Nebraska builds lead, holds on to beat Penn State
Freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey went 13-of-21 passing for 152 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 67 yards and a score on 13 carries, to lead Nebraska to a 30-23 home win over Penn State in a battle of Big Ten teams on Saturday.
The Cornhuskers (1-2, 1-2 Big Ten) prevailed despite being outgained 501-298.
Will Levis passed for 219 and Pat Freiermuth caught seven passes for 113 yards for the Nittany Lions (0-4, 0-4).
Nebraska jumped on Penn State early, taking a 27-6 lead at halftime.
The Cornhuskers opened the scoring with 11:25 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by McCaffrey, and then took a 10-0 lead more than five minutes later on a 22-yard field goal by senior Connor Culp.
Following a second-quarter field goal by Penn State’s Jake Pinegar that made it 10-3, Nebraska took a 17-3 lead with 14:01 remaining in the quarter on a 45-yard touchdown pass from McCaffrey to Zavier Betts.
Nebraska then took a 24-3 lead with 11:29 to go in the second quarter when Deontai Williams sacked Sean Clifford, forced a fumble, and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.
In the second half, Penn State benched Clifford in favor of Levis, and he provided the Nittany Lions a spark.
The Nittany Lions cut Nebraska’s lead to 27-16 on a 31-yard touchdown run by Keyvone Lee with 7:51 left in the third and on a 27-yard field goal by Pinegar with 1:01 remaining.
Nebraska did respond, going on a 10-play, 63-yard drive and taking a 30-16 lead with 10:34 remaining on a 30-yard field goal by Cupp.
Penn State answered back, cutting its deficit to 30-23 with 9:20 left on a 5-yard touchdown run by Devyn Ford.
The score was set up by a 74-yard pass from Levis to Freiermuth.
Penn State drove down to the Nebraska 9-yard line with under a minute left, but two incompletions, a sack and another incompletion ended Penn State’s hopes of tying the game.
–Field Level Media