After Nebraska beat Minnesota handily a month ago, Mike Riley said afterwards that Nebraska's 60/40 split was optimal for this team. Yet Nebraska has hardly tried to emulate it - though last week, they came closer.The fans seriously just chanted "Run the ball." This is amazing. #Huskers— Jake Sorensen (@937JakeSorensen) November 8, 2015
Against Rutgers, Nebraska once again played with fire with a 20 mph wind, with a near 50/50 split. And it was working early, as the Huskers broke out to a 21-0 lead with Tommy Armstrong completing all seven of his first quarter passes. It worked for the first 20 minutes of the game...or did it? Take Jordan Westerkamp's first quarter touchdown catch...looks good on the stat sheet, but look again: it's thrown into triple coverage.
The next 20 minutes gave us the downside of YOLO ball; Armstrong went 3 for 7 with two interceptions, a sack, and a fumble (recovered by Alex Lewis). And the blowout was over; Nebraska's lead was down to 21-14.Tommy Armstrong is having fun out there. YOLO balls all day.— His Dirkness (@HisDirknesS) November 14, 2015
Fortunately, Nebraska returned to what they did best: running the ball in the final 20 minutes. 17 runs, three passes. It wasn't particularly effective, but it controlled clock and more importantly, kept the ball away from Rutgers. And Nebraska got the win.
After the loss to Purdue, Mike Riley remarked that some of Nebraska's struggles in running the ball were a lack of "want to." As we see this situation repeat itself week after week after week, I've become convinced that it's all a lack of "want to" by the coaches. I get why the coaches like to throw the ball, especially against a team like Rutgers, who's secondary was decimated by injury.
But it's not what Nebraska does best. Tim Miles has a saying that has turned into a hashtag for Nebraska basketball: "It's about us." #usAlways.
Somebody on Nebraska's crack digital media team tried to claim it for the football team today.