Co-captain worries about Husker juice shortage since start of the day


(Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS– Cam Taylor-Britt had his worries since the time the Huskers left the hotel lobby on Saturday morning.

“We had to flip the switch and wake up – all the defense, man. I’m not even talking about myself. I’m talking about everyone on the team. Everyone just has to wake up. We played the game. night and everyone fell asleep and this and that. I didn’t feel like everyone was awake and ready to play this 11 o’clock game. Coming out of the second half, I was right on everyone’s head, like, “Wake up. Let’s go out there and play our football. “And it showed.”

At this point, however, Nebraska was trying to move the wheelbarrow up, and the wheel got stuck in a crack whenever it looked like the Huskers were having a throttle to get to the top.

Minnesota won the game 30-23 because they owned the first half, leading 21-9. It sounded worse than that, frankly. The Huskers largely owned the second half, but had three offensive practices that reached the six-inch line, the 9-yard line and the 29-yard line which resulted in zero points.

These records will be this week’s haunting piece to revisit another victory somehow avoided. The first half, however, was unsettling, as the Minnesota offense snatched touchdowns on three of its four possessions, and could have had more if the Gophers hadn’t executed a misguided trick play when they had run the Huskers.

The discussion in the locker room was intense, according to Taylor-Britt, one of the Nebraska co-captains.

As for the lack of juice early, “I saw him when we woke up this morning. That’s when I saw him. Even the coach saw him. He called him. , tried to fix it ahead of time.… I wouldn’t. say someone was late or anything. You could just feel the energy of the team. lots of brethren around you, you know when your brethren are standing. Some of us weren’t standing. “

Husker senior defensive lineman Ben stille wasn’t sure it was a lack of juice as much as Minnesota was only winning individual clashes.

“No, I want to make it clear that the result on the pitch in the first half looks like we weren’t ready to play. I don’t think that’s necessarily the problem,” Stille said. “There was a tone of one-on-one games and we have to do them. They all did them and we didn’t. I think that’s what happened.”

Nebraska now has 3-5 as it meets the week off. While the Huskers have been close in games against the Top 10 teams, they have now lost to two teams from Illinois and Minnesota that are decidedly not in that category. The victories so far are only for Fordham, Buffalo and Northwestern.

Before this game against the Gophers, the head coach of Nebraska Scott frost had stressed the importance of jumping ahead and playing the game on your teams against a Minnesota team that he knew would run the clock and limit snaps.

“When you play against a team like this, first of all, if you’re up front you’re in good shape. The game didn’t start off very well for us,” said Frost. “We had a few guys open on the first drive and didn’t connect, and punted them and they came down and scored. So we caught up the whole first half. They’re going to slam the ball with it. 2 on playing time and you won’t have a lot of opportunities, so we as staff have to make them a little more motivated to play.

“I didn’t feel like we had quite the same energy, and it’s up to us. Yeah. And we had every chance to control the game after the third quarter.”

Frost wasn’t quite sure how to read his squad this week, as they played another important game before a week off, after a few emotional clashes with Michigan, Oklahoma and Michigan State in recent weeks.

“I didn’t know whether to worry about this or not. The guys were so professional and worked so hard, and prepared themselves so well, and they did it all week again,” he said. he declared. “It sounded like business rather than a lot of hype. And I wasn’t sure whether to worry about that or not because the guys showed up ready to play all year round. Probably other than that. the first game. But they were mentally ready to get into that one too. There wasn’t that much juice, but we have more of a veteran squad now that I thought it sounded like business. It just wasn’t as much juice as we had the last two weeks. We obviously needed more juice in the first half. “

Frost also said, however, that there are also a lot of head-to-head battles lost: one tackle missed here, protection missed there.

A hole. It wasn’t so big that Nebraska could have and should have come out of it. But the score is what it is, and the record is what it is.

“Honestly, we need to improve,” Stille said. “That’s the difference, is that we have to improve, and we have to improve even more to turn those close losses into wins. It won’t happen by sitting down.”

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