Park, Pa. -
Rex Burkhead pounded out his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season on
Saturday with 121 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown in a 17-14 win over the
No. 12 Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium.
Martinez added 56 yards on the ground on 19 carries and was mistake free
through the air with 143 yards on 13-26 passing. Kelly Bell led NU’s receivers
with four catches for 42 yards, while Kyler Reed added three catches for 40 yards.
The victory over Penn
State marked the highest ranked team Nebraska has defeated away from home since
a victory over sixth-ranked Tennessee in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl and the highest
ranked team Nebraska has defeated on its home field since a 27-14 win at
second-ranked Washington in 1997.
Playing in front
of 107,903 fans, the second-largest crowd ever for a Nebraska football game,
and an ESPN national television audience, the Blackshirts got stops on Penn
State's final two offensive drives to secure the win.
State cut the Husker lead to 17-14, Nebraska went 3-and-out, giving the ball
back to PSU on their own 11-yard line following a 61-yard punt from Brett
Maher. The Nittany Lions were moving the ball well, until they were stopped for
no gain on two straight plays at their own 37. After being stopped on 3rd-and-1,
PSU took a timeout, but it did them no good as Lavonte David posted the biggest
of his nine tackles on the day with a stuff of Silas Redd to deny PSU a first
would get the ball back with 1:49 on the clock and a chance to end the game.
would force Penn State to use the rest of its timeouts, but a fourth-down stop
on a run by Burkhead on 4th-and-2 from the 29 gave Penn State the ball back
with a chance to win the game.
incomplete pass on first down, the Husker secondary was flagged for defensive
holding, giving PSU 1st-and-10 at the their own 37. Matt McGloin would complete
just one more pass for nine yards and would get no closer as an incomplete pass
to Justin Brown ended the Nittany Lions comeback attempt on Senior Day.
eventual game-winning score came off a 14-yard option run from Martinez to
Burkhead in the third quarter following the first turnover of the game.
Huskers opened the second half with a punt, Penn State took over on its own 30
and had crossed into Nebraska territory with 1st-and-10 on the NU 41. The drive
ended on the next play when Cameron Meredith forced a fumble on a seven-yard
sack of McGloin that was recovered by Eric Martin.
offense would follow with eight straight running play on the legs of Martinez
and Burkhead that would cover 52 yards, including 31 yards on the final two
plays of the drive.
At the time
it looked as if the Huskers have started to put the game away with a 17-0 lead,
but Penn State would answer with 14 unanswered points.
the Burkhead touchdown, Penn State responded with a nine-play drive that
covered 82 yards in 3:36. The biggest play of the drive came on a 40-yard pass
from McGloion to Derek Moye to the NU 5. Stephfon Green would scamper into the
endzone two plays later from five yards out.
team punted twice, Nebraska was just about to cross into Penn State territory
when a botched handoff from Burkhead to Tyler Legate on 2nd-and-2 was recovered
by Penn State’s Jordan Hill.
Lions would march 51 yards in nine plays to cut the NU lead to 17-14, capped by
a six-yard run from Green. During the drive, Penn State went deep into the play
book with a reverse pass back to the quarterback. Curtis Drake completed a
16-yard pass to McGloin down to the NU six-yard line, which was followed on the
next play with Green's score.
Lions had the first scoring opportunity of the game on a 47-yard field goal
attempt midway through the first quarter. The Huskers had kept PSU on its half
to the field until quarterback McGloin got a lucky bounce on a 3rd-and-7 pass
from his own 33-yard line.
pass was nearly intercepted by Nebraska's Ciante Evans, but the tipped ball
instead landed in hands of Drake for 31 yards to the Nebraska 36. Four plays
later Anthony Fera would come on for the field goal attempt and miss wide
two first downs in the first quarter, the Huskers started to find a rhythm on
their opening drive of the second quarter after forcing a PSU punt.
their own 27, Martinez and the Huskers picked up four first downs on the drive,
including three of the four on three consecutive plays. The drive would stall
following a three-yard rush from Martinez on 3rd-and-11 from the 23-yard line,
but Maher would convert on a 41-yard field goal to give NU the early 3-0 lead.
would extend their lead to 10-0 as the first half was winding down after coving
80 yards in 12 plays, capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Ameer Abdullah.
forcing Penn State to punt for the fifth time in the first half, the Huskers
took over on their own 20-yard line with 3:33 on the clock. NU would start with
four straight rushing plays before Martinez hit Reed for 24 yards down the sideline
to setup 1st-and-10 at the PSU 44. Martinez was 3-4 on the drive for 49 yards,
with all three completions to different receivers.
had an opportunity to hold Nebraska to a field goal attempt with the Huskers
facing 3rd-and-9 on the 14, but Nittany Lion safety Nick Sukay was flagged for
pass interference on a throw from Martinez to Tim Marlowe. NU would score on
the following play as Burkhead would go under center and toss the ball to
Abdullah for the two-yard plunge.
to road action next week when the Huskers travel to Ann Arbor to take
on Michigan. Kickoff time between the Huskers and Wolverines is set
for 11 a.m. (central) on ESPN/ESPN2.
Final: #19 Nebraska 17, #12 Penn State 14
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011
Beaver Stadium (University Park)
First Quarter (Tied, 0-0)
Second Quarter (NEB, 10-0)
NEB - 10:55 - Brett Maher 41 FG - 9 plays, 50 yards, 5:53, NEB 3-0
NEB - 0:44 - Ameer Abdullah 2 run (Maher kick) - 12 plays, 80 yards, 2:49 NEB 10-0
Third Quarter Quarter (NEB, 17-7)
NEB - 8:51 - Rex Burkhead 14 run (Maher kick) - 8 plays, 52 yards, 2:54, NEB 17-0
PSU - 5:07 - Stephfon Green 5 run (Fera kick) - 9 plays, 82 yards, 3:36, NEB 17-7
Fourth Quarter (NEB, 17-14)
PSU- 5:42 - Stephfon Green 6 run (Fera kick) - 9 plays, 51 yards, 3:53, NEB 17-14
Final: #19 Nebraska 17, #12 Penn State 14
Time of Game: 3:27
Game Start: 11:03 a.m. (central)