Nebraska unable to convert for two against Northwestern

Story and photos by Benjamin Schoenkin, NewsNetNebraska

  • Northwestern Quarterback Clayton Thorson threw for 177 yards.

Nebraska’s big win against Minnesota last Saturday was a distant memory after another fourth quarter Huskers loss, this time at home to Northwestern. The Huskers went up 22-20 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but could not hold on to their lead, like three other times this season.

Nebraska put the first points on the board with a Drew Brown 43-yard field goal in the first quarter. The Huskers three point lead lasted just minutes.

Northwestern Quarterback Clayton Thorson ran in for a touchdown from a yard out and Northwestern went up 7-3. Thorson was part of a scoring play on the next Wildcats’ drive, but the score was not for his team. The Huskers tackled him in the end zone for a safety.

In the second quarter, Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. was involved in a scoring play, but like the Thorson play, points went to the other team. Cornerback Nick VanHoose intercepted an Armstrong Jr. pass and brought it back 72 yards for a Northwestern touchdown.

The Wildcats went into halftime with a 17-12 lead after a 28-yard Jack Mitchell field goal.

In the first drive of the second half; the Huskers took the lead with a 4-yard Armstrong Jr. touchdown run.

Nebraska’s lead lasted less than four minutes when Northwestern’s Jack Mitchell kicked through the uprights from 18 yards out. Northwestern went up 20-19.

The Huskers took back the lead in the opening moments of the fourth quarter with a 48-yard Drew Brown field goal.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, Thorson threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Dan Vitale and the Wildcats went up by five. On Northwestern’s next drive, Jack Mitchell added to his team’s lead with a 27-yard field goal.

The Huskers came close to tying up the game. With a little over four minutes remaining in the game, Armstrong Jr. scored a touchdown on the ground, but his pass on a two-point conversion attempt went incomplete.

Northwestern ran out the rest of the clock for a 30-28 victory.

Following the game, Armstrong Jr. said about the two-point conversion attempt, “ When it got down to clutch time, we got down there, we scored, but when it all mattered when we needed a two point conversion to tie the game up, we couldn’t execute.”

Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley said there were a few defensive plays that affected the outcome of the game. “Gave up probably three or four big plays, that was probably the name of the game in that regard right. A couple quarterback runs, a long pass near their last score I guess. Major differences in the game,” Riley said.

The Huskers are now three and five on the year and will play Purdue next week. Nebraska will need to win three of their final four games to become bowl eligible.

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