Great call: Minnesota’s 33-yard, fourth-and-10 touchdown pass in the second quarter gave the Gophers a 14-10 lead and boosted momentum. The actual call — a seam down the middle to Derrick Engel — wasn’t extraordinary. But boldly going for it when many coaches would’ve pooch-punted deserves praise.
Bad call: Nebraska got three points on its final drive of the first half. But its clock management was sloppy, especially when Bo Pelini called his last timeout with 15 seconds left — 20 seconds after the previous play.
Big breaks: Twice in the second quarter, Ra’Shede Hageman tackled Taylor Martinez on third down, halting drives. But both times he was flagged for a face mask, giving NU 15 yards and a first down. Nebraska, however, produced only three points.
Noticed: The absence of Spencer Long. The senior All-Big Ten guard may not have stopped Hageman one-on-one, but his leadership alone would’ve aided the struggling offense.
Rave review: Pat Smith is no Alex Henery — not yet, anyway. But his three field goals, complicated by a tricky crosswind, kept Nebraska in the game.