Following losses at Wisconsin and Ohio State - the latter and ugly loss, the former was really ours to win - Nebraska needed to bounce back to salvage the season. Into Lincoln for a night game came the Minnesota Golden Gophers, sporting the same 7-2 record, and hoping to upset the Cornhuskers. Fortunately for Nebraska, the fourth quarter heroics of Tommy Armstrong at and DBs Aaron Williams and Kieron Williams helped Nebraska earn a 24-17 victory and improve to 8-2 on the season.
Minnesota felt good, so when they won the coin toss, they took the ball. Nebraska kept the Gophers' drive alive with a 12-men on the field on a punting situation. Eventually the Gophers would score and take a 0-7 lead. Nebraska responded with a field goal to be down four points at the end of the first quarter.
Nebraska then scored on their next drive, when Tommy Armstrong found Tre Bryant on the right side and Bryant scampered 35 yards up the sideline to put the Huskers up 10-7. The teams then traded punts, but not field position. The Gophers made use of the short field and went up 10-14. The Huskers' next possession stalled and Nebraska's Caleb Lightbourn then punted a ball so badly that after it basically went straight up, it took a huge Minnesota bounce and ended up a negative 2 yard punt. Minnesota were able to turn that mistake into three points and led Nebraska at the half, 10-17.
Nebraska received the 2nd half kickoff and put together an 11-play drive that resulted in a TD when Terrell Newby caught a pass on the right side and ran 31-yards for a score. It was a very similar play to the one Bryant scored on earlier. Tommy Armstrong was injured on the next Husker series and missed a few plays. Backup QB Ryker Fyfe was ineffective for his three downs. The game was tied at 17 headed to the final stanza.
The Huskers chewed up a good chunk of the fourth quarter putting together a 13-play, 91 yard drive that included a mix of pass and runs. Tommy Armstrong was back at QB on this series and rushed up the middle for 13 yards and what would be the winning touchdown. He also injured his hamstring on the play, but Tough Tommy got the job done, and earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors. Minnesota went three and out on their next series, before Fyfe returned at QB for Nebraska. One good gain was effective scrubbed out by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, so Nebraska would punt, giving Minnesota three minutes and needing 73 yards to attempt to tie the game. The Husker defense seemed soft and Minnesota moved the ball, helped by a pass interference penalty by Kalu. The Gophers' QB Leidner made a 25 yard pass to Tyler Johnson and with a first and ten from the 17, Lediner dropped back to pass. His pass was deflected off the fingertips of Husker DB Aaron Williams and straight into the hands of Kieron Williams at the NU 2. Williams returned the ball to the 14 and the game belonged to Nebraska.
With the win, Nebraska moved back up in the polls a little bit, to 17 in the UPI Coaches poll and 19 in the AP Writers' Poll. The Maryland Terrapins head to Lincoln for a morning contest on November 19th, with game time at 11am Central, to be televised on ESPNews. Alternatively (or sync the audio - hint hint), listen to the Huskers play-by-play call on TuneIn.com, or the college kids at KRNU.
Yahoo/AP story: Tough Tommy: Armstrong leads No. 21 Cornhuskers past Gophers
HuskerMax game notes versus the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
HuskerMax play by play and stats