Huskers collapse at Colorado, lose in overtime

BOULDER, Colo. – Searching for its first road win under Scott Frost, the Husker football team held a 17-0 lead at halftime and a 17-7 lead after three quarters, but a fourth quarter collapse led to an overtime loss to drop the Huskers to 1-1.

Nebraska’s defense was dialed in from the first drive. After a three-and-out stop was erased by a third down penalty, the Huskers forced a punt near midfield to take over at their own four yard line.

Running back Maurice Washington moved the sticks away from Nebraska’s goal line with the first two touches of the drive. Just moments later, Adrian Martinez found J.D. Spielman on a broken coverage play for a 65-yard touchdown, giving the Huskers a 7-0 lead with 6:03 to go in the first quarter.

The Blackshirts held Colorado to negative rushing yards in the first quarter, keeping the Buffaloes off the scoreboard.

In the second, Nebraska began another drive inside its own five-yard line and marched 95 yards down the field. Martinez capped the long drive with a weak side scramble for a touchdown.

With a 14-0 lead, the Blackshirts continued to capitalize. Lamar Jackson picked off Colorado quarterback Steven Montez on a second down throw to set the Huskers up in plus territory. After the Huskers moved the sticks twice, Southwest grad Isaac Armstrong knocked a mid-range field goal to make it 17-0 going into half.

Martinez finished the first half 9-for-9 passing for 180 yards and one touchdown, while also adding six rushes for 45 yards and another score.

As Nebraska’s offense slowed to start the third quarter, the defense continued to dominate. But after stops on Colorado’s first two drives, the Huskers couldn’t hold the Buffs on a drive that started near midfield. Colorado finally broke onto the scoreboard with 1:42 to play in the third quarter.

And following a slow, grind-it-out three quarters of play, the fourth quarter took a steroid shot.

Colorado cut the gap to 17-14 on a 96-yard flea flicker pass from Steven Montez to K.D. Nixon. The very next play from scrimmage, Martinez hit Washington on a swing pass that went 75 yards to the house.

That 24-14 lead wouldn’t last two minutes, though. The Buffaloes marched down the field and cut it to 24-21 not three minutes into the fourth quarter.

After a Martinez fumble, Colorado tied the game at 24 on a field goal. But needing a response from the offense, Martinez and the Huskers orchestrated a 75-yard drive with the game on the line. Facing a fourth-and-inches inside the 10 yard line, Martinez rumbled into the end zone to give the Huskers a 31-24 lead.

Nebraska forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but Colorado got the ball back and drove the length of the field to tie the game on a long pass play from Montez.

In the overtime, Colorado grabbed a first down on its second play from scrimmage and kicked the go-ahead field goal to end the offensive possession.

Nebraska couldn’t get anything going on its own. Two Washington runs went for minimal yardage, and a Martinez sack set up Armstrong with a 48-yard field goal to tie the game.

The backup kicker’s attempt sailed wide right to end the game and the party for tens of thousands of Husker fans that made the trip.

Full coverage on Channel 8 tonight.