Martinez, No. 21 Nebraska stun MSU 28-24


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.

Adam Toolin / The State News

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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