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Nebraska 20 Michigan State 23 OT: Recap and Evening Thread

We’ve seen this story before. It would be nice to tell a different story.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Michigan State Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Hixson is starting at left guard again today. Oliver Martin will not play - I’m not sure what his injury is, but it has kept him out of five games now.

Mood check

First Quarter

Brendan Franke’s kickoff was a touchback.

The Blackshirts start the game with a tackle for a loss, but then miss a tackle on a pass play to give up 17. It is pretty clear that the Huskers are going to pay a lot of attention to the Spartan run game.


Adrian Martinez is sacked on the first offensive play for Nebraska. Rahmir Johnson again earns the start for Nebraska and goes nowhere on second down.

Adrian Martinez is hurt on a third down run.

Przystup did not get off a good punt (28 yards) and the Spartans get the ball at their 35 but a Husker penalty gives them 10 more yards.

The Blackshirts are all over the run game, but the Spartans are finding yards in the pass game and cross midfield. Nick Henrich has been very active so far (along with Luke Reimer). It was to be expected that the linebackers would play a big role against such a good running back, and they are answering the call so far.

Deontre Thomas sacks Thorne on third down, but gets a flag for driving the QB into the ground and keeps the Spartan drive alive. This whistle was blowing when he did it and the official didn’t hesitate at all when Thomas played through the whistle.

The Blackshirts forced a fourth and one foot or so. They decided to go for it at the 25.

JOJO DOMANN!!! sacks Thorne to get the ball back for Nebraska.

It’s Logan time.

Frost eased his backup into the game with a called QB run, followed by a short throw to Omar Manning. Smothers picked up the first down behind a Rahmir Johnson block. Why not run our small RB up the middle? Rahmir picks up a first down and only stopped because he ran into his own blocker (Samori Toure). After two false start penalties (offensive line) the Huskers were backed up to midfield with first and 20.

Smothers targeted Betts but missed him slightly high (not a bad throw) bringing up third and 20. The conservative play call didn’t go far and Nebraska punted again - touchback.

Scott Frost is giving his offensive line a tongue lashing for the bonehead back to back penalties AGAIN.

Adrian Martinez is back on the sideline with his helmet.

The Blackshirts come up with a three and out (Cam Taylor-Britt and Deontai Williams). The amazing punt (65 yards) was downed near the five yard line.

Adrian Martinez is back in the game!

A connection with Samori Toure gets the Huskers a first down. Markese Stepp is the running back of this series. On third and eight Martinez is sacked. Punt.

The Spartans again have good field position (their own 48).

Second Quarter

The Spartans struck fast as a 35 yard throw to Reed resulted in a flea flicker touchdown for the Spartans. Myles Farmer was in coverage but fell.

Michigan State 7 Nebraska 0

Now, we find out which Husker team came to East Lansing. The one that took the punches and kept coming after Oklahoma. Or the one that couldn’t rip their way out of a paper bag against Illinois.

Zavier Betts sighting!

Option play for short yardage. False start. Drink.

Adrian Martinez scrambed for HUUUUUUGE yardage (45 yards) and was hit late. The flag wasn’t initially thrown, but it came late. He is definitely feeling that one.

First and goal. The horizontal pass to Omar Manning gains one.

Second and goal. False start offensive line. These guys will be running stairs to infinity if Husker fans have their way.

Second and goal + 5. Short gain.

Third and goal. Incomplete.

Fourth and goal. Connor Culp. Good.

Michigan State 7 Nebraska 3

After two explosive pass plays, the Spartans are nearly in the red zone. Walker gets loose for a double digit gain as the Blackshirts are on their heels.

One third and four at the five Garrett Nelson sacks Thorne. Tucker opts for the field goal. Good.

Michigan State 10 Nebraska 3

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Huskers are lucky to have this game so close. #ThankYouBlackshirts

Option pitch to Levi Falck! The play was reviewed (Martinez was beyond the line of scrimmage but it was clearly a backward pass). First down.

ADRIAN MARTINEZ FOR PRESIDENT!! He looked like he was going to be sacked on third and four and found Zavier Betts for a first down. For all of the flack this kid has taken, he is a gamer.

On fourth and one at the Spartan 30 yard line, the Huskers go for it. PITCH TO RAHMIR FOR FIRST DOWN at the 12!!

ADRIAN TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adrian haters can go away. This dude has the heart of a lion.

Nebraska 10 Michigan State 10

Michigan State got a good return and had some explosive runs to move past midfield in short order. There are three minutes left in the half.

First and goal Sparty at the 10 yard line (Conner Heyward 30+ yard run got them there) with two minutes left. JoJo tackle at the five.

Second and goal. False start MSU.

Second goal + five. Incomplete (Damion Daniels). SNACKS!!

Thid and goal. Incomplete.

Fourth and goal. Nebraska was called for offsides (declined) and the field goal was good.

Michigan State 13 Nebraska 10

Nebraska got the ball back with 1:03 left in the half.

Adrian navigated a mucky pocket and found Zavier Betts (twice) to get the Huskers to midfield (almost). Adrian took a sack on the next play and Scott Frost called a timeout with 28 seconds left.

Third and 10. Adrian took another sack. MSU timeout with 22 seconds left.

Shanked punt. SIGH. Nebraska netted seven yards. /checks Twitter.

Yep, seven yards.

Offsides Nebraska. Sigh.

GUESS WHAT?!? With three seconds left in the half, the Huskers are flagged for targeting. Deonte Williams. I guess the Blackshirts had to get into the “we are trying to lose this game as hard as we can”. The targeting call was overturned (rightfully).

Sparty lined up for a 44 yard field goal.

Nebraska blocked the kick (Cam Taylor-Britt).

Michigan State 13 Nebraska 10


  • Nebraska senior safety Marquel Dismuke had a first-quarter interception, marking his first career pick.
  • Martinez had nine carries for 49 yards in the first half, including a 12-yard touchdown run. He increased his career rushing total to 2,115 yards. Martinez moved into 10th place on the Big Ten’s all-time quarterback rushing list, passing Ohio State’s Cornelius Greene.
  • Through five games, Nebraska has allowed only nine points by the opponents in the first quarter, including only seven points allowed by the NU defense (2 at Illinois, 7 at Oklahoma).
  • Nebraska’s blocked field on the final play of the first half by Cam Taylor-Britt was the Huskers’ second blocked field goal of the 2021 season. Marquel Dismuke blocked a field goal against Fordham on Sept. 4.

Third Quarter

The Husker offense looked “close” to start the third and Samori Toure made a great sliding catch to get the Huskers out to the 45. Samori got another catch, fumbled and it was recovered by Austin Allen to set up third and one. Adrian trusted no one else to pick up that yardage and he converted. If only he had some protection.

Omar Manning went low to grab a Martinez pass (well placed to keep it away from defenders) to set up third and three.

Rahmir Johnson converts. I did not have #14 anywhere near the top of my running back bingo card but I am happy to see him make the most of this opportunity.


The Huskers are in the red zone at the 11. Sevion Morrison has entered the building.

Third and nine. Incomplete.

Connor Culp hits the 28 yarder.

Nebraska 13 Michigan State 13

We have made not one, but TWO field goals in the SAME game.

The Blackshirts forced a three and out. Punt. Nebraska ball on their own 12.

Levi Falck got Nebraska out of the shadow of their end zone (35 yard line). Good throw by Martinez.

Falck was targeted again and mugged by a MSU defender (no call). Third and 11. Samori Toure!! First down.

Third and 13 at the MSU 40. Incomplete.

Daniel Cerni is punting now and he drops one inside the 10.

The Blackshirts are swarming to the ball and force a three and out (Cam Taylor-Britt almost picked the ball). Punt.

Samori Toure fields the ball for no gain after a 54 yard punt. Toure would have had a LOT of yards if the MSU player had not brought him down.

Fourth Quarter

A fumble by Adrian gave the Spartans the ball at the Husekr 45.

Cam Taylor-Britt was flagged for targeting, but it was overruled on review.

Garrett Nelson registered a HUGE tackle for loss to bring up third and 11. The MSU play originally was ruled a catch but upon review it was changed to incomplete. Punt.

A great play by MSU was for naught as the punt was a touchback.

Adrian opened the Husker series with a first down catch to Brody Belt. If you had that on your bingo card - raise your hand (no you didn’t). Omar Manning caught a swing pass for another first down (short gain iwth plays I omitted). Rahmir Johnson continues to get carries.

I didn’t have him on my running back roulette, but I am happy to see him run for as many yards as possible.

On third and two, Johnson was stuffed. Fourth and two at the MSU 35 includes Sevion Morrison but Adrian takes it himself!

Red zone.

Morrison runs to set up first and goal.

ADRIAN MARTINEZ TOUCHDOWN!! He was escorted by Rahmir Johnson.

Flag. (not on Nebraska and declined)

Nebraska 21 Michigan State 13

Three and out for the Blackshirts!!!

Nebraska’s offensive series doesn’t go well and they punt. Sigh.

#SpecialTeamsStrikesAgain. #TheNebraskaWay. Touchdown MSU.

Nebraska 20 Michigan State 20

Austin Allen sighting! Option pitch to Omar Manning (fumble recovered by #5).

Fourth and four. Punt.

With 1:22 left, Michigan State has the ball at their 25.

The Blackshirts overcame holding (not called) to force a fourth and one. MSU punted over Toure’s head. Touchback.

With 47 seconds and two timeouts, can Scott Frost and Adrian Martinez find some magic? (Nebraska looks like it is playing for OT).


Whatever you think of Nebraska’s end of game management, we are headed to overtime.

At third and three, Martinez is intercepted and the return ends up in the MSU red zone.

The first down play gets the Spartans down to the one yard line.

First and goal. Tackle for loss.

Second and goal. Tackle for loss. Nick Henrich.

Third and goal. Field goal attempt. Good.

Michigan State 23 Nebraska 20

No words. None.