Multiple 2021 Husker pledges backed the progress of the program and their commitment to it following Friday’s 26-20 loss to Iowa.
NU’s top-rated commit, tight end Thomas Fidone of Council Bluffs Lewis Central, said on social media the Huskers’ miscues were the reason for the setback.
“Man ... Nebraska didn’t lose to Iowa,” Fidone tweeted. “We lost to ourselves ... too many mistakes.”
Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg of Kearney Catholic tweeted he believes in Frost and that his dedication to NU “has never wavered,” adding: “Rome wasn’t built in a day but bricks were laid every hour. Bricks are being laid right now.”
Offensive lineman Branson Yager of Grantsville, Utah, also indicated his support, while defensive back Marques Buford of St. Thomas More in Oakdale, Connecticut, posted, “Just wait on it … ”
Nebraska has 21 known commits in its 2021 class. The early signing day begins Dec. 16.
Robinson says Huskers will get over hump
Wan’Dale Robinson shook his head a little when he was asked a question. What if Nebraska fans doubt the progress of the team at this point?
“Keep doubting us,” Robinson said. “We’re going to get over the hump eventually. I know there’s a couple of us who will make sure that happens.”
Robinson had his third straight strong game, finishing with 117 all-purpose yards on 15 touches. He was Nebraska’s leading rusher and receiver Friday.
Special teams falls short
Nebraska’s kicking, punting and return game was not as good as it had been in the 26-20 loss to Iowa on Friday compared to the rest of the 2020 season.
The Huskers had forced a three-and-out, forcing the second Hawkeye punt of the day early in the fourth quarter. Cam Tylor-Britt muffed the punt. The Hawkeyes recovered the Husker mishap, which led to a Hawkeye 37-yard field goal, putting Iowa up 26-20.
The Huskers' punting struggled substantially.
Entering the game, Sophomore punter William Przystup? averaged 42.81 on punts. Against Iowa, he averaged 37 yards per punt, one of which was returned for 31 yards late in the first quarter.
“That's detail and stuff that I'm talking about ,” Scott Frost said. “As an entire coaching staff and the leaders on our football team, 2e can't let anything happen -- not one inch of anything that's not disciplined, not buttoned up. Those things can't happen.”
Graduate transfer Connor Culp was perfect on place kicks, nailing both point-after attempts, along with a 31- and 39-yard field goal.
Culp’s kickoffs, however, were not as sublime. While Culp is not the only one to blame on Iowa’s starting field position, Iowa was left with short fields after kickoffs. Culp’s kickoffs averaged 41.6 yards on Friday, and Iowa started between the 30- and 34-yard line after all five kickoffs.
» Sophomore inside linebacker Luke Reimer walked off the field hobbled midway through NU’s first defensive series and missed the next one before returning late in the first quarter. He said he has “a little ankle injury” but will play through it. Redshirt freshman Nick Henrich filled in during his early absence.
Reimer still finished with a team-best 12 tackles as the Blackshirts held Iowa to a season-low 2.9 yards per carry.
“They were just going to run the ball and we have to stop the ball, stop the run,” Reimer said. “I thought we did an okay job at it, but clearly not enough. So always room to improve.”
» Senior running back Dedrick Mills didn’t travel with the team and Nebraska made up for his absence by spreading the carries around. In addition to quarterbacks logging 17 carries for 70 yards, Wan’Dale Robinson (six for 42), Rahmir Johnson (five for 23) and Marvin Scott (seven for 13) all took handoffs as well.
» Iowa has lost to Nebraska once in eight seasons, that came in 2014 when Bo Pelini trotted off the Kinnick Stadium field for the final time as Husker coach with a 37-34 overtime victory.
That setback still haunts Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.
“You rank games and all that,” Ferentz said. “It’s probably within the top five of the worst losses we had here. Twenty-two years, that’s about as bad as it gets. You can’t cover a kick, turn it over in the red zone, give up an easy one before halftime.
“That one is kind of burned into my memory bank, unfortunately. Probably never shake that one.”
» After taunting the Nebraska sideline last November after kicking the winning field goal, Iowa’s Keith Duncan was at it again after going 4 for 5 against the Huskers on Friday.
Last year, Duncan blew a kiss toward the Husker bench after giving Iowa a 27-24 victory. His holder also wagged his finger at the sideline before finishing his gesture like he was shooting a gun.
Friday, an Iowa media member asked Duncan if he was treated like public enemy No. 1 on the field this year for his antics in 2019. The senior laughed and had this to say about the Huskers:
“I think they were too worried about growing their mustaches than playing football. That’s the difference between Iowa and Nebraska. We are focused on football; we are focused on playing the right way.
“That’s what they do in pregame. They’re talking, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. That means they’re worried about you. We played dangerous today and we came out with a win.”