The honeymoon is over, folks. Nebraska is 2-3. Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf lost this football game with dreadful mismanagement, not just of the clock, but of the entire offense.
The final minute confused everyone more than the game's officials, and that's some accomplishment, since they spent several minutes of Saturday's game trying to figure out if it was a third down or fourth down. Yeah, that happened.
Good teams are not confused at that moment. Nebraska doesn’t look like a very good team at the moment.
There will be more questions. Harder questions. Questions that will cut deeply for even a staff with veteran coaches with thick skin. Every layer of that skin will be helpful this week.
-- Steven Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star
Fissures may already be showing. Reporters — including one from The World-Herald — witnessed offensive tackle Alex Lewis blowing kisses to Husker fans after the game. He has not spoken to the media since posting — and later deleting — on social networks that he was done playing for “the state of Nebraska” after he received fan criticism in the wake of the Miami game.
I’m so tired of offenses that need a decoder. We sound like cavemen pounding our clubs, but big linemen and running backs are commodities you can lure to Lincoln, Nebraska. And now Big Ten weather.
"Those boys are a good opponent. They went out there, they executed well and the played a hell of a game."
-- Jack Gangwish, Nebraska DE
I would say the Mike Riley honeymoon at Nebraska is oooveer.
-- Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports 1
From the good side of things. Punter Sam had one hell of a game. Devine Ozigbo could be the answer at IB. The TE was targeted. No one died.
The Illini defense gave great performance, limiting the pass-happy Nebraska offense -- which entered the game No. 2 in the Big Ten in total offense and No. 3 in scoring offense -- to season lows in both total yards (292) and points. A critical officiating snafu could not deraile the Illini.
The loss was painful for Nebraska (2-3, 0-1), following the Cornhuskers overtime defeat at Miami and a loss to BYU on the final play of that game. Nebraska has lost three games by a total of nine points.
-- Associated Press
For Nebraska, though, with the Badgers and Gophers up next, it’s time to fix its late-game problems and a leaky secondary or run the risk of failing to get to six wins to reach bowl eligibility -- something that's unforgivable in Nebraska.