In a post-game conversation with JJ from CornNation, I said that while the Huskers performance today was a huge improvement, they need to improve much, much more or risk going 0-for-October. The Huskers played with better heart today and made quite a few plays. On the other hand, they did give up 415 yards and 28 first downs to one of the worst offenses in college football. 102 plays? Time of possession nearly 2 to 1 in favor of the Cyclones? I suppose one could take solace in the fact that this week that we didn't give up a 96 yard touchdown drive in just 5 or 6 plays. Instead, we gave up a 97 yard, 17 play drive. Oy!
In fairness to the Blackshirts, Iowa State's first two drives were extended by crucial special teams penalties that erased Iowa State punts. The resulting drives kept the Blackshirts on the field for nearly 13 minutes in the first quarter. Even so, you'd like to think that Nebraska would have had more success on defense against Iowa State. When Iowa State jumped out to a 10-0 lead, you could have sworn that the pots of tar were being warmed up.
Enter Cortney Grixby, Nebraska's player of the game. When the game started, I was surprised to see Grixby being the only Blackshirt not to start, and Grixby was no where to be found in the first quarter. I haven't seen anything to explain it yet, so I'm going to assume that he was suspended for the first quarter of the game.
Grixby changed the game when he arrived in second quarter with 2 interceptions and a couple of huge kickoff returns. Not to mention tipping the pass that Bo Ruud returned for a 93 yard touchdown return. I guess it's not surprising that after a week where the Blackshirts were criticized and questioned harshly, the two senior native sons stepped it up huge.
Nebraska is 4-1, and while that's nothing to be ashamed of, even Harvey Perlman would have to admit that it's not even a slightly impressive 4-1. But it's still 4-1. Guess who else is suddenly 4-1? Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, West Virginia, Oregon, Rutgers, Clemson. What a day of upsets! So considering what else happened in college football today, I'll take an ugly victory over the alternative.
Glass half full or glass half empty? Depends on your perspective, but no matter where you sit, you have to realize that if the Huskers are going anywhere this season, they need to find a way to make the glass runneth over.