Crowd fuels Huskers comeback

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Fans erupt as Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez scores a touchdown with 7:23 left in the third quarter. Martinez’s touchdown was the first in a 28 point run that helped the Huskers overcome a school record 21 point deficit.

Story by Chris Peters and photos by Kaylee Everly and Crystal Zamora, NewsNetNebraska

Memorial Stadium echoed with boos in the third quarter as the Huskers were down a seemingly insurmountable 21 points.

“Maybe Nebraska can’t play in the Big Ten,” said John Van Peursem, a fan from Sioux Falls, S.D.

“Put in Carnes!” yelled another fan, calling for redshirt freshman quarterback Brion Carnes.

With one poke at the ball, senior linebacker Lavonte David won over the fans and pulled the momentum back in favor of Nebraska. David’s strip of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller with 7:54 left in the third quarter gave the ball back to the Huskers, who would post 28 unanswered points on the way to a 34-27 victory in their Big Ten Conference home opener.

“That was the turning point of the game,” Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said.

After David’s strip, Husker fans began to cheer again. They rose to their feet. Once Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez ran for a touchdown two plays later, they never sat down.

The 21 point deficit was the largest overcome by Nebraska. Alex Stang, a sophomore elementary education major, said it would’ve been hard for the Huskers to get the win without the crowd’s help.

“When you’re running on fumes at the moment, it’s that third gear,” Stang said. “Having the fans there behind them, it gives (the team) an extra boost.”

The extra boost helped the team maintain the momentum they gained from plays like David’s strip and Martinez’s touchdown.

“The crowd did an amazing job,” Martinez said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard the crowd that loud.”

Once they gained the momentum back, the Huskers scored three straight touchdowns after Martinez’s run. Passes to wide receiver Quincy Enunwa for 36 yards and running back Rex Burkhead for 30 yards in addition to a touchdown run by Burkhead for 17 yards gave the Huskers a seven point lead, which they would hold on to for the win.

Lavonte David celebrates after a tackle late in Saturday’s 34-28 victory over Ohio State. David forced a fumble with 7:54 left in the third quarter that energized the Huskers.

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