In the game: NU defies odds in waning seconds

2013-11-02T20:00:00Z 2013-11-02T22:38:11Z In the game: NU defies odds in waning secondsBy Dylan Guenther / dguenther@columbustelegram.com Columbus Telegram

Nebraska defeated Northwestern 27-24 Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers rebounded from a sluggish showing against Minnesota a week ago, downing the Wildcats in the final seconds on the first game-winning Hail Mary in the history of Nebraska football. Here is a breakdown of what went well, what didn't, and other fun facts to satiate your Husker appetite:

Thumbs Up

Pass defense: Nebraska held Northwestern to just 81 yards passing while completing just 38 percent of its passes. The Huskers consistently got pressure on both Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian and tallied four sacks, with one apiece from Jason Ankrah, Avery Moss, Corey Cooper and Ciante Evans. Evans led the team with five tackles for loss.

Thumbs Down

Ball security: Running a two-quarterback system, both of Nebraska's quarterbacks struggled at times with taking care of the ball. Redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw three interceptions while completing 52 percent of his passes, while Kellogg III threw one interception while completing 54 percent of his passes.

By the numbers

1,108: Nebraska I-back Ameer Abdullah's season rushing total. The junior rushed 24 times for 127 yards against Northwestern. Abdullah is the first Nebraska player to reach 1,000 yards rushing in eight or fewer games since Ahman Green had 1,098 yards through eight games in 1997. Abdullah's 1,000-yard season is the 34th in school history, and he is the eighth NU player to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Abdullah may have made the play of the game on the final drive when he gained 16 yards on a catch and run to convert on 4th-and-15 to keep the drive alive.

Play of the game

Ron Kellogg III's 49-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Westerkamp with time expired: The senior walk-on came through with what may be the play of the year for the Huskers. With one minute, 20 seconds remaining in the game and no timeouts, Kellogg marched the Huskers down the field before finding Westerkamp for his first career touchdown reception with zeroes on the clock. Kellogg finished with 104 yards passing and the score, and Westerkamp tallied 104 yards receiving (26 yards per reception) and the touchdown. Kellogg III was 6-of-8 passing for 83 yards on the game-winning drive.

Fun Fact

Sure-handed defensive ends: Redshirt freshman defensive end Avery Moss returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to tie the game at 21-all. It was the third pick-six by a Husker defensive end this season, as both Jason Ankrah and Randy Gregory have found the end zone after picking off passes.

Copyright 2015 Columbus Telegram. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Marketplace