The Nebraska Cornhuskers secured their first win of the season, as they defeated North Dakota 38-17.
However, that victory was a lot closer than the final score indicated. At halftime, the two teams were actually tied 7-7. Once again, Scott Frost and Nebraska’s coaching staff made some questionable decisions. Inexplicably, they attempted an onside kick with the lead in the third quarter. Special teams’ play, in general, was a complete mess.
Nevertheless, the Cornhuskers’ offense got into a rhythm in the second half, and they were able to cruise to victory.
Let’s take a look at two key statistics from Saturday’s game.
Nebraska: 244 rushing yards
Led by Anthony Grant, Nebraska’s rushing attack was firing on all cylinders. Grant had 23 carries for 189 yards and two touchdowns. True freshman Ajay Allen also had a strong showing rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Many questions linger about Nebraska’s offense moving forward, but Grant and Allen should continue to be a dynamic backfield combo.
North Dakota: 36:01 time of possession
Defensively, the Cornhuskers struggled to stop the Fighting Hawks’ offense. Although the Fighting Hawks only scored 17 points, the Cornhuskers failed to quickly stop their drives. Tackling, in particular, stood out as a problem.
In the first half, the Fighting Hawks controlled the pace of the game. This is a continuation of a disturbing trend. Last week, Northwestern also controlled the time possession at 34:14. In the fourth quarter, Northwestern was able to effectively run the ball and take time off the clock.
For the Cornhuskers to have a successful season, their defense will need to improve immediately and get stops when it matters most.
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