Nebraska Football: Loss to Illinois Tramples Hope of Improved Season

Nebraska football lost another tough game on Saturday.

Once again, self-inflicted wounds rear their ugly head in yet another Nebraska loss. This is the third one of the season.

Five turnovers and six penalties for 61 yards in most cases don’t work out in favor of the team committing those errors. That was the case against Illinois on Saturday.

Nebraska came out early on its first few offensive series’, looking to establish a quick rhythm. In many ways, Nebraska’s offense looked similar to that of the Chip Kelly offense at Oregon.

Quick reads and the use of the quarterback’s legs were the focal point of the Husker game plan.

Luke McCaffrey can tuck and run. He has a burst of speed that has been missing from Adrian Martinez for quite some time.

McCaffrey and Wandale Robinson are the best “running backs” currently healthy on this roster with Dedrick Mills out. When this offense is clicking, they are fun to watch.

 

Unfortunately, we didn’t have much to cheer about on the offensive side of the ball as McCaffrey still has room to grow in the decision-making department.

There were many times during this game, in my opinion, where he needed to live to fight another down. Three interceptions are WAY too many.

 

Even during last season, I have often been under the impression that if Nebraska had someone capable on its roster to quarterback this team effectively, Scott Frost would’ve turned the keys over by now.

Even as a redshirt freshman McCaffrey shows promise but much like Martinez, his decision-making must improve sooner rather than later. I believe it can. Time will tell.

From a defensive perspective, I could write a book about what I believe is wrong with that side of the ball. The second level of this defense did not come to play.

The Illinois offense was able to get anything and everything they wanted. At the same time, their quarterback Brandon Peters looked like Aaron Rodgers carving up the Blackshirt defense.

Out of all the games remaining on the schedule, who would have thought this would not be the best week to wear those Halloween-themed jerseys?

Also, let’s not forget about the Illinois running game. Almost everyone who touched the ball in the ground game gained chunk play after chunk play.

The tackling of the Nebraska defense resembled that of a Pop Warner team.

With Iowa, Purdue, and Minnesota remaining on the schedule, Nebraska better go back to the basics to have a prayer of those games being respectable. Specifically, wrap up tackling.

I can only hope that Nebraska will come out with the same amount of fight they showed during the Penn State game when they face Iowa next week. At least maybe then they will make my Thanksgiving leftovers taste just as good as the day before.