Nebraska just put a dent in the national championship aspirations of the Tigers by winning 31-17. Roy Helu Jr. had the greatest rushing performance in Nebraska football history. He had broken the record, which stood nearly two decades, of 294 yards by Calvin Jones in 1991. He had some impressive games (100+ yards), but to see this coming was a different story. He finished the day with 306 yards and three rushing touchdowns. The most impressive part of his runs was the ability to make cuts and identify open holes. This opened him up for three long (50+) touchdown runs, something that is a rarity these days.
Because of the early 24-0 lead by the Cornhuskers, Taylor Martinez was just put in the position of game manager. Bo Pelini just told him to keep handing it off and not make mistakes. This is why he just threw for nine times the week after throwing five touchdowns. It showed me that Martinez could adapt to situation no matter who gets the spotlight. He had one touchdown pass to Kyler Reed for 40 yards. The line deserves credit even though it gave up three sacks. Consistently, it has proven itself in both the passing game and the rushing.
As for the defensive unit, Brian Gabbert was the offense. The passing was inefficient accounting for an under 500-completion ratio. It was hard for Gabbert to get into a rhythm due the lack of a running game. The absence of the passing and running game both negatively affected each other. In turn, nothing really got going. During the two touchdown drives, Missouri would play good defense the first two plays. Then, when it came to getting off the field, it gave up a third down conversion. Probably, that was the only mishap in Saturday’s game. Barring any upset, it looks like Nebraska will represent the North in the Big 12 Championship game.
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Written by Darshan Patel