Much like quarterback Tanner Lee's stat line, Nebraska failed to complete a second-half comeback Saturday at OR, falling to 1-1 on the season with a 42-35 loss.
Nebraska's most risky threat is running back Tre Bryant, who rushed for a career-best 192 yards against Arkansas State. A pocket passer whose reputation is highly accurate throws, Lee was 19-for-41 for 252 yards, three touchdowns and those four interceptions. The final one came with just 2:17 remaining in the game.
The Huskers scored on their first two possessions in the second half with a pair of touchdown passes from Lee to wide receiver Stanley Morgan.
Update: (7:05 p.m.): Nebraska gets a huge stop on third down to force an OR punt. "I think you guys have heard me say it before, but enthusiasm is contagious. Sometimes it's just a little bit better position that all of a sudden doesn't make that throw so easy".
OR would start the game with the ball. With a 45-yard pass and two third-down conversions, UO closed out the first quarter with a two-yard rushing touchdown by Royce Freeman to go back up 21-7.
From a distance, which is how much of Oregon's potential talent sees the program, 5-0 is 5-0 is 5-0. Riley sees it as a learning tool.
While the Wisconsin Badgers are the cream of the crop in the Big Ten West, don't try to tell Lee, Pierson-El or Riley that. He took a lot of hits today. "I think that's why he was a great player, he took pride in it every single day". "Growing up I always thought I was going to be a Duck".
He instead relied on his players to come into the second half and play with pride. Despite giving up 42 points and 409 yards in the first half, at least the Ducks didn't turn into Jayhawks and post a Kansas 76, Nebraska 39 - the infamous score from a decade ago.
"I just gotta eliminate those (bad punts) and just really capitalize on the opportunities I get in just flipping the field", Lightbourn said. OR takes over with 5:50 left to play.
Back in February, around the same time as a National Signing Day embed at OR, I mentioned to Taggart that a slow first year would likely not be received as patiently in Eugene as it was in Tampa. "It was very, very disappointing". The two touchdowns sprung Nebraska - and the horde of fans who traveled to OR for the game - back to life with the score at 42-28.
Taggart made his debut as a head coach with Western Kentucky against Nebraska in 2010, losing 49-10 to the Huskers in Lincoln.
Nebraska's new 3-4 defense looked exhausted and confused at times during the first half, but rallied in the second half to make enough plays to secure the victory.
The Ducks out-gained the Huskers in total yardage 566-361 by game's end.
If you watch OR play Nebraska on Saturday afternoon, you'll notice the Ducks' shiny silver, chrome helmets, yellow outlines around their numbers, and yellow socks. "He'll be a challenge for us, but someone you've got to wrap up and bring to the ground".
Update: (4:16 p.m.): OR doesn't take long to get back on the board. In previous years, less quarterback and more running back.
It's tough to know how good this OR team is right now. "That's all I mentioned to them". It's really a team. "He wants us to enjoy playing football, not to be uptight".