Nebraska football falls to Illinois

nebraska football

After Saturday, Nebraska football may regret bringing football back to the Big Ten.

The Huskers, favored by 16.5 points fell to the Illinois Fighting Illini 41-23. Memorial Stadium used to be a place teams feared to play. That has not been the case for quite some time. Illinois had not beaten Nebraska at Memorial Stadium in 96 years. Must that be repeated again, 96 years!

From the get-go, Nebraska had issues.

What happened?

Do we really even want to go over this game again? I am pretty sure Nebraska football would prefer not to relive this past Saturday or the past six years for that matter.

Firstly, let’s check out Nebraska’s first possession of the game. Luke McCaffrey attempted a “forward” pass to Wandale Robinson. The pass looked to be incomplete but was later ruled a fumble and recovered by Illinois. It appeared the Big Ten had decided to fly the officials down from the Purdue-Minnesota game the night before to officiate this contest.

In Nebraska’s next possession McCaffrey led the offense 71 yards for a score to tie the game up at seven apiece. This would be Nebraska’s only touchdown until six minutes remained in the third quarter. Illinois quickly answered, scoring three more touchdowns before the end of the half.

Illinois received the ball to start the second half. The Illinois offense was quickly shut out by Nebraska football forcing what appeared to be a three-and-out. What came next was one of the weirdest fake punts I have ever laid my eyes on. Blake Hayes seemed keen on punting the ball, yet Nebraska’s entire defensive line had run downfield.

With nobody pressuring the punter he simply scurried, and I do mean scurried for an Illinois first down.

Nebraska scored a touchdown and went into the fourth quarter trailing 38-17. McCaffrey had become less effective, and so it was Adrian Martinez’s turn to get thrown into the game. I have always put much of my belief in 2AM, and after a seven-play 58-yard drive the previous QB1 scored. This score pulled the Huskers within 18 points.

However, the Martinez comeback of the century wasn’t enough and the Huskers fell 41-23 to the mighty Illini of Illinois.

Key takeaways from Nebraska football loss

I have come to accept Nebraska may never again be the team I had grown up watching. Scott Frost has quite the job on his hands rebuilding a broken program. Firstly, let me tell you something, the Huskers have only scored 17 second half points in four games this season.

Secondly, Nebraska committed a total of five turnovers against Illinois. If any team commits five turnovers, I don’t care who you are, you may have difficulty winning that football game.

I would like to put all these issues on the coach, but in all honesty, it comes down to the players. Stupid mistakes can cost a team a game, and Nebraska seems to make plenty of those mistakes. I suffer from a condition in which no matter how bad the game ends up being, I can’t turn the TV off.

In conclusion, Husker Nation needs to see improvement, and so far they haven’t seen it from Nebraska football.

Photo by Sevoey Anderson | The Daily Nebraskan