The Nebraska Cornhuskers are giving their fans’ blood pressure a workout. For the third time this season, Bo Pelini’s bunch came from behind to dash the hopes of their opponent. This time, the Michigan State Spartans were on deck for the gut punch. The best defense in the Big Ten couldn’t hold back what would be a record-breaking day for the Big Red.
The same Michigan State team that allowed only 91 rushing yards per contest prior to the game surrendered 313 to the Cornhuskers. 205 of those came via the fleet feet of Taylor Martinez including a 71-yard jaunt for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
MSU running back Le’Veon Bell had a fantastic day with 36 carries for 188 yards (5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, slipping through arm-tackles and barreling his way through others. Unfortunately, Bell’s athleticism just wasn’t enough.
The game ended in poetic fashion. A microcosm of what these two teams had experienced all day, the Huskers were down 24-21 and driving for a field goal to send the game to overtime, at the very least.
Michigan State defensive back Darqueze Dennard covered Nebraska’s Kenny Bell on an incomplete pass, but a questionable flag was thrown – one of many during the contest – causing a cascade of boos to rain down from the Spartan faithful.
A five-yard touch pass to Nebraska’s Jamal Turner sealed the Spartans’ fate. Another game, another comeback victory. “I can’t believe that I won the game. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life,” Turner told the Associated Press.
Turner’s catch sealed the game, but another major moment took place during the game as Martinez eclipsed 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch’s total offense record of 7,915 yards. Martinez now has 8,166.
Was it a sloppy game? You bet. Was the officiating horrible? Absolutely. Did the more deserving team win? That’s a good question for the officiating crew. Call foul if you will, but Sparty remains winless against the Big Red, the Cornhuskers still control their own destiny and a return trip to Pasadena is in their sights. That’ll do.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. Feel free to follow him on Twitter and join in on the conversation.