Nebraska Cornhuskers: Tommy Armstrong throws 48 times in Huskers loss to Northwestern


The Nebraska Cornhuskers lost their fifth game of the season over the weekend. Although the Huskers are sitting at (3-5), they have been in every game this season. Unfortunately, this team hasn’t learned how to finish a game yet. The five losses are by a combined 13 points, and it seems like the team has not progressed one bit.

During their 30-28 loss to Northwestern, the Huskers out gained the Wildcats 373 to 333. However, the Huskers ran 86 plays to Northwestern’s 56. Despite the significant difference, the Huskers were playing from behind most of the day.

Tommy Armstrong completed 24/48 passes, for 291 yards and one touchdown. He also had a game-changing interception, leading directly to the Wildcats’ second touchdown of the day. The play gave the Wildcats a 14-5 lead, and turned out to be a devastating blow to a Huskers’ team trying to reach .500. Why? Because a team with little margin for error can’t afford horrific plays. At that point in the game, Northwestern had one big play on offense. The play not only gave the Wildcats a nine-point lead, it gave them confidence to win a critical Big Ten West road game.

Read More: First half woes crushed Nebraska hopes of a win

Armstrong led a scoring drive on the ensuing series to cut the lead to two, but it was too late. The inconsistency reared its ugly head, and the Huskers were in a fight for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, Nebraska was too involved with the passing game to bring the fight to the trenches. Sorry, but you’re not going to break a 65-yard run on the third play of every game. Saturday would have been the perfect time to bring out a heavy dose of the running game.

Against a Northwestern team that averaged five points in back to back losses, the Huskers should have been more than happy to trade body blows with the Northwestern defensive line. Nobody is disputing Nebraska’s inability to create big plays in the running game, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it seems. The Huskers lost 32 yards on plays, including 22 yards on sacks. The six yard loss by Imani Cross probably sticks out, but that was one play. It was a bad play. Yet, it wasn’t nearly as bad as gifting a team seven points. Especially when this team has trouble scoring.

While people will point out to Nebraska’s 2.2 yards per carry on Saturday, they decline to see 23 incomplete passes. That equates to 0.0 yards per play. The 24th incomplete pass was the 72-yard interception return for a touchdown.

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Last week, Armstrong did more with less. This week, the Huskers were in the mode of throwing it as much as possible. To be fair, there were a lot of dropped passes, but that is where play calling should come in. It’s not the first time the Huskers had trouble catching passes. It probably won’t be the last. In addition, the screen game was terrible in all facets. However, some will say it’s better than establishing the run.

For Nebraska, their offense should never have more pass attempts than rushing attempts. It feels like it’s a curse if the Huskers run more than 40 times in a game. Here are the numbers in the losses.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers average 35 rushing attempts in the losses this season. Meanwhile, they throw the ball 41 times per game during these defeats. However, the Huskers did run the ball 37 times vs Wisconsin, while only passing 28 times. Still, Armstrong only completed 11 passes that day.

With four games left, the Huskers have to win three of them just to make a Bowl game. Two of their opponents are undefeated, top 10 teams. They also love to play quality defense. The other two games are on the road. Therefore, an inadequate passing game will have the Nebraska Cornhuskers sent packing early.

Next: Nebraska has two top 10 teams left on schedule

If the Huskers are capable of pulling any upsets this season, they will need to establish a running game. We’re not talking about a highly functional running game either. At some point, the Huskers need to get fanatical about their ground attack.