If you had an inconsiderate friend schedule a wedding for Saturday and you missed the game, you might be pleased with the final box score. A 21-point win with three rushing touchdowns plus another two touchdowns caught from the tight end unit that was missing Travis Vokolek. But with 11 minutes left in the game, a false start backed the Huskers up to their own 7. The Huskers win probability dropped to an uncomfortably close 73% per cfbfastR model. But a long catch by Trey Palmer for 31 yards saved the drive. After a handful of nice runs by Anthony Grant and Ajay Allen, capped off a long scoring drive to give the Huskers some breathing room. By being unable to put the game away sooner, Nebraska missed a great opportunity to get its starter some rest and let younger guys see the field.
The offense struggled in the first half moving the ball for just 172 yards and barely managing a positive EPA on offense. However, the offense came alive in the second half fueled by some big plays. The Nebraska offense had its fifth-most yards and the fifth-highest EPA of any second half of the Frost era. After passing on nearly 48% of its plays in the first half, the Husker’s offense only passed on 32% of plays in the second half. There’s some speculation that Scott Frost took over play-calling duties in the second half. I don’t think I believe the rumor, although the rushing numbers look more like a Scott Frost called game. Against the bigger and stronger opponents of the Big Ten, I don’t expect the Husker’s offense to be this successful running the ball 2/3 of the time despite how great Anthony Grant has looked so far.
Anthony Grant has been a bright spot in the Husker’s offense. His 290 yards through two games is the 23rd most rushing yards of any player since 2018. He already has the 9th most rushing yards in a season of any Scott Frost running back at Nebraska and only trails Devine Ozigbo in 2018 and Dedrick Mills in 2019 for most rushing TD’s in a season by a Scott Frost running back.
Winning sure beats losing but this was a rough win. The Huskers only have one more week to improve its blocking or tackling before teams will really make the Blackshirts pay later in the season.