Now that my blood pressure has gone down sufficiently for me to form complete sentences, I'm going to try to give a little commentary on a game that tore the collective heart out of Husker Nation.
Yes, it hurt that bad. At least it did for me.
Despite the Blackshirts playing well for most of the game, they gave up the big play with under two minutes to go and lost another heartbreaker.
There were a few bright spots, though not bright enough to chase away the gloom after this loss. Roy Helu Jr. bested his personal single-game mark in rushing. Alex Henery was stuck on automatic and made a nifty rugby-style punt of 76 yards with Hokie heat in his face. Niles Paul's 54-yard punt return gave Nebraska a spark and led to their first points of the game. Defensively, Ndamukong Suh continued to make a name for himself. If you didn't know who he was before today; you had better know now.
However, both offenses looked horrible at times. Nebraska couldn't find the end zone with a GPS unit. The implosion after getting first and goal at the Hokies' 6-yard line will echo in the minds of Husker fans for a long time.
From what I've seen, many Husker fans are upset with a particular defender, who they believe had a bad game and then gave up the big play. Personally, I don't like to call out any particular player, especially an amateur. Yes, he plays for a big-time college program, but he's just a kid. Besides, he wasn't the only defender fooled on that play (the corner was frozen by Taylor's scramble and let the receiver slip past); however, he was the only player to sack the quarterback on the next one. If you want a goat, fine. You want your pound of flesh? Kick your dog. Or blame Pelini for not going for it on fourth-and-one when Virginia Tech was out of time-outs and Helu had posted a career rushing day. The coaches are professionals; blame them for not calling the right plays at the right time, especially in the red zone, and settling for field goals instead of touchdowns.
And while this one hurts, I can't help but feel that Nebraska is still headed in the right direction. Yes, their record of futility against Top 20 opponents continues, as does their penchant for losing the close game, but I know that the majority of America didn't think that the Huskers would be competitive in Blacksburg, let alone come that close to winning. On that note, a special shout-out goes to the degenerate gamblers at work who picked VT. Although there are no moral victories, at least you lost your money.
A lot of people are also saying that the better team lost the game. While my heart tells me that Nebraska is the better team, you have to score touchdowns, not field goals if you want to win. You have to be better than a missed call by the officials or a single lapse in pass coverage. Nebraska failed in that respect...in epic fashion.
All Husker fans can do at this point is hope that this young Nebraska team learns something positive from it.
And when Nebraska finally gets that elusive win over a Top 20 team, the scream of jubilation you'll hear coming from North Texas? That will be me.