Devine Ozigbo appears to finally be winning over the Nebraska football coaches

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 07: Running back Devine Ozigbo
LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 07: Running back Devine Ozigbo /

Devine Ozigbo could be the starter for the Nebraska football team against Purdue. This would be quite the 180 from the beginning of the season when he couldn’t get on the field.

Indeed it appears the Nebraska football coaches have completely changed their opinion of Devine Ozigbo compared to even just a week ago. The question now is why didn’t this happen sooner and just what do the coaches seemingly have against the back.

According to Mike Riley and company, the running back competition was an open and heated battle all the way up to the opening week. When  Tre Bryant won the job, it was almost as though the Husker coach staff forgot they had any players beyond him

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An injury in week two had the coaches scrambling, giving Mikale Wilbon the bulk of the carries in week three against Northern Illinois. As it’s become more clear that Bryant wasn’t coming back, the carries have evened out a little but Devine’s journey from bench to possible starter is still a bit bizarre.

Even against Northern Illinois, when Bryant was out, Ozigbo had just two carries. The next week, coming off the bench, he had 24 carries for 101 yards. The following week, against Illinois, he had 18 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Against Wisconsin, Ozigbo carried 23 times for 112 yards. Against Ohio State, he carried just nine times for 24 yards, though no back had many carries because the Huskers were behind by so much so soon.

Now, heading into the game against Purdue, Rivals reports that his position coach, Reggie Davis has basically named Ozigbo the starter. “Devine’s been running well, so we’re leaning towards him right now,” the coach said. “We’ll see how it goes, but it will probably be Devine.”

So what’s changed? Why was Wilbon the go-to back once Bryant went down, even when Ozigbo performed better? Why wasn’t Devine getting any carries at all in the first two weeks? We’re probably never going to know anything concrete.

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What we do know is that it appears there’s a new sheriff in town for the Nebraska football team’s offense. We’ll have to wait and see whether Devine Ozigbo apparently being the starter changes the game plan and production.