FB vs Northwestern Frost

Nebraska football head coach Scott Frost reacts to the game against Northwestern University on Oct. 13, 2018, at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois.

Nebraska doesn’t know how to win football games.

The Huskers know how to play football, and they know how to look good at it when they want to. Senior running back Devine Ozigbo dominated, running for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Sophomore wide receiver JD Spielman caught eight passes for 76 yards and a score of his own.

Nebraska held Northwestern to 32 rushing yards and forced the Wildcats to throw the ball 64 times. The Blackshirts intercepted senior quarterback Clayton Thorson twice and helped protect a 10-point lead for Nebraska up to the five-minute mark in the game.

Even the 2018 Huskers couldn’t blow this one, could they?

This was the kind of loss that makes you want to hold your head in your hands, listen to sad music and stare out a window for two hours contemplating life. You’ll go to bed tonight and Nebraska will be 0-6. You’ll wake up and the Huskers will still have the worst start to a season in program history.

Even after all the talk of improvement, the same mistakes were on display against Northwestern. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but special teams, turnovers and penalties killed the Huskers once again. Martinez turned the ball over three times, freshman kicker Barret Pickering left points on the field and the Huskers racked up nine penalties for 89 yards, including a costly roughing the passer call on junior defensive lineman Carlos Davis.

Nothing epitomized this season of Husker football better than the ridiculous series of failures that happened in overtime. Sophomore guard Boe Wilson committed a false start penalty on a short, third-down play, and Frost chose to have the Huskers go for it on fourth instead of letting Pickering attempt a field goal.

On the fourth down play, senior center Tanner Farmer botched the snap and Martinez had no other choice than to chuck an interception in the end zone. Northwestern won the game four plays later with a 37-yard field goal, giving the Huskers yet another loss.

At a certain point, one has to question how Nebraska continues to find new ways to lose. The Huskers looked like a good football team at times today. The defense flew around making tackles, rushing the quarterback and defending the pass. The offense moved the chains with ease and pounded the rock with Ozigbo.

But in the end, when it truly mattered, Nebraska was nowhere to be found. The way Nebraska continues to lose games defies logic. It simply doesn’t make sense, not to me, and not to Frost.

“Some of the things that are happening to us, I’ve never really seen before,” he said.

Nebraska continues to beat itself, and it’s time for fans to lower their expectations. Forget six wins, forget four wins, heck, even forget two wins. It’s not because this team doesn’t have the talent or ability to compete, because they do.

They simply don’t know how to win a football game. It’s been a long year in Husker country since the team’s last win and it will be another long week following this 34-31 loss. There are still six more games for this Nebraska team to figure it out, but make no mistakes about what happened today.

It was a historic loss which will live on for years to come. Hopefully one day, it’ll be comical to think back upon. But for today, it hurts to watch this team beat itself.

sports@dailynebraskan.com

Assistant Sports Editor