Between the onslaught of turnovers resulting in Miami scores, the consistent slipping around as if they were on ice to getting stuffed by a very fast and ready Miami defense, Nebraska was playing catch-up both figuratively and literally most of the game.
Fans watched the game in dis-belief as a game of promise turned into a game of regret in most of their eyes. "We never even gave ourselves a chance to win", one fan said. "If it wasn't bad enough to miss tackles, we just give them the ball three times. You can't do that against bad teams, so we deserved what we got here."
Many speculated early on whether Miami could indeed be stopped. Based on what Nebraska did or didn't do against Colorado, opinions varied. One fan from here in Lincoln said, "If we can't stop Colorado, how can we stop Miami? I just don't want us to get embarrassed." to a rather different view from another local who stated, "We would of had to have learned something from the CU game. I can't see Bohl allowing Miami to do what CU did. If he does, than I don't know what that says for him."
Much speculation has been made of coach Bohl's worthiness since the CU debacle. With the defense being overwhelmed yet again early on against Miami, the negativity is likely to increase if anything. Was it all Bohl's fault though? A Brewsky's regular didn't think so. "We never gave the defense a chance to get in a rhythm and our offense never got the chance to grind it out for four quarters. Before you know it, we are down by three touchdowns and everything we normally do to win was blown out of the water. It wasn't just defense, it was a complete breakdown by everyone at the worst time."
With Miami rolling early, Nebraska was asked to do what it had never done under coach Solich, come from more than 10 points down. Nebraska did win the second half statically, but by then, moral victories were going to be the only salvation for the Huskers on this day.
One wonders though what fans think now. Do they think the season was a failure? Do they think that Nebraska shouldn't of even been there in the first place? Fans differed to some degree, but there seemed to be an overwhelming majority in support of what Nebraska accomplished rather than those dwelling on what they didn't.
"Hey, we were lucky to be there in the first place. Everyone said we didn't belong, but I think we did. We just got beat by a better team.", one fan from Lexington said. Another responded rather similarly stating, "It seemed fate was with us most of the last part of the season. We seemed to be playing with someone else's cards and not ours. I don't know what happened against CU, but Miami just beat us, but we made it there and only one other team can say that."
And a fellow employee went so far as to say "Considering all the no-namers we have, I think we did damn good. No real stars except for Crouch and maybe Fonoti and we still kicked the hell out of most everyone we played. I don't like losing, but I think we have been out-manned and won, but our last two games we were out-manned and lost. It had to happen eventually and it came to one really good team and one team that decided to play out of their minds for one game of the season."
Outside of a few post-season games, Nebraska players and fans will have a chance to sit and think about this one for awhile. Until next season begins, much will be said about what was, what could of been and what might be if such and such scenarios take place.
Actually, that's the way it is every year. If you don't win a national title in Nebraska, everyone wonders what went wrong. It's an annual right with Husker faithful as they dream of crystal footballs and national championship glory. The down-side of that is any failure at all seems almost shocking, but the up-side is that your team has another shot at it next season. Perhaps best put, a student at UNL from Kansas stated simply, "We're Nebraska. We'll be back. We will always be back".
And be back they shall.