Nebraska: 28 Maryland: 7
Offensive Player of the Game: Ryker Fyfe
It is only fitting for Fyfe to play this well in his first career start in Lincoln on senior day. In just his second career start, Fyfe found a rhythm early on and looked impressive in the passing game, finishing 23-of-37, for 220 yards and one touchdown pass. It’s tough to pick whether his 21-yard scramble or his zero interceptions was his most impressive stat, but either way, the Grand Island native stepped up big on Saturday and exceeded everyone’s expectations. There was no doubt that he redeemed himself from his previous start a year ago, but it’s the comfort Husker fans will feel heading into next week that maybe this kid could get two in a row.
Defensive Player of the Game: Freedom Akinmoladun
The sophomore defensive end played his best game of the year and was a big reason why the Huskers pitched a three quarter shutout. Akinmoldun had a season-high five tackles, two of which were sacks. It was pretty obvious that the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder made his presence known in the backfield and finally showed what he is capable for the future.
The Moment It Was Over:
Even though Nebraska had control for nearly the entire game, there was never a defining moment that complete sealed the deal for them. Thus, Marcus Newby’s sack on the last play of the game to force a fumble was just the icing on the cake.
Quote To Note:
"This group of seniors, I suppose everybody across the country on senior day says the same thing, but when you make a transition like this and you are fortunate enough to land with a group of guys like this. We are very, very thankful for that. My disappointment is that I only got to be around these guys for a couple of years and we will try to carry on with the rest of their group going forward and continue to make this better and better, but I don't think that we rebound from a year ago and be able to have a year like this without a really good bunch of older guys in the program.” – Nebraska head coach Mike Riley
What A Nebraska Win Means:
A Nebraska win closes out a perfect 7-0 record in Lincoln this season. The Huskers improve to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten, marking their 50th nine-win season in school history. A win today should also aid the Huskers in climbing the College Football Playoff rankings.
* Senior day influenced the senior class to step up in their final game in Lincoln. Offensively, Newby reached the end zone three times and had 98 yards on the ground. Westerkamp led the wide outs with eight catches for 85 yards, but both Moore and Reilly each had four catches of their own. Defensively, Dzuris recorded a sack, Banderas led the team in tackles, and Brad Simpson made a great tackle to pin Maryland inside its own five. Other seniors that stood out were Michael Rose-Ivey, Spencer Lindsay, Ryker Fyfe, and Nate Gerry.
* What happened this week on special teams? The Huskers allowed Maryland to convert on a fake punt due to what looked like having only 10 men on the field. In addition, junior kicker Drew Brown went out with what appears to be a concussion on the opening kickoff. Senior Spencer Lindsay filled in for Brown and did well, despite having a field goal get blocked from a defender that was untouched. Caleb Lightbourn had some good, but also some bad punts on the day. Pierson-El is still forced to call a fair catch due to having defenders right in his face.
* Coming into the game, Maryland averaged over 200 yards on the ground. Today, the Blackshirts held them to just 11 rushing yards. Nebraska’s defense allowed just nine first downs, gave up 3.7 yards per play, and recorded five sacks on the day. The Terrapins also had just a one-yard gain offensively in the second and third quarters combined.
* Nebraska blew their shut out early in the 4th quarter off of a 92-yard screen. There were also at least four instances that a Nebraska defender dropped an interception today, with other chances left out on the field as well. Though neither of these instances hurt the Huskers today, these areas need to be cleaned up going forward.
* Tommy Armstrong Jr. was not limping today walking around on the field. It’s still unclear on who gets the start on Friday, but he may be on the right track back to his starting role.
* Senior wide out Jordan Westerkamp is going to be missed. The Illinois native snagged a season-high eight catches for 85 yards, one being in the end zone. ‘Westy’ flashed his vintage self today by making a one-handed grab, as well as coming up big on a 4th down call.
* The Huskers did not commit a turnover today, and only had two penalties for 20 yards.
* Terrell Newby looked like a 90’s Nebraska running back today. The senior back ended the day with three touchdowns, and 98 yards on the ground. What stood out, though, was his demeanor and style of running. Newby ran with his usual power, but displayed finesse moves and some breakaway speed. I think this game finally made Nebraska fans realized how underrated the California native has been perceived to be.
* Nebraska had a senior contribute on every point scored today (Newby, Lindsay, Westerkamp, Fyfe).
* The absence of Sam Foltz has played an impact on the players and coaches for the whole season, but today was a game where they really missed him. Before the game, a tribute video to Foltz was shown with players reminiscing of their teammate. When most of the seniors were called out to the field, they had tears in their eyes, thinking about the former punter. When each senior came out, they placed a rose on the 27-yardline. Very emotional day for everyone.
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