3 FGs in 4th quar­ter carry Ne­braska to win

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - Sports -

Bar­rett Pickering kicked three field goals in the fourth quar­ter, the last one a 47-yarder with 5:13 left, as Ne­braska came from be­hind to beat Michi­gan State 9-6 on Satur­day.

Ini­tial re­search in­di­cated it was the first time Ne­braska had won a game with­out scor­ing a touch­down since a 3-0 vic­tory over Kansas State in 1937.

The Spar­tans (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) got field goals of 34 and 26 yards from Matt Cogh­lin but was un­able to sus­tain of­fense against a Ne­braska de­fense that has strug­gled most of the sea­son.

Ne­braska (4-7, 3-5), which had put up some of the best of­fen­sive num­bers in the na­tion the past six weeks, tied it at 6-all on Pickering field goals of 36 and 20 yards.

The Huskers got the ball back when An­to­nio Reed and Dedrick Young knocked the ball out of MSU tight end Matt Dot­son’s hands for an in­com­plete pass to force a punt. Ne­braska ran six plays be­fore Pickering con­nected for the win­ning field goal with a strong north wind at his back.

Ne­braska, which had gone over 450 to­tal yards in seven straight games, gen­er­ated just 248. Devine Ozigbo ran 18 times for 74 yards to be­come the first Ne­braska player since 2014 to go over 1,000 for the sea­son.

Adrian Martinez threw for 145 yards, and Stanley Mor­gan caught four balls for 67 yards to be­come the school’s ca­reer leader in re­cep­tions with 182.

MSU’s Rocky Lom­bardi com­pleted just 15 of 41 passes for 146 yards. Con­nor Hey­ward rushed 21 times for 80 yards and caught five passes for 78.

With a gray sky and in­ter­mit­tent snow flur­ries, 21-mph north wind and a feel-like tem­per­a­ture of 15 de­grees, it was a clas­sic mid-Novem­ber Big Ten foot­ball set­ting.

Each team en­tered the game miss­ing key in­jured play­ers. Michi­gan State started Lom­bardi for the sec­ond time in four games in place of Brian Lew­ereke. Ne­braska was with­out lead­ing re­ceiver JD Spiel­man.

The game was chippy from the out­set. The teams com­bined for four un­sports­man­like con­duct penal­ties and one rough­ing the passer penalty.


Ne­braska quar­ter­back Adrian Martinez throws a pass dur­ing the sec­ond half on Satur­day.

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