Sometimes a sequence of games, a quarter, or even a whole game can be a microcosm for a program on a larger scale.
This was the case when Nebraska finished 14th against Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. In the College Football Playoffs ranking and a Big Ten West opponent, the Huskers spent most of their term in the pursuit of conferences ,
There were many moments during a 37-21
When it hit first and went 7-0. When Adrian Martinez in the second quarter with 14: 10 rumbled into the end zone. When the Huskers marched down the field at the beginning of the third quarter and squeezed the ball onto UW's 15-yard line, it looked like a team would be ready to score another and almost six points from a top The 25th program was aimed at seeking a conference championship.
After each of these moments, the teams in this league simply could not make more mistakes if they wanted to win consistently, especially in teams where key players like Nebraska were injured on Saturday defensive line players Darrion Daniels and Carlos Davis, as well as broad receiver Wan & # 39; Dale Robinson. The kind of mistakes teams can not make if they do not have the talent to overwhelm opponents.
The kind of mistakes that have become all too familiar to Nebraska this season, especially during a recent defeat of four games, the Huskers dropped to 4-6 overall, playing 2-5 in Big Ten, and eliminating the edge of postseason elimination to go two games and two wins required for the bowl eligibility.
"I'm tired of looking for silver streaks," said head coach Scott Frost. "This team has to decide what it needs to do to change it, and we had a chance today."
After NU took over the early lead and relied on a fiddle by UW star Jonathan Taylor, his kickoff team stumbled. A lazy, short kick-off set up the wide-bred receiver Aron Cruickshank with all sorts of options, and he ripped through the middle of the Husker reporting unit before bouncing back to the right sideline on an 89-yard scoring return.
"When you go If you are seven and you have all the momentum and kick a high ball (11 yards) and give up a kick return, you've just lost the chance to take control of the game keep, "said Frost.
NU took the lead back in the second quarter behind an efficient five-yard five-yard run that included Martinez's 23-yard close to the narrow end of Jack Stoll and 14 yards to broad receiver JD Spielman, and culminated in a bloody Martinez run of 2 yards, but the Huskers' attacks soon subsided. UW quarterback Jack Coan found AJ Taylor to be a nice winner, leading to a 55-yard touchdown when linebacker JoJo Domann and defenders Dicaprio Bootle and Marquel Dismuke did not bring him down.
Spell for the Badgers over 16:49 of the season in the second and third quarter, which put the control of the game irreversibly in the hands of the visiting team.
After NU had immediately shut down the field to start the third quarter, his defense forced a three-and-all to start the frame while a buzz sneaked back into the stadium – the quarterback stalled. Martinez, who bravely fought – "Adrian played like the Adrian we know," said Frost – making one of his only critical mistakes in the game. He did not manage to throw the ball away or escape the grip of the experienced UW full back Zach Baun and took a 20-yard bag, leading to a second and a 30.
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"I wanted to throw the ball away," said Martinez, who finished 220 yards with a 13-of-23, shot up 89 net yards and made two touchdowns. "That was my goal and I just have to get better. Whether it's about throwing away the ball early or finding a way to make it happen. It is inexcusable. "
Two games later, the second kicker Barret Pickering missed a try with a field goal of 41 meters. What could have been a six-point or four-point lead instead swelled to 20 as UW marched 76 yards in nine games – eight in a hurry – and Taylor a touchdown of 11 yards for a 34-14 lead With 3:19 home struck whereabouts in the third quarter.
Much of what went wrong in Nebraska is what went wrong during the frosty second season of frost. The missed duels. Three rides in the second half within the 25-yard UW line, which were empty. The missed field goal and two failed fourth downs in the fourth quarter. The unit's special team made a serious mistake – the kick-return score – and minor bugs, including a questionable day-punting and a badly-informed kick-kick for opening the game, which cost 11 yards straight away.
"This Game It felt like you saw the game as if you had played along and you feel we can win this game," said senior linebacker Mohamed Barry. I thought this would happen, we have to win all three phases, we have to play critical games in all three phases, and we can not let them beat us in all three phases.