The last time Nebraska and Minnesota met…

Nebraska dominated the Gophers for their first win under Scott Frost in 2018.

by John Miller

Final: 53-28 Nebraska over Minnesota

The last time these two teams met, Nebraska dominated from the get-go, giving Scott Frost his first win as the head coach of the Cornhuskers.  This was also the game where Tanner Morgan took over at quarterback after an injury to Zack Annexstad. Morgan has been the starter for the Gophers since.

Nebraska jumped out to an early 14-0 lead over Minnesota and never looked back. The Gophers had trouble stopping the now-Jacksonville Jaguar Devine Ozigbo. He scored the first two touchdowns for Nebraska on 40- and 59-yard runs.

That theme continued throughout the game, as Nebraska ran all over the then-Robb Smith-led Gopher defense. The Cornhuskers would finish the game with an eye-popping 383 yards rushing on 43 attempts, 8.9 yards per carry. Ozigbo would finish the game with 152 yards on the ground, quarterback Adrian Martinez rushed for 125 and Maurice Washington ran for 109. 

At one point in the game, the Gophers had a chance to make a comeback. After jumping to a 28-0 lead over Minnesota, Nebraska let the Gophers rally back in the third quarter. Seth Green had a 4-yard touchdown run in the middle of the quarter to cut the Nebraska lead down to six, scoring 22 unanswered points to make the score 28-22. 

It was all Nebraska after that. Adrian Martinez would go on to throw two touchdown passes and the Cornhuskers would score the next 18 points to make the score 46-22. Overshadowed by the dominance of the run game, the passing clinic that Martinez put on the Gophers defense. He finished the game completing 25 of 29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. 

Of note for the Gophers, Morgan finished the game 11 of 16 for 214 yards passing, in his first real playing time in his career. It was the Gophers’ run game that struggled immensely. On 36 rushing attempts, the Gophers only ran for 125 yards on 3.5 yards per rush. Mohamed Ibrahim was shut down by the Nebraska defense as he finished the game with 18 carries for 49 yards, averaging 2.7 yards per carry.

Quotables from the game:

“Schematically, they stretch you out … they put a lot of strain on a lot of different areas,” Fleck said. “So the one thing you have to do is tackle, and if can you are going to tackle in space, you can usually limit them, but they get you in so many scenarios where you have to make a tackle or that guy misses, and it’s a 50-yard play.”

“I saw from Martinez exactly what you saw from Martinez,” Fleck said. “I think he’s one of the best players in the country already.”

“Congratulations to Coach Frost,” Fleck said. “It’s a big deal, everybody remembers your first. This team should be 5-1 or 4-2.”