Northwestern blows fourth-quarter lead, falls to Nebraska
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com October 20, 2012 6:23PM
Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead (22) carries the ball past Northwestern safety Jared Carpenter (27) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: October 20, 2012 6:45PM
Nebraska got revenge in the worst way Saturday against Northwestern, coming from behind late in the fourth quarter to edge the Wildcats 29-28 at Ryan Field.
Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien missed a 53-yard attempt with just over a minute left. His kick had the distance but was wide right.
Last season, it was Northwestern that spoiled then-No. 9 Nebraska’s home record with a comeback victory in Lincoln.
Until the fourth quarter Saturday, the Wildcats (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) seemed in command, with Trevor Siemian taking his turn at quarterback.
Siemian threw two touchdown passes, and Venric Mark ran for an 80-yard score.
Nebraska improved to 5-2, 2-1 in the conference.
Nebraska drew first blood with a 27-yard field goal by Brett Maher early in the first quarter. The Wildcats came back with a 10-yard strike from Siemian to Dan Vitale with 1:35 left.
Northwestern led 14-10 at halftime after Siemian hit Tony Jones with a 26-yard touchdown pass with 1:25 left in the second quarter.
Mark’s run came with 12:17 left in the third quarter, but Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez followed with a three-yard touchdown run to close to 21-16.
Sold-out Ryan Field seemed half red with thousands of Cornhuskers fans on hand. They struck up chants after Martinez completed an eight-yard touchdown pass to freshman Taariq Allen with 5:55 left, pulling Nebraska within 28-23 after the extra point. The Cornhuskers took the lead with a six-play, 76-yard scoring drive capped by Martinez’s seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Cotton. The Huskers failed on the two-point conversion.