Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17: 3 Things That Matter

Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17: 3 Things That Matter

Big Ten

Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17: 3 Things That Matter


Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17: 3 Things That Matter

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Check out 3 Things That Matter about Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17

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Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17

1. The Tanner Lee experience

The hype was growing this offseason around Nebraska’s quarterback. Tanner Lee has the size, the next-level arm, and the skills to be terrific, but in the first two games he showed a bad habit of throwing the ball to the other team with four interceptions.

And then there was the Northern Illinois nightmare.

Lee threw for 299 yards, but he threw two pick-sixes in the first quarter, and gave up a late interception that all but sealed the NIU win.

With no real rushing game to help carry the load – the Huskers ran for jut 85 yards averaging 2.4 yards per carry – Lee has to carry the attack at times.

So far, he can’t, and that might mean …

2. The Mike Riley era is in big, big trouble

With Gary Andersen pretty much done at Oregon State, could Riley go back to being a fit in Corvallis?

For all the problems and issues under Bo Pelini, that whole consistent winning thing is still sort of nice. As great a guy as Riley is, and as much as everyone wants this thing to work out, now he’s 16-13 in his two-plus years.

Thanks to the contract extension given earlier this year, it would be over $10 million to buy it out.

There’s still time, though, to turn this around.

With Rutgers and Illinois up next, the Huskers will be 2-0 in conference play. Stun Wisconsin and/or Ohio State at home, and this whole thing changes.

3. How about giving Northern Illinois some credit?

The offense didn’t really work, but it didn’t make any glaring mistakes.

The running game went nowhere other than a 44-yard Jordan Huff run, and there was just one give pass play. But the defense did the job, there was just one turnover, and there were only three penalties.

The defense held up well after making the two big plays for scores early, and now NIU has its brand name win to show that the program might just be back to its MAC title form.

At some point, QB Daniel Santacaterina has to do more, and this might not have been the prettiest of performances, but Northern Illinois just beat Nebraska in Lincoln. Nothing else matters.

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