Posted by: Matt Lothrop
The Huskers returned from the Rose Bowl needing to answer questions.
Could they still win without their star player?
Is there enough talent on the defense?
Why is the tackling so poor?
Does Bo Pelini's defense scheme still work?
"Going into the week you think it's just responding to not playing well on the road and that changed as the week went on," defensive coordinator John Papuchis said. "It went from not playing real well on the road and losing a game that you were so disappointed in losing to having a little attrition on your football team."
Ameer Abdullah answered the first question briefly letting people forget about Rex Burkhead. Abdullah took 30 carries for 167 yards and two touchdowns.
Daimion Stafford showed the defense has talent and they know how to tackle.
The Blackshirts demonstrated that the defensive scheme works holding the Arkansas State offense to just 6 points.
Halftime hit the Huskers hard as Coach Pelini left for the hospital. The Big Red didn't handle that adversity right away.
"I think the coaches went out and rallied and the players we had a little bit of a slow start in the second half but they came alive and finished off well," running backs coach Ron Brown said.
Eager to prove something the defense bailed out the Husker offense holding the Red Wolves to 10 points off the three fumbles.
"We proved to our selves that we're better than what we played last week," senior defensive end Eric Martin said. "We're not really worried about outside factors. We're just worried about what's within us, us a as a defense "
The Huskers faced a week criticism, Pelini's pulse problems, and their fare share of bad calls, but how they responded showed what kind of team this Huskers squad can be.
"There's so many life lessons that I think our guys can take from this," Papuchis said. "It's been a very trying and emotional week and I'm glad to see the way our team fought."