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Saturday, August 29, 2015

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Martinez, No. 21 Nebraska stun MSU 28-24


Junior running back Le’Veon Bell looks onto the field before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Nov. 3, 2012, at Spartan Stadium. Bell scored two of the three touchdowns made by MSU but the Spartans still fell to the Cornhuskers 28-24. Natalie Kolb/The State News

An 80-yard touchdown drive with 1:20 remaining helped No. 21 Nebraska (7-2 overall, 4-1 Big Ten) stun the MSU football team (5-5 overall, 2-4 Big Ten) 28-24 Saturday night at Spartan Stadium.

Nebraska’s junior quarterback Taylor Martinez found sophomore receiver Jamal Turner for a five-yard touchdown with 0:06 remaining after a controversial pass interference call on junior cornerback Darqueze Dennard gave Nebraska a first down at MSU’s 5-yard line.

It was a high-flying first half that saw both team’s exchange touchdowns in the first quarter.

Junior running back Le’Veon Bell got the Spartans on the scoreboard first, running it in from 11 yards out to give MSU an early 7-0 lead.

Sophomore running back Ameer Abdullah responded for Nebraska with a 2-yard touchdown catch on the game’s next possession, following a 59-yard run from Martinez.

After Nebraska senior kicker Brett Maher missed a 30-yard field goal, Bell ran 40 yards to set up a 46-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Tony Lippett that regained the lead for the Spartans, before Martinez burst down the right sidelines for a 71-yard touchdown to tie the game before halftime.

The game slowed down in the third quarter, with MSU nudging ahead of Nebraska 17-14 on a 25-yard field goal by senior kicker Dan Conroy, the only points of the quarter.

Bell opened the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run to extend the Spartans lead to 24-14, and MSU appeared to have pulled away when Dennard returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown on Nebraska’s next drive, but a penalty on senior cornerback Johnny Adams negated the score.

After MSU was unable to gain a first down following the turnover, Nebraska drove 58 yards on six plays, capped off by a 35-yard touchdown run by Martinez, to pull the Cornhuskers within three, 24-21, with 7:02 remaining.

With 1:20 remaining Nebraska drove 80 yards on nine plays, ending with the 5-yard toss to Turner to give Nebraska the win.

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