Nebraska’s 37-21 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday left Nebraska sitting at 4-6 and in need of two wins in its final two games to make a bowl game. This week, the Huskers take on Maryland, a program that is in roughly the same development stage as Nebraska.
“I think they’re a team that’s on a growth curve similar to us,” head coach Scott Frost said. “You see them do a lot of really good things. I think they’re athletic. Obviously, the results probably haven’t been what they wanted similar to where we are right now.”
There are plenty of positives to take from the loss to Wisconsin, namely the success the Huskers had on the ground. The team ran for 277 yards, including 188 yards from junior running back Dedrick Mills against one of the best run defenses in the country.
Much of this success came because of the improved play from the offensive line which created holes for Mills all game.
“We did a better job of just simply executing what we were supposed to, when it came down to it we kind of finally cut loose and trusted technique,” junior offensive tackle Matt Farniok said.
“They blocked really well and we see these big holes and gaps we probably didn’t see at the beginning of the season as they progress throughout the rest of the season,” Mills said. “They’ve slowly picked up more and more stuff and started blocking better and better each week.”
Mills’ 188 rushing yards were a career best for him, yet at times he was not on the field when the team could have used him. According to Frost, Mills was banged up and they were trying to give him breaks.
“We played him as much as we thought we could,” Frost said. “There were a couple plays that we wish there was someone on the field that might have made one more play here or there, but that’s where we are right now.”
On Saturday, the Huskers were missing two of their starting defensive linemen in seniors Darrion Daniels and Carlos Davis. The latter’s absence was surprising as he practiced all week but on game day he said he was not healthy enough to go. Frost said Davis had been dealing with an ankle injury all week and thought he would be able to play anyway.
Because of those absences, the Huskers were forced into playing younger guys across the defensive line like true freshman Ty Robinson, junior Keem Green and redshirt freshman Casey Rogers. Frost thought all of the young players on the defensive line have played and developed well.
“Several of them have gotten opportunities to get in and get their feet wet in college football, and I think they did a really good job,” Frost said. “Ty Robinson stands out from Saturday. He held his own out there. Garrett Nelson keeps playing better and better. There are guys at different positions who have taken advantage of their chances as well.”
Farniok has gone up against them in practice this season and echoed Frost’s sentiments.
“I think they just work hard and whenever we had the chance to go against them I mean they have talent, they have the sense of just trying to give everything they have and sometimes that’s all they really need,” Farniok said.
Nebraska plays Maryland Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. at Maryland Stadium. Television coverage will be provided by BTN.