My lord, what a game. And Ameer Abdullah saves his best play for the last offensive touch for the home team.
With less than a minute to go, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were tied with the McNeese State Cowboys at 24, and it looked like the FCS contenders were going to take one of the faves for the Big Ten Conference to overtime. Then, with a simple out route from Tommy Armstrong Jr, Abdullah took a pass, shed at least 5 tackles, and got the ball in the endzone 58 yards from where the play started to give Nebraska a 31-24 victory against the Cowboys.
The Huskers (2-0) did not play well throughout the second half, amassing 140 yards after halftime. The Cowboys (0-1) seemed to play with themselves for the entire game, however a 4th quarter TD to take the lead was wiped out by an Illegal Formation inside the Nebraska 10 yard line.
Abdullah finished with 96 yards receiving while having only 54 yards rushing on the day. The best rusher of the day was Armstrong, who had 131 yards on 11 carries.
Jordan Westerkamp started off well on the day, but was shut out on the second half. He finished with 4 catches for 61 yards. Kenny Bell and Jamal Turner both had catches on the day, however they were both out of the second half with injuries. After the game, HC Bo Pelini said that Bell had a groin issue and would be evaluated at a later time.
For McNeese State, both Quarterbacks seemed to play well in different situations. Tyler Bolfing was the better passer, going 9-17 for 101 yards. Daniel Sams, the Kansas St transfer, only went 3-9 for 59 yards, but did add on 74 yards running, making him the best ground gainer for the Cowboys.
To begin the game, Nebraska went 4 plays and turned the ball over on downs. McNeese State got the ball and converted a 4th down to put the ball in the end zone for the first score of the game on a Derrick Milton 9 yard TD.
Nebraska had the next 2 scores, both on 6 play drives. On the first drive, Armstrong went to Westerkamp for 40 yards to open the scoring for Nebraska, while on the second drive Abdullah scored from 6 yards out to make it 14-7 Huskers.
Nebraska was about ready to make it a 3 score game when the tide turned. Westerkamp ran a out route while Armstrong threw a fade route. The end result was a Aaron Sam interception that was returned through blockers and tacklers 98 yards for a Pick 6 to tie the game up at 14.
Not to be deterred, Nebraska came back on a 12 play, 82 yard drive to take the lead on a Armstrong QB sneak to make it Neb 21, McNeese 14 heading into halftime.
The only points to come out of the 3rd Quarer was a Drew Brown 31 yard field goal to increase the lead to 24-14.
McNeese then scored on 2 long drives. The first one was a 12 play, 83 yard drive that ended up with a Bolfing sneak over the left side of the line to make it 24-21 Nebraska. The final score for McNeese was a Alex Kjellsten 24 yard field goal to tie the game. That drive, which was 14 plays and 88 yards, was the drive that McNeese appeared to take the lead, except for the illegal formation penalty.
The Cowboys won the Time of Possesion battle, keeping the Nebraska D on the field for 35 minutes. Both teams had one turnover.
Nebraska will take the field next in a primetime tilt in California, as they take on the Fresno State Bulldogs. McNeese State will open their home slate against Prairie View A&M next Saturday.