Published Saturday, October 26, 2013 AT 5:56 PM / Updated at 11:55 PM
Tom’s Takes: Minnesota 34, Nebraska 23
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Lot to like: Start with Ameer Abdullah. It’s he who should be the focus of this team, not who plays quarterback. Nineteen carries, 165 yards and one terrific hurdle of a Minnesota defender. No, that fumble didn’t help. Also, Taylor Martinez’s first drive. Two long field goals (45, 42 yards) by Pat Smith. The TCF Bank Stadium atmosphere in general. Lot of things to do for fans out and about the stadium. Minnesota’s campus has it all figured out.

Not so much: There’s too much to list here, so I’ll go with this: the idea of Nebraska football, in Bo Pelini’s sixth year, not showing up, not playing with urgency, in a Big Ten game with a lot on the line. And getting blown off the ball on both sides of the line of scrimmage. This one wasn’t trickery. That hurts most of all.

Harry Grimminger Award: I’m tempted to go with Minnesota tight end Drew Goodger, but this is a Nebraska player of the game award. I’m going to go with Abdullah. Yes, there was a fumble. But he’s just so darned fun to watch. He’s really becoming an elite back. His cuts are beautiful things.

Bottom line: Ugly loss. Season-killer? No. It doesn’t have to be. But now you basically have to win out to expect to win the division. Now you have to win at Michigan and Penn State. Even though Michigan and Michigan State could both lose two, that has to be the mentality. That’s a lot to ask a Nebraska team that left the Twin Cities with its collective head down.

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