Scores

Final

Nebraska 29

(5-2, 2-1 Big Ten)

Northwestern 28

(6-2, 2-2 Big Ten)

Coverage: ABC Regional coverage/ESPN2

3:30 PM ET, October 20, 2012

Ryan Field, Evanston, IL

1 2 3 4 T
NEB 3 7 6 1329
NW 7 7 7 728

Top Performers

Passing: T. Martinez (NEB) - 342 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: V. Mark (NW) - 16 CAR, 118 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: K. Bell (NEB) - 6 REC, 77 YDS, 1 TD

Taylor Martinez throws for 342 yards, 3 TDs in Nebraska's win

Associated Press

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Taylor Martinez threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and Nebraska rallied to beat Northwestern 29-28 on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) rallied from 12 down in the fourth, taking a one-point lead when Martinez hit Ben Cotton with a 7-yard pass with just more than 2 minutes left, and hung on when a 53-yard field goal attempt by Northwestern's Jeff Budzien barely missed wide right with 1:10 remaining. That kept Nebraska in the thick of the Legends division race after being blown out at Ohio State two weeks earlier.

The Cornhuskers can thank Martinez for that. He led them to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and completed 27-of-39 passes in the game, helping Nebraska rack up 543 yards of total offense.

Quincy Enunwa added 110 yards receiving, while Kenny Bell caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. Ameer Abdullah ran for 101 yards on a day when Rex Burkhead left with an unspecified injury after a short run early on.

Venric Mark led Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) with 118 yards rushing, including an 80-yard touchdown that made it an 11-point game early in the third. Trevor Siemian threw for two touchdowns but was just 15 of 35 for 116 yards as the Wildcats lost for the second time in three games.

Things were looking good for Northwestern until the closing minutes.

Quiet in the first half after rushing for 182 yards against Minnesota the previous week, Mark broke through a massive hole in the middle early in the third quarter on that 80-yard run, making it 21-10.

Martinez made it a five-point game when he ran it in from the 3 with just over a minute left in the third, the two-point conversion run failing. But Northwestern's Mike Trumpy made it 28-16 early in the fourth following a gutsy decision to go for it on fourth-and-inches at the 5. Kain Colter bounced off the pack and spun for a 2-yard gain to keep the drive going, and Trumpy ran it in on the next play.

Nebraska quickly responded with an 80-yard scoring drive, Martinez's 7-yard pass to Taariq Allen capping the drive and drawing loud cheers from the large contingent of Cornhuskers fans. They were really roaring after Cotton caught the go-ahead TD pass, and so was he, for that matter. He stood in the back of the end zone and let one out as teammates mobbed him.

Nothing was easy about this one, but Nebraska could at least breathe a little easier, particularly after that 63-38 loss at Ohio State.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NEB
NW
1st Downs2614
Total Yards543301
Passing342121
Rushing201180
Penalties8-625-45
3rd Down Conversions3-145-20
4th Down Conversions0-12-2
Turnovers30
Possession32:2527:35

Passing Leaders

NebraskaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Martinez27/393428.830
NorthwesternC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Siemian15/351163.320

Rushing Leaders

NebraskaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Abdullah191015.3015
Martinez18653.6115
NorthwesternCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mark161187.4180
Colter14352.509

Receiving Leaders

NebraskaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Enunwa611018.3031
Bell67712.8137
NorthwesternRECYDSAVGTDLG
Lawrence44110.3024
Jones33612.0126

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEBNW
FG11:21Brett Maher 27 Yd 30
TD01:35Dan Vitale 10 Yd Pass From Trevor Siemian (Jeff Budzien Kick) 37
SECOND QUARTERNEBNW
TD08:25Kenny Bell 37 Yd Pass From Taylor Martinez (Brett Maher Kick) 107
TD01:25Tony Jones 26 Yd Pass From Trevor Siemian (Jeff Budzien Kick) 1014
THIRD QUARTERNEBNW
TD12:17Venric Mark 80 Yd Run (Jeff Budzien Kick) 1021
TD01:09Taylor Martinez 3 Yd Run (Two-Point Run Conversion Failed) 1621
FOURTH QUARTERNEBNW
TD08:31Mike Trumpy 3 Yd Run (Jeff Budzien Kick) 1628
TD05:55Taariq Allen 8 Yd Pass From Taylor Martinez (Brett Maher Kick) 2328
TD02:08Ben Cotton 7 Yd Pass From Taylor Martinez (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 2928