The Northern Illinois Huskies shocked Nebraska at home on Saturday afternoon, beating the Cornhuskers 21-17 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln behind Jordan Huff's 145 rushing yards and a score.
Tanner Lee offered a mixed bag for Nebraska at quarterback, finishing 25-of-47 with 299 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions. The loss was the latest disappointment for a Nebraska program that has struggled in recent seasons under head coach Mike Riley, as Darren Rovell of ESPN.com and Stewart Mandel of The Athletic noted:
Darren Rovell @darrenrovell
With Nebraska loss to Northern Illinois, Mike Riley is 16-13 with the Huskers. School added a year to contract, now runs through 2020.2017-9-16 19:21:06
Stewart Mandel @slmandel
What a bad, bad loss for Mike Riley. Sad state of affairs for Nebraska football.2017-9-16 19:19:28
"I have great confidence in Mike, to extend his contract to four years," Nebraska president Hank Bounds said Monday, perI expect us to compete, and I have every confidence that we’ll extend it again in December."
He added: "If you look across the landscape, contract lengths are all over the place—from three years to a much longer term. It was prudent at this time, as a signal, to show to everyone our support of Mike."
But after Nebraska's second loss of the season, following a 42-35 loss to Oregon last week at Autzen Stadium, it's safe to assume that at least some Cornhuskers fans are feeling buyer's remorse. Especially given that Nebraska had never lost to a MAC team before Saturday, according to Timothy Burke of Deadspin.
The response to Nebraska's loss was not pretty, which The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach and USA Today's Dan Wolken summed up neatly:
Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach
Nebraska deserves this L.2017-9-16 19:15:14
Dan Wolken @DanWolken
Nebraska, that was trash2017-9-16 19:14:25
On the flip side, it was a great afternoon for NIU, as ESPN College Football noted:
ESPN CollegeFootball @ESPNCFB
This is what a $820,000 check to NIU got Nebraska. https://t.co/247pEFlj6n2017-9-16 19:37:07
Things won't get easier for Nebraska once the Big Ten schedule begins—the Cornhuskers face Wisconsin on Oct. 7, Ohio State on Oct. 14 and Penn State on Nov. 18. The Associated Press ranked all three programs in the Top 10 in its Week 3 poll.