The Huskers hold on to beat Clemson 26-21. After a first and goal from the Husker 10 yard line, Cullen Harper was dropped for a sack back at the 22, then CJ spiller dropped Clemson Cullen Harper’s pass in the endzone on third down, then Harper’s 4th down pass was off target and the Huskers hold on for the win.
The name of the game was defense in the first half. Just 128 yards of total offense for the Huskers, 119 for Clemson. After a scoreless first quarter, the Huskers had the ball in their own territory when D’Andre McDaniel deflected an option pitch byJoe Ganz to Quentin Castille, picked it up and went 28 yards for the touchdown to give Clemson a 7-0 lead. Then Ganz drove the Huskers down into field goal where the sophomore Alex Henery hit from 48 yards to put NU on the board. After an interception by Anthony West on Clemson’s ensuing possession gave the Huskers first and 10 at the Clemson 27, Ganz immediately got picked off by Crezdon Butler who took it all the way down to the Nebraska 13 with Ganz making the stop. After Ndamukong Suh sacked Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper on first down, Harper hit Aaron Kelly for a 25 yard touchdown to go into the half up 14-3.
Earlier in the game, Suh blocked a 20 yard field goal attempt and the Husker defense stopped Clemson on a 4th and 1 try inside the 40. Suh was all over the field harassing Harper and shutting down Spiller and the Clemson running game. Before Harper’s touchdown pass, he was just 7 of 18 for 78 yards. Ganz was not fairing much better, just 9 of 21 in the first half. Clemson really did a great job of shutting down the running as well. Just 16 carries for 25 yards. Marlon Lucky, bothered with turf toe had no carries and just a two yard reception. Roy Helu Jr. was held to -1 yard on five carries. Quentin Castille and power game was working to some degree as he had 27 yards on his first 6 carries.
The second half was a different story. Nebraska took their opening drive down the field and on a 3rd and 11, Ganz hit Nate Swift who made a great fingertip catch in the corner of the endzone to pull the Huskers to 14-10. After a three and out, Clemson punted, but Niles Paul muffed a line drive punt and Clemson got it back at their own 45 and later answered on a 41 yard pass from Harper to Jacoby Ford and just like that the Huskers were down 21-10.
Castille helped NU come right back rattling off a 58 yard run. Then, Ganz danced in the pocket and found Todd Peterson who muscled his way into the endzone for a 17 yard reception to pull NU to within 21-17.
Blake Lawrence picked off Harper and the Huskers blocked a punt which both led to 28 yard field goals by Alex Henery and after three quarters, Nebraska grabbed their first lead of the game 23-21. Henery would add another field goal, but Clemson drove down and had a first and goal at the 10. After a sack, Harper found Spiller in the endzone who dropped the ball. On 4th and goal Harper’s last pass fell incomplete.