Published Saturday, September 15, 2012 AT 5:56 PM / Updated at 8:52 PM
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 42, Arkansas State 13
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Abdullah stepping up

Ameer Abdullah gets better by the week. He’s an All-Big Ten level back now. He had a couple of really tough runs inside, and though Arkansas State’s defense isn’t Michigan, it was impressive. The only thing cooler than watching Abdullah emerge was seeing King Rex Burkhead on the field, an hour after the game was over, playing catch with a bunch of young kids. All wearing No. 22 jerseys, of course.

Kudos to NU defense

Give the defense credit. Kudos, too. This was a tough assignment. Arkansas State snapped the ball once with 29 seconds left on the play clock. The Red Wolves were trying to go when NU was still sending personnel on the field. Most of their plays looked like goofy trick plays. Execution won the day. NU tackled better, especially in the secondary. Eric Martin came to play. They won’t be winning their black shirts anytime soon, but this was a good step on a tough day to play defense.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at


  1. keith says:

    This Defense is only going to get better!!! :-)

    1. steve says:

      They cant get any worse

  2. Kevin says:

    Interesting times we are in, year five looks like year one. Go Huskers!

  3. Malcolm Kass says:

    You can’t tell that the d improved against Ark State. This team was losing to Oregon 50 – 3 midway thru the 2nd when Kelly pulled his starters. If they don’t give up 40+ points to Ohio State, then the defense if improved.

  4. Gene O says:

    While not exactly a big-time team, ASU had shown they can score. The defense looked solid lined up well against an offense going 100mph in pace. How well they’ll do in the B1G is anybody’s guess. But they had stops, sacks, interceptions, and most of all, made good tackles.

    If they keep building on this they might just have a chance at those black shirts by the end of October. Here’s hoping we have a happy Halloween.

  5. NU should have been able to handle ASU’s offense. That’s not Jonathan Franklin they’re trying to tackle yesterday.

  6. T. A. says:

    Tackling much better in space, but our season is being determined at the line of scrimmage. Still starving for the power on the line of scrimmage. On both sides of the ball. When will the mental mistakes of penalities get under control? We ended last season with tons of penalties and have continued into this season. Great to see a wonderful stable of running backs like the Huskers of old.

    1. J K says:

      I dont think I would call 4.3 penalties per game “tons” Especially since that ranks us #20 in the nation for penalties per game.