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Here’s how close Arkansas State came to taking Nebraska to OT

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The Red Wolves’ tying bid at the buzzer was so close.

Nebraska beat Arkansas State on Saturday, 43-36. After A-State scored and recovered an onside kick with 46 seconds left, the Red Wolves nearly tied it.

Arkansas State was fingertips away from tying the game at the last moment, twice having balls hit receivers in the hands and not get caught. The decisive final play was a Justice Hansen pass that skipped through the hands of receiver Kendrick Edwards:

Big Ten Network

On the play before that, a Hansen pass to Justin McInnis bounced off his hands at the front of the end zone and fell incomplete. So if someone asks you, “How close did Nebraska come to getting taken to OT by a Sun Belt team at home in its first game of the 2017 season?” you’ll know that the margin was whisker-thin.

Arkansas State is an excellent Sun Belt team. Over the last few years, they’ve developed a reputation for peaking late in the year, not early. But they came ready to play in Lincoln, and Nebraska wasn’t able to shake the Red Wolves all night long.

As plucky as A-State is, little about Saturday’s result will shake the notion that Nebraska’s due for a rebuilding year. Tulane transfer Tanner Lee was solid at quarterback (238 yards and two scores on 32 passes), and running back Tre Bryant tore it up. But the defense was uninspiring against what wasn’t a great offense in 2016, and getting taken all the way to the wire by a Sun Belt team at home isn’t the most inspiring thing.