Nebraska football writer Parker Gabriel offers his extra points from the Husker football team's 28-3 win over Buffalo.
It was over when: Luke Reimer shed a blocker, reached up and snatched away an interception on the first play of the fourth quarter. Nebraska was already in good shape, but the sophomore from Lincoln North Star returned the ball to the UB 1-yard line and Gabe Ervin plunged in on the next play for a 21-3 lead.
Turning point: Nebraska had moved the ball but had not converted in the first quarter. On a third-down play deep in its own territory in the second, junior quarterback Adrian Martinez shrugged off a free blitzer and raced 71 yards to set up NU’s first score. It wasn’t always pretty for the offense from there, but it provided the Huskers a jolt and the home team never trailed against the Bulls.
Quotable: Nebraska coach Scott Frost on meeting the family of Marine Corporal Daegan Page, the 23-year-old Millard South graduate who was one of 13 United States soldiers killed in a suicide attack outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan last month.
“I tell you, that puts everything into perspective,” Frost said. “Everything I’m doing, everything everybody’s doing. Daegan was over there and didn’t come back, and that’s a lot more important than a first down, a third down, the score of a game or a ballgame in general. And what a great family. His little sister, Emerson, was so sweet. And mom and dad. That was touching, and it puts in perspective how important that is compared to what we’re doing.”
Game ball: Martinez gets it, but it could have been his buddy Samori Toure, too.
Martinez finished 13-of-19 for 242 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 112 yards. Most weeks, that will go a long way toward winning the game. This week was no exception.
Game ball: Reimer played his best game as a Husker, and he’s had a couple of good ones. The sophomore not only had a key interception, but he made a whale of an individual play to stuff a fourth-down swing pass in the first half that looked like a sure first down and instead gave the offense the ball back out around midfield.
Oh, and Reimer had 16 tackles (7 solo) to lead all defenders in the game. Not bad.
Hat tip: Tight end Chris Hickman has seen his role grow this year due to a camp injury to junior Travis Vokolek and the early departure of Austin Allen on Saturday. He’s had a couple of errant throws in his direction over the first three games, but finally converted a couple of big ones on Saturday, too.
Hickman finished with three catches for 90, including a 27-yarder from Martinez on a backhand flip and a deep ball from Logan Smothers for 54 yards late in the game.
Deep connection: Martinez and Toure hit it off quickly and it’s showing more and more frequently. Toure had exactly two catches against Buffalo and each went 68 yards for a touchdown. He also had a touchdown taken off the board because of an offensive pass interference flag that was thrown on Wyatt Liewer all the way across the field and away from the play.
Numbers for the road
246: Rushing yards, by the Journal Star’s count, for Martinez on designed pass plays that turned into scrambles through three games this year. On 14 scrambles, that’s 17.6 per attempt.
0: Sacks in the game. Total.
10.5: Sack-adjusted yards per carry for Martinez, who outside of sacks has rushed 28 times for 293 yards through three games.
0: Turnovers for Martinez and Nebraska.
10: Players for the Huskers who caught passes in the game.
81: Yards on a pooch punt for Buffalo quarterback Kyle Vantrease. He only netted 61 because the ball rolled into the end zone. Even still, quite an effort (and quite a fortuitous bounce).
5: Kicks missed by NU senior Connor Culp through three games (three field goals, two extra points). Three have faded right, one was hooked left and one, bizarrely, appeared to sneak inside the left upright.
79:57: Game time between Fordham’s last points last week (a 31-yard, second-quarter touchdown pass) and Buffalo’s first and only points Saturday, a third-quarter field goal.
10: Points per game NU’s defense has allowed through three games (21 against Illinois, seven against Fordham and three against Buffalo). That test gets a little stiffer next week against Oklahoma.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.