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Nebraska vs. Indiana Recap: Huskers Start Fast & Finish Strong Defeating Indiana 27-22

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Big Red Starts The Season 6-0 For The First Time In 15 Years.

Nebraska v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It was a nail-biter but the Huskers dug deep and a bruised and battered team did what they needed to go 6-0 for the first time in 15 years.

First Quarter:

Nebraska received the opening kickoff after Indiana won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Huskers started on their own 25 after the touchback.

The Huskers get their first first down of the game after Tommy Armstrong hits Stanley Morgan for 12 yards, then Terrell Newby got it close to midfield with a strong nine yard run. Newby got it past midfield with a strong run over Trey Foster’s block. Armstrong got another first down with a duck to Sam Cotton, who’s run after catch got Nebraska inside the 25 yard line. Two stuffs on the run brought up third down, where Armstrong almost found Morgan for a Touchdown, but a drop and an illegal man downfield call negated the drive. Drew Brown came in and hits from 40 yards out to open the scoring at 3-0 Nebraska.

Indiana got the kickoff and started their day on their own 19 yard line after the return. Richard Lagow opened the day taking Indiana to their first first down of the game hitting Ricky Jones on the second play of the series. A offsides call on Ross Dzuris helped the cause on the next play, getting Indiana to midfield. Devine Redding got Indiana the first down on the next play around left tackle. Three bad plays though brought 4th and 7 from the Nebraska 36, where Chris Jones made a great play to keep the ball from Luke Timian, turning the ball over to Nebraska on downs.

With 7:08 to go, Nebraska started their second drive at their own 36, Tommy Armstrong hits Brandon Reilly off a head and such for Nebraska to get inside the Indiana 25 yard line. It was insane.

Nebraska didn’t do much with the first two plays of that new set of downs. On third and nine from the 21 yard line. Armstrong faded the blitz and hit Bryan Reimers on the cross and the ball went to the Indiana four yard line. Terrell Newby went untouched on the next play to make it 10-0 Huskers. Six plays and 64 yards on the drive.

The Hoosiers started the next drive on their own 23 yard line. Richard Lagow, throwing on first down, tried to throw on Chris Jones again. Bad move, Monroe. One play on the Pick Six. 17-0 Nebraska.

Indiana started the next drive on the 25 yard line after the touchback. A missed throw, a small rush by Redding and a Marcus Newby A gap blitz sack of Lagow brought a three and out for the Hoosiers, who hit it 48 yards to the Nebraska 35 yard line.

Nebraska started with a jet sweep left to De’Mornay Pierson-El for five yards, but the drive stalled and Nebraska went three and out themselves. The Caleb Lightbourn punt put the Hoosiers back on the 18 yard line.

Indiana with a good start to the next drive, with Lagow throwing it to Mitchell Paige for 18 yards, than a Josh Kalu PI gave the Hoosiers another first down. A Lagow to Jones pass got the ball across midfield for Indiana. The end of the first quarter arrived, with Nebraska leading 17-0.

Second Quarter:

Jill is taking over the recap since Brian had to go to work. Indiana started the quarter throwing on second and third down. A Husker blitz caused Lagow to dump the ball off and Nate Gerry blew it up for a loss. Indiana punted. The ball was downed at the four after a 36 yard punt.

Bryant’s first down run was stuffed for no gain, even with three tight ends on the field. David Knevel’s condition was updated and he was unlikely to return. Tommy’s long second down pass was knocked down. Morgan probably could have fought a little more for it, but it was good coverage by the Hoosier DB. On third and 10, Nebraska called a timeout when Morgan lined up on the wrong side. So far, there had been only one run by Tommy on a zone read, probably a result of his sprained ankle.

After the timeout, it appeared the Huskers picked up the first down but Conrad was called for holding. Fortunately, it didn’t occur in the end zone for the safety. Third and 12. Tommy ran the draw for about 7. Lightbourn came out for the punt.

The punt was blocked out the back of the end zone for a safety.

Nebraska 17 Indiana 2

Nebraska kicked the ball to the Hoosiers who brought it out to the 25. Brown had a really nice kick that came down about the 3.

Indiana came out slinging the ball. On 3rd and one, a quick pass to the flat picked up nine yards for the first down. Nebraska was flagged for offside (Dzuris’ second infraction) but it was declined. Timeout Indiana. 11:35 left in the half with Indiana having the ball on their own 43.

The zone read was stuffed for a loss by Banderas (and a bunch of his friends). The second down screen gained nine (tackle by Bando again) to bring up 3rd and 2. The Hoosiers brought in Zander Diamont for the keeper which gained 9 for the first down. Diamont stayed out there and he gained 9 again. Second down and 1 at the Nebraska 31. Diamont’s next pass went for 17. First and 10 at the 15. The Hoosiers were working the edges of the Husker defense and the next run went for a nice gain. Freedom Akinmoladun made the tackle but was hurt on the play.

On second and 5, Diamont ran to the edge, but Kalu made a touchdown saving tackle to limit the gain to 2. One 3rd and 3 Diamont only gained one, but the Hoosiers were flagged for holding. Riley chose to take the penalty rather than force the field goal (Indiana might have gone for it on fourth down that close to the end zone). On third and 13, Diamont stayed in and was sacked at the 19 yard line to force the 36 yard field goal. The kick was good.

Nebraska 17 Indiana 5

Indiana’s kickoff went into the wind and was returned by Tre Bryant to the 23. The Huskers had run the ball 14 times and passed 9 to this point. Newby’s run went for a first down, and more, to the 40 yard line. He went out holding his shoulder. Tre Bryant entered.

The end around to Reilly went for six. The radio guys indicated he outran his blockers and there was more yardage if he was patient (same with DPE’s jet sweep earlier). On 2nd and 4, Bryant gained two bringing up 3rd and short. The pass to Reilly was incomplete. It was a low throw, but the play was there if it was up another foot.

LIghtbourn’s punt was fair caught at the 15. It was a 38 yard punt.

Lagow returned at QB for the Hoosiers. Page made the first down catch for four yards. A zone read went for 2 bringing up 3rd and 3. Mitchell Page made the catch in the flat and eluded a Rose-Ivey tackle (which would have brought him down for no gain) and gained the first. Diamont came back in and Page caught it again for 4. Lagow came back in. 2nd and 6 at their 41. Indiana’s run was stuffed for no gain (Natee). The 3rd and 6 pass JUST converted the first down. But WAIT, it was reviewed and overturned. 4th and 1 (a half yard actually).

They sent out the punt team and DPE is dropped at the 17 as soon as he caught the ball.

Newby’s run was stuffed for no gain. Tommy’s second down pass was tipped and intercepted on the Nebraska 28 yard line. The Blackshirts had to go right back out and Indiana had better field position than they had previously.

The receiver screen from Lagow was sniffed out by Gerry for no gain. The long ball to the end zone (Ricky Jones with Kalu in coverage) was too long. Third and 10 brought an Indiana timeout. Lagow was hit as he threw the ball and the pass was incomplete. It would be a 45-yard field goal into the wind (not a significant breeze).

The kick was good (barely).

Nebraska 17 Indiana 8

Indiana kicked the ball out of bounds and the Huskers got it at their 35. The fastball to Newby in the flat was incomplete (fortunately, it was not a lateral). Tommy ran the draw for the first down to the 47 yard line. Stanley Morgan caught the pass for nine yards at the Indiana 44. The clock was running. The next pass to Reilly was incomplete stopping the clock just under 30 seconds. Newby caught the ball and ran out of bounds at the 35. The flag was offensive pass interference on Brandon Reilly. The 15 yard penalty was a killer with 22 seconds left and moved the Huskers back to their 40 yard line.

On third down and 16 Tommy scrambled for eight to bring up fourth down. The clock ran out. Halftime.

Nebraska 17 Indiana 8

Halftime:

  • Senior receiver Brandon Reilly caught a season-long 45-yard pass in the first quarter to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards. Reilly is the 24th Nebraska player to reach 1,000 career yards. The spectacular 45-yard reception marked Riley’s third reception of at least 35 yards in 2016.
  • Brown’s 40-yard field goal was a season long. Brown has 16 career field goals of 40 yards or more. The field goal was the 39th of his career, tying him with Brett Maher for fourth on the NU career field goals list.
  • Dedrick Young’s three-yard sack in the second quarter was his first career sack.

Third Quarter:

Indiana received the second half kickoff and relied on Redding more than they had in the first half. They advanced to their 38 before a big sack lost a big chunk of yards. One third and 18 they did not convert but got a second chance when the Huskers were whistled for their 5th penalty. The second chance ended up being a throwaway as Lagow was being harassed (and a hold was not called).

De’Mornay Pierson-El caught it at the 26 and brought it all the way back up to the 41. The Huskers needed to take advantage of the good field position.

The Huskers then went three and out. The offense was having a hard time getting much going.

Paige received the punt from Lightbourn and the 28 yard stinker gave the Hoosiers the ball at the Husker 33. The opportunity to pin Indiana deep was wasted on a terrible punt.

Zander Diamont came in and ran the ball for two on the zone read. Mitchell Paige then caught a ball for a first down. First and 10 at the 43. Diamont continued to run the ball on the zone read, changing the Husker defensive dynamics and they had to defend the QB run (not a big concern with Lagow in the game). The third and 4 pass was well defended by Chris Jones to force the punt.

Gedeon shanked the punt (22 yards), returning the favor and giving the Huskers good field position again. Without Westerkamp, the Husker passing game was not clicking and Indiana was fiercely defending the run without a serious threat shown by Tommy to take off with the ball yet. Devine Ozigbo had yet to make an appearance.

The Huskers had mounted seven drives without any points at this point. They really could not afford to wait until the fourth quarter.

On the first play, Tommy was pressured and threw the ball away, Trey Foster made a great play for his QB and nearly caught the ball. The flag was thrown for intentional grounding but picked up. Reilly gained four on a jet sweep bringing up third and six. They were only two of eight so far on third downs. Reilly made it three for nine with a 16 yard catch. The ball was advanced to the Husker 49.

Ozigbo made his first appearance and carried the ball for two. On second and eight, Tommy went deep for Alonzo Moore, but overthrew him. Moore lobbied for the flag, but didn’t get it. On third and eight, Sam Cotton made a really nice catch for the first down. Nick Gates was slow to get up for the second play in a row.

On first and 10 at the Indiana 40, Tommy had to throw the ball away under pressure. He has been pressured all day, but the Hoosiers had yet to bring him down. Second and 10 brought a QB run that made it to the line of scrimmage. The third and 10 pass was intended for Pierson-El and nearly picked off (and should have been). The Huskers had to punt yet again and Tommy was walking gingerly.

Lightbourn’s punt went into the end zone for a touchback. The Hoosiers took over at the 20 yard line.

At this point, I was wondering if we could bribe the scoreboard operator to put 4th quarter up on the scoreboard instead of 3rd in an effort to jump start the offense.

The Hoosier zone read went for six (Williams) followed by a 10 yard pass for a first down. At the Indiana 37 (first down), the next zone read was brought down for no gain (Banderas). Aaron Williams was down with an injury (possibly cramps) with 3:57 left in the third quarter. Lamar Jackson entered for him. The second down pass was incomplete with some pressure on the QB from Kevin Maurice. Mitchell Paige reeled in the pass to get the first down at midfield.

A quick snap by the Hoosiers was dropped for a lost, but the Huskers were called for defensive holding (Maurice). So, the Hoosiers had first and ten at the 39 rather than second and 16. Diamont entered and carried the ball for three followed by a short pass (bubble screen) for four. On third and two, they ran the play clock down and had to call a timeout. After the break, the Huskers stuffed Majette for no gain (Nate Gerry again). The Hoosiers went for it on fourth down and Diamont was dropped short of the line to gain.

The Huskers took over on the Indiana 30. The Blackshirts were fighting like hell to keep their offense in the game.

On first down, Tommy was under pressure and eventually called for intentional grounding (7th Husker penalty) bringing up second and 23 with the ball at the Husker 17. Tommy scrambled for nine but took a pretty hard hit. The Huskers needed 15 and Newby only got two on the screen. Three and out.

If you need a reminder - the score is STILL Huskers 17, Indiana 8.

Lightbourn standing at his own 10, punted to Mitchell Paige who got a a great return to the Husker 32, with no flags for some possible blocks in the back by the Hoosiers. The Blackshirts were under the gun again.

Lagow re-entered the game and went for the home run ball - overthrowing a wide open receiver. It didn’t matter as Redding took the reverse the distance for the Hoosier touchdown on the final play of the third quarter. The Huskers were flagged for 12 men on the PAT (fire Bruce Read?!?). The PAT was good.

Nebraska 17, Indiana 15

Thank goodness, the 4th quarter is here.

Fourth Quarter:

Tre Bryant returned the kickoff to the Husker 28. The Husker offense feels so close to busting a big play, but they need to protect Tommy better. Danny Langsdorf was on the field and not up in the box.

The first play gained two. Brandon Reilly was wide open but Tommy threw into double coverage and was picked off. Fortunately, Alonzo Moore made a quick tackle to prevent a return.

The Hoosiers took over at their 37, but were forced into a three-and-out with some questionable play calling.

De’Mornay had to backpedal furiously and probably should have let the punt bounce into the end zone. He did get it out to the 15. It looked like he had a lane for a moment, but it closed up fast.

The Huskers got the ball with 12:12 on the clock. Let’s hope Coach Cav gave the offensive line some Red Bulls. The first play went for very little but then Sam Cotton showed up big again for a first down. Then Newby ran for six up the middle. That was for naught at the Huskers registered their 9th penalty (false start) and moved the ball back five. On second and 9 Brandon Reilly got tangled up with a Hoosier defender with no flag (probably justified).

Third and nine brought yet more quick pressure on Tommy who made a VERY TOMMY play and found Stanley Morgan (in double/triple coverage) who outran his defenders for the Husker TOUCHDOWN!!!!! The kick was good. The 73 yard play was the longest Husker play from scrimmage all season and Stanley’s first touchdown of the season.

Nebraska 24 Indiana 15

Drew Brown’s kickoff was kneeled in the end zone and the Hoosiers took the ball at the 25 and 9:57 on the clock.

Lagow was the QB with Redding the back field. They gained three big pass plays in a row to set up first and goal on the four yard line. Redding’s zone read did not gain much, if anything, on first down. Redding then caught the ball on second down and walked in for a touchdown. The drive took a little over a minute. The kick was good. There was 8:26 left in the game. The Blackshirts have had trouble all game whenever Indiana went into hurry-up. Expect to see more of that the rest of the way (unless the ghost of Milt Tenopir brings us another time-sucking drive to close out the game).

Nebraska 24 Indiana 22

The Huskers took the kick out to the 21. Terrell Newby did much of the heavy carrying running the ball for some nice gains sandwiched around a nice Armstrong draw that netted a first down. He got the ball across midfield with 5 minutes on the clock and third and one. Bryant did not get the first down, leaving fourth and a half-yard. (Why was Bryant in the game when Newby was running so well? Why didn’t they have Tommy sneak it?)

The Huskers brought the offense out and Tommy juggled the snap but ran the sneak. He converted by the length of the ball. Who knew Mike Riley was such a riverboat gambler? The clock was under 4 minutes at the snap (3:54).

The next Newby run went for no gain. Indiana was not using their two timeouts and the one they had to use in the 3rd quarter was looming large.

One second and 10 Newby bulled his way through the middle for 13 yards to the Indiana 34. His next run was another great one for a first down and he fumbled but he was ruled down before the ball came out (replay showed it was bang-bang). The review upheld the play. If they had ruled on the field that it was a fumble, I don’t think they could have reversed it either but he did look like he was JUST down.

The Huskers had a first down at the Nebraska 20 and the clock was under 2 minutes. Newby’s next run lost a half yard and the Hoosiers took a timeout with 1:40 on the clock. DPE gained one yard off the edge and Indiana took another timeout. Reilly lost two yards making the field goal try a 39-yarder, but he was smart to fall down inbounds and not stop the clock.

The clock was at 48 seconds and the Huskers took a timeout with :01 on the play clock.

Drew’s field goal was GOOOOOD!!!!

Nebraska 27 Indiana 22

There were 45 seconds on the clock and the Hoosiers had no timeouts.

They kneeled immediately to not use any time and the ball was at the 25.

Lagow was the quarterback and his first pass was tipped and nearly intercepted by Keiron Williams (37 seconds left). The next one was also high (over another open receiver - like the previous play) and intercepted by Aaron Wiliams to seal the game.

Tommy came out to take a knee and the clock ran out.

FINAL: Nebraska 27 Indiana 22