Huskers Roll on Road, 48-25

Nebraska  48   25 Minnesota Final Stats 

Score by quarters
  1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Nebraska 14 10 7 18 48
Minnesota 7 7 0 11 25
Rushing Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  No. Yards Avg. TD Long
Newby (NU) 8 38 4.8 0 25
Maye (MINN) 2 21 10.5 1 14
Passing Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  Comp.-Att.-Int Yards TD
Armstrong (NU) 18-26-0 261 3
Leidner (MINN) 26-40-2 301 1
Receiving Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  No. Yards TD Long
Westerkamp (NU) 6 76 0 27
Maye (MINN) 11 94 0 18
Tackle Leaders
(stats updated after each quarter)
  Tackles TFLs Sacks
Kalu (NU) 7 0 0
Ayinde (MINN) 5 0 0

46 –– Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for three touchdown passes in today’s game, giving him 46 career touchdown passes, moving him into second place on the Nebraska career touchdown pass list. In today’s game he broke a tie with Tommie Frazier (43) and passed Joe Ganz (44) and Zac Taylor (45) on the NU career touchdowns list.

261 –– Armstrong passed for 261 yards, marking his fifth 200-yard passing day of the 2015 season and his eighth in the past 10 games dating back to last season. Armstrong completed 18-of-26 passes on the day, including 15-of-20 for 216 yards in the final three quarters.

69 –– The 69-yard touchdown run by Terrell Newby in the first quarter was the longest play from scrimmage by Nebraska this season. The previous long play was a 55-yard run by Andy Janovich against Wisconsin, and a 55-yard pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. to Cethan Carter at Illinois. The run was also a career long rush for Newby, bettering a 43-yard run vs. FAU in 2014. Newby’s previous season long rush was a 32-yarder vs. South Alabama.

116 –– Newby rushed for 116 yards in today’s game, marking his third career 100-yard game and the second of 2015 (198 vs. South Alabama).

42–– Sophomore De’Mornay Pierson-El had a 42-yard punt in the first quarter, giving Pierson-El seven career returns of 40 yards or more. Pierson-El caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for his first touchdown of the 2015 season.

203 –– Nebraska rushed for 203 yards, marking the Huskers’ third game with more than 200 yards rushing this season (258 vs. South Alabama, 242 vs. Southern Miss). Nebraska has rushed for at least 187 yards in five of seven games this season. 

Minneapolis - No late comeback. No late drama. No problem. Nebraska and tens of thousands of Husker fans at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis announced their presence with authority and poured it on for four quarters in a 48-25 Nebraska football victory over the Golden Gophers on Saturday.

The Huskers, who notched their first Big Ten Conference victory under Coach Mike Riley, improved to 3-4 on the season and 1-2 in the Big Ten, by jumping to a 17-7 lead, then scoring 21 unanswered points after Minnesota trimmed the margin to 17-14 late in the second quarter. Minnesota slipped to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten with a rare home loss.

Nebraska got big efforts from Tommy Armstrong Jr., Terrell Newby, Alonzo Moore, DeMornay Pierson-El and Jordan Westerkamp, along with a strong performance from the Blackshirt defense.

Armstrong, a junior quarterback from Cibolo, Texas, completed 18-of-26 passes for 261 yards on the day, including touchdown strikes to Moore, Cethan Carter and Pierson-El. Armstrong added eight carries for 38 yards rushing on the day to account for 299 yards of total offense.

Newby, a junior running back from Los Angeles, rushed for 116 yards on just 13 carries, including a career-long 69-yard sprint untouched to the end zone on Nebraska's first offensive possession. Newby's run was Nebraska's longest play from scrimmage of the season and tied the score at 7, after Minnesota cashed in its opening drive of the game for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.

The Gophers opened with a nine-play, 75-yard march that consumed 4:46 to take a quick lead before the Huskers covered 82 yards in just three plays helped by Newby's explosive run to tie the score.

The Blackshirts then forced a three-and-out deep inside Minnesota territory, and Pierson-El erupted with a season-long 42-yard punt return to put the Big Red in business at the Gopher 21. However, the Huskers managed just seven yards on the short drive before Drew Brown missed wide right on a 31-yard field goal with 5:23 left in the quarter.

While Gopher fans breathed a sigh of relief, thousands of red-clad fans erupted moments later, when junior safety Nate Gerry delivered a ball-jarring hit on Minnesota running back Shannon Brooks. The fumble forced by Gerry was recovered by senior defensive end Jack Gangwish at the Minnesota 29.

Three plays later, Armstrong turned the Gopher gaffe into points with a 32-yard touchdown strike to Moore to give the Big Red a 14-7 lead with 3:50 left in the opening quarter. Moore finished the day with four receptions for 84 yards, while adding a pair of carries for seven yards.

Nebraska took a 14-7 lead into the second quarter, and mounted a massive 16-play drive that consumed 6:32 that culminated with a 45-yard Brown field goal to put the Huskers up 17-7 with 9:46 left in the half.

Minnesota answered with an eight-play, 75-yard drive in 3:44 to cut the margin to 17-14 with 6:02 left in the half, before Armstrong, Newby and the NU offense went back to work.

Nebraska's fourth scoring drive of the half covered 75 yards in eight plays and wiped 4:07 off the game clock, culminating with Newby's nine-yard touchdown run. Armstrong went 2-for-2 passing with a 34-yard hookup with Brandon Reilly and an 11-yard connection to Westerkamp to fuel the drive. He added a seven-yard run to convert a crucial 3rd-and-2 from the Minnesota 21. Devine Ozigbo, Andy Janovich and Newby did the rest to send the Huskers to the halftime locker room with a 24-14 lead.

Nebraska then dominated the third quarter, outgaining Minnesota 142-9. The Blackshirts all but shut down the Gopher offense in the period, while Armstrong's 10-yard touchdown pass to Carter with 4:16 left in the period capped a 10-play, 99-yard march that erased 5:47 from the game clock to put the Huskers up 31-14 heading to the fourth quarter.

The lead grew even more when Pierson-El made a highlight-reel, 14-yard touchdown grab just 39 seconds into the final quarter. The sophomore wide receiver was sandwiched by two Gopher defenders on the right side of the end zone. He out-jumped the Gophers, tapping the ball into the back corner of the end zone, where he came down with it to send Nebraska's traveling Sea of Red at TCF Bank Stadium into a frenzy. Pierson-El finished with three receptions for 31 yards, while adding two punt returns for 49 yards on the day.

That score, which gave the Huskers a 38-14 lead, was enough to seal the win, but Minnesota refused to go away. The Gophers covered 75 yards in 2:29, then converted a two-point try to trim the margin to 38-22 with 11:52 left. After a 16-yard run by Newby to open NU's ensuing drive, the Huskers threw three straight incompletions to give the Gophers a breath of life.

Minnesota converted a 4th-and-3 near midfield on the following drive, then drove to the NU 16 before the Blackshirts stiffened again. Minnesota settled for a 39-yard field goal with 6:49 left to cut the margin to 38-25.

Newby secured Minnesota's on-side kick attempt, and Armstrong connected with Westerkamp on a gutsy 27-yard completion on 3rd-and-6 at the NU 42 to put Nebraska within scoring range at the Minnesota 31. It was the last of a team-high six receptions for 76 yards for the junior wide receiver Westerkamp. Three plays later, Brown booted a 41-yard field goal to put NU back up by 16 at 41-25 with 3:06 left.

On Minnesota's next drive, the Gophers picked up a first down, before Josh Kalu put Minnesota away by intercepting a Leidner pass on 3rd-and-10. Kalu returned it 41 yards for a touchdown to give the Big Red an insurmountable 48-25 lead and the victory. Kalu, a sophomore defensive back from Houston, Texas, added seven tackles in another solid performance.

It was the second key turnover of the day forced by the Blackshirts, joining Gerry's forced fumble in the first quarter. Gerry added the game-ender with an interception of Leidner on Minnesota's final drive. 

Nebraska did not commit a turnover on the afternoon, and the Huskers played nearly error-free football in the first half, going without a penalty in the game's first 30 minutes. NU finished the game with just two penalties for 25 yards.

Josh Banderas, who made his return from injury, led the Blackshirts with 10 tackles, including one TFL, on the day. Byerson Cockrell and Jonathan Rose each added eight tackles, while Gerry finished an impressive game with six stops, an interception, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.

Offensively, Nebraska finished with 464 yards of total offense against a stout Minnesota defense. The Blackshirts held the Gophers to 366 total yards, including just 65 yards rushing. NU held the Gophers to 14 rushing yards in the second half. Leidner did complete 26-of-40 passes for 301 yards on the day, but was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions.

Nebraska returns home to Memorial Stadium to take on No. 20 Northwestern next Saturday. Kick-off against the Wildcats, who have dropped back-to-back games to Minnesota and No. 17 Iowa, is set for 11 a.m. with live television coverage by ESPN2.

Nebraska at Minnesota
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015
TCF Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, Minn.)

First Quarter (Minnesota 7, Nebraska 14)
1st/10:24 - Minn. - Carter 24-yd. pass from Leidner (Santoso PAT), Minnesota 7; Nebraska 0
1st/8:52 - Neb. - Newby 69-yard run (Brown PAT); Minnesota 7, Nebraska 7
1st/3:50 - Neb. - Moore 32-yard pass from Armstrong (Brown PAT); Nebraska 14, Minnesota 7

Second Quarter (Nebraska 24, Minnesota 14)
2nd/9:46 - Neb. - Brown 45-yard field goal; Nebraska 17, Minnesota 7
2nd/6:02 - Minn. - Maye 7-yard run (Santoso PAT); Nebraska 17, Minnesota 14
2nd/1:55 - Neb. - Newby 9-yard run (Brown PAT); Nebraska 24, Minnesota 14

Third Quarter (Nebraska 31, Minnesota 14)
3rd/4:25 - Neb. - Carter 10-yard pass from Armstrong (Brown PAT); Nebraska 31, Minnesota 14

Fourth Quarter (Nebraska 48, Minnesota 25)
14:21 – Neb. – Pierson-El 14-yard pass from Armstrong (Brown PAT); Nebraska 38, Minnesota 14
11:52 – Minn. - Leidner 1-yard run (Maye from Leidner); Nebraska 38, Minnesota 22
6:49 - Minn. - Santoso 39-yard kick; Nebraska 38, Minnesota 25
3:06 - Neb. - Brown 41-yard kick; Nebraska 41, Minnesota 25
2:10 - Neb. Kalu 41-yard interception return; Nebraska 48, Minnesota 25

Attendance: 54,062
Time of Game: 3:25
Game Start: 2:36