Rapid Reaction: Nebraska overcomes sloppy performance for Week 2 win over Buffalo
Final Score: Buffalo 3, Nebraska 28
Brief Recap: Well, the Huskers improved to 2-1 on Saturday afternoon, but Scott Frost’s team was far from impressive against MAC foe Buffalo. Nebraska did enter halftime with a 14-0 lead, but the theme of the first two quarters was missed chances. The Huskers had multiple big plays wiped off the board due to penalties while kicker Connor Culp missed an early field goal. Culp would miss all three of his field goal attempts on the afternoon.
After hanging onto a 14-3 lead entering the fourth quarter, Nebraska was finally able to pull away for the comfortable win. Luke Reimer had an interception that set the Huskers up in business inside the five-yard line. Then, a missed field goal by the Bulls led to a second touchdown for Samori Toure to put the game away with just under 6 minutes remaining.
Key Player: Adrian Martinez. It comes as no surprise, but the driving force for Nebraska was once again the play of Martinez. He set up Nebraska’s first TD with a scramble that led to a 71-yard gain. That run put Martinez over 2,000 career rushing yards with the Huskers. He also threw 2 touchdowns to Toure on the afternoon. Martinez finished 13-for-19 throwing the ball with 242 yards and 2 TDs. He also rushed for 112 yards on 9 carries.
Key Moment: The deciding moment in the game did not come until the fourth quarter as the Bulls fought hard all game long. But Reimer’s interception just after the start of the 4th quarter gave Nebraska the ball on Buffalo’s one-yard line. Gabe Ervin Jr. would punch the ball in for a touchdown, giving Nebraska the 21-3 lead and enough breathing room to cruise to the end.
Key Stat: Penalty yardage. Buffalo did enough to shoot itself in the foot with penalties, but Nebraska was also sloppy in Week 2. The Huskers committed 9 penalties for 71 yards in the win, and the timing of those penalties was significant. Nebraska was able to overcome those self-inflicted wounds against the Bulls, but things will be different against the remaining teams on Nebraska’s schedule.
What it means moving forward: Outside of Nebraska continuing to struggle with “the little things” in big moments, there are not a lot of key takeaways. A win is still a win, even if it was far from convincing. The toughest games on Nebraska’s schedule are still to come, starting with next week’s showdown against No. 4 Oklahoma. That game will be on FOX at 12 pm EST.