All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
In Sunday's episode, Carriker gives his final thoughts on Nebraska's overtime loss to Northwestern.
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Here's a transcript from the show:
Welcome, everybody, to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where each and every day I’m checking the pulse of Husker Nation and at the end of the show I will briefly offer my thoughts on the head coaching position — head coach Mike Riley.
But first, #beardgate day number 12, the dirty dozen, if you will.
I just got done watching the film and going over the stats of the Nebraska-Northwestern game played this past Saturday. The first thing that stuck out to me was the overtime period. Probably because I watched it first!
But this really stuck out to me: Northwestern gets the ball first, they go right down the field and they score. They score a touchdown on fourth-and-goal.
The Huskers get the ball: the first thing that happens is we have an incomplete pass, then we have a sack, then on fourth-and-11 we have a batted ball. So Northwestern gets the ball on their possession in overtime, they go right down and they score a touchdown. The Huskers, on four plays in their overtime possession, have a total of minus-1 yards.
Now, Northwestern had more passing yards than we did, they had more rushing yards than we did. They were 3 of 4 on fourth down, they had more first downs. The Wildcats had almost 500 yards of total offense. We lost just about every major statistical category that there is. Keep in mind, we still did have a chance to win this game at the end of the game.
Now, we also lost the turnover battle, we had more penalties and we had more penalty yards.
This is just frustrating, I’m not going to lie, it’s just frustrating. But the facts are what the facts are. Unfortunately, Tanner Lee completed 55 percent of his passes, he had three interceptions. He now leads the Big Ten Conference in interceptions.
Now, he had played better the past four games and I was starting to buy in just a little bit. Two of those four games, Wisconsin and Ohio State—were legit good defenses. I know what happened to Ohio State this weekend, but that’s a talented, good defense with the Buckeyes!
So two of the four games where he had played well were against legit competition.
Now…this is such an unpredictable team. The past two games combined, we don’t even rush for 100 yards — combined — we rushed for 84 yards total.
Then, we play Northwestern, who is one of the better rush defenses in the entire country, and we rush for over 100 yards. Tanner Lee plays really well for four games against some really tough competition, then he plays the 119th-ranked pass defense as far as total pass yards allowed per game, and he throws three interceptions!
Kinda makes you wonder…maybe you give Patrick O’Brien just a look? You know? But Tanner had played better, does Patrick just not look that good in practice? I’ve seen him in practice, he looks okay. But Tanner had played better. It’s such an unpredictable team this year.
There were times in this game where I thought we were playing all right. There were other times — not as much. After the pick six, there’s something that stood out to me. We get the interception — WE GET THE PICK-SIX! We take it in, we get the lead, it’s like 'Yes, we can take control of this game,' We’ve got the lead, now we can take over…it was interesting. The guys celebrated, they were excited, but they weren’t as excited as I thought they should be.
You gotta understand, I believe football is legalized violence. I believe football— it’s okay to whip someone’s rear end sideways, it’s okay to spank someone like a 4-year-old in K-Mart in between those white lines. That’s what it’s about, legalized violence! I just didn’t see the reaction and enthusiasm after the pick-six that I thought they should have had. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m on an island, sometimes I am. That’s okay. I don’t mind doing that.
There were times in the game I wasn’t crazy about the play-calling from the coaching as well, now we did play a couple of very young offensive linemen as well, but the offensive line continues to struggle this season. I said in my Thursday prediction show, Nebraska — this game was going to be close with Northwestern. I thought we were going to have a chance to have a game-winning drive, just like we did against Purdue. I said we’re probably going to have that chance again. And we did! It was 24-24. All we had to do was get a field goal. Had we been able to convert to win this game, two game-winning drives in a row, that could have really helped the morale of the players, the coaches, Husker Nation in general.
Obviously, it just didn’t happen. One of the most frustrating things for me, though — you watch Iowa vs Ohio state. We have higher-ranked recruits than Iowa. Yet, they beat us. More often than we beat them. And they beat Ohio State pretty bad. Look at what Ohio State did to us.
We have higher-ranked recruits than Arkansas State who we barely beat, and Northern Illinois who we lost to, Northwestern who’ve we now lost to two out of three times, we’ve lost to twice in a row at home. That’s what is frustrating for me, we’ve got to get more out of our players. This is our fourth straight game without a rushing touchdown.
Now, as far as our head coach, here’s where I’m at. I’m so incredibly close to just saying 'We need to fire Riley and just go get Scott Frost.'
Here’s the thing, Bill Moos has said he’s not going to do anything before the end of the year. Scott Frost isn’t going to do anything before the end of the regular season — wouldn’t make any sense for him. We are so incredibly close, we are less than three weeks away from having a decision, the day after Black Friday, is the day I’m looking toward to having some sort of decision.
We need to make sure we don’t lose any more recruits, I know Bookie Radley-Hiles just decommitted. Keep our recruits on board for less than the next three weeks and then we should have a decision. I feel like today’s been such a downer. #Frustration but #HuskerForever. Right, Husker fans?! I’m done with the hashtags.
This was a special Sunday night edition of the Carriker Chronicles, check it out every Monday-Friday 8 a.m. Central Time, 30 minutes after every Husker game, Go Big Red, and always remember no matter what, to THROW THE BONES!
How would you grade Nebraska's performance against Northwestern?
The Huskers lost 31-24 in overtime Saturday at home against Northwestern. How would you grade the performance?