Ames, Iowa - Nebraska's late comeback attempt fell short and the Huskers dropped into a tie for the Big 12 North lead as they fell to Iowa State, 34-27, Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium. With the loss, Nebraska fell to 5-4 on the season and 3-3 in the conference. ISU improved to the same overall and league marks with the victory.
Brandon Jackson capped a nine-play, 60-yard scoring drive with 5:01 remaining in the game to pull Nebraska within seven points, 34-27. The scoring run was Jackson's second of the day, marking his third two-touchdown game this season and the fourth straight game NU has had an I-back run for two scores.
Following Jackson's touchdown, the Blackshirts held ISU in check on the next drive before getting the ball back with 2:55 to play. But quarterback Joe Dailey's first pass was picked off and Iowa State converted a late fourth down attempt as the Cyclones held on for their second straight victory over the Huskers in Ames.
ISU quarterback Bret Meyer threw for three touchdowns and his performance was among the Cyclones' top 10 single-game passing yardage marks. He connected on 17-of-36 attempts for 345 yards and three scores, including a 77-yarder to seal the win.
Meyer connected with Jon Davis on a 77-yard score with 1:58 left in the third period to put Iowa State in front by 20 points at 34-14, just seconds after the Huskers had cut the lead to 27-14. Davis finished with 103 yards on four receptions, but it was freshman Todd Blythe who stole the show. Blythe led the Cyclones with 188 receiving yards on eight catches, all in the first half, and set the ISU single-season record for receiving touchdowns with his ninth of the season. Blythe's first-half score gave the Cyclones a 27-7 lead at intermission.
Cory Ross' touchdown capped a 15-play, 77-yard drive, that sliced the ISU lead to 27-14 late in the third period. The drive was NU's longest scoring drive of the season in terms of plays and was kept alive by a defensive holding penalty on third down. The Huskers converted on another third down with a nine-yard catch by Dusty Keiser and a fourth-down conversion on a 16-yard reception by Isaiah Fluellen. Following a pass interference call in the end zone, Ross' two-yard dash cut the deficit to 27-14.
After Iowa State surged back in front with the long pass play, Nebraska again fought back within two touchdowns. Jackson reached the end zone for the Huskers with 13:14 left in the game to get the Huskers back within 34-20. Jackson and Ross combined for three touchdowns, with Ross finished with a game-high 126 rushing yards on 19 carries, including a pair of 30-plus-yard rushes in the first half.
Iowa State struck first with a Bret Culbertson 28-yard field goal with 11:01 to play in the first half and made it 10-0 on a Ben Barkema four-yard touchdown reception, the first catch of his career, later in the first quarter. Meyer set up the scoring pass with a 51-yard strike to Blythe earlier on the drive.
The Huskers got on the board on the first play of the second quarter when Steve Kriewald grabbed his second receiving touchdown of the season. Dailey connected on a six-yarder on third down that Kriewald snagged out of the air before Sandro DeAngelis' extra point pulled NU within three, 10-7, with 14:55 to play in the first half.
The completion was Dailey's sixth of the day to six different receivers. Dailey finished with 230 passing yards on 18-of-42 passing. It was the fourth time this season Dailey attempted at least 30 passes in a contest, and the third time he tied the school record for pass attempts in a game.
Nebraska makes a second straight road trip next weekend when it plays at No. 2 Oklahoma on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Sooners and Huskers kick off at 6 p.m. on FSN.