Nebraska offense stalls at home in loss to Northern Illinois


A pair of interceptions by Nebraska's Tanner Lee returned for touchdowns in the first quarter put Nebraska in a 14-0 hole at halftime.

NIU stunned Nebraska early on, turning what looked like a drive for some sure points for the Huskers into a 7-0 lead for the Huskies. Nebraska hosts Rutgers next week in its conference opener. Riley is hopeful sophomore running back Tre Bryant, who aggravated a knee injury on the first play of the fourth quarter and did not return after rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries against OR, will return to practice by Wednesday and be ready to play Saturday.

Junior running back Mikale Wilbon has been sound in his first career start, posting career highs in both carries in yards.

Lee threw a second interception returned for a touchdown later on in the quarter.

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Nebraska played its worst half of football in the first 15 minutes.

While the Nebraska's offense was stagnant, Northern Illinois' wasn't great either.

In the third quarter, Nebraska produced 81 yards on 22 plays, compared to just 28 yards on 11 plays by the Huskies to take a 282-116 edge in total yardage to the fourth quarter.

A big problem for the Huskers has been Lee's propensity for turnovers. The following week, Nebraska dug themselves a huge first half hole by trailing OR 42-14 at halftime before the Ducks eased up in the second half.

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The Huskies, who have picked up wins over Iowa, Purdue and Northwestern over the past five seasons, knocked off Nebraska 21-17 on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies were far from ideal, however, committing 15 penalties for 194 yards, while Hagan had field-goal attempts from 39 and 30 yards blocked.

That score, with 8:52 remaining, was the first against the Blackshirts since the first half last week at OR, a span of 18 drives.

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. NIU went 75 yards in six plays, starting with a 47-yard pass from Daniel Santacaterina to Christian Blake and ending with a two-yard Jordan Huff TD. With its final chance, Lee was sacked on third down, then threw his third interception of the day, this time to Josh Corcoran, to seal the win for Northern Illinois.

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