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Nebraska 54 Illinois 35: Recap and Afternoon Games Thread

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It wasn’t a mistake-free game by any means, but the Huskers rolled.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Here is your afternoon games schedule.

November 10 Afternoon Games

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
UCLA at Arizona State 2:00 PM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
Charlotte at Marshall 2:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Liberty at #25 Virginia 3:00 PM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
Middle Tennessee at UTEP 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Bowling Green at Central Michigan 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#18 Mississippi State at #1 Alabama 3:30 PM CBS CBSSports.com
#5 Michigan at Rutgers 3:30 PM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
Oklahoma State at #7 Oklahoma 3:30 PM ABC WatchESPN.com
#8 Washington State at Colorado 3:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
#9 Kentucky at Tennessee 3:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Northwestern at #16 Iowa 3:30 PM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
Baylor at #24 Iowa State 3:30 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
New Mexico at Air Force 3:30 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh 3:30 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Purdue at Minnesota 3:30 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
San Jose State at Utah State 4:00 PM None Facebook
Appalachian State at Texas State 4:00 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
East Carolina at Tulane 4:00 PM ESPNews WatchESPN.com
Western Kentucky at Florida Atlantic 5:00 PM Stadium WatchStadium.com
Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina 5:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Georgia State at Louisiana 5:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
UL Monroe at South Alabama 5:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Oregon at #15 Utah 5:30 PM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
Auburn at #6 Georgia 7:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Miami at Georgia Tech 7:00 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
Florida Intl at UTSA 7:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Rice at Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Temple at Houston 7:00 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
South Florida at Cincinnati 7:00 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
#3 LSU at Arkansas 7:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Florida State at #4 Notre Dame 7:30 PM NBC NBCSports.com
#17 Texas at Texas Tech 7:30 PM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
Southern Mississippi at UAB 7:30 PM beIN Sports beINSports.com
#2 Clemson at #22 Boston College 8:00 PM ABC WatchESPN.com
Oregon State at Stanford 9:00 PM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
California at USC 10:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
UNLV at San Diego State 10:30 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
Colorado State at Nevada 10:30 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com

Recap

It is a cold, blustery day in Lincoln. Hanging on to the football will be a high priority today. The wind gusts are likely to affect the kicking game and possibly the passing game. The Illini have a very productive run game and the Blackshirts will need to be ready for the 1-2 punch of AJ Bush Jr and Reggie Corbin. Can the Huskers build on the momentum they’ve created or will the Illini slam the door?

First Quarter

So, what do you think of the alternate uniforms? I’m just happy we can read the numbers. Overall though, they are not my favorite design - especially the helmet.

The Huskers won the toss and elected to receive. Touchback. It was the Adrian Martinez show early on as he took only two runs to get across midfield. He then found Stanley Morgan Jr for a 37 yard TOUCHDOWN!! The balloons were released 1:02 into the game.

I’m not sure how much more wide open #8 could have been. The Barret Pickering XP was good.

Nebraska 7 Illinois 0

The Illini returned the kickoff to the 24 yard line. Reggie Corbin immediately went to work with a couple of runs up the middle followed by an AJ Bush run past midfield. Bush was escorted into the medical tent and was replaced by MJ Rivers II. Bush returned after one play. Another Corbin run brought the Illini into the red zone. On third and seven, Bush found paydirt. Touchdown Illinois.

Nebraska 7 Illinois 7

Maurice Washington made a bad call to return the kickoff and was brought down at the 11 yard line. Kade Warner, Mo Washington, tackled for loss (Warner), Mo for 51 yards, Devine Ozigbo, Martinez keeper and then more Martinez! TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!! The offsides penalty on Lovie’s crew was declined.

Nebraska 14 Illinois 7

Can the Blackshirts slow down Corbin? He went over 1000 yards on the season during the drive. Mohamed Barry and Khalil Davis both made nice tackles. The Illini completed their first pass of the game in front of Dicaprio Bootle. That was followed by another big pass to Corbin (JoJo Domann was either trying for the interception or just whiffed a tackle big time) and an AJ Bush keeper. Touchdown Illinois. Strap in folks, we got a Big Twelve game breaking out in Lincoln.

Nebraska 14 Illinois 14

The Huskers went nowhere on their first two plays but then the Illini forgot about JD Spielman. Midfield. Ziggy. STANLEY TOUCHDOWN!!

Nebraska 21 Illinois 14

Antonio Reed was injured on the Drew Brown run. Reed had a hard time moving his right arm as he left the field. Bush powered the Illini across midfield. Fortunately for Nebraska Dominic Stampley dropped his second pass of the day bringing up a third and five. The pass was tipped by Carlos Davis and fell incomplete (no one was very near the receiver.) The first punt of the day went over Spielman’s head and into the end zone.

The Illini flinched first. Can Nebraska take advantage? End of first quarter.

Second Quarter

The first flag on Nebraska came on a Jerald Foster hold. Spielman couldn’t hang on to the third and 12 pass and Nebraska had to punt. The Illini muffed the Isaac Armstrong punt and the Husker recovery was made by longsnapper Chase Urbach. A trick play by the Huskers was sniffed out and stopped for loss - except a facemask penalty by the Illini moved Nebraska into the red zone.

The flags were coming fast and furious now as Foster drew his second holding call and backed the Huskers out of the red zone. Martinez overthrew a WIDE OPEN Spielman on second and 15. Third and fifteen brought a Martinez keeper to shorten the field goal.

Pickering’s 27 yard attempt was just inside the right upright.

Nebraska 24 Illinois 14

The Illinois ground game continued to make hay while the passing game, to put it kindly, struggled. Ra’Von Bonner notched his first carry to midfield where Corbin was an inch short on third down. They went for the fourth down conversion and snuck it across. A completion to Ricky Smalling notched another first down; Smalling was injured on the play. The dropped pass continued a pattern by the Illini wideouts.

That was followed by a Bush run. He fumbled (recovered by Nebraska - Domann.) The Huskers took over on their own 23 yard line.

Ozigbo, Spielman screen...and Ziggy gets loose on the trap!! 66 YARD TOUCHDOWN!! After nearly missing the field goal to the right, Pickering overcompensated and banged in the XP off the left upright.

Nebraska 31 Illinois 14

On the ensuing Illinois possession, Corbin was injured (Mick Stoltenburg on the tackle.) Facing a large deficit, the Illini began to take to the air more. Tre Neal forced his second fumble, but this one went out of bounds and remained Illinois ball at midfield. K. Davis sacked Bush for a loss. It was followed by a nice Bonner run that was called back for holding. On second and 23, Bush threw the ball away (I didn’t think it made it past the line of scrimmage, but the TV angle wasn’t straight on. Bush ran it for 20 (Sigh) on third and twenty three. They elected to go for it on fourth and three. Bush converted and the Huskers were flagged for a horse collar tackle (Barry). The penalty yardage moved Illinois into the red zone with just under two minutes left in the half.

Bush’s third down pass into the end zone was ruled incomplete, but Bootle was flagged for PI. Bush finished the drive with a keeper for a touchdown. 58 seconds left in the half.

Nebraska 31 Illinois 21

Wyatt Mazour fielded the kickoff and was brought down at the 25. Illinois was flagged for a facemask, giving the Huskers excellent field position at the 40 with 52 seconds.

The first down pass was batted down (and nearly a pick 6) and the second down pass sailed over Spielman’s head. With 40 seconds left, the Huskers faced third and 10 where Martinez was sacked. The Huskers punted the ball back to Illinois with 33 seconds in the half.

BUT THEY FUMBLE IT!! Nebraska’s Jeremiah Stovall recovered it inside the 10 yard line.

Spielman made a nice grab on first and goal, but was buried for a loss. 13 seconds left. The second down pass went over Ozigbo’s head. 8 seconds. Martinez found Jack Stoll on third down. Touchdown Nebraska!! 3 seconds left. Pickerings XP was tipped but went through.

Nebraska 38 Illinois 21

The Huskers have scored 17 points off of three Illinois turnovers. The Illini also get the second half kickoff. Bush took a knee to end the half.

Halftime

  • Senior receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. caught five passes for 78 yards in the first half. On the 37-yard touchdown catch, Morgan jumped from fifth to second on the career receiving yardage list, passing Jordan Westerkamp (2,474), Nate Swift (2,476) and Johnny Rodgers (2,479). Morgan’s two touchdown receptions give him 22 career touchdown catches. Morgan is tied for second with Nate Swift on the career TD receptions list, three behind Rodgers’ NU record of 25 career touchdown catches.
  • Nebraska’s scored 38 points in the first half to mark the Huskers’ fifth straight game with more than 30 points. This marks the first time Nebraska has scored 30 or more points in five straight games since the first five games of the 2014 season. It also marks the first time Nebraska has scored 30 or more points in four straight conference games since 2001.
  • Running back Devine Ozigbo rushed for 93 yards in the first half to increase his career rushing total to 2,003 yards and become the 30th, 2,000-yard rusher in school history. Ozigbo is seven yards from his fifth 100-yard rushing game in the past seven contests.
  • Quarterback Adrian Martinez rushed for 69 yards in the first half, giving him 549 rushing yards in 2018. He is the eighth freshman and second freshman quarterback to rush for 500 yards in a season. He is the first Husker true freshman to rush for 500 yards in a season since I-back David Horne had 651 rushing yards in 2002. Martinez had 196 yards of total offense in the first half, including 127 yards passing and 69 rushing yards. With his 196 yards, Martinez has 2,598 yards of total offense, setting a Nebraska record for freshman total offensive yards. He surpassed the previous record of 2,596 yards by Taylor Martinez in 2010.

On to the second half!

Third Quarter

Even without Corbin, the Illinois ground game continued to pound away. Bush went for a home run ball to Smalling, but Lamar Jackson defended it well. Blitzing by the Blackshirts continued to leave wide open holes for Illinois to exploit. Another dropped pass by Stampley bounced into the waiting arms of Aaron Williams. INTERCEPTION! A sideline Husker was flagged for running on the field to celebrate. First and ten Nebraska at the 18.

A similar bounce went Nebraska’s way when Ozigbo initially knocked a catch up in the air, but managed to corral it for a first down. Then, Spielman laid out for a first down grab. A third and 11 at midfield netted eight yards. Frost chose to go for it on fourth and three and Martinez rewarded that call by picking up four.

Martinez lost a yard on third and two, bringing up yet another fourth down. 2AM found Stanley for the first down and the drive continued - and continued to chew up time on the clock. 7 minutes left in the third quarter.

Martinez was sacked to bring up third and 18. Ziggy picked up nine yards. Frost chose to go for it rather than kick the 41 yard field goal (no one in the Husker crowd was complaining) and 2AM found Spielman to set up first and goal. The Ziggy hammer found the end zone again. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!! The offense sustained a nearly eight-minute drive.

Somewhere during that drive...

Nebraska 45 Illinois 21

The Blackshirts forced a three and out with Lovie Smith electing to forgo a fourth and one conversion opportunity. Spielman moved just across the 25 and was a bit gimpy as he came off the field. Cam Taylor needed attention from the trainers. Hopefully, both are OK.

Kade Warner and Bryan Reimers made catches as the Huskers moved past midfield. Martinez fumbled the ball and Nebraska got INCREDIBLY lucky that Illinois did not recover it as they had a clear shot at it (replay showed that to be a close call, but correct.)

End of third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The Husker offense took a delay of game penalty out of the break. Sigh. Even worse, Spielman was heading to the locker room while limping. Stanley picked up the slack and got the Huskers into the red zone. A misdirection triple fooled the camera man with Warner eventually making forward progress. Martinez threw one into double coverage to Warner, and it was intercepted by Tony Adams in the end zone on a play that had many remembering the Flea Kicker.

The Blackshirts forced a punt with Stanley back to field it. The Huskers blocked it (Marquel Dismuke) but the red jerseys were unable to corral it in the end zone. SAFETY.

When did someone tell Husker special teams they were allowed to score points?!?

Nebraska 47 Illinois 21

The free kick wasn’t very good but it took a nice roll for the Illini. The Husker starters were still on the field. After Ozigbo carried the ball once and went over 100 yards, it was Mazour time. The Huskers had to punt after an incomplete pass sailed over Mazour’s head. After a false start penalty, Armstrong uncorked a nice one that rolled out of bounds inside the 10. Drew Brown moved the Illini out to the 40 which was followed by an intentional grounding penalty by Bush.

Meanwhile, in East Lansing - WTF is going on Sparty?

Caleb Tannor forced Bush into the waiting arms of Mick Stoltenburg and the Illini punted. Morgan let it roll and it went out of bounds at the 28.

Andrew Bunch came in the game and promptly fumbled it to Illinois.

Illinois RB Bonner got loose and had he ball punched out but managed to recover. First and goal Illinois. He got into the end zone for their first points of the half. Touchdown. 7:44 left in the game.

Nebraska 47 Illinois 28

Illinois did not onside kick the ball. Jaron Woodyard fair caught the ball for a touchback.

2AM came back out on the field. Why?

He found Stanley Morgan for a first down; I guess there is one way to get #8 to 1000 yards...and that’s to take ‘em when you can get ‘em. Devine Ozigbo was mad Martinez kept the ball on a zone read that lost yards. The freshman QB didn’t make the same mistake on second down and gave it to his back for a 66 yard TD run. Touchdown Nebraska. Ziggy sits at 958 yards rushing on the season after that run.

Nebraska 54 Illinois 28

Dre Brown muffed the kickoff and was tackled inside the 10 yard line. 6:02 left in the game.

AJ Bush moved the Illini into the red zone on a huge chunk play. That was followed by a Drew Brown touchdown run. It really looks like the Blackshirts are whiffing a few tackles because they are trying so hard to rip the ball out.

Nebraska 54 Illinois 35

With 3:21 left in the game. Illinois squibbed it to Woodyard.

Andrew Bunch again came out on the field with the rest of the backups, including Mikale Wilbon. They had to punt with 1:29 left in the game. The Illini came after Armstrong, but he got it off. 1:01 left.

Illinois kept AJ Bush on the field - Why?

He tossed an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Mick Stoltenburg. Stoltenburg fumbled, but it was recovered by Freedom Akinmoladun. Stoltenburg was injured on the play and received a standing ovation as he walked off the field. 24 seconds left in the game.

The last play of the game took Nebraska’s offense over 600 yards.

Final Nebraska 54 Illinois 35

Shoutout to The Champaign Room for maintaining their sense of humor