Nebraska rallies to top Penn State
Nebraska did it again.
For the second straight week and fourth time this season, the 18th-ranked Cornhuskers overcame a double-digit, second-half deficit to win a football game.
This time they came from 14 points down to beat Penn State 32-23 Saturday, with Taylor Martinez throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner early in the fourth quarter for Nebraska’s first lead.
“We’ve got a lot of heart,” Martinez said, “and we know we can come back from anything.”
The Huskers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) were in danger of losing control of the league’s Legends Division after Michigan rallied to beat Northwestern in overtime earlier in the day.
As it is, Nebraska owns the tie-breaker over the Wolverines with games remaining against Minnesota at home and Iowa on the road.
Penn State (6-4, 4-2) had its three-game Big Ten road win streak end.
“Losing is a terrible feeling. It’s miserable. Absolutely miserable,” Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said. “It’s like a part of you dies, to be honest with you.”
The turning point, according to Penn State, was a fumble in the middle of the fourth quarter with Nebraska leading 27-23.
PSU tight end Matt Lehman was ruled to have fumbled into the end zone before the ball crossed the goal line. Nebraska recovered, and the call was confirmed on video review.
“They just didn’t feel like they could reverse it,” O’Brien said. “He tried to reach it out. You can’t do that. He was just reaching it out. Good kid trying to make a play.”
Ameer Abdullah ran for 116 yards on a career-high 31 carries, and Martinez finished with 104 yards as the Huskers pounded away on the ground on a windy afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Zach Zwinak led the Lions with 141 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Matt McGloin was 18 of 37 passing for 240 yards, with one interception.
Martinez, just 6 of 14 for 56 yards in the first half, completed all six of his second-half passes and finished with 171 yards through the air.
The Huskers got TD runs of 1 and 2 yards from Imani Cross early in the third quarter to tie it and wipe out a 20-6 deficit.