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Senior Day Nebraska Football Against Purdue
Photo Credit: Purdue Athletics

Huskers Credit Mixed Bag of Reasons for Offense Taking Steps Forward

December 08, 2020

There is something different about Nebraska’s offense over the last two weeks.

The offense has not been what you would expect from a Scott Frost led attack during 2020. That can be chalked up to a lot of things. Yes, it’s a weird year. Nebraska started the season playing against very good defenses but things have just run a little more smoothly over the last two weeks. It was a bit of a breakout game last weekend against Purdue for the offense.

Wide receiver Levi Falck was asked about things being better after the Purdue win on Saturday. Falck didn’t think the offense has tweaked much.

“I don’t think we really adjusted much, we’re just executing a lot better,” Falck said. “I don’t know maybe sometimes that happens at the beginning of the season, you’re not executing as well. We all know the plan or we all know our assignments now and I think we’re all executing well. It seems like we’re moving the ball really well the past couple of games.”

Two weeks ago, the Huskers outgained Iowa in yardage by a slim margin 338-322 despite losing the game. In the win over Purdue, the Huskers outgained the Boilermakers 364-332. Nebraska also took advantage a couple short fields during that game. Falck also noted that quarterback Adrian Martinez has improved chemistry with the wideouts. The game reps help Martinez have a better idea of what his pass catchers are going to do.

Martinez is 41 for 50 with 416 passing yards and a touchdown since returning to the lineup. Sophomore wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson believes it’s not just the quarterback. Many things have to go well to make things improve over the last two weeks.

“It’s a little bit of everybody,” Robinson said. “Part of that goes on us with receivers and running backs and tight ends moving in practice the way we should be to make sure that Adrian’s confident whenever we get out to the games. This week was probably our best week of practice with that. It showed out there on the field this week.”

Many Huskers have talked about the improved practice habits since the Purdue matchup. Preparation has been key lately for the Huskers and the team is starting to see what hard work during the week can mean on Saturday.

Getting the quarterbacks and receivers on the same page has been a struggle this season though. There has been constant shuffling at both positions but there seems to be a growing comfort level between Martinez and a core group.

What has allowed the offense to gain some momentum recently?

“I don’t think that’s an easy answer,” offensive coordinator Matt Lubick said on Tuesday. “I think the last two games against two good defenses we played better. It’s combination of things. In practice being more attention to detail as players and coaches. It’s limiting our game plan a little bit. Being more purposeful on our reps and the looks we give.

“Then I think because our quarterbacks can run the ball and they’ve been throwing the ball accurately that helps us stay balanced. That helps to stay really balanced. So, it’s a combination really of all position groups and coaches working a little bit harder and doing the best we can.”

Nebraska’s offense is not a finished product by any means. There is still plenty of room to grow and get better. There is evidence that the group is play its best football of the season down the stretch run of the year. That’s important as the team looks toward the future.

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