Huskers commit five turnovers, fall to Spartans 41-28

Ameer Abdullah awaits a kickoff in the first quarter.

Ameer Abdullah awaits a kickoff in the first quarter.

Story and photos by C.L. Sill, NewsNetNebraska

The Husker offense coughed up the ball five times, four on the ground and once through the air, en route to a 41-28 loss to Michigan State on Saturday.

In a game that will likely decide who represents the Legends Division in the Big Ten Championship, Michigan State fed off Nebraska mishaps and cruised to victory despite the Husker offense out gaining the Spartans on the ground as well as through the air.

A few positives

Nebraska put up 392 total yards, no simple task when facing the number one defense in the country. Ameer Abdullah ran for 123 yards and Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for 143 and two touchdowns. But the offense routinely gave Michigan State the ball deep in Husker territory. The most devastating of the four first-half turnovers came with less than two minutes remaining in the half. The Huskers were down 13-7 and looked like they would go into the locker room with a very manageable deficit and a touch of momentum. Then on third-and-11 Armstrong Jr. fumbled at the husker 20 yard line and the Spartans recovered. They scored three plays later with 21 seconds remaining in the half.

Second half mishaps

Despite a third quarter surge punctuated by a 51 yard touchdown run courtesy of Imani Cross and a 38 yard touchdown catch hauled in by Kenny Bell, Nebraska couldn’t shake the turnover bug. Armstrong Jr. fumbled on the Husker one yard line with six minutes left in the third, killing whatever momentum remained and erasing the hope of a conference title. Michigan State turned Armstrong Jr.’s gift into a touchdown one play later, making it 24 points scored off Nebraska turnovers.

The Spartans pulled away in the fourth, deflating Nebraska entirely on a third-and-13 when Keith Mumphrey caught a 27 yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook, giving Michigan State a 34-21 lead. The Spartans added one more touchdown with 1:58 remaining to seal the deal.

1 Response

  1. Next week, the Big Ten will hand out its individual awards. Let’s take a look at where a few of those races stand with one more weekend left to impress voters: Graham–George Offensive Player of the Year 1. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah : He added another 147 rushing yards last week against Penn State and would have had more if his potential game-winning touchdown run hadn’t been called back on a highly questionable penalty. If Abdullah gets close to his average this week against Iowa, he’ll finish the regular season with 1,600 rushing yards. 2. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller : Given the way other Heisman candidates have fallen off, Miller would have been a virtual lock to get to New York had he not missed three games in September. During conference play, he leads the Big Ten in total offense with more than 296 yards per game and is responsible for 22 touchdowns in seven league games.

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