Rutgers fell 27-17 to Nebraska on Saturday at Memorial Stadium as both teams starting Big Ten play. The Scarlet Knights are now 1-3 (0-1 Big Ten) on the season while the Huskers improved to 2-2 (1-0 Big Ten).
Nebraska scored the game’s final 13 points after Rutgers went up 17-14 on a pick 6 early in the second half. Nebraska outgained Rutgers, 306-194.
Below are key plays during the game:
Rutgers-Nebraska live updates, score
5:59 – Drew Brown hit another short field goal and Nebraska took the first two-score lead of the game, going up 27-17 with less than six minutes left.
14:10 – Nebraska pushed its lead to seven points at 24-17. Drew Brown hit a 32-yard field goal after Antonio Reed picked off Kyle Bolin. Reed appeared to have taken the interception back for a touchdown, but it was called back because of a block in the back.
2:49: Nebraska finished off a 97-yard drive with a touchdown from Lee to De’Mornay Pierson-El. Nebraska went back ahead, 21-17. Rutgers appeared to have stopped the Huskers on a 3rd-and-goal earlier in the drive, but a late hit penalty extended it for Nebraska.
14:07: Rutgers intercepted Lee again, this time a pick 6 from Kiy Hester, who took it 33 yards for a touchdown. Rutgers took a 17-14 lead less than one minute into the second half.
Halftime: Nebraska leads 14-10. Nebraska has just 126 yards of offense, but the Huskers have been able to find the end zone twice.
4:48: Mikale Wilbon puts the Huskers ahead again with a 4-yard touchdown. It’s 14-10 Nebraska.
10:20: After a Tanner Lee interception, Rutgers converts good field position into a field goal to take a 10-7 lead.
6:52: Nebraska ties the game at 7-7 with an 18-yard score. Tanner Lee found J.P. Spielman for the touchdown.
10:28: Rutgers took an early 7-0 lead thanks to a 2-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards. Quarterback Kyle Bolin was 5-for-7 for 62 yards on the Scarlet Knights’ opening drive.
Rutgers-Nebraska game time, details
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium; Lincoln, Neb.
Odds: Nebraska is a 12-point favorite.
Nebraska will be back on the field for the first time since last week’s embarrassing loss to Northern Illinois and the school’s subsequent firing of athletic director Shawn Eichorst.
Nebraska’s matchup with Rutgers on Saturday is a big one for a lot of reasons. First, it’s an opportunity for the Huskers to kick off Big Ten conference play on the right now. Second, it’s homecoming.
For what it’s worth, Nebraska has won its past 8 homecoming contents. On Saturday, the Huskers will be looking to make that No. 9.
Rutgers has the potential to be problematic for Nebraska. While 1-2 as well out of nonconference play, the Scarlet Knights come to Lincoln after a big 65-0 victory over Morgan State. Led by offensive coordinator Jerry Kill, Rutgers could be problematic for the Blackshirts. Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco knows this.
“Rutgers has some really talented skill players,” Diaco said earlier this week. “They have a veteran offensive line, [which] I believe four of the five are returning starters. They have a really talented tight end. He can do all the jobs, so he’s one of maybe the best tight ends we’ve played up to date in terms of being able to do all the jobs.”
Kill is also familiar with Nebraska from his time as the head coach of Minnesota from 2011-15. And on the reverse, Diaco is more than familiar with Kill as well.
“Coach Kill is a tough guy,” Diaco said. “He’s a brilliant football coach. No one needs me to say that. His record speaks for itself and reputation proceeds him and his teams are hard-nose.”
As for the offensive side of the ball, Nebraska will be looking to find its offensive identity and do a better job protecting Lee. The offense hasn’t looked how coach Mike Riley had hoped it would so far to date, but he’s hoping that can be fixed against Rutgers.
“We’ve really got to find our identity offensively,” Riley said. “I don’t think we’ve been good offensively this year consistently. Glimpses, good isolated plays. Nothing I would say that is an identity builder.”
Riley also echoed what Diaco had to say about Rutgers, calling them both physical and tough.
“I think they played tough, physical defense so we’ll have to handle their front,” Riley said. “We have to find a way to successfully both protect and run the football. They’ve done a nice job.”