Noticed: The difference in how the teams handled the wind. Nebraska wasn’t bothered a bit, not in the passing game or the kicking game. The Gophers, on the other hand, couldn’t overcome it. Philip Nelson didn’t throw effectively and the punter struggled badly.
Back to the drawing board: A toss to Ameer Abdullah. Nebraska has run this play over and over. Tim Beck added a twist Saturday. In the first quarter, Abdullah was supposed to pull up and throw down the sideline to Jake Long. But Long got hung up, and the Gophers dropped Abdullah for a 5-yard loss. Nebraska’s offense is versatile, but it needs a little work on the trick plays.
Peculiar play I: Christian Eldred’s second-quarter punt went straight up in the air, hit the south wind, dropped like a bag of rocks and bounced backward. The Gophers desperately chased the ball to limit the damage. It was a 7-yard punt. Ouch.
Peculiar play II: Nelson, Minnesota’s quarterback, tried to go deep on Josh Mitchell early in the third quarter. The ball hit receiver Andre McDonald, but it slipped through his hands, bounced off his leg and popped up in the air, where Daimion Stafford intercepted it.
Rave review: Nebraska’s defensive front seven. It stifled the Gophers’ running game, eliminating any thought of an upset. Minnesota had just 10 rushing yards in the first half.