Published Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 10:40 am
Minnesota loss was 'humbling experience' for Huskers
Northwestern at Nebraska
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Memorial Stadium
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1110 AM KFAB

LINCOLN — Junior I-back Ameer Abdullah took a second-quarter handoff and sprinted around the edge, thinking that he had one man to beat.

But right as Abdullah squared up so he could juke his way around the defender, a hustling Minnesota linebacker wrapped him up from behind and poked away the football.

The Gophers recovered the fumble, and Abdullah was left wondering why he had momentarily forgotten his fundamentals in a tight game.

The Nebraska coaches had talked about it the previous two weeks. The Huskers' talent would create some opportunities for explosive plays, but there would be a smaller margin for error.

They ran 60 plays in the 34-23 loss at Minnesota on Saturday, their fewest offensive snaps since they were blown out at Michigan in 2011. And that fumble by Abdullah is one he wants back.

“You never want to turn the ball over in a game like this,” he said afterward. “I was trying to do everything I could to get us back on the winning side. (There were) multiple things that put us behind the eight-ball during the game. We just can't do that.”

Join the conversation on the Big Red Today Facebook page.

Abdullah wasn't alone. Whether it was a dropped pass or an errant throw, a bad decision or a missed block, a departure from technique or a lapse in concentration — the Husker players thought they were the ones to blame after the offense sputtered up and down the field all afternoon.

The errors were especially costly on a day when Minnesota was controlling the clock and dictating the game flow.

“We played terribly,” senior receiver Quincy Enunwa said. “Whenever you play terribly, anybody can beat you.”

Nebraska coaches said most of Saturday's issues were triggered by a lack of efficiency on first down.

Sure, there were some big plays against the Gophers — eight first down snaps went for a total of 169 yards.

But the other 19 first-down plays resulted in 37 yards. In other words: NU needed an average of 8 yards on those second downs.

The Huskers totaled 32 yards on their 19 second-down snaps against Minnesota.

“We were bad on first downs,” offensive line coach John Garrison said. “It put ourselves in bad situations.”

This week the Huskers will try to rally around the idea that their goals are still intact.

Four of their final five games are against teams in the Legends Division. They get division leader Michigan State at home in three weeks.

That difficult stretch should provide the Huskers with enough motivation to bounce back, junior guard Jake Cotton said.

“It's a humbling experience. We got our tail kicked. No way around that,” he said. “So we've got to learn from it. We've got to get back to work and start working on Northwestern.”

* * *

Video: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini after the game:

Video: Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez after the game:

Video: Postgame analysis with Sam McKewon:

Contact the writer: Jon Nyatawa    |   402-473-9585    |  

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football and baseball, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Shoreline Golf Club
$40 for 2 Players, 18 Holes of Golf with Cart ($85 Value)
Buy Now
< >