Missouri had their moments and their opportunities in this game. Despite generally poor play and poor coaching adjustments offensively, the Tigers had chances to win this game.
After a long run by Zach Abron, and couple of additional plays, the Tigers found themselves with first and goal from Nebraska's three yard line. After three tentative attempts to reach paydirt, the Tigers settled for a short Matheny field goal.
The sequence, while early in the game, was indicative of how Missouri's offense performed for much of the contest:
- The offensive line was tentative and couldn't root out the Husker defense when it mattered.
- Brad Smith looked for openings in the passing and running game that weren't there more often than not.
- When there were open receivers, Gage, Outlaw and Coffey all took turns dropping passes.
Missouri was held to 220 yards of total offense, and only had 28 yards total in the second half. That's just not going to get it done against any opponent, let alone the Huskers in Lincoln.
The Tigers' defense played very well considering the offense's lack of production and support. The defense only yielded two offensive touchdowns on the day, which should be enough to win most games assuming you are getting solid play from your offense and special teams.
While Brock Harvey had a terrific day punting overall, he made one critical error that led to Nebraska's third touchdown. With 7:24 to play in the third quarter, Harvey made the cardinal error of punting to Nebraska's most dangerous player, all-american cornerback DeJuan Groce.
"I tried to kick it to the left side of the field but instead I kicked right to him. The ball wasn't kicked that high and there was little hang time. He made some moves and scored a touchdown," said Harvey.
Smith summarized the day by saying, "They played a great game on defense today. Nebraska was just making plays. They had guys every where I went and they did a great job of covering our receivers. We needed to make adjustments on the field and we didn't do that. The plays that we were running were there and we just didn't excute. Nebraska brought pressure from everywhere and they did a great job of occuping the guy in the offensive line which enabled them them to bring guys from different directions."