Huskers survive turbulent week with win over Rutgers
LINCOLN — Nebraska corrected the course of its season a bit on Saturday with a 27-17 win over Rutgers.
The Huskers did just enough offensively to get by Rutgers. Quarterback Tanner Lee was 13-for-26 for 109 yards, two interceptions and two touchdowns. NU had a one-two punch in the backfield, with Devine Ozigbo leading the way with 101 yards on a career-high 24 carries. Mikale Wilbon added 78 yards and a touchdown.
Nebraska’s defense kept Rutgers to 194 total yards and just 68 yards on the ground. The Blackshirts also picked off Rutgers quarterback Kyle Bolin twice.
Nebraska (2-2, 1-0) took a 14-10 lead into halftime, its first halftime lead since opening night against Arkansas State.
Rutgers (1-3, 0-1) marched down the field on the opening drive to go up 7-0. The Scarlet Knights converted two third downs to keep the drive going, including a circus catch by Jerome Washington on third-and-9. A two-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards capped off the 11-play drive.
Nebraska countered with a seven-play drive in a brisk 3:37 to tie the game up at 7-7. Lee found J.D. Spielman in the back of the end zone from 18 yards for the score. Lee was 3-for-3 on the first drive.
On NU’s next drive, Lee threw his eighth interception of the year and first of two on the day. Lee has thrown at least two interceptions in Nebraska’s last three games. Rutgers turned that turnover into a 33-yard field goal by Andrew Harte to regain the lead 10-7 with 10:20 in the second quarter.Senior De’Mornay Pierson-El returned a punt 63 yards late in the half to put Nebraska at the 4-yard line. Wilbon barreled in one play later, and the Huskers took their first lead 14-10 with 4:48 left in the half.On the first drive of the second half, Lee threw his ninth interception of the season and third pick-six. On third-and-11, Lee was picked off by Kiy Hester, who scored and put Rutgers up 17-14.Lee was booed by fans when he ran back onto the field for the next drive. He redeemed himself by leading the Huskers on a 17-play, 97-yard drive, which ended in an eight-yard touchdown pass to Pierson-El. NU retook the lead 21-17Safety Antonio Reed picked off Rutgers quarterback Kyle Bolin on the next drive. Field goals from senior Drew Brown from 32 and 27 yards extended Nebraska’s lead in the fourth quarter to 27-17.Nebraska wins its conference opener for the 39th time in the last 43 seasons. The Huskers will travel to play Illinois next on Friday.