Rapid Reaction: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 24
November 2, 2013
What went right:
Senior quarterback Kain Colter was a man on a mission throughout the game in Lincoln. He slid off tacklers and constantly made plays to keep drives alive. Colter said earlier this week he wasn’t feeling 100 percent coming into today’s game, but he showed no signs of injury.
Junior running back Treyvon Green wore his superman cape Saturday. He handled the majority of carries on the ground and flourished. Green scored 3 touchdowns in the first half and continued his strong performance into the second half, running for almost 150 yards in the game.
A lot of credit also goes to the offensive line and wide receivers, who gave great blocks for Green and Colter to run in the first half.
The Cats were finally able to force multiple turnovers thanks to great plays from a combination of people. Junior linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo, who has been arguably the best defender on the field for the Cats in the past two weeks, was the first to record an interception. Ariguzo later made key stops on third down to force punts from the Cornhuskers.
What went wrong:
The injuries continue to pile up for the Cats.
Redshirt freshman running back Stephen Buckley suffered what looked like a serious left knee injury and had to be carted off the field. NU had only two healthy running backs coming in to the game, but the question now will be who can help Green in two weeks against Michigan.
Sophomore cornerback Nick VanHoose also left the game in the first half with an undisclosed injury and did not return. Junior left tackle Jack Konopka temporarily left the game with an injury but returned later.
The bye week could not have come at a better time.
The Cats' passing game has really stalled the past few weeks. The struggles of junior quarterback Trevor Siemian continued in Lincoln. He threw a momentum-changing interception, which was returned for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Wide receivers also had a hard time getting open when Colter was in the game, making him a sitting duck in the pocket. The offense needs to have balance in order to succeed.
What it means:
Absolute heartbreak. The Cats are still free falling, and nothing seems to be able to catch them. NU continues to find ways to lose games in a season that has disappointed so many fans. Bowl eligibility just got that much harder to obtain with only three games left and two wins needed.
The Cats will have to somehow find a way to regroup in their bye week and get a win against Michigan at home.
— John Paschall