When I woke up this morning and read the headline: “Suh, Nebraska stop Arizona in Holiday Bowl,” I couldn’t help but chuckle a little.
Stop? Stop doesn’t even begin to describe what the Cornhuskers did to the Wildcats on Wednesday night. Stop is something you do when you’ve had too much to eat. Completely shutting someone down to the point of feeling sorry for them is what Nebraska accomplished against Arizona in their 33-0 Holiday Bowl victory. The game was over for Arizona after the coin flip.
The Cornhuskers held the Wildcats to 109 total yards of offense and only 46 passing yards. They also limited Arizona to 3-of-15 on third down conversions, picked off Nick Foles on the third play of the game and held the Wildcats to a messily 63 rushing yards. It was by far the most impressive performance any team this bowl season.
I was a little worried that AP College Football Player of the Year and Heisman finalist Ndamukong Suh was going to come up short in the expectations that were bestowed upon him coming into the game, but he lived up to the hype. He only had three tackles (one for loss), but he was all over the field and exhibited outstanding size and strength.
The Cornhuskers have a bright future under Bo Pelini and even though Suh is on his way out, Nebraska’s defense is loaded with playmakers. Their offense is still a concern (although they looked good last night), but Pelini feels as though his defense matches that of Alabama and Florida. And after their performance last night, it’s hard to argue with him. I realize they weren’t playing an offensive juggernaut in Arizona, but limiting any team to 109 total yards is unbelievably impressive.