(AP) Second-string quarterback Kain Colter ran for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead Northwestern to a 28-25 upset of No. 9 Nebraska on Saturday. Filling in for injured starter Dan Persa in the second half, Colter scored from the 1 with 1:34 left to finish a 13-play, 66-yard drive that chewed more than 7 minutes off the clock after the Cornhuskers had pulled to 21-18. Taylor Martinez passed for 289 yards and two scores for Nebraska (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten). Persa injured his left shoulder in the second quarter when he was slammed to the ground by Eric Martin. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view the Big Ten scoreboard.
Check out our quarter-by-quarter recap, Powered by Narrative Science:
FINAL: Kain Colter broke out against No. 9 Nebraska, piling up 54 rushing yards and scoring two touchdowns to lead Northwestern to a 28-25 victory on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Taylor Martinez led the air attack for Nebraska (7-2) in a losing effort. Martinez threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns on 29-for-38 passing. Northwestern averages 431.75 total yards of offense, among the best in the conference, but in this game its offense was on fire even by those standards. Northwestern’s (4-5) offense exploded for 261 passing yards and 203 rushing yards in claiming the victory. At one point, the Cornhuskers trailed by 11 points, and while Nebraska made a run in the game’s late stages, it couldn’t complete the comeback against the Wildcats. The Cornhuskers’ offense finished the game having gained 416 yards. In addition to Martinez’s efforts through the air, Nebraska also rushed 33 times for 118 yards. Northwestern’s Dan Persa passed for 79 yards, completing nine of 14 throws. He threw one interception. Persa was also a threat on the ground, as he rushed for 29 yards on four attempts. Jeremy Ebert was the player Persa targeted most often. He caught six passes for 148 yards and one touchdown.
FOURTH QUARTER: The offense led Northwestern to 14 fourth-quarter points, and the Wildcats kept Nebraska at bay for a 28-25 victory. Northwestern racked up 81 passing yards and 69 rushing yards in the quarter. The Wildcats added to their advantage when Kain Colter tossed an 81-yard touchdown to Jeremy Ebert, the clincher of a two-play, 84-yard drive to give Northwestern the lead, 21-10. The Cornhuskers closed the gap to 21-18 when Rex Burkhead turned a handoff into a one-yard touchdown to polish off a 74-yard drive. Nebraska tacked on two points instead of one when. The Wildcats made their lead 28-18 when Colter kept it himself for a one-yard touchdown run on the last play of a 13-play, 66-yard drive. The Cornhuskers put the finishing touches on a 74-yard drive when Taylor Martinez and Kenny Bell hooked up for a 14-yard touchdown to make the score 28-25. Nebraska drove across midfield after Martinez’s 25-yard pass to Kyler Reed from the 34-yard line. The Cornhuskers’ Martinez topped 200 yards passing for the game in the quarter, and finished his day with 298 yards through the air. Ebert clinched a 100-yard receiving game with 81 yards in the quarter, part of his six-catch, 148-yard day for Northwestern.
THIRD QUARTER: Northwestern holds a 14-10 advantage over Nebraska at the end of the third quarter in what would be an upset. The Wildcats threw for 101 yards during the quarter. Northwestern made its lead 14-3 when Kain Colter scrambled for a three-yard touchdown run on the last play of a six-play, 59-yard drive. The Cornhuskers polished off a 50-yard drive when Taylor Martinez and Tim Marlowe hooked up for a 15-yard touchdown to make the score 14-10. The Wildcats will start the fourth quarter with possession on Nebraska’s 30-yard line.
SECOND QUARTER: Northwestern holds a 7-3 advantage over Nebraska at the end of the second quarter in what would be an upset. An 18-yard drive that ended when Brett Maher kicked a 36-yard field goal helped the Cornhuskers narrow the deficit to 7-3. An interception by Lavonte David put Nebraska at the Northwestern 37-yard line to open the drive. The Wildcats will start the second half with the ball.
FIRST QUARTER: No. 9 Nebraska is on upset alert at the end of the first quarter, trailing Northwestern by a score of 7-0. The Wildcats held the Cornhuskers to just 14 rushing yards in the quarter. Northwestern struck first when Jacob Schmidt ran two yards to paydirt, the final play of a 13-play, 80-yard drive. Nebraska will start the second quarter with the ball at the Wildcats’ 43-yard line.
Northwestern is 4-5, still alive for a bowl, with games left vs. Rice, Minnesota and Michigan State–all at home. That Wildcats may do it.—
Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) November 05, 2011
We are not NU. NU is Northwestern. They earned it.—
(@CornNation) November 05, 2011
People don't go into Memorial Stadium unranked and win.—
Tim Doyle (@BTNTimDoyle) November 05, 2011
Kain Colter literally put the team on his back, great game—
Jeff Allen (@JeffAllen71) November 05, 2011
Jerel Worthy (@I_AM_Worthy99) November 05, 2011
Winner of this game gets the Big Ten's NU abbreviation.—
Mike Wolf (@MikeTWolf) November 05, 2011
Lance Thorell has 13 tackles heading into the fourth quarter. That should tell you how much NW has targeted him in coverage.—
Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) November 05, 2011
Austin Cassidy. Right place, right time. That's what he does—
Jon Nyatawa (@JonNyatawa) November 05, 2011
Northwestern is actually playing defense today. Who knew?—
David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) November 05, 2011
What a leap by Northwestern QB Kain Colter to touch the pylon with the ball for a touchdown. Didn't think Colter had the angle.—
Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) November 05, 2011
Lavonte David…what more can you really say?—
Brandon Cavanaugh (@HuskerLocker) November 05, 2011
Back to that Rex Burkhead fumble. It was his first since the Holiday Bowl. 184 touches—
Jon Nyatawa (@JonNyatawa) November 05, 2011