Piscataway, N.J.—Rutgers football (3-3, 0-3) loss a tough 14-13 game to Nebraska (3-3, 2-1) on Friday night at a sold-out SHI Stadium. RU shutout the Cornhuskers in the first half and forced two turnovers in the all black out matchup, but a fourth-quarter touchdown by NU was the difference in the contest.
NU quarterback Casey Thompson threw two touchdowns, including a go-ahead 27-yard touchdown dart to receiver Trey Palmer with 8:54 to play as the Cornhuskers rallied back from a 13-0 first half deficit. It was the Scarlet Knights 21st consecutive loss at home to a Big Ten Conference opponent.
Thompson finished 24 of 36 for 232 yards passing with two TDs and two interceptions.
“I feel good. We won the game,” said Thompson after Nebraska won its second straight game. “It’s a lot easier to be sore after a win than a loss. I know I’m going to be sore. We’re going to be sore. It was a physical game on the road. A lot of adversity to push through tonight.”
The Scarlet Knights defense played lights out registering two interceptions from DBs Christian Braswell and Max Melton which also had a blocked punt on special teams. LB Deion Jennings led the defense with a career-high 12 tackles.
Going forward coach Greg Schiano need to straighten out their quarterback situation. Noah Vedral started his first game of the season but Schiano utilized Evan Simon and Johnny Langan who usually carry the ball in short-yardage situations. But he was non effective last night. Gavin Wimsatt is still injured and not ready to step on the field.
The Cornhuskers got a shutout from their defense in the second half in handing the Scarlet Knights its third straight loss.
“We struggled on offense, but the defense gave up some plays,” Nebraska interim coach Mickey Joseph said. “We gave up some deep balls early, and we had to settle down and get things together.”
RU opened the contest with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 21-yard rushing touchdown by Vedral for a quick 7-0 lead. Vedral hit WR Shameen Jones for a 33-yard completion on the drive and eventually helped the Scarlet Knights find the end zone.
Both teams traded possessions, Melton recorded his second blocked punt of the season, which was recovered by Parker Day and he returned it to the Cornhuskers’ nine-yard line. McAtamney then smashed field goals of 25 and 40 yards to give Rutgers a 17-0 going into the break.
Quarterback Noah Vedral a Nebraska graduate transfer scored on a 21-yard run on the opening series but he struggled passing with his injured hand completing 6 of 15 for 133 yards.
Safety Myles Farmer set up the game-winning score with an pick and return. Thompson, who also threw a 7-yard TD pass to Rutgers transfer tight end Travis Vokolek to open the second half, connected on the next play from scrimmage as Palmer made a sliding catch in the end zone.
Farmer made the big play of the game, picked off an ill-advised pass by Simon and returning it 17 yards. Simon was intercepted three times.
RU got the ball back with 1:03 left in the contest, but an pick by Nebraska would seal the game.
“Whether you win 14-13 or you lose 14-13, still, you have to be the same person,” Schiano said. “And that, I believe, we will be, I do. I believe we have that strength of culture in our locker room. They are very disappointed to the point of grown men crying because they felt and they know we let one slip away today.”
Rutgers’ Adam Korsak had his streak of 150 straight punts without a touchback snapped with 12:52 left in the fourth when he had a 51-yard go through the end zone.
Nebraska: at Purdue on Oct. 15
Rutgers: Bye week. Plays host to Indiana on Oct. 22.