PJ Fleck checks the scoreboard

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Gophers make Nebraska's worst season get better

Cornhuskers are dominant in breaking rare losing streak

October 21, 2018 - 7:54 am

  LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -  A week after squandering a late 10-point lead at Northwestern and losing in overtime, the Nebraska broke a rare six-game losing streak in a big way,  scoring on three of their first four possessions on their way to a 53-28 win over the Gophers.

   Minnesota made things interesting, though, scoring on three possessions in a row spanning the halves, with backup quarterback Tanner Morgan replacing Zack Annexstad to open the third quarter and leading two straight touchdown drives to pull the Gophers to 28-22.

   "We didn't stop them tonight at all. We didn't tackle well. We didn't set an edge,"said coach PJ Fleck, whose Gopher team has lost four straight, all in the Big Ten, after starting the season 3-0.

   Barrett Pickering kicked a field goal between Adrian Martinez's TD passes of 35 and 67 yards to Stanley Morgan Jr. to break things open again, and as the 365th home consecutive sellout crowd started sensing the end of the program-record 10-game losing streak, a chorus of "Go Big Red" chants began.

   Nebraska rushed for 383 yards and totaled 659. Devine Ozigbo ran for 152 yards, Martinez for 125 and Maurice Washington for 109.

   Martinez completed 25 of 29 passes adding up to 276 yards and three TDs. Stanley Morgan caught 10 balls for 163 yards, both career highs.

   Tanner Morgan was 11 of 16 for 214 yards and Annexstad 9 of 20 for 135. Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Annextad had to leave the game because of an internal injury in his midsection. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

   THE TAKEAWAY

   A quarterback controversy could be coming for the Gopehrs, if Annexstad is healthy enough to play next week. Tanner Morgan gave the Gophers a spark. The Minnesota defense had no answer for Martinez and Co., though.

   CREATIVE PLAY CALLS

   First-year Nebraska coach Scott Frost, who calls the offensive plays, dialed up two Statue of Liberty plays, with Washington gaining 17 yards on the first. He also had Washington throw a halfback pass, but the ball fell short of tight end Austin Allen.

   The Gophers used a flea-flicker on their second drive of the second half, with Tanner Morgan connecting with tight end Seth Green for 31 yards before Green took a snap out of the wildcat formation and ran in from 4 yards to cut it to 28-22.

   IBRAHIM HELD IN CHECK

   The Gophers were without running back Shannon Brooks, who was arrested last weekend on suspicion of misdemeanor assault for an altercation with his male roommate. Brooks, who was medically cleared to play after rehabbing an offseason knee injury, didn't make the trip.

   Mohamed Ibrahim, who ran for 157 yards against Ohio State on Oct. 13, was limited to 49 yards on 18 carries.

   UP NEXT

   Minnesota hosts Indiana on Oct. 26, in a Friday night Big Ten matchup at TCF Bank Stadium.