17-3: Not what you would expect from a Nebraska team who had rolled over Washington the week before. Its offense seemed to struggle all day especially with South Dakota State being one of the poorer rushing defenses in the country. SDSU was well coached out there. The Cornhuskers scored on consecutive possessions with the aid of a couple of long passes. Besides that, this team looked uninterested. After last game, the team was celebrating its 100-yard rushing performance. Not one of the players repeated that feat this week. 100-yards are hard to get, but it should make it easier when the opponent is SDSU.
Taylor Martinez jumped back to reality has he contributed with his share of mistakes. He had two interceptions, a fumble, and a big taunting penalty which no one was pleased about. Furthermore, he was off target with some of his passes. It didn’t help that the offensive line didn’t show up. Martinez will hopefully learn from them because Big 12 play is here next week. Another concern for Nebraska is punter Niles Paul. He is explosive and has the potential to be a game changer. In football, catching the ball is the first step. He fumbled for the fourth time in four games. He was lucked out when a teammate recovered. If he could just find a way to hold on to the ball, he would be more of a factor. I don’t know if it’s more coaching or extra practice on his part. I would like to see Nebraska reduce the times it puts the ball on the ground.
Let’s forget about the putrid effort of the offense. The majority (if not all) of the credit for this win goes to the Blackshirts. This defense loves to create turnovers, and it showed how. It accumulated two interceptions en route to only allowing three points. It also stopped them on critical third and fourth down plays to keep them out of the end zone. If I am a Nebraska fan, I am concerned and upset. Sure that ranking looks nice, but Texas (even with that loss to UCLA) and Oklahoma look very unforgiving. I’m sure Bo Pelini will be hard on them after this performance.
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Written by Darshan Patel