Saturday, October 22, 2011
Final: Nebraska 41, Minnesota 14
By Brian Bennett
Only the truly hardcore fans watched the entire second half of this one, and there wasn't a whole lot to see.
Minnesota showed some spirit in the second half and outscored Nebraska 14-7 after trailing 34-0 at halftime. But clearly the Huskers called off the dogs after a certain point. Brion Carnes subbed in for Taylor Martinez and played the entire fourth quarter at quarterback for the Huskers, and Minnesota's final score came late against defensive reserves. Jerry Kill might be able to build something off the decent second half, but it would still count as a major upset if his Gophers won another game the rest of the season.
Rex Burkhead rushed for more than 100 yards for the fourth time this season with 113 yards and a touchdown, while Nebraska compiled more than 500 yards of offense. It was a strong performance by the Huskers' defense in the Blackshirts' first game without star defensive tackle Jared Crick. But Minnesota's offense is so dreadful that you can't read too much into this one.
The Cornhuskers improved to 6-1 and will have an important Legends Division showdown with Michigan State next week in Lincoln. It figures to be much more competitive than this game was.