It took until October 20th but Scott Frost has won his first game since his return to Lincoln as head coach. It’s been an undeniably rough season for Frost. The Huskers managed to rack up six consecutive losses, ranging from absolute blowouts to games that came down to the final play.
Nebraska put all of the misery and frustration behind them against Minnesota, rolling over the Golden Gophers 53-28. All of the offensive pieces came together. Adrian Martinez completed 25 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He only had four incomplete passes all game.
Martinez also had 125 yards on the ground and a touchdown, eclipsed only by Devine Ozigbo, who had 152 yards on 12 carries.
It was a great day for Ozigbo. In the first quarter alone, he had over 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Nebraska had gone up 28 to nothing in the first half, where it looked like they were going to wrap up the victory handily.
The Gophers scored a touchdown just as the first half was winding down. That marked the start of their 22 point scoring run. For a while, it seemed as if Nebraska would go down as they did against Northwestern – in agonizing defeat after getting up big.
That though quickly evaporated though after the Huskers scored seventeen unanswered points. Stanley Morgan erupted, scoring a pair of touchdowns for 35 and 67 yards respectively. The much maligned Barret Pickering chipped in as well, easily draining a 32 yard field goal in the fourth. After all of that, the game was effectively over, as the Husker’s led 46-22 with around five minutes remaining.
“It’s long overdue,” Frost said after the game. “Love to see that stadium full again. That’s what it’s supposed to feel out there. I can’t thank the fans enough.” Martinez was similarly relieved with the win, saying that it “felt like a monkey off [our] back.”
The Huskers won’t have time to rest, however. The upcoming Bethune-Cookman game is being held on October 27th, what would’ve been Nebraska’s bye week if not for the Akron game cancellation. Frost knows the toll it could potentially take on the team, not getting rest.
“We’re beat up and a little tired,” Frost said. “We will keep adjusting as much as we can.” The positive Frost and his coaching staff can take away from the situation is the momentum a second win could provide this team.
“We have to prepare and get ready. It would be nice to get two in a row if we play well,” Frost said.
But those questions and concerns are concerns for the near future, not the present moment. For now, Frost and the Huskers can soak in and celebrate the victory that should’ve come a long time ago. That record book doesn’t mean much in this current moment. Nebraska is 1-6 but they finally have one great thing that isn’t kept track of on the stat sheet – vindication.
By Tim Curran