There was a reason Nebraska needed a comeback to win at Northwestern last season and it had to do with something head coach Bo Pelini was asked about Tuesday on the Big Ten teleconference.
Nebraska coughed up the football on two punt returns and also lost a fumble on offense to go minus-three in the turnover battle last year in Evanston. That allowed the Wildcats to build a 28-16 lead that the Huskers had to erase in the final six minutes to win 29-28.
“Turnovers have hurt us against them the last two years,” Pelini said. “I remember standing on the sideline last year and saying it was like déjà vu from the year before, up until we kind of came back and won the game in the fourth quarter.”
The Huskers also lost two fumbles in the teams’ 2011 meeting when Northwestern won 25-21 in Lincoln. The Wildcats actually overcame two interceptions and a fumble to win that game.
Nebraska was plus-five in turnovers after five games but has slipped to plus-two after committing five over the last two games. Northwestern is plus-three on the season despite a 4-4 record.
Not much else of note from Pelini on his weekly 10-minute segment, including on the Huskers’ quarterback situation. As Pelini said at his Monday press conference, Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg are set to go at quarterback – “if we were to play today” — with Taylor Martinez’s status up in the air because of injury.
“If that changes, I’ll let you know,” Pelini said.
Nebraska also will be watching the Northwestern quarterback situation. Kain Colter had been taking the majority of snaps recently , but Pelini said NU will still prepare for Trevor Siemian because Colter has been banged up.
“I think you’re going to see both guys,” Pelini said. “It’s hard to say, because I don’t necessarily know what the injury status is and the health status is of Colter. How they choose to come out and play, you really don’t have any idea.”
* * *
Listen: Bo Pelini on the Big Ten teleconference: