Recap: Huskers comeback bid comes up short

The Huskers comeback effort came up short in East Lansing on Saturday night, losing 27-22 to No. 10 Michigan State.

East Lansing, Mich. - Saturday's contest between No. 10 Michigan State and No. 19 Nebraska might be the closest blowout Husker fans have ever seen.

Closest blowout?

After getting beat in all three phases of the game for three quarters, Nebraska's offense turned it on in the fourth, giving the Huskers a chance to win the with less than a minute left.

Some might say Michigan State took their foot off the gas pedal. Even if it was the case, Nebraska fans have to be happy with their team's no quit attitude. With that being said, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said a loss is a loss.

"We lost the football game. I don't care whether it was by 30 or whatever it was. I'm not into moral victories. We lost the football game and we need to get better," said Pelini. "Our guys played hard. They played hard from start to finish. We made a couple mistakes. We gave up a couple plays. They're a good team. You're not going to just shut them out. There's some things that shouldn't have happened that we need to get corrected. I thought we played pretty good against the run game. Our tackling for the most part was pretty good. When you miss a couple tackles, it hurts. There were times in our secondary where we were not executing our game plan the way we needed to execute it in terms of playing your leverage and using your help. At the end of the day like I said, we didn't play well enough to win the game. That was obvious."

Nebraska receiver Jordan Westerkamp was crucial for the Huskers in the fourth, going for over 150 receiving yards in the contest.

"It was real close. It showed a lot about this football team and that we are going to keep playing until the clock strikes zero," said Westerkamp, who part of multiple comebacks last season. "We had a big play with the punt return and we had big plays left and right in the fourth quarter and it gave us momentum. Then we had that real deep bomb going into that last drive that was almost complete. Michigan State is a good program and a great team and they were able to make that stop."

Big Red Report will have much more on the failed comeback attempted in the coming hours.


First Quarter

7-0 Michigan State

3 plays, 80 yards, :59 TOP

Tony Lippet 55-yard receiving touchdown (Michael Geiger kick)

Key play: With Nebraska corner Daniel Davie hitting the sidelines with an injury, Michigan State Connor Cook recognized a 1-on-1 mismatch to the outside, picking on Husker backup Jonathan Rose. A double-move later, Lippet was alone on the sidelines.

Second Quarter

14-0 Michigan State

1 play, 31 yards, :08 TOP

Jeremy Lanford 31-yard rushing touchdown (Michael Geiger kick)

Key play: Langford stiff-armed two linebackers to get in to the end zone, but the play was really set up by a nice punt return by Michigan State’s Macgarrett King off a Sam Foltz punt.

17-0 Michigan State

7 plays, 45 yards, 2:52 TOP

Michael Geiger 28-yard field goal

Key play: After a 38-yard fumble recovery to set up the offense near mid-field, Spartan quarterback Connor Cook hooked up with Keith Mumphery for 25 yards on first down to put Michigan State in field goal range.


Third Quarter

20-0 Michigan State

4 plays, 5 yards, 1:28 TOP

Michael Geiger 27-yard field goal

Key play: Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong fumbled on his 15 yard-line that was recovered by Michigan State.

20-3 Michigan State

13 plays, 52 yards, 3:06 TOP

Drew Brown 40-yard field goal

Key play: Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong connected with Jordan Westerkamp twice for 17-yards, including down to the 14 yard line.

27-3 Michigan State

7 plays, 84 yards, 4:04 TOP

Tony Lippett 32-yard touchdown run (Michael Geiger kick)

Key play: While Lippett’s reverse was a great play, the score was set up by a 29-yard pass from Cook to Macgarrett King into Nebraska territory.

Fourth Quarter

27-9 Michigan State

6 plays, 43 yards, 1:11 TOP

Ameer Abdullah 2-yard rushing touchdown (Ryker Fyfe rush failed)

Key play: A 33-yard De’Mornay Pierson-El punt return got Nebraska on the right side of the football field.

27-16 Michigan State

5 plays, 68 yards, 1:37 TOP

Ameer Abdullah 1-yard rushing touchdown (Drew Brown kick)

Key play: Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong once again connected with Jordan Westerkamp, this time for 41-yards that got the Huskers down to the Spartans 22-yard line.

27-22 Michigan State

De’Mornay Pierson-El 62-yard punt return touchdown (Ameer Abdullah rush failed)

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