Nebraska hit a hail mary on the final play of the game to top Northwestern 27-24 in a wild Big Ten game Saturday night. Cornhuskers quarterback Ron Kellogg dropped back at the Northwestern 49 and chucked it deep. Jordan Westerkamp came down with the ball, and Nebraska walked out with a miraculous victory.
Nebraska scored on its first possession, with quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. running for a five-yard touchdown. Northwestern took control from there, though, with Treyvon Green running for three unanswered touchdowns. A three-yard Armstrong pass to Quincy Enunwa narrowed the Wildcats' halftime lead to 21-14.
The much-maligned Nebraska defense stepped up from there, as defensive lineman Avery Moss picked off a Trevor Siemian pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown, tying the game halfway through the third quarter. The score held well into the fourth quarter, as neither offense could string together an extended drive.
One of the defenses was going to make the crucial play, and Northwestern beat Nebraska to the punch. With less than three minutes left to play, Wildcats defensive lineman Tyler Scott dropped into pass coverage on 2nd and 10 at the Nebraska 29, picked off an Armstrong pass, and returned it to the Nebraska 7 yard line. It was the third interception thrown by Armstrong in his last eight attempts. Nebraska's defense held firm against the Northwestern offense, but Jeff Budzien kicked a 21-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 24-21 lead.
Nebraska's one-minute drill looked ineffective. Facing 4th and 15, Kellogg dumped a pass to Ameer Abdullah. The halfback lunged for a first down to extend the drive. After two more short completions and an incomplete pass, Nebraska set up for the hail mary. The Husker receivers streaked down the right side, Kellogg threw a bomb, and Westerkamp hauled it in.
Box Score Hero: In a game where neither team threw effectively -- Northwestern was just 8/21 passing on the evening -- the player of the game had to be Northwestern running back Treyvon Green. The junior running back ran 19 times for 149 yards and all three Northwestern touchdowns.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither Nebraska nor Northwestern is likely to reenter the Top 25 on the basis of Saturday's performance, but Nebraska remains alive for a Big Ten Legends Division title with the win. Northwestern falls to 0-5 in the Big Ten.
But Did They Cover? Nebraska was a four-point favorite entering Saturday's game. They didn't cover. They won't mind.
For More On This Game: For more on Wildcats football, visit Northwestern community Sippin’ On Purple. For more on Huskers football, visit Nebraska community Corn Nation. Also read up on the nation's oldest conference at Big Ten community Off Tackle Empire.
Next Week's Schedule: Nebraska visits Michigan, while Northwestern takes a week off before their own run-in with the Wolverines on November 16.
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