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Northern Illinois vs. Nebraska, 9/16/17

Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (13) is pressured by Northern Illinois safety Mycial Allen (20) during the second Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

FINAL: Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17

* And the Huskers promptly went backward. A sack on third down brought up a fourth down and Lee forced a ball over the middle that was intercepted. The Huskies got an early nail when Jordan Huff ripped off a 44-yard ramble that put NIU to run out the clock.

* NIU drove inside Nebraska territory, but an incompletion on third down forced a punt, which skipped into the end zone for a touchback. Nebraska took over at its 20 with 3:09 to play and two timeouts.

* Nebraska drove to the NIU 33, but Bryan Reimers dropped a for sure first down conversion on a pass over the middle on third and 7. The Huskers went for it on fourth down, but Lee's pass to Tyler Hoppes over the middle was knocked down, and nearly intercepted, giving the ball back to NIU with 5:35 to play.

* But NIU needed just 2:22 to respond, dinging the Blackshirts for their first points allowed in 16 drives when Jordan Huff powered in from two yards out to cap a six-play, 75-yard drive and give the Huskies a 21-17 lead with 8:52 to play.

* Following a NIU three and out (the combined 10th three and out of the game for the two teams), Tanner Lee hit Stanley Morgan for 21 yards on the first play of the drive and converted a third-and-6 with a 36-yard strike down the seam to JD Spielman to set the table for Lee to reach over the pile on the sneak two plays later. It gave the Huskers the lead for the first time with 11:14 to play. Drive: 5 plays, 63 yards, 1:53. 

End 3Q: Northern Illinois 14, Nebraska 10

* The Huskers put a drive together, chewing up over 6 minutes, but only produced a 36-yard field goal by Drew Brown. On third and 7 from the 19, Tanner Lee, under pressure again, threw a pass to Connor Ketter down the seam that was just out of the reach of his tight end's fingertips. Drive: 15 plays, 71 yards, 6:20.

* Nebraska caught a huge break when NIU muffed a punt and the Huskers recovered inside the Huskies' 5-yard line. Two plays later, Tanner Lee scrambled in from four yards out. Drive: 2 plays, 2 yards, 0:48.

* NIU started the second with the ball, but the Blackshirts forced a three-and-out to start. Nebraska couldn't get anything moving on its first drive of the second half, notching a three and out itself.

Halftime note (of note):

• Northern Illinois tied a Nebraska opponent record with two interception returns for touchdowns. Nebraska also had two passes returned for scores against Ohio State last season in Columbus and against Colorado in 1967.

END 2Q: Northern Illinois 14, Nebraska 0

* And in a fitting end to the first half, Nebraska converted a fourth down at the NIU 20 for a first and goal, then Lee was sacked to back the Huskers back up and Drew Brown 37-yard FG attempt with time expired was blocked.

* The Blackshirts held up their end of the bargain, with back-to-back plays from Khalil Davis forcing an NIU punt.

* Lee got put on his back again and lost the ball, in what was initially reviewed as a fumble and recovered by Northern Illinois. The play was overturned upon review, but Nebraska was forced to punt.

* NIU put together a nice drive with some run and pass mix, but were forced to settle for a 39-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide left.

END 1Q: Northern Illinois 14, Nebraska 0

* Nebraska on offense in the first quarter: Two turnovers (both return for NIU TDs), three punts, three three and outs.

* Yeesh. Lee gets hit, another floater is picked off and returned for a score.

* Uhhhh, yeah.

* Pick 6, punt, punt, punt, punt. The early game action reflects the overcast, gray skies blanketing Lincoln.

* The Huskers followed that with a three and out. But the Blackshirts helped the offense out by forcing a Northern Illinois three and out on the Huskies' opening drive.

* The Huskers were moving down the field with relative ease. Until Shawon Lurry perfectly read and jumped a bubble screen pass and took the pick back 87 yards to the house to quiet Memorial Stadium with just over 3½ minutes gone in the game.

PREGAME

Steve called it (kinda).

Here were Parker and Steve with their last-minute thoughts on Facebook live:

So turns out some players who were thought to be out are not quite so much out (at least by appearances).

Zac Taylor in the house:

The Huskers return home to face the Huskies of Northern Illinois, looking to rebound from a missed opportunity in Oregon.

Follow along for updates from Memorial Stadium, starting at 10 a.m.

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