Taylor Martinez threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and Nebraska rallied to beat Northwestern 29-28 on Saturday. The Cornhuskers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) rallied from 12 down in the fourth, taking a one-point lead when Martinez hit Ben Cotton with a 7-yard pass with just over 2 minutes left, and hung on when a 53-yard field goal attempt by Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien barely missed wide right with 1:10 remaining.
Thanks to a mean rushing attack, Northwestern now leads 23-16. The Wildcats rushed for 98 yards in the third quarter. The Wildcats expanded their lead to 21-10 thanks to a four-play, 93-yard drive that ended when Venric Mark ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run.
Nebraska’s Kenny Bell caught a 37-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but the margin is still four, as Northwestern leads the Huskers, 14-10. Trevor Siemian’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Tony Jones finished off an eight-play, 50-yard drive and gave Northwestern its halftime advantage.
In the first quarter, Northwestern’s Dan Vitale stood out. He caught two passes for 14 yards and one touchdown, and the Wildcats lead 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Nebraska struck first when Brett Maher drilled a 27-yard field goal, the final play of a seven-play, 65-yard drive.
Saturday is almost here. Here are my most pressing questions for each school as we kick it into overdrive and head into the second half of the 2012 football season. Also, catch “The Football Report” tonight at 7 p.m. ET as I’ll be making an appearance with Mike Hall, Rosevelt Colvin, and Tony banks.
Week 8 in the Big Ten is chock full of intriguing games. Michigan-Michigan State has arguably been the most talked-about rivalry in the conference over the last five years – from Mike Hart’s “little brother” quip in 2007 all the way through the early-season derogatory comments about Denard Robinson on Twitter by some Michigan State players this season. I can’t wait to get it going Saturday at 3:30 ET on BTN/BTN2Go.