In what would be a tale of two halves the Huskers weren’t able to steal away a win from the Ducks in a game that featured two completely different defenses.
It was a Dr Jekyll and Hyde performance from a Nebraska defense that gave up 42 points and 409 yards of offense in the first half and then turned around shut out the Ducks in the second half relinquishing 157 yards. Their inability to get stops on multiple 3rd and longs allowed the Oregon Ducks to slip past the Huskers n front of 15,000 or so Husker faithful.
Fans heard all week that the new 3-4 defense installed by Bob Diaco is meant to prevent teams from ripping off big plays and was still under wraps but that didn’t stop the Ducks from ripping off 7 big plays of 20 yards or more in the first half.
The Blackshirts allowed the Ducks to march down the field for touchdowns on six of their first seven drives before finally tightening the screws in the second half. The Husker defense allowed only one play of great than 20 yards in the second half in a designed quarterback keeper that Herbert used to keeps the Ducks alive in the fourth quarter.
Tanner Lee and the Husker offense didn’t do the defense any favors in the first half either, tossing an interception on the first Husker drive of the game left the ball deep in Husker territory and the Ducks quickly converted the opportunity into 7 points to take an immediate 14-0 lead.
Not one to panic, Tanner Lee walked the Huskers down the field on their next two drives tossing a touchdown pass to De’Mornay Pierson-El and then letting Tre Bryant pound the rock but the offense would stall out on the next for Husker drives heading into halftime.
At halftime, the Huskers faced what appeared to be an insurmountable deficit at 42-14 but Tanner Lee coolly walked the Huskers down the field on consecutive drives with touchdown passes to Stanley Morgan capping both drives with a punctuation mark.
Coach Diaco defense finally woke up as well limiting the Ducks to just one big play in the second half and forced an interception, recovered an Antonio Reed fumble, a turnover on downs, and a missed 44-yard field goal by Schneider to give the Huskers life.
The Husker offense would manage just one more touchdown on a 4 yard Mikale Wilbon run and would come up short in the 4th quarter as the Ducks picked off Tanner Lee for the 4th time to end the game.
Husker fans will be kicking themselves for the rest of the weekend as the team played a beautiful second half but just could get over the finish line to end it.
It will be another rough week for the Husker faithful but the team has a home game next weekend against Northern Illinois before they kick off the Big 10 season against Rutgers in Memorial Stadium.
/ 2 months ago
This week, the Cousins reflect upon what could have been a win at Northwestern....