Saturday, September 24, 2011
Halftime update: Nebraska-Wyoming
By Adam Rittenberg
Well, at least Nebraska has been a second-half team for much of the season. The ninth-ranked Huskers will need a surge after the break in Laramie. They certainly want to enter next week's showdown at No. 6 Wisconsin with some confidence.
Let's take a look:
Nebraska 14, Wyoming 7: Nebraska's biggest priority tonight was to get its defense on track after surrendering 67 points in its last two games. Despite not having standout DT Jared Crick, the Blackshirts got the job done for most of the first half. But Wyoming freshman quarterback Brett Smith maintained his poise and tossed a 48-yard touchdown strike to Mazi Ogbonna with 3:37 left. Until that point, Nebraska had done a good job of limiting damage and forcing punts, but Smith enters halftime with some confidence.
As for the Nebraska offense, it has been more of the same, some big plays and some disjointed possessions. The Huskers' big-play run game once again is showing up, keyed by QB Taylor Martinez and RB Rex Burkhead. T-Magic and Rex have accounted for the two Huskers' touchdowns in the first half, but the unit's inconsistency remains troubling as No. 6 Wisconsin awaits next week in Madison. Martinez continues to look awkward as a passer, completing just 8 of 15 attempts in the half. Like Michigan, Nebraska is a team that simply can't get into third-and-long situations.
The good news is Nebraska's offense has performed better after halftime the past two weeks. Coordinator Tim Beck will look for more of the same today.