Nebraska is 6-0 for the first time since 2001, but the sixth win of the season came with some heartburn.
“It’s funny, but it was almost the best we could do today; scramble around, make something happen and win the game,” said Mike Riley after the game. Riley says a fourth quarter touchdown pass from Tommy Armstrong to Stanley Morgan was symbolic of the whole game.
The 72-yard touchdown pass came on a 3rd and 9 play in which Armstrong scrambled out of the pocket, rolled left and launched a pass which Morgan caught between multiple Indiana defenders. The Hoosiers ran into each other, clearing the field for Morgan to sprint to the end zone extending Nebraska’s lead in the fourth quarter.
Indiana responded with a quick drive to cut the Husker lead to just two points. Head Coach Mike Riley says the Huskers’ attitude then carried the team to victory both offensively and defensively.
“I’m extremely excited about the will to win that this team has and how hard they play, kind of the clutch attitude that they keep in the fourth quarter,” says Riley. “We’ve got a lot of football to clean up to be really good, but it’s awfully good to win even with that.”
The Huskers sealed the win with strong efforts on both sides of the ball. The offense drove 60 yards on 15 plays to extend the lead with a 39-yard Drew Brown field goal. Then the Husker defense put the game away with their second interception of the game.
“Luckily our defense saved our butt,” says Quarterback Tommy Armstrong.
The Nebraska offense started the game with injury issues, with starters Jordan Westerkamp and Cethan Carter unavailable. The problem got worse with injuries to offensive lineman Dylan Utter and David Knevel.
“We had a hard time just blocking something cleanly that looked good,” said Riley. “But I give them credit at the end there where Newby made a few runs that helped win the ball game, they just kind of hung in there and did it.”
In the end, Nebraska survived a hard-fought win on the road against Indiana to improve to 6-0. The Huskers return home to host Purdue next Saturday.