Rapid Reaction: Nebraska stunned by BYU Hail Mary
Final: BYU 33, Nebraska 28
Telling stat: 469 total BYU yards
But the only ones that Nebraska fans will remember are the last 42. Ouch.
Key play: Tanner Mangum’s touchdown to Mitch Mathews for THE WIN
Wow. The backup quarterback threw a game-winning Hail Mary and did exactly what Ron Kellogg did to Northwestern two years ago. Without Taysom Hill, the Cougars appeared to be dead in the water. Instead, Mitch Mathews made the catch of the year in the young college football season. You can’t make this stuff up.
Nebraska passed more than it ran
That doesn’t happen very often in Lincoln. Put the new pro-style offense with Danny Langsdorf is going to utilize Tommy Armstrong’s big arm more. Armstrong threw for three touchdown passes and didn’t look for the run. Still, he could’ve thrown three interceptions easily had BYU made the plays it needed to in pass coverage. The third-year starter still looked like an underclassman at moments. There will still be growing pains for Armstrong in this system in 2015.
-Longest opener streak over
The longest opening week winning streak in college football died when Mathews sent the Nebraska faithful into stunned silence. Nebraska had won 29 straight opening games. The Huskers were one batted ball away from sending everybody home happy and making it 30. Instead, one of the most painful losses in Nebraska history unfolded. Happy-go-lucky Mike Riley might not have too happy of a night thinking about that one.
-Nathan Gerry’s interception provided lift
Nebraska was hanging on for dear life and in danger of falling behind by three scores. The Huskers had just lost ace punter Sam Foltz to what looked to be a serious injury. But the junior stepped up and picked off Taysom Hill and returned it 43 yards to set up an all-important touchdown. Without Gerry’s momentum shifting pick, the Cougars would’ve rolled to a comfortable victory.
What it means: Here comes the fire
It was all hugs and smiles in Lincoln before Saturday. But for Riley to lose his debut in that fashion, he’s going to be facing questions for media, fans, boosters and everybody that bleeds red in Lincoln. We’re going to see how well he can handle the spotlight in a hurry.
What’s next: vs. South Alabama
Luckily it’ll get much easier for the Huskers. But it’ll be awfully hard to move on from that one.