Nugent: Tough lessons pay off for the Huskers at Purdue

Head Coach Nebraska Football
Head Coach Nebraska Football(Purdue Athletics)
Published: Dec. 5, 2020 at 6:11 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Huskers are a team learning lessons from losses. No doubt there’s always something to gain, but not everybody is willing to look in the mirror and do it.

There were two comments after the ten point at Purdue that show how the team is improving off the losses.

First from Cam-Taylor Britt, who made several big plays against the Boilermakers. “We preached all week to finish,” said Taylor-Britt. Cam saying that has added value because he muffed a punt late against Iowa that cost the offense significant field position while trailing by three, a back breaking play. This week Cam and the Huskers were locked in on not allowing anything like that to happen. Taylor-Britt made a tremendous leaping play with five minutes to go on a third and long breaking up a Purdue pass, the Boilermakers never scored another point.

More from that fourth quarter against Iowa, here’s the head coach Scott Frost, “The details have just been better, we’ve preached that for three years, I think the message got across even more clearer after the couple mistakes that cost us against Iowa.”

Go back to that week, the Huskers were locked in on having a great run of practices because they did not the week before against Illinois. The Team delivered on that great week which gave them a chance to win the Iowa game, but the fourth quarter mistakes killed their opportunity. A week later, the team came to practice with the same intensity that gave them a chance against Iowa but with an added emphasis on avoiding late mistakes.

As painful as the losses are, this is a good sign, it is progress.

Earlier in the week Scott Frost said they did a study that showed the offense scored on more than 90% of its possessions when it did not commit a penalty, have a bad snap or turn the ball over. Five days later it wasn’t until the 11:30 mark of the fourth quarter that the offense was flagged for a penalty and there wasn’t a bad snap or turnover. The first 11 possessions against Purdue that were penalty free created 34 points. Sure, one of those drives started at the one, you get the idea though. The Huskers scored on six of those 11 possessions against Purdue and punted five times. Not anywhere close to 90 percent, but a winning formula and that’s all the matters.

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