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Knee-Jerk Reactions: Miami Hurricanes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Mike Riley

Mike Riley

The Miami Hurricanes did their best to exploit every weakness Nebraska had and it still almost wasn’t enough. Down 30-10 heading into the fourth quarter, the Huskers outscored the ‘Canes 23-3 to tie things up but came up short in overtime.

The immediate takeaways from the Huskers' trip to South Beach:

- What we saw was essentially Tommy Armstrong versus Miami. He didn’t get much help from his running backs, receivers and the defense had him and the Big Red offense back on the field in a hurry.

Yes, you can blame him for throwing the interception that ultimately decided the game, but the Big Red wouldn’t have been in overtime if not for Nebraska’s starting quarterback.

- Miami made a mission of clogging the Huskers’ running game and making them a one-dimensional team. Mission accomplished as Terrell Newby’s day was full of sputtering.

- Not only did Miami plug the middle successfully for the most part, the Hurricanes put so much pressure on and covered Nebraska’s wide outs so well, drops were commonplace.

If half of the Big Red’s drops were catches, this would’ve been a much closer game from the start and maybe, just maybe, the Huskers win in regulation.

- The offensive line’s work was shaky again. It wouldn’t surprise to see Tanner Farmer or Jerald Foster to get a snap or two versus Southern Miss.

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Alex Lewis gets his own special call out. As a player, he cost his team major gains and more or less served up the Miami win on a silver platter. As a captain, this is unacceptable.

I have no doubt Mike Cavanaugh will have a little one-on-one with him.

- There is absolutely no pass rush up front. Greg McMullen’s simply…well, there. Even if Big Vince was in with Maliek Collins, I have to think Jack Gangwish would’ve had a similar game as Freedom Akinmoladun.

- Miami did an excellent job taking Nebraska’s linebackers out of the equation, especially when the Huskers moved back into the Nickel formation. Josh Banderas didn’t look 100 percent at all.

- Daniel Davie is officially a liability. Joshua Kalu and Jonathan Rose should be the Big Red’s starting cornerbacks moving forward. Perhaps Chris Jones takes over at cornerback when Kalu get moved out to the nickel back position.

- The Santino Panico-Jordan Westerkamp comparisons can finally stop. While No. 1 is no De'Mornay Pierson-El (who would’ve put up some points versus Miami on returns at the very least), he has some shake and bake.

- Props to Drew Brown for putting a 49-yarder down the middle. Slammin’ Sammy Foltz may have come back a bit too early. A 40-yard average just isn’t him.

- While the loss hurts, much like the BYU loss, Nebraska isn’t in position to win with Bo Pelini at the helm. Many asked how the Huskers were in position to win the game at all. Mike Riley, that’s how.

— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow Brandon on Twitter @eightlaces and Periscope (eightlaces), and like his Facebook page.