Kasun Interception Clinches White Comeback
Lincoln - Kyle Kasun's interception on the final play brought the White team (defense) all the way back for a 46-41 victory on a perfect day for football in Nebraska's Red-White Spring Game in front of 72,992 fans on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
In a uniquely scored game that featured points on long plays and first downs in addition to touchdowns for the Red (offense) and points for sacks, stops, forced punts and interceptions for the White (defense), the White rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit for a five-point win.
Kasun, a redshirt freshman defensive back from Papillion, Neb., earned his spot in Spring Game lore with the game's only interception on the final play. His pick of Patrick O'Brien as time expired also earned him a ride on the shoulders of his teammates.
While the White team claimed the victory, the offense played well under returning starting quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. The senior-to-be completed 8-of-15 passes for 80 yards through the air and was even more impressive on the ground. Armstrong rushed six times for 120 yards with a 37-yard touchdown run on the Red team's first drive of the second half.
Terrell Newby also showed his explosiveness early in the game, rushing six times for 48 yards and one touchdown. Newby scored the first touchdown of the game for the Red on the opening drive. His one-yard plunge followed his own 18-yard burst to set up the score. Newby sprinted 23 yards on his first carry of the game.
Devine Ozigbo also played well early with five carries for 31 yards, including a 22-yard burst on the Red team's opening drive.
Ryker Fyfe showed his accuracy through the air by completing 15-of-21 passes for 127 yards, while managing seven carries for 12 yards.
After Armstong led the Red to a pair of first-half touchdown drives, Fyfe helped the Red to points as Drew Brown booted a 47-yard field goal as time expired to give the Red a 23-16 halftime lead.
Following the opening drive of the second half that was capped by Armstrong's 37-yard run, the Red owned a 31-16 lead.
The White team kept the Red out of the end zone the rest of the third quarter and after holding on fourth down on the opening play of the fourth quarter, the White had cut the lead to 33-23.
The defense scored 10 straight points to tie the score briefly at 33, before AJ Bush and Austin Rose led the Red on a 41-yard scoring drive. Bush had two carries for six yards and had a key three-yard completion to Brett Classen on 4th-and-3 to sustain the drive.
Rose carried three times for 32 yards on the drive, including a 24-yard run to set up his seven-yard touchdown to put the Red back up 41-33 with 4:59 left.
With 1:11 left, the Red still held a 41-36 lead, but the White tied it at 41 by holding on four downs to set up the final drive for the Red with 21 seconds left.
O'Brien rushed for five yards on the first play before throwing an incompletion on 2nd-and-5 at the White 42. On 3rd-and-5, Kasun intercepted O'Brien's pass at the White 12 and was mobbed by his teammates in a victory celebration.
O'Brien finished 6-of-10 for 59 yards through the air, while carrying the ball four times for minus-12 yards. Bush went 4-for-12 for 35 yards passing, while carrying six times for 43 yards.
Rose finished the day with four carries for 32 yards and a score, while Mikale Wilbon was also productive on the ground with eight carries for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Brett Classen and Jordan Nelson each had four catches to lead Nebraska's receivers, while Sam Cotton's 40 yards on three catches were also a team high.
Red 1-0, Offense (Newby 23 run)
Red 2-0, Offense (Ozigbo 22 run)
Red 3-0, Offense (3 1st downs on drive)
Red 9-0, Offense (Newby 1-yard TD run)
Red 10-0, Offense (Brown PAT good)
Red, 10-2, Defense (3 and out)
Red, 10-3, Defense (stop before 40-yard line/forced punt)
Red, 10-4, Defense (stop before 40-yard line/forced punt)
Red, 10-5, Defense (stop before 40-yard line/forced punt)
Red, 10-7, Defense (3 and out)
Red, 10-8, Defense (stop before 40-yard line/forced punt)
Red, 11-8, Offense (4th down conversion)
11-11, Defense (Brown 50 FG missed - hit crossbar)
Red, 12-11, Offense (Armstrong 44-yard run)
Red, 18-11, Offense (Wilbon 6-yard TD run)
Red, 19-11, Offense (Brown PAT good)
Red, 19-13, Defense (Sack of Fyfe by Akinmoladun & C. Davis)
Red, 19-14, Defense (stop before 40-yard line/forced punt)
Red, 20-14, Offense (Fyfe to Cotton 25-yard reception)
Red, 20-16, Defense (4th down stop)
Red, 23-16, Offense (Brown 47 FG good)
Red, 24-16, Offense (3 first downs on drive)
Red, 31-16, Offense (Armstrong 37-yard TD run)
Red, 31-18, Defense (3 and out)
Red, 31-19, Defense (stop before 40-yard line/forced punt)
Red, 32-19, Offense (Fyfe to Mazour 22-yard pass)
Red, 32-21, Defense (4th down stop)
Red, 33-21, Offense (3 first downs on drive)
Red, 33-23, Defense (4th down stop)
Red, 33-25, Defense (Sack of O'Brien by Lopez)
Red, 33-26, Defense (stop before 40-yard line/forced punt)
Red, 33-28, Defense (4th down stop)
Red, 33-30, Defense (4th down stop)
Red, 33-31, Defense (stop before 40-yard line)
33-33, Defense (3 and out)
Red, 34-33, Offense (4th down conversion)
Red, 35-33, Offense (Austin Rose 23-yard run)
Red, 41-33, Offense (Austin Rose 7-yard run)
Red, 41-35, Defense (4th down stop)
Red, 41-38, Defense (3 and out)
Red, 41-40, Defense (4th down stop)
41-41, Defense (stop before 40-yard line)
White, 46-41, Defense (Kyle Kasun interception as time expired)