It seems Nebraska will continue to look for a signature win to propel the program back to its 1990’s heights elsewhere, as they lose for a second straight season to UCLA, allowing Brett Hundley and the Bruins to come back from an early 18 point deficit, only to go scoreless for two and a half quarters in an embarrassing loss.
UCLA shut out Nebraska in the second half as they scored 38 unanswered points. Brett Hundley was 12-of-15 with three touchdown passes from the moment Nebraska took the 18 point lead, with the Cornhuskers simply unable to get anything going on offense or get a single meaningful stop on defense. On the way, a few records were broken.
The 28 points Nebraska gave up in the third quarter were the most ever by the program, and getting beat 31-0 in the second half the largest 2nd-half deficit for Nebraska since 2004 at Texas Tech (-42) and it’s the Huskers’ largest at home over the last 10 seasons. The Bruins were 1- 21 when trailing by double figures at halftime since 2006 before the game, but they also came back from behind in California last season to beat Nebraska.
Brett Hundley’s improvement from last year might be a big reason for all this success (2-0 start, ranked higher than #16 in the nation very soon). Hundley ran for 61 yards, but he also threw for 294 yards and three touchdown passes, enjoying a strong game from Jordon James on the ground with 105 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.
We came in at halftime and there weren’t a lot of adjustments that needed to be made. It was more of an adjustment in our mindset. There were no mystical, magical X’s and O’s. It was just our players doing what they’re supposed to do and really just loving what they do, and that’s playing football.
Maybe the emotion and shock from the death of receiver Nick Pasquale was a bit too much for the young players during the early goings in the game, but once they got their bearings, things started to fall in their rightful place.
The emotion got the best of us and we wanted to do a little bit too much on offense and defense. When that kind of settled down a little bit, we took a deep breath and came out and made a statement.
It’s hard to point a finger at one specific play that made the game, but momentum has to change somewhere, and this time it was probably Hundley keeping the play alive long enough for UCLA to score its first touchdown of the half, making them feel a lot more confident as they head out onto the field again a bit later on. His run for 13 yards on third-and-12 might have been the play that saved the day.
While Nebraska prove once again that vs quality opponents they simply don’t have enough talent to prevail, UCLA are well on their way to prove to be the force of the South division in the Pac-12. There is still USC and the Arizonas to worry about, but for now, it seems like they’re getting by every test with flying colors, making the most out of the opportunity to prevail and comeback from a terrible start.