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Nebraska defense not half bad in Oregon loss

(TSX / STATS) -- Tanner Lee was a turnover machine, while the defense, in the first half, was historically inept in Nebraska's 42-35 loss to Oregon, but it's easy to come away impressed by the potential of this Nebraska squad.

Where Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert and running back Royce Freeman shredded Nebraska in the first half, the defense turned into a stifling unit that not only prevented the Ducks' offense from scoring in the second half but forced multiple seemingly game-changing turnovers.

Unfortunately for Nebraska, the team was unable to capitalize at all on the great effort by the defense; and that starts with Tanner Lee who spent much of his second half throwing curious passes followed by the overshooting of open wide receivers.

If Lee plays up to his potential, Nebraska wins this game.

Sure, the Huskers lost, but the guess here is that Lee doesn't have many more performances like this and the defense continues to progress, based off the second half against a team that finishes the season as a top 15-20 squad.

--LB Dedrick Young is the most talented linebacker on the team and has been steady in run support, but still hasn't produced any of the game changing turnovers the team needs, which is surprising considering his sideline to sideline athleticism.

--DT Mick Stoltenberg has been the one down linemen who has graded out well so far this season. Even though the Huskers haven't been able to get after the passer or bottle up the run, Stoltenberg has held up well at the point of attack. It's on Carlos and Khalil Davis along with Freedom Akinmoladun to match Stoltenberg's level of play.

--CB Eric Lee is steadily transitioning into one of the more capable cornerbacks on the roster as Riley mentioned Lee getting more comfortable within the parameters of the defense. It seemed only a matter of time before the former top 100 recruit emerged as a difference maker.

--RB Jaylin Bradley figures to emerge as the lead backup to Tre Bryant with coach Mike Riley singling out the freshman running back as a player who should see an expanded role in coming weeks.

Updated September 12, 2017

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