8-0. No, that wasn't the score. It was the turnover ratio. Never in my years of playing Xbox have I seen a disparity in the turnover battle such as this.
The number of times Nebraska turned over the ball today almost matched the total score for the Iowa State Cyclones. Eight turnovers to nine points.
The Blackshirts played inspired ball today, the offense put the defense in bad position after bad position today, and the defense responded. They did everything but get a turnover, which was desperately needed.
In the three losses Nebraska has suffered this year the defense has forced a total of zero turnovers. Something to think about moving forward.
The story isn't about the defense though, it's about the offense. It's about a lack of execution and an odd inability to hold on to the ball.
The usually sure-handed Roy Helu Jr. put the ball on the carpet twice today, on the first play of the game, and again in the second half inside the five yard line when it looked like he would score.
But it wasn't just Helu. The Huskers put the ball on the ground a total of seven times today, and it was recovered by Iowa State five times.
Not only that, but Nebraska also fumbled four times inside the five yard line and lost them all.
The Red Zone woes continue for the Cornhuskers, and to be honest, it's starting to make Husker fans think that maybe this team doesn't want to win.
Three touchdown runs were taken away by three fumbles in this game:
Niles Paul had a sure touchdown, saw the end zone, and inexplicably dropped the ball.
Dontrayevous Robinson got stripped on a run that would have put Nebraska in great field position.
Roy Helu Junior fumbled again on a run that looked like it would end in the end zone.
It was the turnover battle that defined this game.
Nebraska literally dropped the ball in this one, and it doesn't get any easier.
Anyone who thinks that Zac Lee and Shawn Watson are the only problems on this offense is at the very least short-sighted.
If today proved anything about the offense it was that there is more than one quarterback, one call, or one running back that is the problem for the Huskers.
There is something broken on offense, and it has to do with confidence.
The quarterback has no confidence, the running backs have no confidence, the wide receivers have no confidence, and the offensive line has lost its confidence. Nebraska's loss today had as much to do with confidence as it did with turnovers.
Nebraska has no confidence on offense and Iowa State was a perfect opponent to regain some, instead they may have lost it for the rest of the season.
Some people may say there is only one way to go after a game like today, but there isn't. Nebraska can force themselves to be confident or they can quite. It's up to the players, not the coaches.
Will they fold, or will they press onward?
Life goes on, and so does the season, but we can go either way.
Coach Pelini this is your biggest challenge yet. There is no foe, no opponent like lacking confidence. Can you turn this program around? It must be done, life must go on.
End the turnovers, end the backward slide, and move on. Huskers, it is time to man-up and make some plays instead of giving them away.