There were bright spots, but not enough to overcome the mistakes
Nebraska suffered a disappointing 33-28 loss to Colorado in Scott Frost’s first game.
The game was full of Husker mistakes:
- Three turnovers, including two on the first two offensive Husker series that gave Colorado a 14-0 lead
- A dropped “in the bread basket” touchdown catch by a senior wide receiver
- An unnecessary roughness call with the game winding down and Colorado behind, desperate, and needing to convert a 3rd and 24
- 11 penalties for 95 yards
- Going 0-for-3 on fourth down conversion attempts
- A dropped pass by a receiver on a crucial third down attempt late in the game
- Giving up 351 yards passing to Colorado quarterback Steven Montez, which included 177 yards on 10 receptions to receiver Lavis Shenault whose sole touchdown was the 40-yard game winner.
There were plenty of bright spots for Nebraska as well, just not enough to overcome the aforementioned mistakes:
- Adrian Martinez looked like a great quarterback in the making, going 15-for-20 passing for 187 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and adding 15 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns in his first game in two years!
- Seven sacks by the defense, half as many as the Husker defense had in all of 2017
- The defense holding Colorado to 44 yards rushing on 35 attempts for a 1.3 average
- The offense rushing for 329 yards, the most since 2014.
- Greg Bell rushing for 104 yards on 13 carries for a 8 yard average
The first time since 2014 against Illinois that Nebraska had two 100-Yard rushers. (Ameer Abdullah rushed for 208 yards and Imani Cross had 109 yards)
Scoring And Game Track
Colorado’s first touchdown came after Greg Bell coughed the ball up on a third and four in Buffalo territory. Colorado marched down the field with ease, going 86 yards in eight plays, topped off when Jay MacIntyre took a three-yard reception from Steven Montez. Montez was perfect on the first offensive series, going 6-for-6 for 72 yards.
An Adrian Martinez fumble was recovered by Colorado on the Nebraska 24, and the Buff punched it in the end zone 1:42 later, going 24 yards in four plays. Lavis Shenault scored on a three-yard rush when coach Mike McIntyre went for it on 4th and 1.
Martinez scored his first collegiate touchdown on the ensuing drive, a 41-yard run off a zone read keeper. The key play of the drive came when Martinez converted a third and long, throwing a 19-yard reception to Mike Williams.
Devine Ozigbo scored from 8 yards out for Nebraska’s second touchdown. The drive was 7 plays, 52 yards, and took 2:47. The drive featured several runs up the middle by Ozigbo, and the Husker offensive line pushing Buff defenders like they were overstuff rag dolls. The key play of the drive was Martinez’ amazing scramble and escape from a Colorado defender, and then throwing a 19-yard STRIKE to Stanley Morgan Jr.
Martinez scored his second touchdown with 2:24 left in the second quarter. The drive was 8 plays, 79 yards, and took 3:07. Key plays of the drive - Greg Bell up the middle for 45 yards to the Colorado 30. Martinez with a 14-yard pass to Kurt Radal for 14 yards to the three. At this point, Colorado has -5 rushing yards to Nebrsaka’s 331. WEWEEeeheeeeeeeehhhhheeeeeeeee!
James Stefanou kicked a 40-yard field goal to get Colorado some points before the half. Colorado finally picked up a first down after four three-and-outs in a row. The drive started at the Colorado 23, went 11 plays for 52 yards, and took 1:51.
Stefanou hit a 35-yard field goal as the Buffs got the ball to start the second half. The drive was 12 plays, 55 yards, and took 3:55. Key play on the drive was a pass conversion on 3rd and 7, Montez to Jay MacIntyrefor 12 yards. Colorado’s offense looked more crisp, not hapless, to open the half.
Nebraska goes six plays for 80 yards as Martinez hits JD Spielman in stride for a 57-yard touchdown reception. Spielman is double-covered, but behind the defense. The two Buff defenders collide, relieving them of the embarrassment of eating Spielman’s dirt the rest of the way to the end zone That was the key play on the drive.
We've seen @MartinezTheQB do it with his legs. How's the cannon look?— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 8, 2018
Let this absolute DIME to @jdspielman10 for the @HuskerFBNation TD speak for itself: pic.twitter.com/THzEf1f1m9
Colorado scores on an 8 yard pass from Montez to McIntyre for McIntyre’s second touchdown of the game. The drive took 11 plays, gained 75 yards and took 4:11 off the clock. Key plays of the drive - Montez to Juwann Winfree for 20 yards on a 3rd and 19. Montez to Shevault for 37 yards to the Nebraska 11. Colorado made a couple excellent plays. Nebraska made a couple of key mistakes.
In the meantime, Stanley Morgan Jr dropped a touchdown pass that was right in the hands, the bread basket, the money bunnie! Then new Nebraska kicker Barret Pickering missed a field goal attempt.
Next drive, Colorado attempted to convert on their own 48, going for it on 4th and 2. They made it, but only by a hair. A fine hair. A really fine hair. And then Colorado missed a 37-yard field goal. Nebraska fans felt some relief, but since the Huskers aren’t leading by 30, the tension remains.
Nebraska goes for it on fourth on the Colorado 42. Greg Bell is submarined and flipped by Nate Landman and Nebraska gives the ball back to the evil Buffaloes.
Colorado goes for it on 4th and 1 on the Nebraska 48. They lose two yards as Dedrick Young stuffs Kyle Evans on an option. The Buffs turn the ball back over to Nebraska.
Martinez throw an interception straight into Nate Landman’s hands. He returns it 22 yards to the Nebraska 32. Colorado does nothing with the ball as Montez misfires on 3rd and four. Stefanou misses a 43-yard field goal.
Result of drive - RUN THE BALL GUY screams wildly that bad things happen when you throw the ball, ignoring both fumbles and tackles for loss such as being submarined on fourth down.
Martinez gets injured.
3rd and 19. 1:18 left. 50 yard line. False start, Colorado. 3rd and 24. Montez throws high, but Antonio Reed hits McIntyre and gets called for unnecessary roughness because McIntyre was defenseless. Montez hits Shenault for a 40 yard touchdown. Colorado’s two-point try fails.
Nebraska had Colorado stopped on 3rd down.... But Antonio Reed was flagged for this hit pic.twitter.com/askUA9PHiO— Prime Bam Childress (@fearthe_beard11) September 8, 2018
That’s the penalty called against Reed. I don’t think you can argue that much - the ball was over thrown so much that MacIntyre didn’t bother trying for it. Reed didn’t know that, and didn’t hold up when MacIntyre gave up on the play. Hence, the penalty because the receiver is considered a defenseless player at that exact moment. It’s unfortunate, but if Morgan makes his touchdown catch earlier, a moot point.
Nebraska backup quarterback Andrew Bunch got a series and tried to lead the team to victory, but just couldn’t quit connect with his receivers.