There’s been all sorts of scoring in the first half of the Nebraska - Arkansas State game tonight.
Nebraska’s Drew Brown hit a 21-yard field goal on the Husker opening drive. Arkansas State’s Blaise Taylor scored on a 63-yard punt return, and one play later, Husker JD Spielman blew by the Red Wolf return team for a 99-yard kickoff return that was a thing of beauty.
Chris Murray scored on a 29-yard pass from ASU quarterback Justice Hansen. Tanner Lee hit Stanley Morgan in stride for a beautiful 44-yard TD reception. Mikale Wilbon scored on a seven yard run. Nebraska intercepted Hansen to thwart a scoring drive, but then gave up a safety on the next play.
ASU’s Blake Mack scored on a three-yard pass from Hansen, and then the kickers traded field goals to end the half.
Halftime notes from the University:
• Redshirt freshman JD Spielman returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, marking Nebraska’s first kickoff return for a touchdown since Kenny Bell had a 99-yard kickoff return at Penn State in 2013. The 99-yard return ties for the fifth longest in school history.
• Sophomore I-back Tre Bryant rushed 13 times for 78 yards in the first half. The 78 yards bettered his previous career high of 56 yards against Maryland last season, while the 13 carries matched his career high also against Maryland last season. Bryant’s 24-yard run in the second quarter was his career-long rush.
• Stanley Morgan Jr. had four receptions for 92 yards in the first half, including a 44-yard touchdown catch. Morgan’s career highs are five receptions (at Wisconsin, 2016) and 93 yards (at Indiana, 2016). The 44-yard catch was the second-longest of his career, trailing a 72-yard touchdown at Indiana last season.
• Drew Brown connected on two field goals in the first half, giving him 49 career field goals. Brown has made eight straight field goals dating back to last season. Brown increased his career scoring total to 291 points, moving him past Ameer Abdullah (288) into sixth place on the NU career scoring list.
• Mikale Wilbon’s seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the first touchdown of his career.
• Sophomore Tyrin Ferguson had an interception in the second quarter to end an ASU scoring threat for his first career interception.
• Arkansas State returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, marking the first punt return for a touchdown against the Huskers since Wes Welker returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown on Oct. 20, 2001 in Lincoln. Iowa’s Drew Ott returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against Nebraska in 2014, the marking the most recent touchdown against the Nebraska punt unit.
• Arkansas State recorded a second-quarter safety, marking the first safety against the Huskers since Indiana blocked a punt for a safety last season against the Huskers.