Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bad decision by the Cyclones gives the Huskers the OT win; Nebraska vs. Iowa State

In over time after Rex Burkhead, #22 back up running back for the Nebraska Huskers, scored a 2 yard touchdown to lead by 7. The Iowa State Cyclones came back with touchdown pass from Austen Arnaud to Jake Williams to pull the Husker lead to 1 but instead of kicking field goal to send it to second overtime, the call was to fake it and try for a 2 point conversion but that failed. I'd think they'd want to kick the field goal to send it to another overtime and try to stop the Huskers run offense.

Both teams needed to win this to keep a Big XII North title alive. Iowa State needed this win to have 6 wins to be bowl eligible. In Ames, Iowa the wind in the beginning of the game was 19 mph and at the end it only died down to 12 mph, which made the wind a huge factor.

Taylor Martinez did not start for the Huskers, he is still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered during the game versus Missouri last week. The normal back up for Taylor is Zac Lee and he was also 'injured' his throwing arm was sore. So the starter was the sophomore quarterback Cody Green. This was Cody Green's 3rd start, his only starts prior to this game were in his Freshman season against Baylor and Oklahoma won both. Cody Green's stats as a starter (prior to this game); 2-0, 14-for-26 completions for 132 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interceptions passing, and 14 carries for 51 yards and 0 touchdowns.

1st quarter
Nebraska won the coin toss and defered to the 2nd half, last week a Nebraska player said kick instead of defer so they ended up starting on defense in the start of both halves. Iowa State couldn't capitalize on having the football first and Nebraska forced them to punt. Since Taylor Martinez was out of the game for Nebraska, the Iowa State defense didn't need to defend the quarterback draw so instead of having 2 defenders on the quarterback they could go back to the usual 1. For Nebraska fans Cody Green was the last quarterback we'd want to see starting the game since he seems to love to turnover the ball. While this one wasn't truely his fault, it was just a good defensive play, he reminded us of that when his arm was hit in throwing motion and he dropped the ball which made it a fumble but at least he was able to acknowledge that before the defense did he was able to recover it. Cody Green was a bit shaken up after a helmet to helmet contact with a defender. Taylor Martinez then came into the game but he did not take the snap, instead Burkhead to the snap while Taylor was lined up as a wide receiver. Burkhead took that snap and ran it for 29 yards, a season long. After that 1 play, Green came back in and that was the only play Martinez was in. End of 1st quarter 0-0 in Ames, Iowa.

2nd quarter
Rex Burkhead took the first 4 snaps of the 2nd quarter, 7 snaps for the drive and about 10 snaps total for the game. After Burkhead kept the ball for 4 plays and set up a 2nd & goal, he handed off the ball to the starting running back Roy Helu Jr., after a record setting game, ran in for a 6 yard touchdown. Huskers had the led 7-0. The next Husker drive Cody Green was back taking snaps. It took Iowa State two drives to answer back; Austen Arnaud to Jake Williams for a 13 yard touchdown to make the game tied a 7. Nebraska was 3 and done for the 2nd time in a row after the Iowa State touchdown. Iowa State was able to get to Nebraska's 31 yard line and sent out their field goal kicking team. This was officially a 49 yard attempt for Grant Mahoney, Iowa State kicker, which he missed wide right, score remained 7-7. Roy Helu fumbled on the Nebraska 41 yard line, at first no call until Paul Rhoads, Iowa State head coach, talked a ref into calling it as a fumble. This would be the Huskers 10th turnover off a fumble for the season. (I don't think a head coach should be able to convince a ref to change a call, that makes the ref seem easily influenced.) Mahoney entered the game again this time to attempt a 57 yard field goal which he made to give Iowa State a 10-7 lead at half time.

3rd quarter
Cody Green was still starting for Nebraska after half time after a interview with Bo Pelini, Nebraska head coach, right after the end of the half that shown him as upset with Nebraska teams performance. Nebraska got the ball first in the 3rd quarter and came away with a 25 yard field goal by Alex Henery to tie the game at 10. After 2 plays from Iowa State's offense Austen Arnaud turned the ball over on an interception to Austin Cassidy which he turned into a Nebraska touchdown. Nebraska regains the lead at 17-10. This pick 6 was the 4th for Nebraska on the season, and the school record for pick 6s in a season is 5. Arnaud on the next drive for Iowa State was picked off again but this time by Eric Hagg at the Nebraska 44 yard line and for no gain. A 29 yard pass by Cody Green to Tyler Reed put Nebraska on the Iowa State 2 yard line. Burkhead took the snap after that pass and ran the football 2 yards into the end zone, 24-10 Nebraska. Cody Green was 3-for-3, all on 3rd downs, for 43 yards on that touchdown drive. 24-10 end of 3rd quarter.

4th quarter
1st Iowa State drive of the 4th quarter ended in a quarterback sneak by Arnaud for a 1 yard touchdown. At first the refs said he didn't get it, when I watched it I knew he had gotten it but hoped they couldn't overturn, so of course they reviewed it and overturned it. (They were able to overturn because they saw the arms of the quarterback breaking the plane but not the ball..I think they should only be able to overturn it from seeing the ball not by just assuming he had the ball in his hands.) Iowa State cuts into the Nebraska lead, score is now 24-17. Niles Paul fumbled the kick off on the Nebraska 13 yard line by Deon Broomfield, Iowa State. This isn't new to Nebraska fans either, Niles seems to always find a way to fumble. 3 plays into the new possession Arnaud throws 14 yards to Alexandar Robinson, A-Rob, for a touchdown to tie the game at 24. Next kick off Niles Paul let the ball go into the end zone. Iowa State attempted a 55 yard field goal for the win and Mahoney missed it wide right, again. Nebraska wasn't able to get a touchdown or get into field goal position so they punted back to Iowa State. Iowa State then just took a knee to send it into over time. 24-24 end of the 4th quarter.

Nebraska started with the ball on the Iowa State 25 yard line, OT rules make each team start on the other teams 25 yard line. 1st play Burkhead took the snap for 6 yards. The next play Burkhead took the snap again and took it 19 yards for a touchdown and the extra point was good, Nebraska leads in overtime 31-24 making Iowa State need a touchdown and either a extra point or 2 point conversioin to continue the game or win the game. Arnaud with a quarterback draw on the first play on the Nebraska 25 yard line for 2 yards and then again for the 2nd play for 14 yards. Arnaud and Williams connected for a 9 yard touchdown. Iowa State lined up for a game tieing extra point. The punter then tried to throw the football for a 2 point conversion but threw too short so it was no good. Nebraska won 31-30 in overtime!

Nebraska is now 8-1 on the season and Iowa State is 5-6.
Nebraska, of all time, is 6-1 in OT play, only lose is against Texas Tech in 2008 when Joe Ganz, Nebraska quarterback, threw an interception that ended the game.
Roy Helu Jr. had 22 carries for 99 yards this put his career yardage at 3,065 which made him the 6th Nebraska player to rush for 3,000 yards.
Rex Burkhead had 20 carries for 129 yards an 2 touchdowns. 52 yards from the 'quarterback' position. 20 carries in this game was a career high for the backup running back.

Link to boxscore:
Ames, Iowa weather for Saturday, November 6-
Some stats from: http://www.twitter/huskers
Taylor Martinez sits out for Huskers- ESPN:
Huskers Survive Cyclone Scare in OT-

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