Pelini: Nebraska not playing smart football

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini says prep from practices to field isn't happening.

No. 25 Minnesota: 28 / Nebraska: 24

Game stats: CLICK HERE

Player of the Game: Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner didn’t tear it up through the air, but the sophomore rushed for 111 yards on 22 carries – a new career high.

When it was over: With just over two minutes left, Nebraska freshman receiver DeMornay Pierson-El was stripped of the football at the 2-yard line. Officials ruled Pierson-El illegally touched the ball, but it was declined by Minnesota.

Nebraska senior day pregame ceremonies

LINCOLN, Neb. - For the second consecutive week Nebraska had a double-digit lead in the second quarter. For the second consecutive week, the lead eventually disappeared.

The Gophers outscored Nebraska 21-3 in the second half, behind quarterback Mitch Leidner’s stellar play. The sophomore took what the Nebraska defense gave him and didn’t try to do too much. Minnesota ran the ball, Nebraska struggled to stop it.

"We ran a number of different things on them. Sometimes there were a lot of unblocked guys. When we should have been tackling at the line of scrimmage or in the back field, they're getting 4-or-5 yards. That's a bad recipe. It's a recipe for disaster,” said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. “The zone read puts stress on you. You have certain things that people are responsible for. And you better make plays. It's not anything magical.

“We could have weathered the storm. We just didn't play the way we've been taught to play. There are some things that are stressed when we say that this is the leverage of play, this is how you play it. When you don't do it, you're going to lose. You're going to lose the football game."

This week will mark even less preparation time for a team not playing as they are “taught.”

"We're not good enough right now,” said Pelini. “We're not playing well enough. We don't play very smart for one…Inconsistency will kill you. Some of the plays we ran that they got on us, we ran two, three, four and five times in practice. It wasn't anything new. We ran a couple of new things, but most of them were things that we covered, went over and executed. And we got into the game, and it was like we never saw it before.”

Eric Francis / Getty Images


* Heading into November last year, Bo Pelini was 16-4 during the month. His squads were known as teams that turned it up late in the season. A little over a year later, Pelini is now 20-8 during November. Yes, he’s gone 4-4 in his the last two years. What used to be a strong trait isn’t so strong anymore.

* It was not fun to see seniors Mark Pelini (center) and Kenny Bell (wide receiver) leave the game incredibly early on Saturday. I can’t imagine not being able to put it all out there in your final home game. Bo said Mark’s injury is a high ankle sprain. Bell had a head injury. Their status for next week at Iowa is questionable at best right now.

* I agree with offensive coordinator Tim Beck that hindsight is 20/20, but if you are going to call a pass on a throw away down, make your sure quarterback knows that he can’t take a sack. If you have to remind him, it’s probably not a good idea to call the play. "I was really trying to get the ball over the top of their stacked box,” said Armstrong. “They knew that we're running plays into the situations and wanted to see if they could get their noses into the box. We have to execute up front and we have set up better. Took us to 3rd-and-long and we can't let that happen."

* It was pretty clear watching Ameer Abdullah today, the senior isn’t himself. There were a few times I thought he would taken the run to the house with pre-injury. After 98 yards today, Abdullah is 386 yards behind school-record holder Mike Rozier. It’s not looking likely he becomes the career leader at Nebraska after three weeks of not going over 100 yards, but don’t put anything past Abdullah.

HC Bo Pelini post game:

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