Brandon Reilly had four catches for 83 yards and a touchdown
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Nipped by Cats

By NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska 
28
30
Northwestern
Final Stats
Score by quarters
  1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Nebraska 5 7 7 9 28
Northwestern 7 10 3 10 30
Rushing Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  No. Yards Avg. TD Long
Newby (NU) 16 52 3.3 0 9
Thorson (NW) 9 126 14.0 1 68
Passing Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  Comp.-Att.-Int Yards TD
Armstrong (NU) 24-49-1 291 1
Thorson (NW) 13-28-0 177 1
Receiving Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  No. Yards TD Long
Westerkamp (NU) 5 92 0 30
Vitale (NW) 5 55 1 37
Tackle Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  Tackles TFLs Sacks
Banderas (NU) 10 0 0
Walker (NW) 13 1 0
Game NOTES

The matchup marks Nebraska's fourth straight game against a West Division foe. That streak will grow to five at Purdue on Oct. 31, before the Huskers square off against a pair of East Division foes.

* Nebraska enters the matchup with Northwestern with a 3-4 record, including a 1-2 mark in the Big Ten Conference. The Huskers are coming off a 48-25 win at Minnesota on Saturday, arguably Nebraska's most complete game of the season.

* Northwestern owns a 5-2 record, and stands 1-2 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats lost 40-10 to Iowa on Saturday in Evanston, marking Northwestern's second straight loss. The Wildcats' only other loss was at No. 15 Michigan, while Northwestern's victories include a season-opening win over No. 10 Stanford in Evanston, and a win at 23rd-ranked Duke.

* Today's game features a reunion of Nebraska's 1995 national championship team at Memorial Stadium.

* Nebraska will wear alternate Husker Bold uniforms today. The uniforms are centered around a bold, black colorway and feature red metallic numbers. 

Lincoln In a another game that went down to the wire, Nebraska watched a two-point conversion attempt bound incomplete with 4:23 left, allowing Northwestern to escape from Memorial Stadium with a 30-28 win on Saturday.

With Nebraska's fifth loss of the season by five or fewer points, the Huskers slipped to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten, while Northwestern improved to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the conference. Nebraska's five losses have come by a total of 13 points.

The Huskers trailed 30-22 after Northwestern's Jack Mitchell booted a 27-yard field goal with 7:27 left. Tommy Armstrong Jr. then orchestrated a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive that culminated with Armstong's second touchdown run of the day with 4:23 left.

Armstrong's three-yard touchdown run was set up by his 37-yard pass to Brandon Reilly on 4th-and-6 from the Northwestern 40. After Armstrong's scoring run, his pass attempt to Stanley Morgan Jr. on a crossing route for the game-tying two-point conversion attempt caromed incomplete on a well-covered play.

The incompletion left the game in the hands of the Blackshirts, who were unable to get off the field against the Wildcats, who ran out the final 4:23. Nebraska's best chance to force a Northwestern punt came on 3rd-and-3 at the Wildcat 32, but Clayton Thorson hit Justin Jackson on a short pass that Jackson turned into a 28-yard completion to the Nebraska 40.

Jackson carried the next two plays, picking up another first down with an eight-yard run to seal the Wildcat victory.

Jackson finished with 14 carries for 40 yards while adding two receptions for 55 yards, but it was Thorson who did the most damage. The Wildcat quarterback carried nine times for 126 yards and one score, including a 68-yard sprint in the first quarter to help put Northwestern up early. He added a 49-yard run in the second quarter to help Northwestern to a 17-12 halftime lead.

Those two long plays accounted for nearly all of Northwestern's 128 first-half yards, but a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown by Nick VanHoose with 7:17 left in the half allowed the Wildcats to keep their head above water, despite being outgained 212-128 at halftime.

The Huskers trailed 14-5 after the interception, but Armstrong rallied Nebraska with 1:07 left in the half on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Reilly, who finished with four receptions for 83 yards.

Armstrong struggled through the air in the first half, but finished 24-of-49 for 291 yards on the day. He added 12 carries for 13 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, but Nebraska managed just 82 rushing yards on 38 carries on the day against Northwestern. Terrell Newby led the Husker ground game with 52 yards on 16 carries. Newby also had three catches for 18 yards.

Jordan Westerkamp led the Husker receivers with five receptions for 92 yards, while De'Mornay Pierson-El added five catches for 31 yards.

Thorson finished with 303 yards of total offense for Northwestern, including 177 yards on 13-of-28 passing. His 37-yard touchdown pass to Dan Vitale with 9:53 left in the fourth quarter gave the lead back to Northwestern at 27-22, after the Huskers had taken a 22-20 lead on the first play of the quarter with Drew Brown's 48-yard field goal.

In a choppy, back-and-forth game, Nebraska took a 3-0 lead on Brown's 43-yard field goal with 10:26 left in the first quarter. Thorson answered with his 68-yard run to set up his own one-yard score on the next drive to put Northwestern up 7-3 just 6:15 into the game.

The Blackshirts then got in on the scoring with a sack by Ross Dzuris of Thorson in the end zone for Nebraska's first safety of the season, cutting Northwestern's margin to 7-5 at the end of the first quarter.

After trailing 17-12 at half, Nebraska regained the lead on its opening drive of the third quarter with a massive 15-play, 75-yard march that consumed 6:01. It was capped by Armstrong's four-yard touchdown run to put the Huskers up 19-17.

Northwestern answered with an 18-yard field goal by Mitchell on its only drive of the third quarter to take a 20-19 lead to the final quarter.

Nebraska finished with 373 total yards on the day, while Northwestern managed 333. The Huskers ran 31 more offensive plays than the Wildcats, and closed with a 38:58-21:02 edge in time of possession.

Linebacker Josh Banderas led the Huskers with 10 tackles, while Byerson Cockrell added eight stops. Anthony Walker led the Wildcats with 13 tackles, while Dean Lowry contributed 10 tackles, including a pair of sacks.

The Huskers head to Purdue on Halloween to battle the Boilermakers. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with live TV coverage provided by ESPN2 or ESPNU.

SCORING SUMMARY
Nebraska vs Northwestern
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)

First Quarter (NW 7-5)
10:26 - Drew Brown 43 field goal. 9 plays, 26 yards, 3:24. NU 3-0

8:45 - Thorson 1 run. 4 plays, 70 yards, 1:35. NW 7-3

5:19 - Dzuris safety of Thorson. NW 7-5

Second Quarter (NW 17-12)
7:17 - VanHoose 72 interception return. NW 14-5.

1:07 - Reilly 10 pass from Armstrong. 13 plays, 75 yards, 6:10. NW 14-12

0:00 - Mitchell 28 field goal. 6 plays, 61 yards, 1:02. NW 17-12.

Third Quarter (NW 20-19)
8:59 - Armstrong 4 run. 15 plays, 75 yards, 6:01. NU 19-12.

5:18 - Mitchell 18 field goal. 10 plays, 61 yards, 3:34. NW 20-19.

Fourth Quarter (NW, 30-28)
14:55 - Brown 48 field goal. 11 plays, 45 yards, 5:18. NU 22-20.

9:53 - Vitale 37 pass from Thorson. 9 plays, 77 yards, 2:34. NW 27-22.

7:27 - Mitchell 27 field goal. 5 plays, 21 yards, 1:15. NW 30-22

4:23 - Armstrong 3 run. 5 plays, 40 yards, . NW 30-28

Attendance: 89,493
Time of Game: 3:30
Game Start: 11:02 a.m.

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