Nebraska football writer Parker Gabriel offers his extra points from Nebraska's 53-28 win over Minnesota.
Turning point: Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez hit receiver Stanley Morgan for a 35-yard touchdown to stanch the bleeding midway through the third quarter. Martinez rolled right and had Morgan in single coverage. Morgan ripped by his man on a post route and hauled in a firm throw for an easy score.
The Huskers held Minnesota scoreless in the red zone on the next trip and pushed the lead back to three scores on their next drive.
It was over when: Maurice Washington trotted into the end zone on a 3-yard carry for the final points of the game. Really, it was probably over when Morgan raced 67 on a catch and run to put the hosts up 46-28 with 4:14 to go.
Quotable: Scott Frost, with a smile, talking about getting doused with water after his first career win:
"That’s an inappropriate … shower. First of all, it was cold. I took it like a man, I saw it coming. I’m glad the guys are so excited. They deserve to be excited, but there’s going to be a day around here when we’re not celebrating one win, and we’ll keep working toward that.”
Game ball: Nebraska senior running back Devine Ozigbo.
Talk about a career renaissance. Ozigbo rushed for 152 yards and a pair of scores and has now gone for 150-plus in three of the Huskers’ past four games. He had never rushed for that number in his career before he did it against Purdue. The big back already has a career-best 600 yards on the season, is averaging 7.1 per carry and is on pace to join the ranks of 1,000-yard rushers at NU.
Game ball: Frost. The team gave him the game ball in the locker room after win No. 1 on his ledger here, so we will, too.
Notable performance: The offense as a whole. A 659-yard night will open a lot of eyes, but the efficiency was crucial. Nebraska’s 14 possessions finished in seven touchdowns, a field goal, a victory formation, five plays before halftime, three punts and a fumble. That’ll work just about every week.
Also a nod to senior linebacker Dedrick Young, who struggled at times against the Gophers but came up with a crucial fourth-quarter interception in the end zone.
Deep connection: Morgan’s 67-yard touchdown was NU’s longest completion and one of four 40-plus-yard plays on the day for the Huskers.
Numbers for the road
9.0: Yards per play for the Huskers, easily their best output of the year.
7:03: Time of possession on NU’s game-shortening drive that ended with a Barret Pickering field goal midway through the fourth quarter.
11:33: Huskers’ time of possession in the fourth quarter, more than the first and third quarters combined.
7: Husker drives that covered 72 yards or more.
2, 1: Surprisingly, the number of tackles for loss and sacks, respectively, for NU against a game Minnesota offense.
86.2: Martinez’s completion percentage, which included two stretches of 11 consecutive connections.
249: Yards of offense for Minnesota backup quarterback Tanner Morgan in the second half in relief of starter Zack Annexstad.