Huskers drop 20th straight game to ranked opponent, losing 26-9 to No. 17 Illinois
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska begins its final five-game slate of the regular season by welcoming 17th-ranked Illinois to Lincoln.
On the opening drive of the game, Illinois quarterback Tommy Devito connects with receiver Isaiah Williams on a short pass at midfield. Williams takes it the rest of the way to the house for the 46-yard touchdown. Illinois jumps out to a 7-0 lead. Following the touchdown drive, Nebraska gets the ball for the first time. After marching down to Illinois’ 31-yard line, quarterback Casey Thompson is intercepted by defensive back Jartavius Martin. Tackles from defensive backs Marques Buford Jr and Myles Farmer, and linebacker Luke Reimer hold Illinois to a three-and-out.
Later in the first quarter, Thompson finds tight end Chancellor Brewington for a 45-yard gain moving the sticks to Illinois’ 16-yard line. The huskers can’t get the red zone touchdown, settling for a 26-yard field goal from kicker Timmy Bleekrode. Fighting Illini still hold the lead, 6-3.
In the second quarter, Thompson finds tight end Travis Vokolek downfield and the senior captain runs it the rest of the way to the end zone for the 56-yard touchdown. Nebraska only gets 6 on the score with Illinois blocking the extra point. The Huskers take the lead 9-6.
Later in the second quarter, Thompson is intercepted again this time by defensive back Sydney Brown and returns it to Nebraska’s 11-yard line. Two plays later, running back Chase Brown punches it in from 1 yard for an Illinois touchdown. Fighting Illini take back the lead, 13-9. Just before halftime, Illinois strikes with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Devito to Brown, extending UI’s lead, 20-9 going into halftime.
In the third quarter, Illinois’ Williams fumbles the ball and defensive back Quinton Newsome recovers it inside the red zone. Three plays later, quarterback Chubba Purdy, in for an injured Thompson, throws Nebraska’s third interception of the game. Illinois’ Brown gets his second pick of the day.
The fighting Illini shut out the Huskers in the second half and kick two field goals to beat Nebraska 26-9. The Huskers have now dropped 20 straight games against ranked opponents.
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