Michigan State 27
For the last decade, us as Husker fans have all probably said this quote at least once, "I just want the team to be competitive and not get embarrassed on national television." I have said that many times, and heard others say it as well. I've always thought to myself, "How do I know I would act cool and calm if they lost with dignity?" Because losing sucks...a lot. I often think "Would I be able to be ok with a big game loss that we at least are competitive in?"
Saturday night in East Lansing put these thoughts to test for the first time.
This was NOT a blowout loss. Although the Huskers didn't look good for 3 quarters, they had a chance to win the game late. Alonzo Moore almost drank for free in Lincoln for the rest of his life, when he almost hauled in a touchdown catch with less than a minute left. They were there, they had a chance.
Michigan State's defensive line beat the piss out of Nebraska's offensive line. They easily could have quit, like Bo's teams have done in the past. But not this team, they did not quit. So after all these years of wanting to not get boat raced in big games, I think I have my first chance to walk away from a big game loss feeling.......OK?
Moral victories are stupid, they're dumb, they're friggin so stupid and dumb and Ahhhhhhh I hate em!!! But you know what sucks worse than moral victories?
Ohio State game- 63-38
B1G championship, Wisconsin 70-31
Those games sucked a lot more than Michigan State did. This game sucked and in no way am I feeling good about this loss.
I should have known my day was going to suck when smokeshow Katy Perry was scheduled to be on ESPN's College Gameday. At first I thought, "This will be great, a beautiful singer talking about football! No better way to start off this big day." Then towards the end of the show I was smacked in the face with disappointment. The smoking hot Katy Perry who usually looks like this...
She showed up looking like this.
I couldn't have been the only person disappointed in that right? That sweater SCREAMS, "You're offensive line is going to play like sh*t!"
That being said, I have felt a lot worse after losses before, and this season is in no way over. Hell, Nebraska could play them again in the B1G championship and who knows what would happen then. The stats of this game make Katy Perry's sweater look good, brace yourselves...
- Ameer Abdullah took a GIANT step back in the Heisman race. He ran the ball 24 times and gained 45 yards with 2 touchdowns. He had a whooping 1.88 yards per carry. I'm not sure what hurts more. Saying that stat out loud, or my Jaegermeister soaked brain right now. Let's just say they both suck equally.
- The offense did not "execute" on Saturday night. Out of the 82 offensive plays they ran, 37 of those were rushing plays. They had 47 yards rushing on the night! 1.3 yard per carry. That 47 yards rushing is the lowest by a Nebraska offense since the 2007 USC game (31 yards). I need to apologize to the players on the 90's offensive line for referring to this years O line as a new version of the pipeline. That was my fault, I'll eat crow on that one.
- The Blackshirts had some good and bad moments. But they are the only reason this game ended up being close. They held MSU's offense scoreless for the entire fourth quarter. Michigan States QB, Connor Cook, threw the ball 29 times with only 11 completions, one touchdown, and one interception. Forcing one of the best QB's in the country to have a bad night like that should have helped Nebraska win the game. The offense screwed up what could have been an awesome night.
- Trevor Roach needs to be on the field as much as possible. He had a game high 18 tackles, 4 for loss of yards. So far this year Josh Banderas has been a disappointment on and off the field. It seems like at times Banderas looks slow and overmatched out there. When a linebacker can't make tackles, you have big problems.
- Four times the Blackshirts gave the offense the ball in Sparty territory. The offense scored 7 points out of those 4 times. Michigan State turned the ball over 3 times, Nebraska could not get a single point off of those 3 turnovers. It is almost like we flashed back to 2009 for the first 3 quarters. Solid defense, horrible offense. It was also the 3rd straight game the Blackshirts forced 3 turnovers. Not bad considering, they had 1 takeaway total in the first 3 games. The Blackshirts are a force and they will keep us in most of the games through the rest of the year. The offense just needs to show up every game.
- Tommy Armstrong is now 12-2 as a starter at Nebraska. Both losses are by the hands of Michigan State. That really is a shame. Quit beating our quarterback ya jerks. Tommy looked very rattled at times, but was also key in the comeback efforts. I saw some rumblings online about people saying bench Tommy and put in Ryker Fyfe. Did somebody slip something into one of my rally Jager bombs? That had to be a joke right? Tommy is a sophomore quarterback who should not get benched because he looks a little shaky in a big game on the road. C'mon peeps! (By the way, don't knock the power of the rally shot. You guys think it was Martinez and Burkhead who brought us back against Wisconsin at home in 2012? Hahaha, yeah right. It was me and the bros doing rally shots shortly after the Huskers went down by 17 points. It works, it's science.)
- De'Mornay Pierson-El is a damn good punt returner. After getting hosed earlier in the game on a "fair catch" signal that he could have housed. He took one late in the game to the promise land. The true freshman probably isn't shaving yet, and he leads the country in punt return yards with 334.
The Good: The fight they showed. The Huskers almost wiped out a 24 point lead to stay in the undefeated column, but it didn't happen. Does that suck? Absolutely! However, they did do something that a lot of Bo Pelini coached teams have not done in the past...they kept fighting. They did not get embarrassed like we've seen so many times. They almost won the game. After what I saw Saturday night, I'm confident they can run the table from here on out in B1G division play. I'd say that's improvement.
The Bad: The offensive line was a joke. Not like a funny joke that Anthony Jeselnik or Nick Swardson tell. They were an uncomfortable, bad Carrot Top joke. They did not play well. Actually, they played bad. They were embarrassing, and not just in the run block, they were equally bad in the pass block. Also, on a communication level. When Pelini wasn't snapping the ball to Tommy while he wasn't ready for it, Alex Lewis was missing a block or getting a bonehead penalty. I have to believe that they took HUGE steps backwards in the "process" Saturday night.
Also this happened:
The pipe dream College Football Playoff goal is now gone. Ameer Abdullah's Heisman hope took a big hit. The offense looked bad for most of the night. The defense gave up big plays. The one glimmer of sunshine to come out of this loss is that the B1G championship is not out of reach. In fact, I'd say after Saturday, Nebraska is the front runner to win the West division and make it to Indy. Thank God we have a bye week to get healthy and regroup before going to play the momentum filled Northwestern Wildcats. The Huskers CANNOT lose to them. Otherwise, a once promising season will end up looking worse than Katy Perry's game day attire.
P.S. I think she had fun down in Oxford.