Posted by Adam Jacobi
NEBRASKA WON. Nebraska halfback Rex Burkhead and the rest of the Husker offense ran wild against a porous Wyoming D, and Big Red came away with a relatively stress-free 38-14 win in Laramie.
WHY NEBRASKA WON: There's no question that Nebraska is far and away more talented than Wyoming, and that was made evident early and often in this game. Wyoming's true freshman QB Brett Smith will probably be a productive player down the road, but his inexperience showed in this contest as Wyoming was forced to punt on its first five possessions. Considering Nebraska was missing All-American DT Jared Crick to injury, the effort and production were commendable up front for the Husker defense. Meanwhile, on offense, Nebraska rushed for 333 yards and four of its five touchdowns on 49 carries.
WHEN NEBRASKA WON: Midway through the third quarter with Nebraska up 24-7 when Ameer Abdullah fumbled on a 3rd down reception near midfield. Wyoming took advantage and drove into Nebraska's red zone, but a 32-yard field goal that could have made it a 2-possession game was missed, and Nebraska uncorked an 80-yard touchdown drive in response. 31-7, ballgame.
WHAT NEBRASKA WON: The message to the rest of the Big Ten is clear: Nebraska's here to rush the ball with authority, and the Huskers did exactly that on Saturday with 6.8 yards per carry and a 7-13 3rd down conversion rate. And yet, this was still a 14-7 game at halftime, making Nebraska 4-for-4 on slow starts this year. That's concerning as the team heads into Big Ten play against competition that isn't going to allow the Huskers to get away with taking a couple quarters off very often.
WHAT WYOMING LOST: Thinking about playing a heavy favorite in terms of "losing" things is a little counterintuitive, as really, Wyoming had nothing to lose except for health. Being that the Cowboys stayed pretty much injury-free on Saturday, this is a rather productive loss to take. Wyoming players shouldn't be happy or anything, but this isn't going to wreck the Cowboys' season by any stretch. They hosted a big-time program and gave it 60 minutes of solid effort. Not bad.
THAT WAS CRAZY: In the fourth quarter, on a 3rd and 6 at Nebraska's 10-yard line, Brett Smith threw a fade route to wideout Josh Doctson, who stretched to make the catch on the sideline in the end zone. The play was ruled incomplete, and the call stood on the field.
That's what officially happened.
What actually happened is Doctson made an absolutely spectacular catch that should have been ruled a touchdown -- and headlined every highlight reel of the weekend. Doctson barely dragged his feet while making the diving, over-the-shoulder catch, but the officials didn't see enough to overturn the incomplete ruling, and that's a shame. It's also a moot point, because Smith threw an easy touchdown to Robert Herron on the very next snap, but Doctson was robbed here.