Put off those Big 12 North title celebrations for another week. Texas A & M got three field goals from Randy Bullock, the last coming with 3:02 to play to edge the Huskers 9-6 on a penalty filled, frustrating night for Bo Pelini’s squad.
Taylor Martinez missed most of the first half after re-injuring his right ankle and was limited in what he could do offensively as he attempted to come back in the second half. Martinez was held to 17 yards rushing on 11 attempts. Meanwhile, Cody Green couldn’t do much against a stout Aggie defense that held NU to 137 yards rushing.
This game was all about defense and bad penalties. NU shut down A & M as well. Ryan Tannehill was just 17 of 27 for 172 and no touchdowns after he has led A & M to four previous wins in which the Aggies were averaging 41 points. Alfonson Dennard did a great job of stopping their top receiver Jeff Fuller, who only had one catch, which was a 36 yarder. As the game wore on, A & M was able to run the football as Cyrus Gray went over 100 yards for his fifth straight game.
All Nebraska could manage was a 48 yard field goal in the first quarter which came after NU got flagged for a late hit on a defender and a false start which backed up what should have been a 28 yard pitch shot into a much longer field goal that Alex Henery nailed. Henery’s second field goal, a 28 yarder, tied the game at 6-6 on NU’s ensuing possession in the fourth quarter after the Aggies went up 6-3.
Penalties killed Nebraska, mostly on the offensive side as the Huskers were flagged 16 for 140 yards with a few unsportsmanlike penalties and a questionable late hit call on A & M game winning drive late in the fourth.
The Huskers lacked discipline tonight and they followed the lead of their coach Bo Pelini who lost his composure several times on flags that were thrown against the Huskers.
NU must win next Friday against Colorado or get a Missouri loss to Kansas on Saturday to clinch the Big 12 North.