At long last, Nebraska has a win.
With a 53-28 home victory over Minnesota on Saturday, not only did the Huskers give Scott Frost his first win as head coach of his alma mater, they snapped a program-record 10-game losing streak. Nebraska hadn’t won a game since Oct. 28, 2017 — a span of 357 days.
Nebraska’s 0-6 start to this season was its worst ever. But with a whopping 659 yards of offense against the Gophers, the Huskers made sure things couldn’t get any worse.
Nebraska jumped out to a 28-0 lead, but things got interesting
Devine Ozigbo got things going early for Nebraska. The senior reeled off touchdown runs of 40 and 59 yards in the first quarter. Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez kept the party going in the second, first with a three-yard TD run and then with a nine-yard scoring connection to J.D. Spielman.
But the 28-0 lead wouldn’t last long. Minnesota got on the board before halftime and then scored on its first two drives of the second half. All of a sudden, a comfortable Nebraska lead evaporated to just 28-22.
After coughing up a lead late in last week’s loss to Northwestern, there were some understandably nervous faces around Memorial Stadium.
But they wouldn’t last. On the fourth play of Nebraska’s ensuing drive, Martinez found Stanley Morgan Jr. behind the Minnesota defense for a 35-yard score, giving the Huskers some much-needed breathing room, 36-22.
Nebraska’s defense sealed the deal this time
The Nebraska defense has been an obvious weakness all season. It couldn’t hold the lead against a mediocre Northwestern offense last week, allowing a 99-yard scoring drive in the final minutes to send the game to overtime.
Against Minnesota, the unit was able to make critical plays when it counted. Down 36-22, the Gophers quickly drove down the field but were stopped when Nebraska DB Dicaprio Bootle broke up a pass on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line.
After the Huskers extended the lead to 39-22 with a field goal, Minnesota returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Nebraska 13. Two plays later, a Tanner Morgan pass was deflected into the air and intercepted by Dedrick Young in the end zone.
The offense then added an exclamation point to the coveted victory, a 67-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to Morgan, allowing the Nebraska faithful to finally exhale.
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