It wasn’t exactly how the script was supposed to go. But for Nebraska senior running back Ameer Abdullah, it’s one that saw him play hero once again for the Huskers.
With McNeese State giving the 18th-ranked Huskers all they could handle and then some, Abdullah took a short pass from Tommy Armstrong, broke numerous tackles, and scored from 58 yards out to help Nebraska avoid disaster with a 31-24 victory over the Cowboys. A very quiet second half from Abdullah turned into a loud statement from the senior as he rescued his team from potentially the biggest upset in program history.
Trailing 24-14 heading into the fourth quarter, the Cowboys pulled to within 24-21 after a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Tyler Bolfing just 75 seconds into the final period. The Huskers continued their sluggish offensive performance in the quarter, failing to put any further distance between them and the upstart Cowboys. It looked as if McNeese State would take the lead against the Big Red, but the Cowboys had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Alex Kjellsten to tie the game at 24-24 with 4:21 to play.
The two teams would trade punts, with Nebraska eventually taking over at its own 38-yard line with 1:14 remaining. Armstrong was sacked and fumbled on second down, but Mike Moudy recovered and saved Nebraska for one more play. That one play turned out to be the incredible game winner, with Armstrong finding Abdullah for a short gain, Abdullah breaking a tackle and eventually racing through more tackles and into the end zone on the 58-yard score.
Although he only carried seven times in the second half for 13 yards, the 58-yard score gets the headlines and puts Nebraska at 2-0 on the season. Armstrong led the Huskers with 131 yards rushing on 11 carries, but was inconsistent at times throwing the ball en route to a 16-of-31 day for 242 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Nebraska’s offense was flat in the final 30 minutes, running 23 plays for a total of 140 yards. Meanwhile, McNeese State found their groove offensively and battled back behind Bolfing and Daniel Sams.
More to come from the locker room after Nebraska’s 31-24 win.