GAMEDAY College Football

Northwestern 31, Nebraska 28

By KEN MAGUIRE
AP Sports Writer

DUBLIN - Ryan Hilinski threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns to help Northwestern rally for a 31-28 victory over Nebraska.

Northwestern handed the Cornhuskers their seventh consecutive loss going back to last season and added more pressure on embattled coach Scott Frost.

The Wildcats (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) finished with 527 yards and gained a measure of revenge after their humiliating 56-7 loss to the Huskers last October. Nebraska hasn't won since then.

Nebraska (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten) was looking for a bounce-back season with a revamped offense following a 3-9 season, but the team and its many fans who made the trip are headed home bitterly disappointed.

Quarterback Casey Thompson had a big game in his Huskers debut, throwing for 355 yards, but a fourth-quarter mistake was costly. Cameron Mitchell intercepted Thompson's pass and returned it almost 40 yards. Six plays later, Evan Hull ran it in from the 4 to give the Wildcats a 31-28 lead. Hull finished with 22 carries for 119 yards.

Xander Mueller picked off a pass that bounced off receiver Wyatt Liewer's hands with 1:27 to play and the Wildcats sealed the win.

Anthony Grant rushed for two third-quarter scores, including a 46-yarder to put the Huskers ahead 28-17. He ran it in from 3 yards on the previous drive to get Nebraska in front after the Wildcats went into halftime with a 17-14 lead. Grant had 19 carries for 101 yards.

The Huskers had built a 14-3 lead after Thompson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to fellow transfer Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda and then punched it in from 1 early in the second quarter. Garcia-Castaneda finished with 120 yards on four receptions.

But Hilinski capped a terrific first half by finding Donny Navarro at the back of the end zone for a 6-yard scoring strike to give the Wildcats a 17-14 lead with 25 seconds left in the half.

Earlier, Hilinski hit a wide-open Raymond Niro III on a play-action pass for a 41-yard score.

After Niro's touchdown, Nebraska was driving again when linebacker Greyson Metz ripped the ball from Garcia-Castaneda after a 24-yard completion to the Northwestern 11- yard line.

THE TAKEAWAY

Northwestern: The Wildcats look as if they've found a quarterback in Hilinski, who completed 27 of 38 passes.

Nebraska: More questions for Frost. The Huskers lost all their games by single digits last season, and now another one. Despite the two interceptions, Thompson made big plays. On their first scoring drive of the third quarter, he scrambled left on a third-and-8 and heaved a pass to Garcia-Castaneda for a 58-yard gain.

FREE BEER

Concession stands gave out free beer at one point during the game when they lost the internet connection at the stadium. Aviva Stadium is cashless, to they opted to not turn away thirsty fans. Ronan McGowan said he waited 40 minutes in long lines and missed portions of the game: "They did the right thing."


Scoring Summary
First Quarter NebNW
Neb TD 12:41 Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda 32 yard TD pass from Casey Thompson (Timmy Bleekrode Extra Point) 7 0
NW FG 2:13 Adam Stage 35 yard field goal 7 3
Second Quarter NebNW
Neb TD 11:59 Casey Thompson 1 yard TD run (Timmy Bleekrode Extra Point) 14 3
NW TD 10:58 Raymond Niro III 41 yard TD pass from Ryan Hilinski (Adam Stage Extra Point) 14 10
NW TD 0:25 Donny Navarro III 6 yard TD pass from Ryan Hilinski (Adam Stage Extra Point) 14 17
Third Quarter NebNW
Neb TD 9:37 Anthony Grant 3 yard TD run (Timmy Bleekrode Extra Point) 21 17
Neb TD 9:09 Anthony Grant 46 yard TD run (Timmy Bleekrode Extra Point) 28 17
NW TD 7:53 Cam Porter 3 yard TD run (Adam Stage Extra Point) 28 24
Fourth Quarter NebNW
NW TD 11:34 Evan Hull 4 yard TD run (Adam Stage Extra Point) 28 31
Team Stats
  Nebraska Northwestern
First downs 23 26
  Rushing 4 12
  Passing 17 14
  Penalty 2 0
3rd Down Efficiency 9-17, 53% 8-18, 44%
4th down efficiency 0-0, -% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 31-111 47-214
Passing Yards 354 313
Return Yards 60 52
Completions-Attempts-Int 25-42-2 27-38-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 2-18 0-0
Punts 6 6
Fumbles Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties - Yards 1-5 8-65
Nebraska Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
C. Thompson 25 42 354 1 2
Northwestern Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
R. Hilinski 27 38 313 2 0
Nebraska Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
A. Grant 19 98 5.2 2
A. Allen 3 10 3.3 0
T. Palmer 2 8 4.0 0
L. Smothers 1 7 7.0 0
J. Yant 3 5 1.7 0
C. Thompson 3 -17 -5.7 1
Northwestern Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
E. Hull 22 118 5.4 1
C. Porter 19 94 4.9 1
A. Clair 1 6 6.0 0
R. Hilinski 2 3 1.5 0
Nebraska Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
I. Garcia-Castaneda 4 120 30.0 1
T. Palmer 8 67 8.4 0
T. Vokolek 5 64 12.8 0
A. Brown 3 30 10.0 0
B. Belt 2 29 14.5 0
M. Washington 2 28 14.0 0
A. Grant 1 16 16.0 0
Northwestern Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Washington 8 96 12.0 0
E. Hull 5 55 11.0 0
R. Niro III 1 41 41.0 1
T. Gordon 2 39 19.5 0
A. Tyus III 1 34 34.0 0
D. Navarro III 4 29 7.3 1
B. Kirtz 4 12 3.0 0
C. Porter 1 5 5.0 0
J. Gill 1 2 2.0 0
Nebraska Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Northwestern Interceptions
Player Int Yards
C. Mitchell 1 34
X. Mueller 1 0
Nebraska Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Buschini 6 285 47.5
Northwestern Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
L. Akers 6 245 40.8
Nebraska Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Northwestern Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Nebraska Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
T. Palmer 2 42 21.0
A. Grant 1 18 18.0
Northwestern Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
A. Clair 1 0 0
E. Hull 1 18 18.0
Nebraska Missed FG
Player Length
B. Franke 56
Northwestern Missed FG
Player Length
A. Stage 36




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