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Dienhart: Huskers silence naysayers in comeback win

It’s an overstatement to say this was the most important game of the Bo Pelini era. But it certainly was the biggest of this season. Nebraska needed to win this game at Northwestern in the worst way. The Cornhuskers have had to listen for two weeks to the barbs of critics after losing 63-38 at Ohio State. The defense was bad. The coaching could be better. There were too many turnovers. There is a lack of talent. On and on it went for almost two weeks. Well, today’s 29-28 win quelled the skeptics and quieted the naysayers—at least for one

Martinez, Nebraska rally past Northwestern, 29-28

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. [RELATED: Dienhart: Huskers silence naysayers in comeback win] The Cornhuskers can thank Martinez for that. He led them to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and completed 27 of 39

3rd quarter recap: Northwestern 23, Nebraska 16

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. [RELATED: Northwestern debuts new black helmet] Nebraska closed the gap to 23-16 when Taylor Martinez took a quarterback draw all the way for a three-yard touchdown run to polish off a 51-yard drive. The Cornhuskers tacked on two points instead of one when Braylon Heard ran in from two yards out. Northwestern’s Mark reached the 100-yard

2nd quarter recap: Northwestern 14, Nebraska 10

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. [RELATED: Northwestern debuts new black helmet] Taylor Martinez’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Bell put Nebraska on top 10-7, putting a bow on a two-play, 45-yard drive. Nebraska began the drive with good field position after Nebraska returned a punt. The Huskers will get the ball to start the second half. [ PREVIEWS | BY QUARTER |

1st quarter recap: Northwestern 7, Nebraska 3

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. [RELATED: Northwestern debuts new black helmet] Trevor Siemian’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Vitale gave Northwestern the lead, 7-3, and was the final play of a three-play, 14-yard drive. A fumble recovery by the Wildcats set Northwestern up to start the drive. The Cornhuskers will start the second quarter with possession

Northwestern breaks out new matte black helmet

And here we were thinking Northwestern was just wearing an all-black uniform for today’s big-time Legends Division battle with Nebraska. As it turns out, the Wildcats also have a new matte back helmet, which features a massive Wildcat. Here’s the team’s usual helmet. Throughout today’s Nebraska-Northwestern game, we’ll provide live quarterly recaps on our Nebraska at Northwesten page. Bookmark and come back all game for the latest updates. Here’s a picture of the helmet, with the rest of the uniform: web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,”

Did You See This? Sunrise at Ryan Field

If you haven’t heard, there’s a pretty big game at Ryan Field this afternoon. Northwestern (6-1, 2-1) hosts Nebraska (4-2, 1-1) at 3:30 p.m., and the Wildcats can’t wait for the huge Legends Division battle to arrive. In fact, the guys over at NUAthletics YouTube page published a really cool video of the sunrise at Ryan Field early Saturday. Watch the full timelapse video in this post. [RELATED: Northwestern to wear new all-black uniform Saturday] Throughout Saturday’s game, we’ll provide live quarterly recaps on our Nebraska at Northwester page. Bookmark the page and come back all game long.

Numbers: Big stats for big Week 8 games

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. But that’s far from the only compelling game this weekend. Nebraska-Northwestern is a huge one in Evanston with both teams needing a win in their quests to get to

Dienhart: Q&A with NU's Nick VanHoose

Northwestern has been a surprise team this season, jetting to a 6-1 mark to become the first bowl-eligible Big Ten squad. Now, with a big home game vs. Nebraska looming, Northwestern can dare to dream big. How big? Why not contemplate winning the Legends Division and the Big Ten for the first time since 2000? It’s possible, thanks to a large degree to the defense. Redshirt freshman cornerback Nick VanHoose has played a big role on a unit that has made significant strides. Last season, Northwestern’s defense had myriad breakdowns, suffering communication issues in the back end and yielding too

Twitter: 'Mandatory Cat Nap' for Wildcats on Saturday

It’s no secret college kids like to nap after an early-morning obligation. The Northwestern football team is no different. The Wildcats will take a “Mandatory Cat Nap” at 9:30 a.m. CT Saturday prior to its 2:30 p.m. game against Nebraska. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald tweeted out the news Wednesday, and the nap is sandwiched between position meetings and the pre-game meal. [RELATED: Northwestern to wear new all-black uniform Saturday] Here’s the tweet: Yes, nap time is actually listed on this week's travel itinerary. — Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) October 17, 2012 Wild idea, huh? But Fitzgerald wasn’t happy with how