Nebraska will take on conference rival Illinois on Friday night in a lights-out game. Both teams are coming off tough losses and are looking to turn things around. Mistakes plagued the Huskers and Fighting Illini all night. But Nebraska took advantage of the opportunity and narrowly defeated Illinois by a score of 20-7.
After a tough loss to Michigan, the Husker defense bounced back and announced it with a major goal-line stand on the game’s first drive. Illinois finished with just 21 yards rushing, forcing quarterback Luke Altmyer to complete 47 passes. Altmeyer completed 29 of those passes for 289 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
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Issac Gifford was the leader for the Blackshirts, totaling eight tackles, four solo tackles, three tackles for loss, and 0.5 tackles for loss on the night. Gifford and the defense made a big play for Nebraska, including a forced fumble, an interception, a blocked punt and even a kickoff recovery.
This gave Heinrich Harberger and the Husker offense plenty of scoring opportunities. Harburg finished the game 12-for-24 passing for 154 yards and one interception. On the ground, Nebraska rushed for 158 total yards, led by Harberger with 82 yards and a touchdown. Harberger’s touchdown came after Anthony Grant returned a kickoff recovery for a touchdown.
But Nebraska’s offense had missed opportunities, ten penalties and three turnovers to keep Illinois alive throughout the second half. After forcing a fumble, Nebraska only made one field goal, making the final score 20-7.
Unlike in the previous game, Nebraska’s defense successfully shut down the Fighting Illini, forcing its third and fourth down with less than two minutes left in the game. The Huskers came out firing on all cylinders from there, sealing their first win over Illinois since 2019.
Nebraska enters its bye week with a 3-3 record in six games for the third consecutive year. The Huskers will return after their bye week and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Memorial Stadium at home against Northwestern. Kick-off time for the game is to be announced.
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– Nebraska Football (@HuskerFootball) October 7, 2023
Harburg gains three yards with stiff arm
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