Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) led the Huskers out of the tunnel and onto victory on Military Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Photo by Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications

Gutsy Armstrong, Resilient Blackshirts Lead Huskers to Victory

By NU Athletic Communications
Score by quarters
1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Minnesota 7 10 0 0 17
Nebraska 3 7 7 7 24
Rushing Leaders
(Stats Updated at End of Quarter)
No. Yards Avg. TD Long
Newby (NEB) 16 85


0 25
Smith (MIN) 17


3.1 1 31
Passing Leaders
(Stats Updated at End of Quarter)
Comp.-Att.-Int Yards TD
Armstrong (NEB) 19-27-0 217 2
Leidner (MIN) 18-27-1 180 0
Receiving Leaders
(Stats Updated at End of Quarter)
No. Yards TD Long
Westerkamp (NEB) 6 50 0 14
Wolitarsky (MIN) 8 90 0 29
Tackle Leaders
(Stats Updated at End of Quarter)
Tackles TFLs Sacks
A. Williams (NEB)
Banderas (NEB)
Winfield (MIN) 10 5 0

19 - Nebraska won for the 19th straight time in a home night game, dating back to a loss to Missouri in 2008.

* Nebraska improved to 45-5 all-time in home night games at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska improved to 6-0 in home Big Ten Conference night games.

* Nebraska improved to 6-0 at home this season. A win over Maryland next Saturday at Memorial Stadium would mark Nebraska's first perfect home season since 2012 and just the Huskers second since 2001.

* Nebraska won its 19th straight game when winning the turnover battle, including four times in 2016. The Huskers won tonight's turnover margin, 1-0, and the Gophers entered the game leading the Big Ten in turnover margin.

4 - Nebraska trailed at the half for the fourth consecutive home game, and has rallied to win each of those games. Nebraska trailed 17-10 at the half tonight after trailing Oregon by six points, Illinois by three and Purdue by four before rallying to win each of those games.

90 - Senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw two touchdown passes in tonight's game and rushed for a 13-yard TD in the fourth quarter. He increased his career touchdown total to 90, tying Eric Crouch for a Nebraska school record.

43 - Armstrong Jr. started tonight's game, marking his 43rd career start. The 43 starts tie Taylor Martinez for the most career starts by a Nebraska quarterback.

* Armstrong accounted for 278 yards of total offense in the game, moving his career total to 10,552.

* Tonight's win was the 30th of Armstrong's career, the third-most by a Nebraska quarterback, trailing only Eric Crouch (35) and Tommie Frazier (33).

70.4 - Armstrong completed 19-of-27 passes, good for a 70.4 percent completion rate. The 70.4 completion percentage was the best of Armstrong's career when attempting at least 20 passes. His previous best was a 21-of-30 effort (70.0 percent) last season against South Alabama.

* Armstrong completed 18-of-26 passes last season against Minnesota (69.2 percent).

150 - Senior receiver Jordan Westerkamp caught six passes for 50 yards in tonight's game, increasing his career receptions total to 155. Westerkamp is the third player in Nebraska history to surpass 150 career receptions, joining Kenny Bell (181) and Nate Swift (166).

* Westerkamp has caught at least one pass in 34 straight games, three shy of Johnny Rodgers' school record.

* Westerkamp's six receptions in tonight's game were a season high.

31 - Senior I-back Terrell Newby had a 31-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, marking a career long reception for Newby. His previous long was 30 yards against South Alabama in 2015. The touchdown catch was the second of Newby's career. Newby also rushed for 85 yards on 16 carries, including 60 yards in the fourth quarter on nine carries.

81 - The Huskers entered the fourth quarter with 76 rushing yards on 18 carries. NU more than doubled that total in the final quarter, as it rushed for 81 yards on 14 carries in the fourth quarter.

35 - Freshman I-back Tre Bryant had a 35-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. The catch was Bryant's first career touchdown reception and he entered tonight's game with just two receptions for zero yards.

Other Notes...

* Nebraska tight end Cethan Carter had three receptions for 15 yards, giving him 55 career receptions which ties him with Junior Miller for sixth place among Nebraska tight ends. Carter passed Jim McFarland (53) in tonight's game.

* Junior kicker Drew Brown connected on a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter, marking his 45th career field goal. Brown scored six points in tonight's game pushing his career scoring total to 272, moving him past Ahman Green (270 points) into seventh place on the Nebraska career scoring list.

* Senior safety Nathan Gerry had five tackles tonight, giving him 263 career tackles and moving him within 10 tackles of the top five on the NU career list. Gerry is also 24 tackles from the school record for defensive backs, held by Mike Brown who had 287 tackles from 1996 to 1999.

* Tonight's game marked the first time Nebraska has scored on its opening drive of each half. The Huskers kicked a field goal on their first drive of the game and marched 79 yards for a touchdown to open the second half.

* Sophomore offensive guard Jerald Foster made his first start in tonight's game.

* The game time for the Nebraska-Maryland game next Saturday is expected to be announced before Noon on Sunday.

Lincoln - Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw two touchdown passes and ran for the game winner midway through the fourth quarter, as No. 21 Nebraska rallied from a 17-10 halftime deficit for a 24-17 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

With the victory, Nebraska improved to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten, while Minnesota slipped to 7-3 overall and 4-3 in the conference. It was Nebraska's 19th consecutive win at home at night at Memorial Stadium.

Armstrong's 13-yard scoring run with 7:17 left in the game capped a 13-play, 91-yard drive that consumed 5:40 and kept the Huskers in contention for a Big Ten West Division championship. It also tied Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch for the Nebraska total touchdown record with 90 in his career. Armstrong's game-winning touchdown run came after he was helped off the field on the previous drive with a lower leg injury. After his touchdown run, Armstrong, who spent the week in the concussion protocol after being knocked out of last Saturday's game at Ohio State, was helped off the field by his teammates while favoring his leg. He did not return to the game.

Although his night ended early, Armstrong completed 19-of-27 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns, while adding nine carries for 61 yards on the ground. His 35-yard touchdown pass to Tre Bryant in the second quarter gave the Huskers their first lead early in the second quarter. Armstrong's second scoring pass went 31 yards to Terrell Newby midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 17. Newby added 16 carries for 85 yards on the ground, including several big fourth-quarter carries to help the Huskers to victory.

Playing in front of more than 90,000 fans in the NCAA-record 353rd consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium, Armstrong helped the Huskers battle their way to 374 yards of total offense, including 217 passing and 157 rushing. While the offense was able to overcome a stingy Minnesota defense and eight penalties for 81 yards, Nebraska's Blackshirt defense shut out the Golden Gophers in the second half and limited Minnesota to just 265 total yards (180 passing, 80 rushing).

Junior safety Kieron Williams and sophomore defensive back Aaron Williams teamed for the game's biggest defensive play to secure the win for the Huskers. With Minnesota knocking on door with 1st-and-10 at the NU 17, Aaron Williams deflected a Mitch Leidner pass intended for Drew Wolitarsky. The ball ricocheted into the waiting arms of Kieron Williams at the NU 2 for his team-leading fifth interception of the season. Kieron Williams returned the pass 12 yards to give backup quarterback Ryker Fyfe and the Big Red offense enough breathing room to kneel to victory over the final 1:29.

Kieron Williams finished with five tackles on the night, while Aaron Williams finished with a career-high 11 stops including a tackle for loss. Senior linebacker Josh Banderas added 11 tackles and two tackles for loss, while senior defensive tackle Kevin Maurice matched his career high with eight tackles for the Blackshirts.

Leidner led the Golden Gophers to a 17-10 halftime lead and finished the night 18-of-27 through the air for 180 yards. His favorite target was Wolitarsky, who hauled in eight receptions for 90 yards. Leidner added eight carries for 15 yards on the ground, including a one-yard touchdown plunge with 4:54 left in the first half to give Minnesota a 14-10 lead.

Rodney Smith, who capped a massive 14-play, 75-yard drive that consumed the game's first 7:33 with a three-yard touchdown run, led the Gopher ground game with 17 carries for 53 yards.

The Golden Gophers were able to tack on a 42-yard Emmit Carpenter field goal as time expired in the second quarter to calm the Memorial Stadium crowd at the half, but the Huskers wasted little time in bringing the crowd back into it with an 11-play, 79-yard march on the opening drive of the third quarter to tie the score at 17.

Nebraska returns to Memorial Stadium next Saturday to take on Maryland. The Senior Day battle with the Terrapins will mark the first meeting on the gridiron between the two schools in history. Kick-off with the Terps will be announced Sunday.

No. 21 Nebraska 24, Minnesota 17
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)

Scoring Summary
First Quarter (MINN 7-3)
MINN 7:27 - Rodney Smith 3 run (Emmit Carpenter kick), 14 plays, 75 yards, 7:33, MINN 7-0
NEB 2:42 - Drew Brown 46 FG, 9 plays, 36 yards, 4:45, MINN 7-3

Second Quarter (MINN 17-10)
NEB 13:24 - Tre Bryant 35 pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. (Brown kick), 5 plays, 64 yards, 2:10, NEB 10-7
MINN 4:54 - Mitch Leidner 1 run (Carpenter kick), 9 plays, 54 yards, 4:39, MINN 14-10
MINN 0:00 - Carpenter 42 FG, 7 plays, 18 yards, 1:40, MINN 17-10

Third Quarter (17-17)
NEB 9:16 - Terrell Newby 31 pass from Armstrong (Brown kick), 11 plays, 79 yards, 5:40, 17-17

Fourth Quarter (NEB 24-17)
NEB 7:17 - Tommy Armstrong 13 run (Brown kick), 13 plays, 91 yards, 5:40, NEB 24-17

Start Time:6:38 (CT)
Time of Game:2:57


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