Huskers beat Northwestern, 13-10

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LINCOLN, Neb. - Lane McCallum kicked a 24-yard field goal as time ran out, giving Nebraska a 13-10 win in yet another close game against Northwestern on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) won in a slog after Lamar Jackson intercepted Aidan Smith's pass to set up the winning drive.

Noah Vedral, who played the fourth quarter in place of an injured Adrian Martinez, connected with Wan'Dale Robinson along the sideline for 32 yards to the 16 and then ran twice to get to the 12 with 3 seconds left.

Northwestern (1-4, 0-3) called three timeouts before McCallum, who transferred from Air Force intending to play safety, put the ball through from the left hash mark.

After the kick, McCallum sprinted toward the other end of the field. Teammates mobbed him and carried him off the field.

Nebraska's kicking game has been plagued all season, since Barret Pickering went out with an undisclosed injury before the opener. McCallum took over the kicking duties from punter Isaac Armstrong. McCallum made a 35-yard field goal to give Nebraska a 10-0 lead in the first half but his try from 29 yards in the fourth quarter hit the right upright and bounced away.

The Huskers are 5-4 against Northwestern since joining the Big Ten in 2011, and a total of 24 points separates the teams over the nine games.

The previous two games went to overtime, and seven of the nine meetings have been decided by one score.

The Huskers won with Martinez and top receiver JD Spielman on the sideline. Martinez got up limping after getting tackled at the end of a run on the last play of the third quarter. Spielman went out earlier in the third with a knee injury.

Northwestern, the Big Ten West defending champion, has lost three straight conference games for the first time since 2014. The Wildcats had a chance to take the lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, but Charlie Kuhbander missed a 34-yard field goal.

The teams combined for 19 punts as yards were hard to come by. The Huskers finished with 319 total yards and the Wildcats had 293.

THE TAKEAWAY

Northwestern: The Wildcats started Aidan Smith at quarterback instead of Hunter Johnson, who left last week's game at Wisconsin with a lower-body injury. Johnson, who was in uniform, was not listed on the team's injury report Thursday. Smith hit some big passes and had a few nice runs, but the Wildcats still struggled on offense. The defense, as usual, kept them in the game.

Nebraska: The Huskers desperately needed to win this game after getting humiliated by Ohio State at home last week. The status of Martinez isn't known, but Vedral proved a capable replacement.

UP NEXT

Northwestern has an open date before hosting Ohio State on Oct. 18.

Nebraska visits Minnesota on Oct. 12.