Nebraska Football

Nebraska Football: Gabe Ervin has great first audition vs. Illinois

For me, there were a couple of positive performances that I should recognize despite the Nebraska football defeat on Saturday. I highlighted Garrett Nelson earlier on Sunday. Gabe Ervin should also be recognized as well.

At the start of the game, it looks like the Illinois defense had Ervin figured out. The running back was stuffed at the line on the first couple of plays. However, he was able to break off a sizable run later on in the first half, and we got to see a little bit of what he could do. Even as the Illinois defense smashed him to the ground, his legs kept moving.

He was not afraid to take on contact, and he was also not afraid to try and keep his legs moving. I heard the coaching staff saying this all offseason, and it is true: Gabe Ervin is a physical, hard runner. He ran through the holes with conviction, and he ran with a purpose. That much was evident on Saturday. He was not afraid to get into the dirty areas, and he made the most of his carries.

The statistics may not exactly jump out at you. He finished the game with 12 carries for 33 yards. An 11-yard rush was his longest of the afternoon. Averaging 2.8 yards per carry, he didn’t exactly break off any major runs. However, the effort and physicality was there. In my book, that’s good enough for me. In what was a rough day, he provided a bright spot.

I’ll be intrigued to see if his role continues to increase at running back. He certainly did enough to warrant seeing extended time .  After much speculation surrounding his name in the offseason, he lived up to it Saturday. I will give him credit. I was impressed with how he was able to make plays out of nothing. He just put his head down, and took hits. That is Nebraska football.

They say you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Ervin certainly made one on Saturday. Here is to hoping he continues his heart-nosed play throughout the course of the season.

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