Published Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm / Updated at 6:13 pm
Nebraska-Penn State: Quarter by quarter

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Rich Kaipust break down the Nebraska-Penn State game with the highlights from each quarter.

* * *

First quarter

Matt McGloin: On the initial third down of the game, Penn State's quarterback finds a wide-open Brandon Moseby-Felder on an underneath route, picking up 23 yards.

Zach Zwinak: Penn State's top running back bolts through a big hole in NU's defense and shows off surprising speed in beating Husker safety Daimion Stafford to the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown. Nebraska's tendency to give up big plays continues, and the Nittany Lions lead 7-0.

Taylor Martinez: The Nebraska quarterback converts two straight third-down plays with his legs, running for 14 on third-and-13 and 4 yards for third-and-two.

Jamal Turner: On another third-and-long, the Husker sophomore wide receiver finds a hole in Penn State's defense and Martinez, against a PSU blitz, finds him for a 30-yard gain. NU has first-and-goal.

Brett Maher: After the Nebraska drive stalls, NU's kicker boots a 32-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.

McGloin: On third-and-14 and into the teeth of a Husker blitz, PSU's quarterback throws a gorgeous sideline go route to Allen Robinson for a 30-yard gain. Three plays later, he converts another third down.

Alonzo Whaley: The Nebraska senior linebacker hits Zwinak hard and forces a fumble that Will Compton recovers at the Husker 6.

Ameer Abdullah: The Nebraska I-back rips off a 33-yard run on the first play of NU's next drive. The first quarter ends with Nebraska moving into PSU territory.

Second quarter

Martinez: Bails out Nebraska again, converting a third-and-10 with a 12-yard scramble.

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Maher: Boots a 27-yard field goal to cut Penn State's lead to 7-6. Nebraska's drive again stalls inside the Nittany Lion 10-yard line.

Sam Ficken: Penn State's kicker boots a 27-yard field goal of his own after the Nittany Lions get a short field. PSU leads 10-6 and is controlling the battle of field position.

Penn State defensive line: It's punching through NU's offensive line all over the place, especially on passing plays. Martinez barely has time to set his feet.

Tim Marlowe: Fumbles a punt that's recovered by Penn State. Yet another needless turnover on special teams.

McGloin: Makes Nebraska pay for the mistake, completing a 10-yard pass to Robinson on third-and-six and then hitting tight end Jesse James for an 11-yard touchdown three plays later. Penn State leads 17-6, having done many of the little things the Huskers have not.

Turner: The Nebraska receiver drops what would have been a 30-yard gain to midfield when he's hit hard after the catch. Nebraska must punt.

Zwinak: Catches a short screen pass from McGloin, sheds a P.J. Smith tackle and runs 31 yards into Husker territory. PSU's drive stalls, and Ficken is able to hit a 38-yard field goal. Penn State takes a 20-6 lead at halftime.

Third quarter

Abdullah: Rips off runs of 5, 9 and 6 yards to start the second half.

Martinez: His option pass is tipped by Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti — right into the hands of Kenny Bell. Two plays later, Martinez knifes through the Nittany Lions' defense for a 21-yard gain and first-and-goal situation.

Imani Cross: Finishes off NU's 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Nebraska cuts Penn State's lead to 20-13.

Stafford: After Husker lineman Baker Steinkuhler picks up a sack, the NU safety steps in front of a forced McGloin throw, intercepts it and returns the pick 22 yards to the Penn State 4-yard line. Nebraska's seemingly flipped a switch.

Cross: Scores his second touchdown of the third quarter, following a Cole Pensick block into the end zone. The Huskers tie the game at 20 six minutes into the second half.

McGloin: Bounces back from his interception, completing passes of 8, 7 and 12 yards to move Penn State to midfield.

Zwinak: In PSU's hurry-up “NASCAR” package, he runs five of the next six plays, ripping off a 20-yarder to get in field-goal range. Ficken finishes the drive with a 35-yard field goal. The Nittany Lions again lead 23-20.

Cross: On NU's ensuing drive, he converts a third down. Later, he converts another. Nebraska has found its short-yardage back. The quarter ends with Nebraska at Penn State's 12-yard line facing a third down.

Fourth quarter

Jacob Fagnano: Nebraska faces third-and-goal from the 12 when Martinez is hit inside the 5 by Mauti, fumbles and Fagnano recovers in the end zone for a touchback to start the fourth quarter.

Kyler Reed: NU faces third-and-five from its 34 when Martinez connects with Reed on a 56-yard pass, which also takes Reed over 1,000 career receiving yards.

Turner: The Huskers cash in this time, with Martinez throwing a 5-yard TD pass to Turner. NU takes its first lead at 27-23 with 10:57 to go.

Matt Lehman: Penn State charges down the field and Lehman is heading for the end zone after a short pass from McGloin. The tight end is hit by David Santos and fumbles, and Stafford recovers in the back of the end zone for a touchback.

Maher: Nebraska stalls after the turnover, but Maher ties a career best with a 69-yard punt that goes out on the PSU 2. It leads to a safety as McGloin is called for intentional grounding in the end zone.

Maher: The senior kicks a 33-yard field goal with 23 seconds left for the final margin of 32-23.

Contact the writer: Sam McKewon    |   402-219-3790    |  

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him. Follow him on Twitter. Call him.

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