“Cardiac Kids”, “Cardiac Cornhuskers” or “The Cardiac Scarlet and Cream”.
Asprin sales have to be at an all-time high with this Nebraska team.
Once again though, the Huskers go into halftime with a deficit – only to pull it together a win. This time, the home crowd saw a resilient Husker team defeat Penn State 32-23.
The Huskers also handed Penn State its first loss on the road in Big Ten play and their first road loss since the Virginia game this season.
The Nittany Lions got off to a fast start on their first series. Four plays for 74 yards, capped off by a Zach Zwinach 50-yard run. Nebraska would smell the endzone in its next two drives, but settle for two Brett Maher field goals (32, 27 yards).
Penn State would extend their lead in the second quarter. A Sam Ficken 27-yard field goal with 6:58 left in the second quarter. A Tim Marlowe punt return fumble lead to a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt McGloin to Jesse James. After a three-and-out by the Huskers, Penn State extended their lead at halftime on a 38-yard field goal. Nebraska trailed 20-6 at the half.
Players say the locker room was “down” until leaders rose to the occasion and got the adrenaline going again. They were going out and changing this game.
That they did… right from the get-go. It took eight plays for the Huskers to punch in a touchdown run (Imani Cross, 1-yard). After a Damian Stafford interception to the Penn State four-yard line (McGloin’s first thrown pick on the road this season), Cross got his second touchdown on a 2-yard rush.
Just like that, the game was knotted up at 20. All within a 5-minute span.
After a Penn State field goal, Nebraska would take its first lead in the game with 10:57 left on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Martinez to Jamal Turner. They never looked back, extending their lead on a Matt McGloin intentional grounding in the endzone for a safety and a 33-yard field goal by Maher.
In ways only Nebraska could do it, the Huskers (8-2, 5-1 in the Big Ten) came back and stays atop of the Legends Division of the Big Ten.
“I was hoping that we could get even by the fourth quarter and pick up the win to go into the fourth quarter”, head coach Bo Pelini says. “To pull even at nine-something, basically within the first six minutes, was big for us psychologically”.
On how his defense rose to the occasion in the second half, Pelini says it was big. The Huskers forced three turnovers in the second half to help spur the victory.
Without Rex Burkhead on the field (injury), the backs once again stepped up. Ameer Abdullah had a career-high 33 carries for 116 yards. He extends his 100-plus yards games to five. Cross had two touchdowns and has become Nebraska’s short-down back.
Cross attributes that to his hard work at practices, as he is usually one of the last players off the field.
“I take practice very seriously. If displaying the ability to do something in practice, I think it carries over to the game.
Penn State’s McGloin was very vocal and upset about calls going against the Nittany Lions, mainly the fumble at the goal line for a touch back instead of a touchdown and the intentional grounding.“We’re not going to get that call here, we’re not going to get that call ever, against any team”, McGloin says. “It doesn’t matter who the referees are, we’ll never get that call”.
With the win, Nebraska and Michigan stays neck-and-neck for control of the Legends Division. Holding the tie breaker over Michigan, Nebraska now controls its own destiny for a Big Ten title.
“We’ve got two more to go, just have to stay on course”. Pelini says. huskerspennstaterecap