March 23, 2018

Northern Illinois vs. Nebraska football

17 September 2017, 03:04 | Joan Schultz

The mighty Nebraska Cornhuskers just lost at home to a MAC team

NIU makes Nebraska 4th Big Ten victim of past five years

The win was NIU's sixth in its last 10 games versus Big Ten opponents since 2009 and the fourth in five games under Head Coach Rod Carey. "And at the same time, I'm proud of the way the players were resilient for four quarters, and strained, and did what we asked them to do on defense, and played one play at a time, focus on the call, the alignment, some very basic, elementary things as we're developing as a defense". Northern Illinois also will visit Lincoln in 2019, 2021 and 2023. "I think we were happy with that".

"The bottom line is we had a lead and an opportunity to leave the field and we didn't make it happen", defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg said. Northern Illinois sophomore quarterback Daniel Santacaterina was 15 of 22 for 128 yards. Two Jordan Huff runs netted another first down and a Santacaterina to Blake connection over the middle went to the two-yard line.

With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Northern Illinois received its first penalty of the day, pushing the Huskies back 5 yards. We went through that last week with Eastern Illinois.

"I feel as a defense we're going to be fine", Bootle told reporters. Despite the setback, NIU easily made it into the endzone, regaining the lead. We've got to regroup and get our kids headed in the right direction. We were down 17-14. It's still early in the season, and we need to find ways to win games like this. Nebraska had the ball for 11:42 of the first quarter (78 percent of the time) but trailed 14-0.

Northern Illinois got the ball to start the second half, but both teams went three-and-out twice to start the third quarter. Lee threw into his third interception of the day, sealing Nebraska's fate. Defensive end Josh Corcoran ended all suspense when he intercepted Lee at the 24-yard line.

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In fact, the 112 yards returned the other way trumped Lee's 96 yards passing in that first quarter.

The loss is the second in a row for Nebraska, which fell to 1-2 on the season. The senior recorded his second career interception return for a touchdown. It wasn't that NIU's offense was stellar - it only had 88 yards in the first half - it was that NU's offense gave the Huskies the lead early in the game. The Huskers, despite a solid outing from the defense, never recovered from falling behind 14-0 after the first two quarters. "Together we're working together, we stand together, we're going to ride this thing out and just keep pushing, trying to bring the state of Nebraska what it's been longing for".

Overall, the Huskies held Nebraska to 384 total yards and an average of 4.63 yards per play. Against the Ducks, Nebraska rallied within seven points. Two plays later, Lee scored from four yards out to put the home team on the board.

Nebraska marched 71 yards on 15 plays, ending the drive with a 36-yard field goal from Brown. A missed 37-yard field goal from Nebraska kicker Drew Brown ended the half on a worrisome note.

Huff finished the game with 16 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown. They allowed a combined 1,063 yards to Arkansas State and OR and this week rank 119th in scoring defense, 123rd in total defense and 129th against the pass.

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