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Here are four areas that factored into Nebraska's loss at Minnesota on Saturday:

Time of possession

Entering Saturday: P.J. Fleck's teams like to control the clock, and even though the Gophers have struggled offensively this season, they're still very good in this area. They ranked second in the Big Ten in TOP. 

Saturday: From the start — Nebraska went three-and-out to start — Minnesota owned the clock. The Gophers had the ball for more than 11 minutes in the first quarter, running 20 plays to Nebraska's eight.

Interestingly, the Gophers didn't control the game with their run game, but rather with the passing success of Tanner Morgan.

All told, Minnesota had the ball for 38 minutes. Nebraska had it for 22.

Scott Frost talks about Nebraska's flat start and the little details after the loss to Minnesota.

Empty drives

Entering Saturday: Nebraska has fared better in recent weeks in capitalizing on offensive opportunities in opponent territory, ranking sixth in red-zone percentage.

Saturday: Nebraska took a major step backward, failing to score any points on three straight second-half drives in Gopher territory.

One drive ended at the UM 1-yard line (turnover on downs).

The next drive reached the UM 9 but finished in a missed field goal.

The next Husker drive reached the UM 34, but NU turned the ball over on downs.

NU was moving the ball (25 plays for 142 yards) in those three drives, but couldn't finish.

Keeping the Gophers grounded

Entering Saturday: The Blackshirts prepared for a Minnesota offense that was missing its top two running backs, ranked 12th in the Big Ten in total offense (334.2 ypg) and dead last in passing offense (141.8).

Saturday: Minnesota had more than 141 passing yards by halftime.

Tanner Morgan, who was completing just 52.2% of his throws coming in, was 14-of-15 for 171 yards and two scores in the first half as the Gophers took an aggressive approach in the passing game.

He finished 20-of-24 for 209 yards, and he connected with Chris Autman-Bell 11 times (on 12 targets) for 103 yards. Twenty-one of Morgan's pass attempts were of 15 yards or less.

Passing struggles

Entering Saturday: Nebraska ranked fourth in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency and was sixth in passing offense.

Saturday: Adrian Martinez misfired to open receivers on NU's first two pass attempts, and the struggles continued, especially on third downs, where the Huskers were 4-for-12.

Martinez was 1-for-7 to start the game, but found some rhythm in the second half. He was 4-for-9 on third-down plays, and 3-of-7 on short attempts (5 yards or less). He was better on throws of 15 yards or more (7-for-11).

The senior quarterback finished 18-for-33 for 241 yards and a touchdown. He was 13-for-28 for 201 yards before NU's final scoring drive as the Gophers played soft coverage up 14.

Percentagewise, it was Martinez's worst game since going 16-for-32 against Illinois.


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