Nebraska committed three turnovers and Northwestern wore down the Cornhuskers’ defense in the 2nd half as the Cornhuskers lose to Northwestern 31-28 on Saturday.
Coming into their game with Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland, the pressure was on Nebraska head coach Scott Frost. The Cornhuskers are mired in mediocrity since Frost returned to his alma mater. As a result of this loss, the pressure is more intense and his coaching seat is now a raging inferno.
Cornhuskers Lose to a Tough Northwestern Team
Texas transfer QB Casey Thompson started for Nebraska and passed for 355 yards and a touchdown, but threw two INTs. Thompson was sharp in the 1st half, throwing for a touchdown and then adding a rushing touchdown as he helped Nebraska to a 14-3 lead.
At the end of the first half, Nebraska missed a 56-yard FG attempt that would have tied the game. As a result, Northwestern QB Ryan Helinski responded with two TD passes to steal the momentum. The Wildcats took a 17-14 lead into halftime.
Helinski finished the game with 313 yards and two TDs, and no INTs. He completed 27 of 38 passes for a 71% completion percentage.
Nebraska scored twice in the 3rd quarter on back-to-back possessions. RB Anthony Grant scored on runs of 3 and 46 yards to give the Cornhuskers a 28-17 lead in the 3rd quarter. Grant rushed for 101 yards and two scores for the game.
Northwestern’s Rushing Attack and Defense Wore Down the Cornhuskers
The Wildcats took over the game with both their rushing attack and their defense.
For example, Northwestern drove down the field and scored on a short run by RB Cam Porter to cut the lead to 28-24. They scored again on a drive that was all RB Evan Hull.
Hull caught a screen pass on 3rd and 10 and was able to get to the first down marker and convert. Hull ran the ball again to gain another first down. He ran it yet again to get down to the 5-yard line. On the next play, Hull ran it in for a touchdown to give the Wildcats the lead at 31-28.
The missed field goal by the Cornhuskers in the first half proved to be the difference in the game.
Hull carried 22 times for 119 yards and a touchdown and Porter carried 19 times for 94 yards and a score.
Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald rotated both Hull and Porter into the game throughout the 2nd half. As a result, the Wildcats kept a fresh running back in the game and wore down a Nebraska defense. They were simply gassed.
After a punt by Northwestern that was downed at the 4-yard line, Thompson tried to pull off a miracle. He started a 96-yard drive with less than two minutes left on the clock.
Thompson moved his team out of the shadow of his own goal line to around the 20-yard line. He threw a pass that deflected off his receiver’s hands and into the hands of Northwestern DB Xander Mueller for a game-sealing INT.
It was Thompson’s second pick of the game. The Wildcats then ran out the clock to secure the 31-28 victory.
Nebraska Cornhuskers Moving in the Wrong Direction
Northwestern averaged only 16 points per game last season. They essentially doubled that in their first game of 2022. The Wildcats move to 1-0 in this young season. Nebraska falls to 0-1.
This loss could start the countdown for Frost to be paid “not to coach.”
With the loss, Nebraska has now lost three consecutive season openers. That hasn’t happened since the 1950s (1953-1955). The Cornhuskers now prepare to take on North Dakota on September 3rd.
Northwestern has a bye week next week and will host Duke on September 10th.
Thanks for reading.
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE