World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel offers his key takeaways from Nebraska’s win over Michigan State.
Kirk Cousins was asked if the Spartans were worn down from the emotions of the past three weeks, including the Hail Mary pass to beat Wisconsin. He said no way. He said that’s why the Spartans train year-round. Good for him. I mean, the Spartans could have had a letdown. It happens. But that’s also called “a football season.” You have to play well each week. But the Spartans gave NU all the credit for their scheme and physicality, and they should have. This was Nebraska’s best game of the year.
NEW HABIT FORMING?
The Huskers beat a top-10 team for the second straight season. Last year, it was Missouri, and the Tigers ended up in the Insight Bowl. I don’t keep track of all the stats such as who was ranked where when NU played them. I measure progress by conference championships and BCS bowls. That said, you can’t get there unless winning becomes a habit. And beating ranked teams becomes a habit. Nebraska got out of that habit. Maybe what we saw was a step back in that direction.
There were times Saturday when Nebraska-Michigan State looked like the alley fight scene from “Anchorman,” minus the triton. A lot of players had to be helped off the field. It was raw Big Ten ball at its best. If you were wondering if the Huskers could handle the physicality of this league, go ask the Spartans how NU handled it Saturday.