Well, that couldn’t have gone worse. Coach Deion Sanders and No. 22 Colorado shut down the Huskers, winning 36-14 on Saturday. The loss pushes Nebraska to 0-2 to start the Matt Rhule era.
Nebraska started the game very well, holding the explosive Colorado offense to zero points up until five minutes to go in the first half. Turnovers killed the Huskers though which would lead to 17 total points for the Buffaloes.
Here are five takeaways from Saturday’s game.
Five Takeaways from Nebraska’s Loss to No. 22 Colorado
1. Defense is Legit
You may say allowing 36 points isn’t a good showing for the Blackshirts. Well after playing a lot of snaps at a higher elevation does numbers to your stamina and fatigue sets in.
The Blackshirts did a good job for most of the game to take advantage of the inexperience in the trenches. In fact, Nebraska sacked Shedeur Sanders eight times, which is the most in a game since the 2009 Big 12 Championship. In that game, Ndamukong Suh and the Nebraska defense sacked Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns nine times.
Freshman Cameron Lenhardt had himself a good outing as well, getting three total tackles with two sacks.
The Blackshirts kept the Huskers in the game most of the way until they couldn’t anymore. The defense should a positive note for the rest of the season.
2. Need to Limit Turnovers
Turnovers really derailed any good start the Huskers’ offense had on Saturday. Jeff Sims and the Huskers started strong and got the ball all the way to the Colorado 35-yard line on the first drive of the game. The momentum would switch in an instant when Sims bobbled his first of two fumbles lost.
Overall, the Huskers had four turnovers and killed any momentum they may have had against the Buffaloes Defense. Nebraska will need to limit the turnovers for the rest of the season. Turnovers are drive killers and there have been plenty through the first two games this season.
3. The Run Game Has Potential
The Huskers tried to do their best to establish the run against the Buffaloes. Nebraska gained 222 of their 341 total offensive yards on the ground. They were led by Sophomore Gabe Ervin Jr., who got 17 carries for 74 yards.
The Huskers got one rushing touchdown against Colorado, on a 57-yard run by Sims early in the third quarter. Junior Rahmir Johnson got some carries as well with 11 for 66 yards on the day.
In the first two games this season, Nebraska has done well at establishing the run and should be good through the rest of the season.
4. Quarterback Play is Questionable
Through two games, Sims has struggled in both. He has only thrown for 220 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions so far.
At Georgia Tech, Sims had 26 interceptions in the three seasons he was there. There was hope coming into the season that he could limit these mistakes. Unfortunately, it looks like he isn’t slowing down on these mistakes, accounting for seven turnovers in two games.
There is a good chance that we could be seeing a quarterback change in the next few games if Sims doesn’t fix the mistakes. If he does get replaced, it will be interesting to see if it will be Chubba Purdy or Heinrich Haarberg, both sophomores.
5. Need To Be Back Home
Starting on the road for back-to-back weeks isn’t fun, especially for a first-year head coach. Both games didn’t go how the Huskers wanted them, but being back at home for the next three weeks will help.
The Huskers face off with the Northern Illinois Huskies this coming weekend for Coach Rhule’s first home game in Lincoln. Nebraska to get back in the right direction this weekend and play better as a whole.
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