Huskers break loose from North Dakota in 4th quarter, win 38-17
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Anthony Grant ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns, with the second one breaking a tie late in the third quarter and helping Nebraska go on to a 38-17 victory over North Dakota on Saturday.
The Cornhuskers (1-1) bounced back from their loss to Northwestern in Ireland last week and ended a seven-game losing streak with their first win since Oct. 2.
Nebraska scored on its opening possession for a second straight week but not again until the third quarter. Boos rained down on the Huskers as they jogged to the locker room at half tied at 7 with their opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Huskers were up 17-7 in the middle of the third after Casey Thompson’s 19-yard pass to Nate Boerkircher and Timmy Bleekrode’s 46-yard field goal, but the Fighting Hawks (0-1) scored twice in just under four minutes to tie it again.
Isaiah Smith broke a 63-yard run to the Nebraska 6 before Brady Stevens kicked a 23-yard field goal. The Hawks got the ball right back on Wyatt Pedigo’s interception, and Tyler Hoosman scored two plays later from the 3.
Thompson then drove the Huskers 75 yards in five plays, with Grant breaking a 46-yard run to give them the lead for good. The Huskers scored two touchdowns in the last six minutes to put away the Hawks.
The Hawks punted on their first four possessions before going 80 yards in 16 plays to tie it 7-7 at half. Tommy Schuster converted a third-and-12 and a fourth-and-1 before flipping a 1-yard touchdown pass to Adam Zavalney just before half.
North Dakota: The Hawks dropped to 1-11 against FBS opponents but hung with the Huskers into the fourth quarter and showed resilience by coming back from a 10-point deficit to tie it. Smith, who had 104 yards on 10 carries, limped off the field late in the third quarter and didn’t return.
Nebraska: The Huskers improved to 14-0 against FCS opponents but didn’t do much to alleviate the fans’ concerns. They got all they could handle from the Hawks for three quarters and moved the ball against a tiring defense late. Grant appears to have strengthened his grip on the No. 1 running back’s job.
North Dakota: Fighting Hawks host Northern Iowa in their Missouri Valley Conference opener Saturday.
Nebraska: Former Southern California coach Clay Helton brings Georgia Southern to Lincoln on Saturday.
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