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Nebraska 44 Northern Illinois 8: Recap and Postgame Reaction

The Huskers finally got to clear the bench in a game that was crazy in the first half and business-like in the second half.

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

Still no Barret Pickering or Dylan Jorgensen. Isaac Armstrong will do all the kicking and punting duties today. (Spoiler: that didn’t last the entire game)

Mood check

First Quarter

Wyatt Mazour fielded the opening kickoff. Scott Frost opened the game with three straight passes. The first two should have been easy completions, but were poorly thrown. The next two passes connected with JD Spielman (bigly) and Kanawai Noa and the Huskers entered the red zone. They could get no further as the drive stalled and Isaac Armstrong made the 36 yard field goal.

Huskers 3 Northern Illinois 0

The Blackshirts forced a three-and-out by the Husky offense.

On the first play of the series, Dedrick Mills broke open a big run to put the Huskers in the red zone. But then FUMBLE by Mills. Huskies recover. A Husky receiver was running free but the QB, fortunately for Nebraska, overthrew him. Northern Illinois strung together a couple of first downs, but a 3rd and 10 pass was broken up by Cam Taylor-Britt. Punt.


On the very next play, Maurice Washington scampers for the touchdown.

Huskers 10 NIU 0

Another open receiver overthrown by Northern Illinois. Huskers better lock that down because they won’t miss those forever.

JoJoDomann broke up a third and three pass. The Huskies faked the punt and went for it on fourth down. They were stopped short by Eli Sullivan and Austin Allen. The Huskers take over on the NIU 34 yard line. NIU was flagged for targeting (Spielman took the hit).

The Huskers can’t capitalize on the good field position as they got into field goal range, but the kick was blocked. Husky ball. NIU got to midfield, but a third down sack by Carlos Davis and Darrion Daniels shut down the drive with a sack.

The Huskers brought pressure on the punter again and came close to the block, but the punt went out of bounds at the 20.

Wan’Dale Robinson sighting on first down. However two runs by Adrian Martinez couldn’t get the yard needed and the Huskers punted. He is struggling in seeing the field in all aspects of the game. He looks hesitant on passes and isn’t making good reads in the run game.

End of first quarter. Huskers 10 NIU 0

The Blackshirts have only yielded 43 yards of offense to Northern Illinois.

Second Quarter

The pressure by the Blackshirts (Ben Stille) snuffed out another NIU drive.

The Husker offense got in gear with some passes and then a HUGE RUN by Maurice Washington. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!

The extra point was blocked. Huskers 16 NIU 0 At least it’s not 17-0 - which wasn’t kind to Nebraska last week.

On the ensuing defensive series, Cam Taylor-Britt was injured. He immediately grabbed his shoulder after delivering a hit. The Husky drive was giving NIU some wind in their sails as they are ripping off chunk yardage. Another odd, conservative play call on third down went nowhere and on fourth down, NIU attempted the 45 yard field goal. It was good.

Nebraska 16 NIU 3

NIU tried an onside kick but it went out of bounds. The Huskers got the ball in great field position - midfield. After a Mike Williams drop and a deep throw to Spielman (incomplete) Martinez went back to Williams for a 26 yard strike. Next play was a Dedrick Mills touchdown!! This extra point was good.

Nebraska 23 NIU 3

Deontre Thomas sighting as he stuffed a run for only a yard. The Blackshirts force a three-and-out. If I’m being honest, the refs missed a couple of penalties on Lamar Jackson (a little facemask tug on one and a jersey tug on another) but the senior CB was savvy enough to not get caught.

Isaiah Stalbird blocked the Husky punt, but it was for naught as the Husker drive stalled and another Armstrong field goal was blocked. Get well soon Barret Pickering.

Nebraska 23 NIU 3

The ensuing NIU drive made it to midfield when Will Honas and Mohamed Barry stopped a third down gain short of the line. NIU punted and the ball looked like it was going in the end zone, but died at the four yard line. It was followed by a safety. SHIT.

Nebraska 23 NIU 5

NIU went into the two minute drill but the Blackshirts forced a fourth and one at midfield. NIU elected to do their second straight pooch punt by the QB. The ball was downed at the 13 with 44 seconds left in the half. Wan’Dale Robinson was SOOOO close to breaking a big play but NIU made the shoestring tackle. Martinez hit Robinson a couple plays later for a big gain to the 27 yard line. Martinez found Kanawai Noa in the zone. The play was originally ruled incomplete, but reversed on replay. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!!!! The Lane McCallum extra point was good.

Nebraska 30 NIU 5


Five, FIVE, blocked kicks between both teams. Wow.

  • Nebraska had eight offensive plays of 20 yards or more in the first half. Nebraska had posted eight plays of 20 yards or more in the first two games.
  • Nebraska scored on its first possession for the third straight game with an eight-play, 58-yard drive for a field goal to open the scoring. Nebraska has scored on its first possession in 10 of 15 games under Coach Scott Frost.

Mood check

Third Quarter

William Przystup kicked off to start the second half. NIU ball at the 25. The Huskies crossed midfield but faced fourth and eight, thanks in part to two passes tipped at the line of scrimmage. However, they converted, bringing up first and goal.

Carlos Davis sacked Bowers for a 14 yard loss bringing up third and goal from the 23. They got 14 yards and faced fourth and goal. The field goal was good.

Nebraska 30 NIU 8

The kickoff went out of bounds; Husker ball at the 35.

An inside zone run had to be bounced outside by Mo Washington (an all-too-common-sight during this game) with Adrian Martinez throwing the key block to make a terrible-looking play into a six yard gain. With fourth and one at the 45 yard line, it looked like a handoff to Dedrick Mills (even faked out the camera guy) but Martinez kept and ran to the edge for the first down. But they would get no farther than midfield. The Armstrong punt went out of bounds at the 10. Will Honas and Mo Barry pushed them back to the five.

NIU faced fourth and 10 from their own 10 yard line and brought the pressure again. The punt reached Spielman who brought it to midfield. On third and 10 Martinez found Jack Stoll for a 30 yard gain. Stoll fumbled but Austin Allen recovered. In the red zone, Mills started to find some creases between the tackles - a welcome sight. On the next play - ADRIAN MARTINEZ RUNS FOR THE TOUCHDOWN!!! The extra point was good.

Nebraska 37 NIU 8

McCallum’s kickoff was kneeled in the end zone. Nebraska was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct (Noa Pola-Gates) to bring it out to the 40. Collin Miller came close to stopping a third down conversion at midfield, but the Huskies made it to the line to gain and gained more chunk yardage to end the third quarter knocking on the door of the red zone.

Fourth Quarter

Another chunk play for NIU set them up first and goal. Marquel Dismuke saved the touchdown on the next play. Two runs up the middle were stuffed to bring up fourth and goal. ELI SULLIVAN DENIES THE FOURTH AND GOAL PASS. Huskers take over inside the one yard line. The Huskers got a first down, but Brenden Jaimes was injured and went right to the locker room. Ooof. Not good. Broc Bando comes in the game at LT.

Dedrick Mills first down, Jack Stoll first down, timeout, Mills trips, Wan’Dale no gain, third and 10, Martinez gains six. Punt. NIU ball at the 13.

A few more plays...BRAXTON CLARK INTERCEPTION!!! Fyn Anderson (walk-on DL) was also spotted on the field during that series.

Noah Vedral entered the game with 6:32 left in the game. Husker ball on the NIU 42. Lots fo substitutions, Rahmir Johnson, John Raridon. Darien Chase first down (he looked like he was hurt on the play). Kurt zone. Jaevon McQuitty...first and goal.


Nebraska 44 NIU 8

Mood check

Simon Otte planted the kick returner. The Huskies moved past midfield as the clock ticked under two minutes.

Tick tock. Tick tock.

FINAL: Nebraska 44 NIU 8