Huskers beat Indiana 35-21 to end 9-game FBS losing streak

Oct 1, 2022, 8:41 AM | Updated: 9:31 pm
Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson (11) passes the ball while still in the pocket as Indiana's Ind...

Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson (11) passes the ball while still in the pocket as Indiana's Indiana defensive back Noah Pierre (21) dives in for the tackle during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. Thompson was called for intentional grounding on the play. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

(AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

              Nebraska quarterback Chubba Purdy, right, fumbles the ball in the Indiana end zone while being tackled by Indiana's Louis Moore (20) and Cam Jones during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. Moore recovered the ball for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
            
              Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson throws a pass against Indiana during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
            
              Indiana quarterback Connor Bazelak (9) passes the ball while under pressure from Nebraska edge rusher Caleb Tannor (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
            
              Indiana's Emery Simmons (0) carries the ball against Nebraska's DeShon Singleton (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
            
              Nebraska's Garrett Nelson (44) celebrates after sacking Indiana quarterback Connor Bazelak (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
            
              Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson (11) passes the ball while still in the pocket as Indiana's Indiana defensive back Noah Pierre (21) dives in for the tackle during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. Thompson was called for intentional grounding on the play. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Casey Thompson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Nebraska beat a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent for the first time in 364 days with a 35-21 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.

Thompson, benched for a series in the first half and shaken up on a big hit in the third quarter, threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Trey Palmer early in the fourth to break a 21-all tie and followed with a 1-yard run to give the Cornhuskers a two-score cushion.

The win ended a nine-game losing streak against FBS opponents — the Huskers’ previous one was against Northwestern on October 2, 2021 — and was Mickey Joseph’s first since he was named interim head coach following the firing of Scott Frost on Sept. 11.

“I love Mickey. I want to ride with Mickey,” defensive end Garrett Nelson said. “He was put in a tough situation and he’s flourished in that spot.”

The Huskers (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) broke open the game in the fourth quarter as Thompson came through with big plays during what had been an up-and-down performance.

Palmer had a couple steps on Phillip Dunnam as he ran his post pattern on a third-and-9 and caught the ball in stride for a 28-21 lead with 13:43 left.

“My number got called. I made the play. That’s what I’m here for,” Palmer said.

The touchdown gave Palmer the first 100-yard receiving game of his career. The fourth-year player, who transferred from LSU after last season, finished with eight catches for 157 yards.

After Indiana (3-2, 1-1) went three-and-out, Thompson led a 12-play, 54-yard drive that chewed more than six minutes off the clock. He completed three short passes and handed off to Anthony Grant seven times for 31 yards before he ran in for the final margin. Grant finished with 136 yards on 32 carries.

The Huskers held Indiana to 290 yards and had three sacks and six quarterback hurries in Bill Busch’s first game as interim defensive coordinator.

“We’re finally realizing what we are as a defense,” Nelson said. “Great win. We showed what we can do. Got to carry that over to the coming weeks.”

Thompson gave the Huskers a scare in the third quarter when he held his right shoulder area after James Head Jr. put a big hit on him. Chubba Purdy, whose fumble in the end zone led to an Indiana touchdown in the first half, took over for one play on the next series and then Thompson returned.

Thompson was 18 of 27 for 270 yards with an interception to go with his two TD passes. Indiana’s Connor Bazelak was 22 of 44 for 223 yards with a touchdown and interception.

The teams combined for 23 penalties for 202 yards, one of the most flag-filled FBS games of the season.

Indiana scored twice in the final 3:09 of the second quarter to go into halftime tied 21-all.

THE TAKEAWAY

Indiana: The Hoosiers were hamstrung on offense because their top two receivers, Cam Camper and D.J. Matthews, were out with injuries.

“Obviously, they’re huge parts of our offense,” Bazelak said. “So it was tough not having them, but we had some guys step up and we made some plays but we’ve got to find ways to make more.”

Nebraska: The Huskers were able to win despite spurts of undisciplined play and periods of stagnant offense.

BAWLED OUT

Thompson got chewed out on the sideline by enraged offensive coordinator Mark Whipple after taking a drive-killing sack in the second quarter. Thompson was on the bench when Nebraska got the ball back at its 10.

Whipple was sending Thompson a message, but it came with a cost. On third down Purdy fumbled while a blitzing Louis Moore began pulling him down, and Myles Jackson recovered for a TD.

BLOCK THAT PUNT

Nebraska’s Chris Kolarevic blocked James Evans’ second-quarter punt and Malcolm Hartzog picked up the ball with a clear path to the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown. It was Nebraska’s first blocked punt returned for a touchdown since 2009.

ROUGH STUFF

Nebraska offensive lineman Turner Corcoran was ejected late in the second quarter after getting called for unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct on consecutive plays.

Corcoran charged into the pile after Thompson’s facemask was pulled while going down, negating the penalty on the Hoosiers. On the next play Corcoran punched Aaron Casey while the linebacker was on the ground.

UP NEXT

Indiana: Hosts No. 4 Michigan on Saturday.

Nebraska: Visits Rutgers on Friday.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE -  New York Yankees' Aaron Judge gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run, ...
Associated Press

Judge goes back to Yankees as Giants, Padres examine options

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Farhan Zaidi got a text message from Aaron Judge’s representatives early Wednesday morning. And just like that, it was over. It was time to move on. With Judge returning to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, the San Francisco Giants are mulling over their next move after […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service. There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies. Song was picked […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Then-Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza walks on the sideline during the first half of a prese...
Associated Press

Ex-Bills punter Araiza won’t be charged in alleged gang rape

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza will not be charged in connection with an alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party last year when he played football for San Diego State University, prosecutors said Wednesday. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said no charges will be […]
18 hours ago
Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) takes off in the first half of an NFL football gam...
Associated Press

McVay: Baker Mayfield likely to be active for Rams vs Vegas

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coach Sean McVay says Baker Mayfield probably will be active for the Los Angeles Rams’ game against the Raiders on Thursday night, just two days after the Rams claimed the former No. 1 draft pick off waivers from Carolina. McVay wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Mayfield playing against Las Vegas, […]
18 hours ago
University of Virginia Athletic Director Carla Williams, left, and football coach Tony Elliott wipe...
Associated Press

Virginia football players granted extra year of eligibility

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility to Virginia football players whose eligibility has expired in the aftermath of the slaying of three members of the team, the school confirmed Wednesday. Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed last month as they returned to campus from […]
18 hours ago
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal meets the media to announce the Netherlands World Cup 2022 squad, ...
Associated Press

Van Gaal’s World Cup with Dutch has hugs, kisses and dancing

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Three wins from the title that has eluded the Netherlands, Louis van Gaal has filled his World Cup with hugs, kisses and dancing. Leading his nation for the third time at age 71, he is the tournament’s oldest coach. He also may be the most dapper, pacing the sideline in a […]
2 days ago
Huskers beat Indiana 35-21 to end 9-game FBS losing streak