Nebraska coach Mike Riley and quarterback Tommy Armstrong both took responsibility for a pass play in the waning seconds of Saturday’s game at Illinois which allowed the Illini to get the ball with enough time to drive for the winning touchdown in a 14-13 victory over the Huskers.
Leading 13-7 with just over a minute left at the Illinois 28 and the Illini out of timeouts Riley called for a bootleg run on third down. Instead of running the ball and milking another 40 seconds off the clock, Armstrong tried to throw to Devine Ozigbo and the pass fell incomplete.
My thought and my idea, so it was a bad idea, was that we would run the quarterback on a bootleg sweep play and we would maybe gain some yards and eat more clock”, said Riley. “Obviously that was not a good thought so that is my responsibility.”
Armstrong faced an unblocked defender off the edge and says he should have taken the sack and let the clock run.
“I was supposed to run the ball and I didn’t run the ball”, said Armstrong. “My mind set was that if I loose yards we may be out of field goal range so that is on me”.
The Huskers are 2-3 for the first time since 1959 as they prepare for this week’s game at home against Wisconsin.