It would have been the greatest comeback in Nebraska Cornhuskers Football history. Instead, it was a buildup to a disappointing finish.
The Huskers, who were down 23 points in the Fourth Quarter, fought their way back to tie their game with the Miami Hurricanes at 33 to send it to the extra frame. However, a interception & personal foul allowed the Canes to win the game 36-33 in front of 53,580 spectators at Sun Life Stadium.
Nebraska (1-2) was outgunned, outmanned and outschemed by the Hurricanes (3-0) through the first three periods of play. However, the Huskers used a massive fourth quarter output fueled by Tommy Armstrong Jr. and his 3 Touchdown passes to send the game to extra frames.
This contest could have not started worse for Nebraska, as the Huskers got the ball to begin but had a 3 and out. On Miami's first possession, Brad Kaaya led his team down the field on a very easy 7 play, 65 yard drive that culminated with a TD pass to Chris Herndon. The Huskers got the ball back, but another stalled drive gave Miami the ball and a short field. Once again, Kaaya led the Canes down 60 yards and hit Tyre Brady with a 11 yard TD pass to make it 14-0 Miami before anyone settled into their seats. The First Quarter scoring ended with a Michael Badgley 23 yard FG to make it 17-0 Miami after 15 minutes.
The Second Quarter scoring started with Nebraska finally getting on the board with a Drew Brown 49 yard FG, which was answered by a Badgley 41 yard FG. The Huskers had a chance to get another 7 on the board, but Armstrong was on the wrong page with Stanley Morgan down near the Canes Goal line, and Deon Bush would get the pick to keep it 20-3 heading to Halftime.
The Second Half started just like the first one began, as Miami went right down the field, this time with a Joe Yearby 41 yard TD run. Nebraska, however, marched down the field with a 10 play, 75 yard drive that ended up with a Armstrong to Jordan Westerkamp 22 yard Touchdown pass. Miami kept the scoring alive in the 3rd with a Badgley FG from 41 yards to make it 30-10 Miami after 45 minutes of play.
The crazy Fourth Quarter kicked off with another Badgley FG from 28 yards out to make it 33-10. That is when the Huskers came back. Nebraska started it off with a Armstrong to Alonzo Moore TD pass from 10 yards out with a 2 point conversion pass from Armstrong to Cethan Carter to make it 33-18. After a Miami punt (and all the penalties that came with it), Nebraska marched back down the field 80 yards in 9 plays, capping the drive with a Armstrong to Brandon Reilly TD catch to make it 33-25. Miami couldn't get a first down and had to give the ball up, setting the Huskers up for a chance to finish the comeback.
With a long pass play to Reilly aided by a targeting foul, the Huskers moved down the field and Armstrong found Stanley Morgan on a 8 yard TD pass. The comeback was complete as Armstrong hit Westerkamp to tie the game at 33 with 33 seconds to go. Alone in the 4th, Armstrong had 3 TD throws going 11-20 for 184 yards.
Overtime started with the Huskers getting the ball, but Armstrong making the fatal play of shortarming a pass to Tariqq Allen, with Corn Elder picking the ball off. He was forced out of bounds on the return, but a very late hit by Nebraska Captain Alex Lewis gave the Canes the ball half the distance to the goal. A few runs, and Badgley ended the contest with a 28 yard FG.
On the day, Brad Kaaya was 25-42 for 379 yards and 2 TD's to 1 interception. Armstrong's final numbers were 21-45 for 309 yards, 4 TD's and 3 interceptions. That's Tommy's third career 300 yard passing day at Nebraska, with two of those coming this season.
Joe Yearby of Miami was the leading rusher in the game, gaining 125 yards on 17 carries of the ball. Nebraska was led by Terrell Newby, who had 82 yards on 14 totes himself.
Rashawn Scott took advantage of being matched up on troubled Nebraska DB Daniel Davie and lit up the sky for 151 yards receiving on just 9 catches. The Huskers were led by Westerkamp's 5 catches for 95 yards.
25 total penalties marred the contest, which went just over 4 hours and 10 minutes.
Nebraska comes back to Lincoln next week to take on Southern Miss. Miami gets next week off, and they come back to action at Cincinnati in 2 weeks.
Appreciate all the support. GBR.— Jordan Westerkamp (@JordanWesty1) September 20, 2015