Rapid reaction: Northwestern stays undefeated after thrilling win vs. Nebraska
Final score: Northwestern 21, Nebraska 13
Brief recap: Northwestern and Nebraska’s matchup turned into a classic defensive battle on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats squeezed out a few long touchdown drives, but were mostly held in check. Seven of Nebraska’s 13 points came on an interception from Peyton Ramsey that put the Huskers inside the five yard line. Outside of that and two first-half field goal drives, the Huskers couldn’t break through.
Key player: Drake Anderson was the best offensive player the Wildcats had on Saturday. Filling in for an absent Isaiah Bowser, Anderson rushed the ball 18 times for 89 yards and a touchdown. With Ramsey struggling at times in the first half, Anderson was Northwestern’s best chance to move the chains for much of the afternoon.
Key moment: With Nebraska driving late in the fourth quarter to potentially tie the game, quarterback Luke McCaffery threw an interception to Northwestern linebacker Chris Bergin. The ball was deflected off a helmet, but it virtually ended any chance of the Huskers being able to tie the game. Nebraska did march down the field in the game’s final moments, but ran out of time.
Key Stat: Zero. Coming into this game, Northwestern hadn’t allowed a second-half point all season long. That trend continued on Saturday with the Huskers going 0-fer on multiple red zone opportunities in the second half.
What it means for Nebraska: The Huskers are now 0-2 on the season in what was supposed to be a competitive year under third-year starting quarterback Adrian Martinez. Instead, Martinez was benched in this game after throwing a wild interception into the end zone in the second half. More questions are coming for Scott Frost, who hasn’t been able to get the Huskers rolling so far.
What it means for Northwestern: The Wildcats are 3-0 on the season with a trio of impressive wins. Their defense has been excellent and their offensive pieces are clearly good enough to score when necessary. With traditional powers Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State struggling to start the year, the Wildcats might be a dark horse Big Ten contender.