October 25, 2014

No Husker football to watch. We have a couple of games to keep your eyes on (AUDIO)

Of course it’s a bye week for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but several games you need to keep your eyes on in terms of the standings in the Big Ten East. The first in Northwestern at Minnesota. The Wildcats host the Huskers next weekend and a win for them tomorrow over the Gophers would move them to 3-0 in conference play and give them a 2.5 game lead over the Huskers heading into next Saturday’s game. The Gophers also ahead of the Huskers, they are 1-0 in Big Ten play. That game will kick off at 11am and you can watch it on the Big Ten Network.

The other game of interest is Indiana at Iowa. The Hawkeyes also sit at 1-0 in Big Ten play, they are third team ahead of the Huskers in the standings. That game kicks at 11 on ESPNU.

Get the rundown of the Big Ten East schedule with our Big Red Report

Pelini was tired of playoff talk back in August (AUDIO)

The Huskers have been practicing for the past couple of days, yesterday it was in full pads and the Big Red hit the field again today at 3:45, this bye week comes at nice time. They’ve played half of their schedule and now have an extra week to re-assess the team and where they’re heading for the second half of 2014. Pelini was asked about the talk of the four-team playoff. Pelini thinks it’s a major distraction, going all the way back to August and fall camp.

Listen to the Big Red Report

Michigan State disappointed in their students and Wisconsin going dual QB (AUDIO)

Here’s a problem we never have a Memorial Stadium…filling it up. That was an issue for Michigan State in their win over the Huskers. In fact, it was such a problem the school’s athletic director Mark Hollis was on Twitter Sunday night expressing his embarrassment for the empty seats in the student section.

As I look at the Huskers schedule, still five weeks away is a game at Wisconsin on November 15th. While the Badgers look for answers to a struggling passing game, head coach Gary Anderson is planning on playing both Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy at quarterback this week vs. Illinois, possibly even at the same time.

Here’s our Big Red Report as we muddle through our bye week!

Armstrong wants another shot at Michigan State (AUDIO)

It was a weekend full of upsets in college football, as the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th ranked teams were all upset this past week…Five of the top ten schools lost. The Nebraska Cornhuskers did everything they could in the fourth quarter to make Michigan State the 6th top 10 team to lose, but the Huskers had too big of hole to dig out of, losing 27-22.

A 43-yard pass to Alonzo Moore gave the Huskers the ball at the Michigan State 37 with just under a minute to play, but Armstrong’s pass to the end zone fell incomplete, and Trae Waynes came up with his second interception of the game. Armstrong who went 20 of 43 for 273 yards and two picks wants one more crack at the Spartans

I mentioned during last week’s reports that something was going to give in the run game. Nebraska entered the game ranked No. 2 in the nation in rushing, and Michigan State was No. 4 in rushing defense. That matchup wasn’t much of a contest. The Huskers managed only 47 yards on the ground — they had been averaging 355. Ameer Abdullah was held to 45 yards rushing, scored on a pair of short runs in the fourth.

The Huskers have a week off and then they’ll travel to Northwestern who upset #17 Wisconsin. One of the other upsets in the Top 25.

Comeback comes up just short for Huskers, fall to Spartans 27-22

Despite 19 fourth quarter points, 19th-ranked Nebraska was unable to overcome a 27-3 deficit and fell to 10th-ranked Michigan State 27-22 on Saturday night in East Lansing, Michigan. Tommy Armstrong’s pass intended for De’Mornay Pierson-El was intercepted by Trae Waynes with less than 30 seconds to play to seal the game for the Spartans.

It was all Michigan State for the first three quarters, as they jumped to a seemingly insurmountable 27-3 lead thanks to a stifling run defense and an opportunistic offense. Heisman trophy candidate Ameer Abdullah was bottled up all game long, finishing with just 24 carries for 45 yards, but he did manage two fourth quarter touchdowns to help bring Nebraska within striking distance. A 62-yard punt return for a touchdown by Pierson-El brought Nebraska to within 27-22 with 3:22 to play, but the Huskers could not recover an onside kick. After an initial first down, Michigan State’s Michael Geiger missed a 36-yard field goal with 1:05 remaining and Nebraska drove to the Spartans’ 37 before Armstrong was intercepted by Waynes.

Tony Lippett’s second touchdown of the day, a 32-yard score on a double reverse looked to have buried the Huskers’ chances late in the third quarter. Lippett’s 55-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter got the Spartans on the board early, and Michigan State carried a 17-0 lead into halftime after holding Nebraska to just 85 yards of total offense in the opening 30 minutes. Nebraska forced three Michigan State turnovers, but were unable to turn any of them into points. Conversely, Michigan State turned four Nebraska turnovers into 13 points in the game.

Armstrong finished 20-of-43 for 273 yards with two interceptions and one lost fumble. Jordan Westerkamp turned in his best game as a Husker with nine catches for 158 yards. Cook led Michigan State with an 11-of-29 passing day with 234 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while Lippett had three catches for 104 yards and two total touchdowns. Nebraska’s rushing offense, which averaged over 350 yards per game before Saturday night, had 37 carries for a total of 47 yards. Jeremy Langford had his ninth-straight 100-yard plus rushing game for the Spartans, with 29 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown, a 31-yard score early in the second quarter to put Michigan State up 14-0.

Nebraska drops to 5-1 on the season and 1-1 in Big Ten play as they head into their bye week next week and the halfway point of the season. Michigan State improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten with the victory and keeps its hopes alive for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Huskers are next in action in two weeks on October 18 at Northwestern, a surprising 20-14 winner over 17th-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday.