Northwestern chokes away 4th-quarter lead against Nebraska
October 20, 2012
Riding the arm of quarterback Taylor Martinez, Nebraska defeated Northwestern 29-28 this evening, completing a double-digit comeback in the fourth quarter.
On the game-winning drive, Martinez converted a back-breaking 30-yard pass inside the NU 10-yard line, setting up a short touchdown throw for the go-ahead score.
Martinez finished the game 27-39 for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wildcats held a 28-16 lead in the fourth quarter after a 80-yard touchdown run by running back Venric Mark. On its final drive, NU made it to the Nebraska 37-yard line before junior kicker Jeff Budzien missed a potential go-ahead field goal from 54 yards.
The Cats struggled with passing for most of the game for the third straight week. Junior quarterback Kain Colter attempted and completed only one pass on the day. Sophomore Trevor Siemian played inconsistently, routinely missing wide receivers on high, inaccurate throws.
The rushing game faltered outside of Mark’s big touchdown run, failing to find many yards on the ground. Mark also left the game with an undisclosed injury in the fourth quarter and did not return.
Martinez, the star of the game, also ran successfully for Nebraska. Rex Burkhead started the game at running back for the Cornhuskers, but left in the first half due to injury.
Nebraska fans, who seemed to outnumber Northwestern fans at Ryan Field, stuck around after the game to celebrate with the winning team.
The game dropped NU behind Nebraska and Michigan in the Legends Division, and sets up a pivotal game against Iowa next week if the Cats hope to win their division.
— Rohan Nadkarni