Hail Mary pass helps Nebraska topple Northwestern

Nebraska coach bans his players from locker room after loss

Nebraska 27, Northwestern 24: Jordan Westerkamp hauled in a 49-yard Hail Mary pass from Ron Kellogg III as time expired to propel the host Cornhuskers to a thrilling comeback win over the Wildcats.

Kellogg came on in relief of freshman quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. for the final drive after Jeff Budzien hit a short field goal with 1:20 left. With no timeouts, Kellogg moved Nebraska (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) down the field, overcoming a fourth-and-15 with a 16-yard catch-and-run by Ameer Abdullah.

Kellogg missed an attempt to get the Cornhuskers into field goal position with an incomplete pass three plays later, but bought time in the pocket on the final play and heaved it down field, where the ball was tipped into the end zone and into the hands of Westerkamp for his first career touchdown. Treyvon Green ran for 149 yards and scored a career-high three touchdowns for Northwestern (4-5, 0-5).

After Armstrong wrapped up the Cornhuskers’ first drive with a 5-yard touchdown run, Green capped three of the Wildcats’ first four series with scores from 1, 4 and 10 yards out to send Northwestern to a 21-7 advantage early in the second quarter. Armstrong brought Nebraska within 21-14 on the ensuing drive when he found a wide-open Quincy Enunwa for a 3-yard touchdown.

Freshman defensive end Avery Moss knotted the game at 21 midway through the third quarter when he snatched Trevor Siemian’s pass at the line of scrimmage and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. The game remained unchanged until Tyler Scott intercepted Armstrong and returned it to the Nebraska 7, setting up Budzien for his go-ahead 21-yard field goal.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Abdullah accounted for 158 total yards (127 rushing and 31 receiving) and became the first Cornhusker to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark in eight or fewer games since Ahman Green in 1997. … Green appeared to suffer a right leg injury when he was bent back awkwardly with 14:03 remaining. He could not put weight on his leg as trainers helped him off the field, but returned to the game less than five minutes later for two carries before leaving again for good. … Westerkamp, a freshman receiver who entered Saturday with 10 catches for 90 yards, finished with four receptions for 104 yards.