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Nebraska Football Knee-Jerk Reactions: Wisconsin

Tommy Armstrong

Tommy Armstrong

At this point, it’s kind of impressive. Amazing, really. How many ways do you find yourself in position to win a football game only to have it ripped from your mitts in the coldest way possible? Gut punches, one after another and the Wisconsin Badgers are the owners of the fourth against the Nebraska football program in six games.

If the Huskers didn’t have bad luck they’d have no luck. It’s gotten into Texas series territory. I can only imagine that Mike Riley’s getting the bad karma out of his tenure now because seriously, this is all nothing short of mind-blowing.

Let’s review:

- I don’t care what anyone says, Tommy Armstrong is playing hurt. His mechanics have gone to crap, basic fundamentals are out the window and he’s throwing far too many balls like he did in Spring Practice. I admire the guts and the determination. That’s a captain, but he is not anywhere near 100 percent.

- For those who wanted the running game, you certainly got it. However, while the final score is what it is, did anyone else have a Cory Schlesinger flashback when Andy Janovich busted free and Memorial Stadium blew its collective top? I know it wasn’t just me.

- The offensive line reminds me of a pizza that’s not quite done. Yeah, it’ll hold the sauce and the toppings, but when you try to take a bite, you see the dough stretch and there’s no way it’s holding the pepperoni.

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- It was fun watching Maliek Collins working his hardest to dine on yet another quarterback. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s an appropriate defender to put next to him that will make the ultimate difference. Greg McMullen’s not bad and he certainly can outperform Vince Valentine right now, but that’s not enough. Jack Gangwish on the other hand, he can go full raccoon.

- The linebackers are a M.A.S.H. unit, but I will say that Chris Weber is looking like a potential scholarship player. He’s making the best of a bad situation and if there’s a kid that I can say is fighting despite all the heartache, it’s him.

- A number of people are upset that this secondary doesn’t look back for the ball. My theory is that the speed simply isn’t there, so they are working with watching a wide receiver’s eyes and hands. Is it a perfect strategy? No, but it’s what can work right now.

- Speaking of the secondary, there were so many opportunities for picks in this game. It didn’t need to come down to a field goal as Nate Gerry could’ve housed a pick early on. It seems like a lack of confidence to bring the ball in once it smacks the defensive backs in the hands

Long story short: if you add 14 points to the scoreboard via pick-sixes (or at least set up for easy scores), we’re not having another heartbreak conversation.

- Argument: Mike Riley is just too nice. Counterargument: Gets a personal foul that costs his team 15 yards. It was nice of the refs to hang over the make-up call, though. 

— 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.