By Bo Bowen
Northwestern football is the first team to win three straight games in overtime in FBS history.
In a heart stopping game, Northwestern was able to grind out a victory in Lincoln over the Huskers. But unlike last weekend’s home win against Michigan State, Northwestern only needed one overtime this week to ensure victory, winning 31-24.
It was a tale of two halves for Northwestern in Lincoln. The Wildcats’ offense got out to a hot start, leading 17-14 at half. However, a 9-minute, 18-play drive by Nebraska kept Northwestern’s offense off the field for most of the third quarter and gave the home team a 24-17 lead.
The Big Ten West rivals traded punts for most of the fourth quarter, until Godwin Igwebuike picked off Tanner Lee inside the Northwestern red zone. The turnover set up a 13-play, 84-yard, game-tying touchdown drive for the ‘Cats late in the fourth quarter, capped off by a Clayton Thorson seven-yard touchdown rush.
Thorson notched his second TD rush of the day on fourth down in overtime. And four defensive plays later, the Wildcats were celebrating their third overtime win in as many weeks.
Statistically speaking, Justin Jackson had a field day with 154 yards on 31 carries. Jeremy Larkin backed him up as well with 69 yards on 10 carries. Clayton Thorson hit a few road bumps in regulation but finished with 243 yards, two interceptions and two rushing touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, Kyle Queiro had a monster day with two interceptions and multiple pass breakups.
For Nebraska, Tanner Lee finished with 225 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Devine Ozigbo tallied 72 yards on 23 carries. With the loss, the Huskers drop to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in conference.
Northwestern clinches bowl eligibility with its sixth win of the season. Pat Fitzgerald’s team now sits at 6-3 overall and 4-2 in conference, maintaining the second spot in the Big Ten West. Next weekend, the ‘Cats will host Purdue at Ryan Field.