It’s already been a painful enough season for the Scarlet and Cream, but this one will only drive the stake further into the heart of Scott Frost and this Husker team. With just over two minutes left on the clock and leading by a touchdown, Isaac Armstrong pinned the Wildcats on their own one yard line.
Northwestern would drive the length of the field to score with 12 seconds remaining. A shell shocked Husker team took a knee to take the game into overtime.
The Huskers ran three straight unsuccessful plays, and on fourth and ten, opted not to kick the field goal. The snap to Adrian Martinez was poor, and he couldn’t salvage the play, tossing up a jump ball into the end zone that was intercepted.
Northwestern took over, and Wildcat placekicker Drew Luckenbaugh’s 37 yard field goal sailed through the uprights to send the Huskers home without a win for the sixth consecutive week.
The penalty bug continues to devastate the Huskers. Nebraska was flagged nine times for 89 yards. Northwestern drew just one penalty, although the Wildcats were not flagged for intentional grounding on two instances in the drive that helped set up their field goal in the 4th. It looked as if Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson had purposefully thrown the ball into the grass when there were no receivers in the area.
Also on that same drive, Husker safety Aaron Williams was flagged for pass interference that helped set up the field goal that cut the score down to one possession.
After the game, Scott Frost refused to single out any specific instance which might’ve cost the Huskers. “There’s 100 ways we could’ve won the game,” Frost said. “The guys deserved it, and it’s overdue.”
Thorson threw all over Nebraska’s secondary. He finished the day with 455 yards and three touchdowns. Martinez had 251 yards on the day and a touchdown, but threw a pair of picks.
Devine Ozigbo had another stellar game, rushing for 159 yards and two touchdowns. The Huskers had 231 yards on the ground in total. Yet despite those positives, Nebraska couldn’t get it done yet again.
A somber Frost quoted former Green Bay Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi. “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
Nebraska’s still has plenty of tough games ahead on the schedule. Nebraska still needs to take on Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State, the number three ranked team in the country. The Huskers next test will be against Minnesota in Memorial Stadium on October 20th.
By Tim Curran