LINCOLN, Neb. - After a solid offensive performance against Minnesota, where the Huskers scored 48 points, the Nebraska offense showed to be inconsistent on Saturday against Northwestern. On the ground, Nebraska managed only 82 rushing yards, forcing the head coach Mike Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf to throw 48 times in the contest. A bad receipe against a Northwestern pass defense that ranked No. 11 in the country coming into the game.
“I think that our numbers go up in the passing game with probably the lack of success in the running game," said Riley. "It’s like I said, we really don’t intend to be that 48 passes a game team. Sometimes you have to play the game that you’re in. We certainly want to be more adept at running the ball. We continue to examine our threats running the ball whether it’s the tailback, quarterback or wide receiver running the ball. We’ve got to make sure… I think we can threaten the defense better if all those parts have a place in the running game. Our goal is not to be that team that’s throwing that much and there’s a valid reason for it. It’s because we’re not running the ball well enough.”
Nebraska's running game will look to get back on track Saturday morning against Purdue, a team that ranks No. 92 in the country in stopping the run. Saturday's weather in West Lafayette is calling for 55 degrees and rain. Also known as Big Ten football weather in November.
Riley was asked why his team isn’t running the ball well.
“Some of it may be the opponents, right? Some opponents are naturally going to be better. We ran into a deal where we were," said Riley. "I think we had six tackles for losses against us the other day. Those are tough to take in the scheme of keeping… you know, making a choice on your next play call. It’s a big factor in how that goes, so it might be defensively who we’re playing that’s better at that. That doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t be good or still shouldn’t have a will to do it, but you've got to make it go otherwise you get into some bad deals. Maybe we should get into third-and-long and just throw it from there. (laughs)”
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Josh Harvey has been the publisher of BigRedReport.com since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter at @joshharveyscout.