The Nebraska Cornhuskers turned the ball over eight times, fumbling three of those inside the red zone as Iowa State hangs on to beat the Huskers 9-7. The loss drops NU to 1-2 in Big 12 play.
A Roy Helu fumble on the first play of the game led to an Iowa State field goal. The Cyclones would later run a fake punt which would lead to another touchdown, but they missed the extra point.
The Huskers managed a touchdown, but blew several opportunities to put the game away, especially in the second half. Helu fumbled in the third quarter after losing the ball inside the five. The ball was recovered in the end zone. Despite great field position most of the second half, the Huskers continued to turn the ball over.
Niles Paul fumbled as he streaked down the sideline having the ball slip out of his hands. As he tried to fall on it, he knocked it into the end zone and it was recovered by the Cyclones.
After Helu’s second fumble, the other costly fumble came when running back Dontraveous Robinson had the ball stripped at the ISU five yard line. After the game, head coach Bo Pelini said, “We left a boat load of points in the field.” The eight turnovers ties an NU record from 1972 which also came against Iowa State.
Robinson finished with 77 yards on 15 carries with NU’s only touchdown. Zac Lee, who Pelini was pleased with, 20 of 37 for 248 yards and three interceptions. The last pass of the game was a bad throw, but Lee had no help from his receivers.
In all, four the Huskers turnovers came inside the five and two of those fumbles were recovered in the end zone. Lee also had a pass picked off at the one.
Iowa State held the ball for more than seven minutes in the fourth quarter on a drive that started at their six. They were forced to punt with less than four minutes to play, but a Zac Lee pass was tipped and Iowa State took over at midfield. After running the clock down to under two minutes, the Cyclones gave the Huskers one more chance. With 1:24 to play, Lee threw three incomplete passes and on fourth and 10 got picked off for the third time to seal the deal.