Skip to main content

Knee-Jerk Reactions: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Mike Riley

Mike Riley

On Saturday Oct. 3, fans who tuned in for the Nebraska-Illinois clash were in for something…different. I doubt they expected The Game That Fun Forgot. The Huskers actually had some notable moments.

Unfortunately, the putrid offense covered up nearly all sweet memories and confusion reigned from the seats to the striped shirts. Let’s review:

- The honeymoon is officially over for Mike Riley. It never started in the eyes of some, but now we’re going to get to see how he handles Nebraska fans when they’re flat out angry. It’s probably best for him to just avoid social media for a bit.

- Heading into this game, I felt that we’d see quite a bit of Andy Janovich or at least a 60/40 run-pass ratio. Danny Langsdorf’s play calling was just baffling overall and when the fullback finally did see time, the ghost of Shawn Watson possessed Nebraska’s offensive coordinator. At least, that’s what I think I saw.

- The defensive line looked as stout as it did all year with Maliek Collins and Kevin Maurice playing well off each other.

- While I have nothing but praise for Chris Weber filling in this year, having Josh Banderas back next week gives the Blackshirts another shot in the arm.

- De’Mornay Pierson-El’s day was likely dictated by his muffed punt. There’s a mental part of the game that needs to be rekindled with live play. After a few snaps in bad weather, it was likely determined that this game was not the time or place to force DPE back in the groove.

- Player of the Game? Sam Foltz is as good as any in my book. Nine punts for 422 yards (a 46.9-yard average) with a long of 63, five that went for 50 yards or more, three inside the 20-yard line and three inside the 10.

- Do me a favor: Find the “Stand Up and Shout” button in the Illinois box and break it.

- The refs. I honestly don’t have to write anything after those words, but the amount of incompetence during the game by those wearing black and white was mind-blowing. It was close to literally being this.

— 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.