Nebraska football looked like it might be building some positive momentum after last week. The Huskers beat fellow struggling power program Penn State 30-23, to pick up its first win of the year. Illinois made sure that idea went away very quickly this afternoon.
Things have come crashing down this week in a major way. A game at home against 1-3 Illinois, one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, should’ve presented a great opportunity to move to 2-2. That is not how today has played out one bit.
The Fighting Illini lead today’s game 41-23 with under three minutes left, as of this writing. There was perhaps no worse moment than the one that just happened, as Nebraska was driving in Illinois territory to try and potentially cut the lead to two scores.
On 4th and 18 from the Illini 34-yard line, Nebraska quarterback Luke McCaffrey took a shot to the end zone. He was picked off by Illinois’ Jake Hansen in the end zone, who returned it to the nine. Adrian Martinez is now in the game for the Huskers.
When Nebraska said they saved football this season, did they mean specifically at Illinois or
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) November 21, 2020
My team is embarrassing so I have no room to talk but Nebraska’s defense getting gashed by *Illinois* while literally wearing their black shirt skull-and-bones jerseys is really delicious.
— Farmer Jones (@thefarmerjones) November 21, 2020
lmaoooooo Nebraska stomped its feet and yelled and screamed that they wanted to play football and then
GOT FETTY WAPPED
BY ILLINOIS pic.twitter.com/ut6h4wyggO
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) November 21, 2020
Nebraska football won’t find a lot of pity from others around the college football world either. The team was among the loudest in the Big Ten in defiance of the league’s original decision to cancel the season. After its game earlier this year against Wisconsin was canceled due to an outbreak within the Badgers’ program, the Huskers tried to buck league rules and schedule a non-conference game, an effort that was shot down.
Fair or not, plenty of found some serious schadenfreude in Nebraska’s continued struggles this season.
Defining moment of Nebraska football today. Illinois Punter so shocked by the open field he didn’t know what to do. https://t.co/QHaFGPlJYd
— Ryan MacKay (@RyanMacK95) November 21, 2020
Scott Frost, 103 days ago: “Our university is committed to playing no matter what that looks like and how that looks.”
It looks like Illinois 31, Nebraska 10 right now.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 21, 2020
Illinois hadn't scored more than 24 in a game in the first month of the season. Illini have Brandon Peters back and already have 28 on Nebraska in the first half today.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 21, 2020
Scott Frost’s continued struggles to get his alma mater turned around are pretty shocking. With his success at UCF, you’d think he’d at least get them back to regular bowl play and general competitiveness against the second tier in the Big Ten.
Right now, the Huskers are in the league’s basement, and there’s no way to argue otherwise.