Northern Illinois is now four for five against the Big Ten under coach Rod Carey, so if you were looking for shocked expressions after the Huskies‘ 21-17 upset of Nebraska, you had to go to the Cornhuskers’ locker room.
There was a bit of a been-there, done-that air about what the Huskies pulled off at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Yes, the Huskies returned for a curtain call after the game and lined up to take a picture in front of their remaining fans in the corner of the southwest end zone.
But beating Nebraska isn’t what it used to be. The intimidation factor for visitors to one of college football’s great cathedrals has faded as the glory years of the 1990s become more distant.
“We feel like we can play with anyone, play ball no matter where we’re at, no matter where we go,” said cornerback Shawun Lurry, who returned the first of the Huskies’ two interceptions for touchdowns.
“It’s a good win. But next-game mentality,” said defensive end Sutton Smith, who had two of the Huskies’ three sacks of Tanner Lee and four of his team’s nine tackles for losses. “We’ve got 24 hours to celebrate. It was a good matchup between us and them. Now we’ve just got to put our foot on the gas for the next opponent.”
Jordan Huff scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 8:52 left, and the Huskies (2-1) became the first team not in a Power Five conference or major independent to win in Lincoln since Southern Mississippi knocked off the Cornhuskers in 2004. They join eight other unranked-at-the-time Power Five or major independent teams to win at Nebraska since 2012.
Nebraska (1-2) had two chances with the ball after Northern Illinois went ahead. But Mycial Allen broke up a pass on fourth-and-7, and Lee threw his third interception of the game, allowing the Huskies to go into victory formation with 1:36 left.
“In the grand scheme of things, it is one game,” Carey said. “We’ve been here before in a situation like this. We’re 2-1, that’s all it means. Are we going to enjoy it for 24 hours? You bet.”
at No. 7 Michigan 29, Air Force 13: Donovan Peoples-Jones returned a punt 79 yards for a score and Quinn Nordin tied a school record with five field goals, helping Michigan overcome offensive struggles.
The Wolverines (3-0) didn’t lead by more than three points until Peoples-Jones’ touchdown early in the third quarter.
The Falcons (1-1) failed to convert a pass until Arion Worthman threw a short pass to Ronald Cleveland and the receiver turned it into a 64-yard touchdown play with 11:54 left in the quarter that pulled the service academy within three points again.
Nordin kicked two more field goals, late in the third and early in the fourth, to share a single-game school mark with three players.
Michigan’s Wilton Speight was 14 of 23 for 169 yards, missing some targets and having some passes dropped. Ty Isaac ran for 89 yards on 16 carries.
No. 9 Oklahoma State 59, at Pittsbrugh 21: Mason Rudolph threw five touchdown passes, all in the first half, for the Cowboys.
Rudolph completed 23 of 32 passes for 497 yards before being pulled in the middle of the third quarter with the Cowboys (3-0) in full command. He did throw his first interception of the season, ending a streak of 216 passes without a pick dating to last season. It was the longest active streak in the FBS.
Jalen McCleskey caught seven passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns. James Washington added 124 yards receiving. Marcell Ateman (109) and Dillon Stoner (100) also reached the 100-yard receiving mark, the first time in 12 years a team has had four 100-yard receivers in a game. The Cowboys did it despite missing LSU transfer Tyron Johnson, suspended for the game for a violation of team rules.
The Cowboys reached the end zone on each of their first seven possessions, including a pair of touchdown runs by Justice Hill. Oklahoma State converted all nine of its third downs in the opening half.
Pitt dropped to 1-2.
No. 10 Wisconsin 40, at Brigham Young 6: Alex Hornibrook threw for 256 yards and four scores as the Badgers (3-0) met little resistance from the Cougars, who were playing without starting quarterback Tanner Mangum.
Hornibrook completed 10 of 11 passes in the first half for 149 yards and two touchdowns. The second half was more of the same as he hit on all eight attempts. Freshman Jonathan Taylor rushed for 128 yards and scored once in 18 carries. The Badgers outgained the Cougars (1-3) by nearly 300 yards, 491-192.