Tanner Lee's interceptions prove costly in loss to N

Tanner Lee's interceptions prove costly in loss to N

Tanner Lee's interceptions prove costly in loss to N

A pair of interceptions by Nebraska's Tanner Lee returned for touchdowns in the first quarter put Nebraska in a 14-0 hole at halftime. Rod Carey's team ended that.

"We're bitterly disappointed in losing", said Nebraska coach Mike Riley, whose contract was extended by one year earlier in the week. Things started to turn when they got 17 back on us, but there was never a panic in the defense. They had a close call against Arkansas State in their opener, got blown out in the first half of a 42-35 loss at OR last week, and now this. "We followed [the defense's] lead today".

With Big Ten play about to start, it's hard to get optimistic about Nebraska.

Northern Illinois then countered with a quick six-play drive to put the Huskies back up 21-17.

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"It got me into a rhythm, for sure", Santacaterina said of the big throw.

"I feel as a defense we're going to be fine", Bootle told reporters. I kept telling the defense on the sideline, 'We're going to get one, we're going to get one. "You guys might go ahead and be critical to every little thing". "We've got 24 hours to celebrate. We were very confident, and we went and did that". Nebraska showed little resistance in allowing the Ducks to race out to a 28-point halftime lead last weekend, then held OR scoreless thereafter before their fourth and final turnover sealed their fate in a 42-35 loss. Senior placekicker and Omaha Westside native Christian Hagan missed a 39-yard field goal, giving Nebraska the ball back with 11:16 left in the first half. Few were fooled by the 42-35 final score, but the hope was Nebraska calmed the offense down and could return home to keep that going.

A penalty against Nebraska gave the Huskies a first down and from there, NIU went into victory formation to secure the win.

Overall, the Huskies held Nebraska to 384 total yards and an average of 4.63 yards per play. Northern Illinois of the Mid-American Conference stunned the 89,664 that had sold out Memorial Stadium for the 356th consecutive game. It did, to the point where the Huskers grabbed a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter.

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Bobby Jones led the Huskies defense with 14 tackles, while Kyle Pugh and Mykel Williams added double-digit tackles.

With Big Ten play starting next week with a visit from bottom-feeder Rutgers, the Huskers and their fans envisioned starting 3-1 heading into October and a challenging league schedule. For the first time all day, NU led the Huskies by four. Against the Ducks, Nebraska rallied within seven points.

It is the second time in three seasons under Riley that the Huskers have lost two of their first three games.

The Huskers narrowed the gap in the third quarter, finding the end zone on Lee's first-ever collegiate touchdown run. "It's insane how you're with them for three or four years and get real close to them, (but) then you might them for a while". Lee scrambled for a four-yard touchdown two plays later. A field goal with 15 seconds left in the third made it 14-10 Northern Illinois and it stayed that way until Lee scored a touchdown on a one-yard run with 11:14 remaining. He's also completed less than 55 percent of his passes.

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