Peculiar play: Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald’s clock management at the end of the first half was baffling. After an interception, Northwestern had the ball at the Nebraska 35 with 36 seconds and two timeouts left. A speed option gained seven yards, but the Wildcats let the clock run instead of calling timeout. Northwestern misfired on a second-down pass, then had quarterback Clayton Thorson center up a field goal try with a short run on third down. Northwestern missed the field goal at the halftime gun, never trying to move closer for an easier kick.
Questionable call: Nebraska appeared to have a third-down stop late in the second quarter when Husker cornerback Lamar Jackson was flagged for holding receiver Bennett Skowronek on a short route. Replays showed Jackson made contact with Skowronek but didn’t hold him and may have received as much contact as he gave. Northwestern eventually kicked a field goal on the drive.
Worth noting: Nebraska has lost the rushing battle four games in a row, but the Huskers made a concerted effort to try and run the ball, using the jet sweep multiple times and a passable enough downhill run game featuring Devine Ozigbo. There were hiccups — including a disastrous toss play that lost five yards — but Nebraska kept Northwestern honest.
Rave review: Nebraska’s execution and playcalling on its second touchdown drive was picture perfect. First: a 40-yard jet sweep by JD Spielman was the best blocking any receiver has enjoyed on that play since 2015. Second, the 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Lee to Jack Stoll was a thing of pro-style beauty, as Stoll slipped behind the defense and Lee put the ball on the spot. Good two-step playcalling by offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf.
How would you grade Nebraska's performance against Northwestern?
The Huskers lost 31-24 in overtime Saturday at home against Northwestern. How would you grade the performance?
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Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee passes the ball against Northwestern. The Huskers went on to lose 31-24 in overtime.
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