Huskers Overpower Gophers in Lopsided Victory

LINCOLN, Neb. — On Saturday, the Gophers faced a big, strong, fast team in the Cornhuskers. Nebraska dominated on both sides of the ball, overpowering Minnesota en route to a 38-14 victory.

Coming off a win over Illinois, Minnesota was looking to keep the momentum rolling by pulling an upset over Nebraska. Unfortunately, the Maroon and Gold ran into the physically imposing Cornhusker team that overwhelmed the Gophers with ease.

Minnesota gained just 177 yards on the game, 87 rushing and 90 passing. Freshman quarterback Philip Nelson completed 8-of-23 pass attempts while throwing two interceptions. Jerry Kill was quick to explain that the blame wasn't just on one player.

"I don't think it has a lot to do with the quarterback, [we] just got beat at the line of scrimmage. Period. Dominated at the line of scrimmage," said Kill.

Not only did Nebraska dictate the play in the trenches, their secondary also made it difficult to complete throws downfield.

"They made it tough for you to catch," said Kill of the Husker defensive backs. "They played aggressive 1-on-1 coverage, very physical back in the secondary."

Nelson also spoke to the effectiveness of Nebraska's pass defense.

"The gap for open receivers was small, smaller than any other game," he said. "You've got to give all the credit to their defensive secondary."

MarQueis Gray scored two rushing touchdowns late in the game but noted how physically gifted the Nebraska defense was throughout the game.

"All those guys are fast," he said. "They're quick and athletic. All of them are in the right spot at the right time. They know their job like the back of their hand and they just did a good job today."

The Gophers had trouble moving the ball offensively and also struggled to matchup with the high-powered, physical Husker offense.

"They force you to match their physicality," said Minnesota safety Brock Vereen. "Sometimes we did, but the plays that we didn't, they took advantage."

One of the keys for Nebraska's success was the play of quarterback Taylor Martinez who completed 21 passes for 308 yards and two scores.

"[Martinez] did a good job," said Mike Rallis. "We didn't do a good job with the pressure and there were open guys, and he made the passes."

Although the Gophers were overmatched in all facets of the game, Kill noted that this game could serve as a learning experience heading into the offseason.

"I can't say they aren't busting their tail, we wouldn't have gotten this far. We will keep making improvements and we will keep working with them."

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