When Nebraska announced Bob Diaco as its new defensive coordinator, the first thing you thought was “Bet he’s going to give up 500 yards and 27 points in the opener” right? Yeah, me neither. Nebraska’s game against Arkansas State ranks up there with Louisiana Tech in 1998 and Wisconsin in the 2012 B1G Championship Game in the “What the f*@$ was that” category.
In a lot of ways, the game felt worse than it was. If I told you the Red Wolves ranked 71st in the country in yards per play after Saturday, you’d probably call me a fool given the collective angst of Husker Nation right now. And yet that’s exactly where they are heading into week 2. Nebraska’s biggest problem was the inability to get off the field on third down in the first half. After two 3 and outs early because of untimely penalties, Buster Faulkner’s unit ran off a stretch of converting 4 out of 5 third downs in the first half to end it with 17 offensive points. The Blackshirts cleaned it up in the second half, but the psychological damage was already done.
Let’s take a look at some of what went wrong and what that portends–if anything–for Nebraska’s remaining schedule.