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Husker Extra No Huddle: Huskers racing the Red Wolves

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Arkansas State vs. Nebraska, 9/2/17

Nebraska wide receiver JD Spielman (10) returns a first-quarter kickoff for a touchdown at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

FINAL: Nebraska 43, Arkansas State 36

* And then the dramatics. Arkansas State recovered the onside kick, but the Huskers held on fourth down to preserve the win in Lee's debut.

* Arkansas State got the back door cover with a late touchdown with 47 seconds left. Drive: 12 plays, 63 yards, 3:31.

* After Caleb Lightbourn pinned Arkansas State with a 36-yard punt that was downed at the 4, a holding penalty gave the Huskers a safety of their own.

* That play came on first-and-10 from the 14, but the Blackshirts held and forced a field goal to make 41-29 with 9:27 to play. Drive: 10 plays, 61 yards, 2:53.

* It looked like the Red Wolves made things interesting on what appeared to be a TD catch by Chris Murray. But Aaron Williams was able to hit Murray and jar the ball loose before he completed the catch. It was initially called a TD, but reversed on review.

* This time, DPE was not to be denied. A Joshua Kalu interception set the Huskers up near midfield and NU appeared to put a stranglehold on the game when Lee connected with DPE for an 8-yard TD on NU's opening drive of the fourth quarter. Drive: 6 plays, 53 yards, 2:07.

End 3Q: Nebraska 34, Arkansas State 26

* It looked like Nebraska may have broken the game open when DPE took a jet sweep 71 yards to the house. But ...

* Nebraska took the opening drive of the second half and found pay dirt, this time getting Tre Bryant in the end zone from one yard out. Drive: 8 plays, 70 yards, 3:46.

Halftime notes (of note)

JD Spielman returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, marking Nebraska’s first kickoff return for a touchdown since Kenny Bell (99 yards, at Penn State, 2013). The 99-yard return ties for the fifth longest in school history.

Tre Bryant's 78 rushing yards in the first half were a career high as was his 24-yard run in the second quarter.

Drew Brown now has 49 career field goals and has made eight straight dating back to last season. Brown has 291 career points, good for sixth all-time

Mikale Wilbon’s seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the first touchdown of his career and Tyrin Ferguson's interception in the second quarter was the first of his career.

End 2Q: Nebraska 27, Arkansas State 26

* But Brown put the kickoff out of bounds, giving the Red Wolves a short field. Arkansas State drove to the NU 22 and were able to get a 39-yard field goal by Sawyer Williams off and through with no time left. Drive: 8 plays, 43 yards, 1:02.

* The Huskers capped another scoring drive with a 41-yard field goal from Drew Brown with just over 1 minute left in the half. Drive: 9 plays, 41 yards, 2:43.

* The Red Wolves converted a big third down for a score to pull within one point. The Blackshirts have given up 243 yards at this point in the first half. Drive: 10 plays, 61 yards, 3:09

* The Blackshirts bowed up when Tyrin Ferguson picked off a Hansen pass at the Nebraska 1-yard line. But with their backs to the goal line, Arkansas State threw Tre Bryant for a loss of one yard and the safety.

* Run the ball guy is happy. After forcing a Red Wolves punt, the Huskers marched down the field on the back of Tre Bryant. He carried three times for 40 yards, but Mikale Wilbon got the paydirt with a 7-yard TD run around the right end. Drive: 8 plays, 91 yards, 3:46.

End 1Q: Nebraska 17, Arkansas State 14

* But the Huskers responded in kind. Tanner Lee hit Stanley Morgan on a beautiful deep ball down the middle, beating single coverage to retake the lead. Drive: 4 plays, 75 yards, 1:40.

* Arkansas State marched down the field to retake the lead on a 29-yard TD from Chris Murray to Justice Hansen. Drive: 9 plays, 87 yards, 2:41.

* Special teams taketh, special teams giveth. JD Spielman fielded the kickoff on the right, angled and got behind the left edge of the wall and raced 99 yards on the kickoff return to put the Huskers on the board. It was the first Nebraska kickoff return for a TD since 2013 (Kenny Bell, Penn State). Drive: 1 play, 98 yards.

* The Husker offense was backed up after another sack and then special teams bit NU. Blaise Taylor bobbled the punt from Caleb Lightbourn, but then zigged and zagged his way for a 63-yard touchdown. Drive: 1 play, 63 yards.

* The Blackshirts followed with another three-and-out.

* The Huskers had some success on their opening offensive drive, especially when Tre Bryant toted the rock, but things stalled out and Tanner Lee was sacked on third down. Drew Brown was good from 21 yards out for a 3-0 lead. Drive: 8 plays, 33 yards, 3:19.

* Diaco's defense has a solid opening series. Three-and-out for the Red Wolves. And here comes Tanner Lee.


Arkansas State wins the toss and elects to receive.

Here's Parker Gabriel and Steve Sipple with some last-minute observations:

Tanner Lee's own personal fisbowl | Sipple: BTN analyst says 10 wins realistic for Huskers | Waiting game: What will Diaco's 3-4 look like?

Game on | Scouting the Red Wolves | Video: Last-minute observations

Video: Predictions, overs/unders | Husker Extra podcast: Ep. 28 Finally, it's game week

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