Nebraska defeats Indiana in roller-coaster game
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The momentum swung wildly throughout the first three quarters on Saturday, as Nebraska and Indiana took turns making plays that seemed to be game-changers.
But the Huskers took control in the fourth quarter to win 35-21.
NU scored in just three plays on its first drive, but then struggled, culminating in a fumble in the end zone recovered by Indiana for a touchdown.
But later in the second quarter, Chris Kolarevic blocked a Hoosier punt and freshman Malcolm Hartzog ran it 30 yards for a touchdown.
It was the first time Nebraska has returned a blocked punt for a TD since 2009.
But Indiana scored two touchdowns in the final minutes of the half to tie the game at 21.
The third quarter was packed with action, but there was no change to the scoreboard.
Nebraska’s Luke Reimer got an interception, only for quarterback Casey Thompson to be picked off on the next play.
In the fourth quarter, Thompson threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Trey Palmer.
And with just under seven minutes left, Thompson ran it in from 1 yard out for another TD.
Palmer led the Huskers with eight receptions for 157 yards, and Thompson threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
On the ground, Anthony Grant had 32 carries, rushing for 136 yards.
In the first game with Bill Busch as defensive coordinator, Nebraska held the Hoosiers to under 300 yards. The defense had allowed more than 500 yards in each of the past two games.
Head coach Mickey Joseph said the defense “played lights out.”
“They were fired up,” he said.
He praised Busch “for simplifying some things” but said, “You take your hat off to the kids first.”
“These kids got a lot of pride; they have been close in a lot of games,” he said. “They played four quarters of football. That’s how you win close games.”
The win helps Nebraska cut Indiana’s lead in the all-time series to 10-9-3. The Huskers are 2-1 against the Hoosiers as Big Ten foes, while Indiana dropped to 8-6-2 against Nebraska in Lincoln.
Edge rusher Garrett Nelson made his 25th consecutive start on Saturday. Nelson had a career-high two sacks for 18 yards, bettering his previous best of 1.5 sacks at Purdue in 2020.
Reimer finished with five tackles. He increased his career tackle total to 203 to become the 41st Husker with more than 200 career tackles.
The Huskers will look for win No. 3 on the road at Rutgers on Friday.