Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

No. 10 Nebraska holds off upset-minded Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — No. 10 Nebraska finally finished off Indiana on Saturday.

Barely.

They needed receiver Stanley Morgan to take advantage of two Indiana safeties running into one another for a 72-yard touchdown catch. They needed a break from the officials — and the replay booth — when running back Terrell Newby nearly lost a fumble with the Cornhuskers clinging to a two-point lead with 2:06 to play. They needed a 39-yard field goal with 45 seconds left to force the Hoosiers to drive for a touchdown. And they needed an interception on the Hoosiers' final series to close it out, 27-22.

No, it wasn't pretty, and it certainly wasn't easy. But for the first time in 15 years, Nebraska has won its first six games.

"Great teams win games," quarterback Tommy Armstrong said. "That's all I got to say about it. You can say what you want about it, but all we do is come out and win games."

Nebraska (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) has won seven straight overall and five straight in this series, which was played for the first time since 1978.

Afterward, relieved Nebraska players and coaches were just glad to be heading home still in charge of the conference's West Division.

The improving Hoosiers (3-3, 1-2), meanwhile, didn't make it easy as they chased their first win over a top-10 team since 1987.

Nebraska scored the first 17 points courtesy of a field goal and two touchdowns in a 14-second span.

IU scored the next 15 and finally got into the end zone on the final play of the third quarter with a 33-yard touchdown run from running back Devine Redding on a fake reverse.

Morgan's touchdown catch finally gave Nebraska the upper hand. All the Hoosiers could muster after that was Redding's 4-yard scoring catch that made it 24-22 with 8:26 to play. The Cornhuskers played keep-away the rest of the game.

"Three weeks in a row, play three pretty good games. One game we eliminate the mistakes and we get a victory," Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said. "The other two weeks we make mistakes and we lose the games."

Armstrong was held in check, running 11 times for 36 yards while going 10-of-26 for 208 yards through the air. Morgan had three catches for 93 yards, and Newby ran 22 times for 102 yards.

Indiana's Richard Lagow completed 19 of 32 for 196 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His top target was Mitchell Paige, who had nine catches for 101 yards. Ricky Jones had six for 76 yards for Indiana.

The Cornhuskers could start to lock up the Big Ten West over the next two weeks. Nebraska is the only unbeaten team left on that side of the conference standings, and No. 8 Wisconsin comes to town in two weeks. A win there — or a loss by the Badgers before then — would make Nebraska a clear favorite to book a trip to December's Big Ten championship game.

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