Clayton Thorson threw for 455 yards and three touchdowns, and Drew Luckenbaugh kicked a 37-yard field goal in overtime to give Northwestern a 34-31 victory over winless Nebraska on Saturday afternoon.
Nebraska (0-6, 0-4 Big Ten) blew a 10-point lead in the final 5:41 in regulation and fell to 0-6 for the first time ever. They also extended the longest losing streak in the storied program’s history to 10 games. It’s not the start coach Scott Frost envisioned when he decided to take over at his alma mater after orchestrating a drastic turnaround in two seasons coaching Central Florida.
Flynn Nagel set career highs with 220 yards receiving and two touchdowns, and the Wildcats (3-3, 2-2) won for the first time at home after an 0-3 start at Ryan Field.
Things weren’t looking good for them trailing 31-21 with 5:41 left in the fourth quarter. But Northwestern kicked a field goal, then drove 99 yards after getting pinned at the 1 with 2:02 left.
The Wildcats were aided by a roughing-the-passer penalty against Carlos Davis that moved the ball out to the 16, and Thorson finished the drive with a 5-yard TD to JJ Jefferson with 12 seconds left in regulation.
Nebraska got the first shot in overtime after Northwestern deferred and a low snap in a shotgun formation on fourth-and-1 at the 16 did in the Cornhuskers. Martinez scooped up the loose ball around the 30, heaved it to the end zone from the 37 and got intercepted by JR Pace.
Northwestern moved six yards before Drew Luckenbaugh nailed a 37-yarder on fourth down to give the Wildcats their second straight victory.
Nebraska’s Devine Ozigbo ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Adrian Martinez threw for 251 yards and a TD.
JD Spielman caught eight passes for 76 yards receiving and a TD. But Nebraska remained winless since a victory at Purdue last Oct. 28.
Nebraska: This one has to sting for the Cornhuskers, who thought they were on the verge of breaking through prior to this game. They were in control, only to let the lead slip away down the stretch.
Northwestern: The Wildcats showed resolve by rallying late. But they continue to struggle in the run game since leading rusher Jeremy Larkin was forced to stop playing because of a spinal issue. They finished with 32 yards rushing, after being held to a combined 36 over the previous two games.
Nebraska: Hosts Minnesota on Oct. 20.
Northwestern: Visits Rutgers on Oct. 20.
Source: The Associated Press