When I was a little kid, I shared a room with my older brother. One afternoon, my father said it was time for naps. We went to our room and got tucked into our warm beds with the sun still glaring through the window. But, once my father closed the door we decided it wasn't nap time after all. We got out of bed and started playing with our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and partying the way 4-6 year olds do. Then it happened... the old man busted through the door and we had been caught red handed like a Florida State football player during a bye week. My late father, God bless him, did what he and many other parents did back then to punish their children. He gave us spankings. Not crazy, leave welts, Adrian Peterson spankings, but he gave us some regular dad spankings, the ones kids used to get 30 years ago. And guess what happened after the spankings were handed out? We changed our nap time toy playing schemes, and he never caught us again.
What the hell does this have to do with the Nebraska vs. Wisconsin game? Bo Pelini's Huskers get yearly spankings in big games. Yet they are not willing to adjust the game play schemes. I was 4 years old and I adjusted in the game of life better than a 46 year old Bo does during a football game.
The Huskers jumped out to a 17-3 lead, and Husker nation was happier than North Carolina Basketball players on report card day. Hell, after the second fumble of the day by Melvin Gordon, I even jumped on twitter and did the sin of all sins. I proclaimed that Melvin Gordon wasn't the best running back in the game (I totally ate my words, literally moments after my tweet).
Then the flood gates opened, and everything I thought about this Cornhusker team changed. One of my main arguments for this team all year has been leadership. I thought Abdullah, Kenny Bell, and Tommy Armstrong were better leaders than any of the Bo teams of the past. I was proven wrong on Saturday. None of them showed up in the biggest game of the year. The most disappointing of the 3 being Abdullah. Two fumbles by the senior, best offensive player on the team, on the road, is just not good enough.
Bo Pelini consistently getting boat raced in big games is getting real old. I'm officially not enjoying "the process" anymore. And I'm starting to wonder why all those players aren't "executing" like they should? Who's job is it to get them to "execute" better? It's on Bo, and his staff. This game was almost play for play the same game as the UCLA game last year. Huskers jump out to a big lead. All is right in the world, but then our opponents make adjustments.
Once Wisconsin found the right play to run against the "Blackshirts," it was over. Why is that? Last year during the UCLA game I happened to be standing right behind UCLA's bench. You know what I saw when UCLA was down big? Jim Mora not looking at the UCLA offense on the field. He was with the defense, huddled around a dry erase board. He was making in-game adjustments. What happened after that was exactly what we saw Saturday, an equal or less talented opponent, out coach Nebraska. There have been more Ebola patients in America than there has been in-game adjustments under Bo Pelini. Unfortunately, I don't see the in-game adjustments changing any time soon. Hopefully, we get that Ebola thing under wraps.
The stats from this game are amazing (if your a Wisconsin fan).
Wisconsin averaged 9.8 yards per play. For God sake, 9.8! That is the second worst average a Bo Pelini defense has given up in a game (the first was also given up to Wisconsin).
Remember that time in 2009 when the Blackshirts (mostly Suh) stole a Heisman trophy from Colt Mccoy in 1 game? Well, this was the exact opposite. Melvin Gordon rushing the ball for an NCAA single game record, 408 yards, on 25 carries, just upped his Vegas odds on the Heisman. Before facing the Blackshirt defense, Gordon was a 20-1 shot to win the Heisman. After the game he is now a 2-1 to win it with Oregon QB, Marcus Merriota, being the only player with better odds. Take the Blackshirts away and don't give them back for the rest of the year. I'd also say, don't let Papuchis wear a black jacket, polo, tube top, whatever. He also doesn't deserve to wear anything close to a black shirt.
Melvin Gordon ran more than Forrest Gump on Saturday. He has to be tired.
Nebraska and Wisconsin ran the same amount of offensive plays on Saturday, 64. Nebraska gained only 180 yards in the entire game. Wisconsin put 627 on the board. I wonder if Nebraska can claim Melvin Gordon's Heisman as their own? They did helped earn it...
Kenny Bell had 2 receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown. With his first catch for a touchdown he broke the all time career receiving yards record at Nebraska, passing Johnny Rogers. That's an amazing accomplishment that was lost in the game because shortly after he caught that touchdown the Badgers dominated the game.
After being up 17-3 early in the game, the Badgers scored 56 unanswered points. Total embarrassment. Fifty-six points without the other team scoring, that's really hard to do. Blackshirts and the horrendous offense made it look easy.
Bo dropped his first "I don't point the finger, I point the thumb" quote of the year, after the game. Which, I guess, is improvement from last year. Considering it is game #10 and last year we heard that quote in game #3.
The Good: I'm not going to sugar coat anything about this game. It was hard to watch. The only good I can take from this game, is that it's over. On to the next one. Hopefully they can hold Minnesota's running back under the 200 yard mark. Hopefully...
The Bad: Everything. It all sucked. Qb play, offensive line, Wide Receivers, Defense as a whole, coaching on all sides of the ball, below freezing temperature...Everything about this game sucked! It's just another game that Nebraska underachieved in.
At this point, the season is over. Another year without a championship under Bo Pelini. Sure there are games left, and we will all watch and root for wins, but the ultimate goal of winning any type of championship is dead. I'm not really sure what the answer is to get the team over the 9 win hump? Whatever they've been doing the past 7 years, isn't working.
Written by: Cole Duncan
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