HIGHLIGHTS: Huskers top IU 35-21
LINCOLN - A back and forth affair ended in favor of the Huskers, getting Mickey Joseph his first win as interim head coach, as Nebraska knocks off Indiana 35-21. Noticeable signs of improvement were evident on defense as the Blackshirts got home for three sacks, had a special teams touchdown, and played a four quarter game. The win also ended a 9-game skid against FBS opponents.
Nebraska started the game with a 3-play scoring drive capped off by an Oliver Martin 34-yard touchdown pass from Casey Thompson. The score would then remain unchanged for a little over a quarter, until Chubba Purdy would fumble in the end zone, tying the game at seven as the Hoosiers jumped on the ball in the end zone. Earlier in the week, Mickey Joseph had been adamant about making a play on special teams.
"We're looking to one of those groups to make a play," Joseph said, on Tuesday. "We're challenging them to do that."
Nebraska made that happen with a blocked punt in the second, it was Chris Kolarevic with the block on a punt, and then Malcolm Hartzog the score, it was the first blocked punt for a touchdown for Nebraska since 2009, and it put Nebraska up 14-7.
It was a quiet, but solid night for Oliver Martin, who hauled in three catches and sixty-five yards and a score, including one setting up Jaquez Yant for the score, his first touchdown of the season.
Indiana would respond to tie things at half, it was first Connor Bazelak to Emery Simmons, next drive freshman Jaylin Lucas ripped off a long 30-yard run to set up the senior Shivers, to make it 21-21 at half.
Nebraska’s defense played their first game under Bill Busch as defensive coordinator and they showed out -- Nebraska held the Hoosiers to just 2 of 15 on third down and made three sacks, two from Garrett Nelson, and one from Ty Robinson... They also notched an interception thanks to Luke Reimer.
Mickey Joseph and the Huskers could start to feel it when Thompson would hit Palmer for a 71-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to go up 28-21, after a scoreless third quarter. The dagger was delivered when Casey Thompson locked up Mickey Joseph's first win with a 1-yard QB sneak to go up 35-21.
"It felt good," Joseph said. "You're happy for the kids. They've been through a lot. I told them before, the situation we're in right now, nobody cares.. Nobody cares. You've gotta do it for the man to your left and the man to your right."
With the win, Nebraska improves to 2-3 and 1-1 in the Big Ten west, tied with all, but Wisconsin who fell to 0-2. Nebraska takes on Rutgers on Friday.