Northern Illinois pulls off the upset, wins at Nebraska, 21-17

Lynette Rowe
September 17, 2017

"We have to stick together and there is no way out of a hole like this without working", he said. After that I think we were pressing a little bit.

Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee completed 25-of-47 passes for 299 yards on the day, but he threw a trio of interceptions and was sacked three times.

It was a sad performance for Mike Riley's team as they struggled on the road. Get the app and get the game.

Lee opened the game with a pick-six that was taken 87 yards to the house by Shawun Lurry. He also had two rushing touchdowns.

The Huskers had been hoping that Lee, who struggled at Tulane but was being hyped in the offseason as an National Football League prospect, would be a better fit for Riley's offense. Lee just managed to get the pass away, but regretted it as the rushed throw found Jawuan Johnson who returned it unabated for 25 yards and a score.

"Our offensive results... we play as a unit", Riley said "It was obvious, the pressure on the quarterback". "I don't know him well enough in these kind of tough situations, but the time I've been around him I've been very impressed with him". Those made it a 14-0 Huskies lead, and Nebraska had to claw back in front of its home crowd. Now, the Huskers are 1-2 this season, beating Arkansas State by only seven, losing at OR 42-35 - despite shutting out the Ducks in the second half - and falling to Northern Illinois.

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NIU kicker Christian Hagan's 39-yard field goal attempt at the start of the second quarter missed wide right, and on the last play of the half, NIU's William Lee blocked Nebraska's field goal attempt from 37 yards.

The Huskies come to Lincoln as 14-point underdogs and with a belief they can win.

Nebraska got two more chances with the ball, advancing to the NIU 33 on the first drive before the Huskie defense - as it had nearly all day - stood strong with Mycial Allen defending the fourth and seven attempt and linebacker Kyle Pugh providing pressure. Junior punt returner Jalen Embry muffed the punt, and after a long scramble, redshirt freshman safety Marquel Dismuke came out of the bottom of the pile with the football for the Huskers. That makes Nebraska just 3-6 in its past nine games.

On Nebraska's next drive, Lee led Nebraska down the field on a 14-play drive which ended in a 36-yard field goal from kicker Drew Brown.

Lee led the Huskers on their final drive with three minutes left in the fourth quarter when he threw his third interception on the day, allowing the Huskies to run out the clock. Lee scored two plays later from the 4 with 8:05 left in the third quarter. It did, to the point where the Huskers grabbed a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter.

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