For the first three quarters I was disgusted with the Huskers’ performance on offense and special teams. Yeah, the conditions were bad to play in, but doesn’t excuse the poor execution on offense and special teams. Turnovers, a safety and no clue whatsoever on offense. Even more frustrating was the great play of the defense seemingly about to go to waste. They singlehandedly kept Nebraska in this game the first three quarters. Ndamukong Suh and the rest of the defensive line were beasts.
At the end of the third quarter I had pretty much given up hope. I tweeted that Nebraska couldn’t overcome the 12 point deficit the way the offense had been playing. There seemed to be no plan on offense. Zac Lee looked out of sorts and I began to think if Nebraska loses then what does that hold for the rest of the season? Lee had looked promising early in the season, so much so that I thought he was the best Husker QB since Eric Crouch. However, after three quarters of ineffective, and quite frankly horrible play on his part, I began to wonder if it wouldn’t hurt to put Cody Green in to give the team a spark. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
Lee connects with Niles Paul for a 54 yard touchdown, and just like that Nebraska is back in the game. Missouri gets the ball and then Suh intercepts Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. It was only a matter of a time for an interception. I think the Huskers had dropped four of them before Suh’s interception. Huskers have the ball deep in Missouri’s territory, and right away they score a touchdown on another Lee to Paul connection. In less than a minute of play, the Huskers took the lead on Missouri just when it seemed Missouri was going to close it out.
Missouri gets the ball back, and Gabbert throws another interception. Huskers return it deep into Missouri territory. Lee throws another touchdown pass, in which he stands and takes the hit as he delivers the touchdown pass. It was this throw that made me feel foolish for doubting him earlier. (What can I say, I am irrational when it comes to the Huskers.) Lee throughout the game was smiling and showing that he wasn’t affected by the conditions, crowd or poor play. He was confident, and that showed when he was slinging touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after he was slinging incompletions the first three quarters.
Huskers defense stops Missouri on offense and then puts the nail in the coffin with another touchdown. Ballgame. Quick thoughts…
- Safe to say the Blackshirts have been earned now.
- Nebraska wins on the road against a ranked team for the first time in a long time. Too long.
- Missouri’s loss returns them back to the middle of the Big 12 pack. Hope you enjoyed the Pedersen-Callahan years to the fullest, Missouri, because that is in the past.
- Ndamukong Suh, All-American.
- I think Nebraska jumps to around #15 in the polls.
- Stats aren’t pretty, but Lee’s moxie helped lead Nebraska back.
- Hope Helu’s apparent shoulder injury isn’t serious.
- That might have been Blaine Gabbert’s best chance at beating the school he was originally committed to.
- Glad Niles Paul had those touchdown catches. Made me forget his issues on receiving kicks early in the game.
- Alex Henery saved Nebraska 5 points on the bad snap. Him not letting Missouri tackle him with the ball in the endzone was big.
- Seriously, the Huskers defense is stout!
Like I said, I’m an irrational Huskers football fan. The win was enjoyable. Great feeling to have the Huskers winning games like this again, to see them dominate on defense. And, dominate in the fourth quareter like they use to in wearing down teams and putting them away.
Unlike in 2007 when the Red Sox were a respite from the Huskers, I am unconcerned about the Red Sox loss earlier in the evening. The Huskers won a big game and have asserted themselves back into the national picture in college football after too long an absence. They are a legitimate top 20 team.
Go Big Red!