Nebraska drops opener to the Buffaloes – Recap
Nebraska’s history with Colorado is chalked full of terrific games and head coach Scott Frost’s first game as a coach was a back and forth affair. At the end of the day, the Huskers couldn’t pull a rabbit out of the hat and fell to the Buffaloes at home, 33-28.
Catch the recap here:
The game started off with a fizzle for the Huskers as they marched 62-yards down the field to the Buffaloes 13-yard line on their opening drive. Newcomer Greg Bell ripped off a few short 3-yard runs before a 10-yard run would end the drive in a fumble.
Colorado’s quarterback Steven Montez would take over at his own 13-yard line and lead the Buffs down the field on an 8 play, 86-yard drive, capped with a short touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jay MacIntyre.
Looking for redemption, Husker QB Adrian Martinez started things off with a short 5-yard pass to Stanley Morgan Jr but would turn over the ball over in a fumble while diving for extra yards.
With an opportunity to take an early lead, Colorado QB Montez took over at the Huskers 24-yard line and led his troops down the field on a quick 4 play scoring drive to extend the Buffs lead to 14-0.
Letting the Buffs jump out to a fast early lead Frost turned to the ground game for redemption for the rest of the night. Rushing the ball consistently after that point, the Huskers answered back with 21 unanswered points until the buffs kicked a 40-yard field goal with 0:28 left in the first half.
Two Husker turnovers in the first half led directly to 14 of CU’s 17 points and the Huskers playing from behind for most of the half. After giving up the first two scores, the Husker defense ratcheted down, allowing just 36 yards in the second quarter but would come out slow after halftime after leading 21-17.
In the third quarter, the Buffaloes would grind out an opening drive of 12 play and 55-yards culminating in a 35-yard field goal from 31 yr old kicker James Stefanou.
After a couple of back and forth punts, Nebraska’s offense found its footing after a 57-yard bomb from Adrian Martinez to sophomore J.D. Spielman. J.D. had beat the CU defender by a step and Martinez put the ball over his outside shoulder allowing him to catch the ball with ease and coast into the end zone.
The Huskers seemed to have grabbed the momentum at that point. On the previous CU drive, the Buffs netted -8 yards on 3 plays and the Husker defense appeared to being back to their ways of the second quarter.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. Montez would reel off an 11 play, 75-yard drive ending in a touchdown that would close the Huskers lead to a single point, 27-28.
The fourth quarter would turn into a suspenseful one for the Huskers. Holding a 1-point lead, Nebraska had a chance to extend their lead to 4 points but a missed 43-yard field goal from freshman Barret Pickering would keep Colorado in the game.
What would a thriller with longtime rival Colorado be without a little drama? Colorado would put kicker James Stefanou in to try a 37-yard field goal from the right hash and a two-point lead. With Memorial Stadium rocking he would pull the kick hard to the left, missing it wide and letting the Huskers hold onto a lead.
With a chance to extend the lead, Adrian Martinez made his first true mistake of the game as he rolled to his left and threw an interception to a Colorado defender sitting back in a zone defense.
Colorado would take back over with great field position but another missed kick by James Stefanou gave the Huskers another chance to rally for the win.
With a 1-point lead, the Huskers lost quarterback Adrian Martinez for the rest of the game as he ran into one of his own linemen and got folded up. He would come out of the game with four and a half minutes left in the game, replaced by sophomore Andrew Bunch.With time becoming a precious commodity Andrew Bunch would find JD Spielman along the sideline in range of a first down and the ability to ice the game, but a bobbled ball led to an incompletion and punt by Caleb Lightbourne.
Feeling opportunity knocking, Colorado began to march down the field. A big sack from linebacker Luke Gifford had the Huskers in great shape to take back the ball and burn the final two minutes of the clock off but an unnecessary roughness penalty would grant the Buffs new life.
Montez found wide receiver Lavis Shenault one play later on a perfectly thrown 40-yard bomb over the head of DiCaprio Bootle. The touchdown would grant CU a 33-28 lead after the Husker defense sniffed out the two-point conversion on the try.
Nebraska would get a final shot after a poorly squibbed kick and a nice 25-yard throw from Andrew Bunch to Stanley Morgan Jr would put the Huskers in the red zone with less than a minute to play. A short pass to Greg Bell and three subsequent incomplete passes would seal the Huskers fate, 33-28
Colorado vs. Nebraska
(9/8/2018 at Lincoln, Neb.)
|NET YARDS RUSHING||44||329|
|Average Per Rush||1.3||6.1|
|Yards Gained Rushing||99||354|
|Yards Lost Rushing||55||25|
|NET YARDS PASSING||351||236|
|Average Per Attempt||7||8.1|
|Average Per Completion||10.6||12.4|
|TOTAL OFFENSIVE YARDS||395||565|
|Total offensive plays||85||83|
|Average Gain Per Play||4.6||6.8|
|Average Yards Per Punt||43.4||42.7|
|Net Yards Per Punt||43.8||39.3|
|Average Yards Per Kickoff||57.9||64.8|
|Net Yards Per Kickoff||50.6||55.8|
|Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD||2-10-0||3–2-0|
|Average Per Return||5||-0.7|
|Kickoff returns: Number-Yards-TD||2-51-0||3-45-0|
|Average Per Return||25.5||15|
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yards||2-0||–|
|Third-Down Conversions||6 of 18||5 of 13|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||2 of 3||0 of 3|
|Red Zone Scores-Chances||4 of 5||2 of 3|
|Field Goals||1 of 2||0 of 0|
|Sacks By: Number-Yards||2-12||7-43|
|Field Goals||2 of 4||0 of 1|
|Points off turnovers|
Colorado vs. Nebraska
(9/8/2018 at Lincoln, Neb.)
FUMBLES: Colorado- . Nebraska- Adrian Martinez 2-1 Greg Bell 1-1 .
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