“I’m proud of our team right now,” a surprisingly upbeat Scott Frost said after the game. “I told the team [that] sometimes when you’re sick; you really got to puke it out.”
The metaphor, though accurate as it may be, doesn’t make one associate Nebraska football with positivity. But that’s exactly what Frost is espousing after the game, and it’s not too hard to see why.
Sophomore wide receiver J.D. Spielman had an explosive night, going off for 209 yards on nine receptions and a touchdown. Stanley Morgan also had a great game, hauling in eight catches for 93 yards.
On top of his rushing efforts which were good enough for 27 yards on five carries, Washington contributed significantly to the pass game, catching four passes for 53 yards.
Without true freshman Adrian Martinez’s solid effort as signal caller, none of this would have been possible. Martinez scored three total touchdowns and did not throw a single interception. Through the air, Martinez had a monstrous total of 384 yards.
Despite all of that, Nebraska lost the game by 17 points, 41-24 “We weren’t many plays away from being in a game with that [Wisconsin] team,” Frost said. Penalties certainly didn’t help matters, as Nebraska picked up 10 of them for 100 yards.
“Long range, we need more guys that can make the type of plays to help us win this game but, the guys we got are plenty capable of winning games this year,” Frost said. “We’re close.”
Nebraska lost two players to transfer this week, running back Greg Bell and wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey, so it’ll be up to Nebraska’s young starters and the veterans who have been with the team through numerous coaching staffs to salvage something out of this season.
The good news is that Nebraska had a couple of players step up against Wisconsin. Isaac Armstrong, a Lincoln native, replaced Caleb Lightbourn on punt duty in the middle of the game. Armstrong’s two punts averaged out at 53.5 yards per attempt.
That would be good enough to secure the second best yards-per-attempt average in all of the FBS if Armstrong met the attempts threshold.
With linebacker Will Honas unavailable with a season ending injury, Jacob Weinmaster getting more reps to fill that gap. “I love the kid. He’s going to play his butt off for us,” Frost said. “He’s what we got at middle linebacker right now. We’re going to ride with him because he does the right thing and plays hard.”
Nebraska will have a chance to win their first game of the season as they had back on the road to face Northwestern. The Wildcats just beat a ranked Michigan State squad, and will prove to be a tough opponent. That game is set to kickoff at 11 A.M.
(Photo Credit: Kenny Larabee)