Nebraska survives two-point conversion in OT to get by Iowa StateNov 7, 2010 - 1:50 AM
Cody Green threw for 79 yards on 7-of-12 passing for the injured Taylor Martinez and the Huskers' defense capitalized on two turnover opportunities to give Nebraska (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) its third straight victory, all against conference opponents.
Austen Arnaud passed for 203 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-32 completions, while running for 63 yards and a score, but threw two costly interceptions for Iowa State (5-5, 3-3).
Jake Williams caught five balls for 46 yards with two scores for the Cyclones, who had won two straight coming into Saturday.
After Iowa State won the toss and decided to defer in overtime, the Huskers scored on their second play, a Burkhead 19-yard run. Alex Henery kicked the extra point to make it a 31-24 game.
The Cyclones moved the ball on their possession, and Arnaud connected with Williams on a nine-yard TD pass to trim the deficit to one. However, holder Daniel Kuehl's pass on the fake conversion was caught in the wind and intercepted, giving Nebraska the victory.
"They say it's a game of inches and it exactly is that," said Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads. "I have a football team that played their hearts out. I asked them to execute and for 60 minutes plus we executed as well as we could."
Both teams failed to get into the end zone in the first, but the Huskers ended the quarter at the Cyclone 22 and extended the drive to start the second.
After Nebraska's running game got the ball down to the Iowa State six, Helu Jr. punched it in on second down to give the Huskers a 7-0 lead.
The Cyclones got the ball back with 8:46 remaining following a Nebraska punt and used a seven-play, 47-yard drive to even the game.
Powered by Alexander Robinson rushes, Iowa State had great field position at the Nebraska three before a holding penalty pushed the hosts back to the 13. On the following play, Arnaud hit Williams in the end zone for his third touchdown of the season.
Grant Mahoney added a 57-yard field goal in the final minute of the quarter to give the Cyclones a 10-7 lead heading into intermission.
Nebraska opened the third with a 25-yard field goal from Henery to again even the game.
The Huskers added seven more when Austin Cassidy picked off Arnaud on the third play of Iowa State's next drive, then returned it 29 yards for a 17-10 Nebraska lead.
Arnaud was picked off again eight plays later, this time by Eric Hagg, which gave the Huskers the ball back at their own 44.
Nebraska used direct snaps to Burkhead and efficient passing from Green to work the ball down to the Cyclones' two. On 2nd-and-goal, Burkhead took the snap up the middle for a 24-10 advantage heading into the fourth.
The Cyclones brought the fourth quarter's opening drive down to the Nebraska one, and on 3rd-and-goal, Arnaud took a quarterback keeper over the pile for the score. It was not originally called a touchdown, but after a review the officials determined he had broken the plane.
Nebraska fumbled the following kickoff and the Cyclones recovered at the Huskers' 13. Three plays later Arnaud connected with Robinson for a 14-yard touchdown to even the game at 24-24 with 10:40 remaining.
After a series of three-and-outs, Iowa State moved the ball inside Nebraska territory. However, the drive stalled, and Mahoney missed a 55-yarder with a little more than three minutes left. Nebraska punted on its next drive to send the game to overtime.
Nebraska has won four of the last five contests between these two schools. but the Cyclones got a 9-7 victory in last season's meeting...Iowa State is 1-10 under head coach Paul Rhoads when allowing 24 points or more...Martinez was featured in one play of the game, when he came in as a receiving decoy at the end of the first quarter...Kyler Reed caught three passes for 52 yards to lead the Nebraska receiving corps...Robinson finished with 101 yards on 32 carries.
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