Nebraska racked up more than 500 yards of offense against Northwestern, but early mistakes kept the game closer than the Huskers would have liked.
“I wouldn’t want to do that every week,” said coach Mike Riley after the game. “Some more lessons about the game of football and how you’ve got to keep playing. It probably didn’t need to be that way, score-wise.”
The Huskers lost two fumbles on plays they looked to be going into the end zone. The first came at the end of a 50 yard run by Terrell Newby. Newby dove for the end zone, losing control of the ball while he extended it toward the goal line. The fumble resulted in a Northwestern touchback.
Nebraska’s only other turnover came on a Devine Ozigbo run inside the one yard line. Northwestern recovered the fumble in the end zone for another touchback. Those mistakes kept Northwestern in the game, when the Huskers were moving the ball relatively easily.
“We left a lot of yards and a lot of points on the field,” said quarterback Tommy Armstrong. “We’ve got to fix those mistakes.”
Armstrong led the Husker offensive attack, throwing for 246 yards and rushing for a career-high 132 yards. The game marked the 12th time in his Husker career that Armstrong has accounted for more than 300 total yards.
Nebraska jumped to a 17-7 lead early in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Armstrong to Cethan Carter. Northwestern responded with a touchdown drive to stay close before Nebraska scored the game’s final points late in the third quarter. That score came on a 10-yard touchdown run by Jordan Westerkamp.
“It’s a great play,” Westerkamp said of the reverse. “I happy for it to be called.”
Nebraska improves to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in Big Ten play. Coach Riley says the team showed a great attitude in a game that was closer on the scoreboard than it felt on the field.
“I’m a big believer than you have to go into a game thinking that it will be hard,” said Riley. “You have to make plays to win the game, offensively and defensively, and we did that.”