The Nebraska football team's defense was much maligned this season. Once the year came to a close, more than a few Husker fans started to wonder if changes weren't coming. Among the changes called for by the Husker fan base, was the firing of Erik Chinander.

The defensive coordinator saw his unit struggle down the stretch. The Black Shirts allowed 27 or more points in five of their last six games. A 54-7 victory over Maryland was the one outlier.

It turns out that despite a performance that had more than a few Nebraska football fans blaming the defense for missing a bowl game this season, it appears the offense should have shouldered more ire.

Offensive efficiency takes a step back

With losses on the offensive line, as well as Devine Ozigbo and Stanley Morgan, a drop in offensive efficiency should have been expected, as analytics guru Adam McClintock pointed out. Going by the user name CFB Professor on Twitter, McClintock says his data shows the defense actually had a 9.4 percent improvement in efficiency over 2018.

That tracks with what ESPN's FPI ratings have to say. A year ago, ESPN had the Nebraska football team finishing the season with a 44.2 FPI, which had them ranked 82nd in the country in efficiency ratings.

This season, the Huskers posted a defensive efficiency rating of 59.4 which ranked them 49th in the country.

On the flip side, the Huskers did indeed see a rather steep drop in offensive efficiency. Last year, the Huskers' offense earned a 60.16 rating, which had them 41st in the country. This year, that rating has dropped to 49.05 and was ranked 67th in the country. Likewise, McClintock says his numbers have the Nebraska football's offensive efficiency dropping by 9.2 percent.

A bad offense leads to a bad defense

When this current Nebraska football team arrived in Lincoln, they were clear in how the defense would feed off the offense and vice versa. The Huskers' offense is built to score points and score quickly. Even when they don't find the end zone, Scott Frost has gone on record often saying the team is not a ball-control offense.

If the offense isn't geared to be on the field all that long, by contrast, Chinander's defense is tasked with seeing the field quite a bit.

When the Huskers aren't scoring points, that adds to the level of stress put on the Blackshirts. Chinander and Frost have said so numerous times, both at UCF and now Nebraska.

Cornhusker fans have had a run of seeing defensive coordinators talk about revamping the defense, only to allow opposing offenses to score quite a few points. It seems, at least for now, the offensive struggles in 2019, are more to blame for the missed bowl game.

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