Mike Riley, Tommy Armstrong talk Nebraska's late 3rd-and-7 call

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Mike Riley, Tommy Armstrong talk Nebraska's late 3rd-and-7 call

There was a lot of talk about Nebraska’s 3rd-and-7 play call in the final minute of Saturday’s 14-13 loss at Illinois.

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The play, a designed quarterback bootleg, saw Armstrong roll to his right and toss an incomplete pass to running back Devin Ozigbo. The incompletion stopped the clock in the final minute, giving Illinois valuable seconds on its ensuing game-winning touchdown drive.

Riley was surprised by the pass. So was Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt.

“We came up with like 29 seconds,” Lunt told the AP. “The extra (22) seconds, that was huge. If I was in that situation, I’d try to milk the clock.”

Riley and Armstrong addressed the play in a press conference Monday.

“The quarterback just reacted like an athlete,” Riley said. “You know, someone got in his face, and he just reacted. You can’t blame him. That goes back to my training of the quarterback.”

Here’s what Armstrong said:

“I didn’t want to lose any yards. I saw Devine open, (I) tried to give him the ball. If it was a catch, no one would talk about it today. He dropped it.

“It’s on me. I was supposed to run the ball, I didn’t run the ball.”

The result? Illinois drove to the Nebraska 1-yard line and took the lead on a Lunt touchdown pass to Geronimo Allison with 10 seconds left.

Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor

BTN.com senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for BTN.com. Find all of his work here. Follow him on Twitter, too (@BTNBrentYarina). Looking for BTN on TV or tablet? Bookmark our TV schedule and BTN2Go event schedule.

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