Husker quarterback Tommy Armstrong had to leave the game twice with injury. And both injuries were unrelated to the head injury he suffered last Saturday that kept him out of practice this week. But the wounded quarterback found a way to will the Huskers to a 24-17 win over Minnesota.
“You all know Tommy,” said Mike Riley following the win. “You’ve seen him for years and he is very, very competitive and doesn’t ever like to come out of the game and always thinks he’s going to make the next play, which I really admire about him.”
Armstrong completed 19 of 27 pass attempts, with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. He also rushed for another touchdown, part of his 61-yard rushing performance.
“I say it every single time I get asked about him, he is the most competitive person I know and he just battles and battles and battles,” said senior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp.
Armstrong led Nebraska on two scoring drives in the second half. The first covered 79 yards and tied the game at 17-17. The second covered 91 yards, capped by a 13-yard touchdown run by Armstrong, to take the lead 24-17.
Nebraska outscored Minnesota 14-0 in the second half, their fourth win of the season when trailing at halftime.
“I suppose by this time of the year we can describe this as a typical Husker win,” said Riley. “That was kind of how we’ve won games all year long and I think it has a lot to do with the mental toughness of our football team.”
Minnesota has a chance to tie the game late, driving into Nebraska territory with less than 3 minutes on the clock, but the Husker defense came up with an interception to seal the win.
“If it weren’t for Aaron (Williams), I wouldn’t have gotten it,” said safety Kieron Williams, who made the interception. “Aaron put his hand on the ball, it pops up in the air, and I was able to get it and do my best not to fumble.”
The Huskers improve to 8-2 (5-2 in Big Ten play) with the win and stay alive in the Big Ten West race.
“I saw this team bounce back to show who we really were,” said senior linebacker Josh Banderas. “He two rough weeks and there are some things we wish we could take back but it’s all in the past. Tonight we put it on the grass and we grew a lot.”
Nebraska hosts Maryland next Saturday for the final home game of the season.