Some quick thoughts on the Huskers.
- September 19, 2009, 16-15 loss to Virginia Tech – Nebraska settles for five field goals when the offense continually stalls. This despite getting field position at times in the game. Two turnovers for the Huskers, none for Virginia Tech. Game should be put away, but instead Virginia Tech pulls out a victory in the end.
- October 24, 2009, 9-7 loss to Iowa State – Nebraska ends the game with more turnovers (eight) than points (seven). They manage to turn it over four times when inside Iowa State’s five yard line. My “favorite” is the bewildering Niles Paul fumble when was going in for the score. Can’t remember? Just watch this video. (Benny Hill theme is appropriate.)
- December 5, 2009, 13-12 loss to Texas – People remember the end of the game, but what about before? Nebraska’s game plan seemed to be run the ball and hope we end up in position for Alex Henery to kick a field goal. Huskers end the game with 106 yards of total offense and threw three interceptions. Three of their field goal scoring drives went for 13 yards, 9 yards and -1 yard. And don’t forget on Texas’ final drive, they get the ball at their 40 after the Huskers’ kickoff was out of bounds.
- October 16, 2010, 20-13 loss to Texas – The offense showed nothing. 202 yards of total offense, five fumbles and losing one of them. The only Huskers touchdown was a fluke, Eric Hagg return off of a missed Texas field goal late in the game.
- November 20, 2010, 9-6 loss to Texas A&M – Huskers rack up a respectable 306 yards of total offense, but also have two turnovers. Martinez was hurt in this game, but the injury also showed there was no real offensive plan when Martinez isn’t at 100%. Offense stalls again and again.
- December 4, 2010, 23-20 loss to Oklahoma – Huskers race out to a 17-0 lead, but then stall again on offense. Four turnovers, reliance on a gimpy QB and big plays, plays right into the hands of the Oklahoma defense. The turnovers in the first half takeaway a probably Huskers FG and give Oklahoma a FG. A six point swing, the difference in the game. Fourth quarter the offense, due to play calling and decision making, took themselves out of field goal range.
In those six Huskers’ losses, the team had twenty turnovers. That’s averaging over three a game.
What is frustrating is the Blackshirts of 2009 and 2010 have been some of the best defensive units in the history of the Huskers. (The 2009 unit being legendary due to Ndamukong Suh.) In the six listed losses, the defense played great. Two of the losses, they held the opponent to single digits. They played well, even when the offense did them no favors and put them in a bad position. And the offense? They beat themselves. It’s not a good sign when you can make an argument that the best Huskers’ player on offense the past two years is the kicker. And that’s nothing against Alex Henery, who is probably going to have a long NFL career. The offense needed to be better. Will it be?
People can say “defense wins championships”, but Husker fans know better. The past two years the Huskers had one of the best defenses around, but they have no conference or national championships to show for it. It takes an offense as well.