The first quarter of this game ends up being as auspicious. Ell Roberson left, Ell Roberson right, Ell Roberson for 91 yards and a touchdown. That's the story of the game, regardless of the performance of the KSU defense. This was Roberson's day.
Ironically enough though, it wasn't in the air as NU's philosophy of stopping the run and making Roberson pass clearly backfired. To the extent that Nebraska gave up almost 200 yards on the ground, in the first half alone.
NU did manage to stop KSU's heralded running back, Darren Sproles except for some garbage time yards and points late in the game, but when their QB runs off a KSU record 200+ yards on the ground himself, it's basically a moot point.
For Nebraska there are some bright spots, believe it or not. They didn't turn the ball over and Nebraska played well on defense after the first quarter was over. Well, at least for awhile. Three total turnovers forced, three chances for NU to take advantage, at times NU gave themselves chances to stay in this game.
Ok, bright sides over.
Off of those three turnovers, NU got 3 points. A missed field goal, a failed fourth down play and a variety of ways to be ineffective due in some part to NU, but in large part to the KSU defense. Kansas State on both sides of the ball, controlled the line of scrimmage, but when it counted most, the defensive interior was tough as nails, getting enough penetration to make NU's running game, Jammal Lord and well, that's about it.
As I said before though, Nebraska had chances to get back in this. Probably the biggest back breaker was the missed field goal by NU, when they had a chance to cut KSU's lead to 6. From that point, the camel's back was broke and the flood gates opened, KSU taking full advantage.
The personal fouls certainly didn't help, but NU was more than a few personal fouls from winning this game. The dropped ball by David Horne was also huge, but again, Nebraska needed much more than that.
It was a snowfall turned blizzard. In the second half, it was a blizzard turned avalanche. On both sides of the ball, KSU sent NU a message that Nebraska isn't back, but back to the drawing board.........again.
There was at one point after the win down in College Station and after the effort against Texas that things were really looking up. Nebraska fans had halted the deluge of criticism towards Craig Bohl for his defenseless defense, Solich for his play-calling and against the players for laying down when things got bad.
Someone hear that? Is that, that same old song?
You don't need to hum, you should already know the words.
Back to the drawing board.............again.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619