Heads down, long faces after home loss to Indiana
LINCOLN — Nebraska suffered a 38-31 loss to Indiana Saturday, which was its’ third conference loss in the last four games.
A sellout crowd inside the Sea of Red witnessed the Hoosiers score 22 second half points to reach their sixth win of the season. It was a demoralizing loss for the Huskers and the two teams seem to be going in opposite directions heading into week 10.
Nebraska did finish the game with 514 yards of total offense compared to Indiana’s 455. However, the Hoosiers ran more plays, lead in time of possession and converted 14 points off of two Husker turnovers. It was also the fifth time this season the Blackshirts allowed 34 or more points.
The Huskers are frustrated with their performance and senior linebacker Mohammed Barry wants some leaders to emerge. Accepting accountability is the start of the healing process. The coaching staff and players must also take a look in the mirror and ask themselves who’s all on board. As of right now some individuals don’t seem to be buying into Scott Frost’s culture change.
“The leaders got to lead better,” Barry said. “Like I said at the beginning of the season, everything that we don’t accomplish is because of the leaders and I’m going to hold myself and all the seniors to that.”
The Huskers did score enough points to win the ball game. It was the Blackshirts that couldn’t come up with a clutch stop to get the offense the ball back. Every week it seems like the Huskers are finding ways to lose games instead of learning from the previous ones and using their success in the next.
Nebraska is a far cry from the 24h ranked team to begin the season. Injuries have plagued Frost’s team and the indefinite suspension of Maurice Washington takes away another dimension of the offense. The Huskers have been going about their business with second-string quarterback Noah Vedral.
Not to mention Wan’Dale Robinson has had a heavy workload all season. He didn’t even practice until midweek and still finished the game with 154 total yards and a rushing score. Robinson wants another individual on offense to step up and help contribute with the production.
“There’s still some guys on the team that aren’t bought all in with our mentality that Coach Frost wants our team to have for the years to come,” Robinson said. “We have to start that now, we can’t just wait for that to come.”
Although Robinson is just a true freshman, he tries to preach the winning mentality to everyone on the team and even gets in some of the veterans’ heads about it. Vedral had done a decent job filling in for Adrian Martinez the last two games.
He has 336 yards through the air, 70 on the ground, two rushing scores, but no passing touchdowns. Vedral even showed tremendous effort, chased and tackled an Indiana defender who was about to score on a fumble return. It was a turnover and highlight in one play from the Huskers.
“That’s my job, I’m the closest guy to that guy, if I think I can catch him it’s my job to catch him,” Vedral said. “Especially if I’m the one who fumbled the ball.”
Vedral just wants to do his job in any way to help the team win through this dry spell. In order to be successful in the Big Ten a team must be able to effectively run and throw the ball. Nebraska’s offense still lacks the intensity and killer instinct. Frost wants the unit to be lights out, similar to what he had at Oregon and Central Florida.
He’s still installing freshman and even got freshman Luke McCaffrey some throws, carries and he even scored a touchdown. At this point Frost needs do whatever to win and save the season. Even burning McCaffrey’s redshirt isn’t out of question.
Regardless of the matter, something has to change on both sides of the ball and fast, or the Huskers could potentially suffer their third-straight 4-8 season.