Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/5/11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical and low scoring – it was the complete opposite of the game everyone expected to see. Northwestern and Nebraska have high-powered offenses, and Northwestern has constantly underperformed on defense. But, to the disbelief of most, Northwestern outplayed the physical Cornhuskers, and stole the win in Lincoln.

 Recap:

Neither team performed particularly well in the first half, but Northwestern did slightly outplay the Huskers. The ‘Cats had long, drawn out drives, owning the time of possession, including one capped off by a short Jacob Schmidt touchdown run. Nebraska couldn’t get much going on offense, including several costly turnovers.

More importantly, however, the Northwestern defense showed its power. The Wildcats defense has underperformed all season, but NU stepped up big against the Huskers. Rex Burkhead was held to just 50 rushing yards on 21 carries, and Taylor Martinez had just 53 yards on 12 carries. Northwestern had a 7-3 lead at halftime.

The second half was much more exciting, as the teams traded touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to make it 14-10.

The 4th quarter, however, gave the ‘Cats all the momentum. Three minutes in, Kain Colter, playing for the injured Dan Persa, connected with Jeremy Ebert for an 81-yard touchdown pass. Nebraska scored again to keep it within 3, including a crucial two-point conversion run from Taylor Martinez. Northwestern drove again, however, and the Nebraska defense couldn’t get a crucial stop.

Kain Colter scored on a one-yard touchdown run, and despite scoring another touchdown; it was too little too late for the Huskers, who were upset at home by Northwestern.

Player of the Game:

Kain Colter: The quarterback/wide receiver to start the game, Colter took over for Dan Persa for most of the second half after Persa injured his shoulder. Colter was 4-6 passing for 115 yards – most on the 81 yard touchdown pass – and also ran the ball 17 times for 58 yards and two scores. Colter consistently made huge plays when the ‘Cats needed them, and seemed to will NU to victory. It was very reminiscent of Dan Persa’s coming out party two years ago on the road against Iowa, willing his team to an upset. Keep an eye on Colter, who is sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten.

Stat of the game:

103: Nebraska was held to just 103 yards rushing, half from Rex Burkhead and half from Taylor Martinez. The duo combined for 153 yards against Michigan State last weekend, a defense much superior to Northwestern this season. The ‘Cats defense has been iffy all year, but stepped up to get Northwestern the win.

 

What’s next?

Northwestern has a break in Big Ten play next weekend when the ‘Cats return home to take on Rice, a team NU handled easily 30-13 on the road. The Wildcats have a two game win streak, and should continue the hot streak heading into a game that could put them one win away from bowl eligibility.

For Nebraska, the next game is Penn State. The Nittany Lions are the only remaining unbeaten in the Big Ten this season. However, considering the ridiculous parity that has taken over the Big Ten this season, Nebraska could easily get a win against Penn State. Anything can happen in Big Ten play, and the Huskers will be hungry for redemption.

 

-Jamie Arkin

twitter.com/jamie_arkin

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