusiasm because we would be doing the same thing to our opponent. Yep, we overlooked them, under appreciated their drive to compete, and definitely didn't think they would have the gall to actually play hard and we did this the whole week leading up to the game and then fell asleep during it.
Even though South Dakota State misplaced the lay down and roll over memo, it doesn't excuse the lack luster performance the Huskers displayed in the 17-3 victory. Taylor Martinez fumbled on the first play of the game and this seemed to set the offensive tone for the rest of the game. The offense that put up 56 points and over 500 yards on Washington was no place to be found. The next great Husker quarterback finished on the bench after throwing two interceptions. None of the three headed rushing attack, Martinez, Helu, or Burkhead finished with over a 100 yards rushing. The spectacular offensive line from weeks one, two,and three were outplayed by undersized defensive lineman. It seemed like they just wanted it more and we were looking ahead to conference play.
Thankfully the defense did play well allowing only 236 total yards and 3 points. Lead by linebacker Lavonte David, the defense did a good job of tightening up in the red zone and keeping SDSU out of the end zone. They did have some trouble stopping SDSU running back Kyle Minnett who gained 112 yards on the ground. The pass defense played consistently tough allowing only 95 passing yards. It appears your not going to be able to pass on this defense.
So should we panic because Nebraska had a poor outing and only won by 14 points? I say no. Every team has a week or two during the season that is a let down, where they don't score as many points, or perform up to expectations. It's how the team bounces back that counts. According to Bo they should be fresh for practice during the off week because, "We should be pretty fresh. We had the day off today."
Share your thoughts on week 4 below in the comments section. Red vs Red.