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09.20.2011 / The glass was half full as the Huskers get another win over Washington. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.

Looking at the glass half full Nebraska is 3 and 0 and the Huskers have provided a glimpse of what they can be at their best during the middle of their 51 to 38 victory against Washington. This was the third time in 12 months these teams have matched up together.

"Pelini said, We will keep getting better, there is no question in my mind."

Probably the brightest glimpse began with 1:49 remaining in the second quarter and ended with 12:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, after Aaron Green’s second touchdown gave Nebraska a 44-17 lead, though the 50-yard pass from Taylor Martinez to Kenny Bell on the game’s first play from scrimmage lit up the cool, gray afternoon as well.

During those mid-game 19-plus minutes, the Huskers were in sync in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams. The result was a 27-0 run, breaking open a tie at 17.

The glass-half-full stretch began with a 10-play, 42-yard drive to a Brett Maher field goal to end the half and give Nebraska a 20-17 lead, which increased to 34-17 in the first 5 minutes of the second half. “We came out, we wanted to make a statement,” said coach Bo Pelini. “We talked about it in the locker room, to come out and impose our will on those guys to start the second half.”

And that’s what the Huskers did.  First, the defense forced a Washington three-and-out. Then the offense drove 56 yards on nine plays to a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, the Huskies mishandled the ball, and Nebraska’s special teams got it back, with Mathew May recovering at the Washington 1-yard line.

For the second time in 9 seconds, Rex Burkhead put the ball into the end zone, and the Huskers had some breathing room. “That was a big way to start the second half,” Pelini said.

But the Huskers’ glass-half-empty play, particularly on defense, resumed in the fourth quarter, when Washington scored 21 points. “I don’t like the way we finished,” said Pelini. “Defensively, I thought we relaxed a little bit. We did a couple of boneheaded things there at the end.”

For the second consecutive game, the Huskers gave up 100 yards to an individual rusher, in this case Chris Polk, who gained 130 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown. And Huskies quarterback Keith Price completed 21-of-37 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions.

The second interception, by Austin Cassidy, came on a desperation pass with 1:19 remaining. “I like where we are right now,” Pelini said. “We’ll keep getting better, there’s no question in my mind.”  His glass was half-full, as you would expect it to be.

For more great content on the Huskers, check out Huskers Illustrated Magazine and www.huskersillustrated.com

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