Nebraska AD calls loss to Northern Illinois 'not acceptable'

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Northern Illinois vs. Nebraska football: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Northern Illinois got just enough scoring, from its offense and defense, to pull off an upset Saturday.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers welcomed the likes of Fresno State, Wyoming, South Alabama, FAU and McNeese State to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln over the past three seasons and beat them all. Despite managing to battle back and take a lead in the fourth quarter, the Huskers were unable to hold off NIU in the end, even with Les Miles rooting for them in the booth. The win came mostly because of three interceptions off of Nebraska QB Tanner Lee, a transfer from Tulane. "I think he'll come back to work and get ready for the next game in a great manner, and I've got a lot of confidence that will occur and that he will be anxious to do that". That scenario played out often Saturday. In the last two games, he has attempted 88 passes and suffered seven interceptions - one nearly every 12 attempts. The drive went nowhere.

But on the first offensive play after Nebraska's touchdown, NIU's Daniel Santacaterina connected with Christian Blake, who got a step on Nebraska corner back Eric Lee Jr., for 47 yards. Nebraska was backed up after a punt when Lee was almost sacked by defensive end Drequan Brown.

In fact, the 112 yards returned the other way trumped Lee's 96 yards passing in that first quarter. Now, the Huskers are 1-2 this season, beating Arkansas State by only seven, losing at OR 42-35 - despite shutting out the Ducks in the second half - and falling to Northern Illinois.

On one first half possession, a holding penalty wiped out one big pass completion while an illegal block in the back negated a gain on a screen pass that led to a 1st and 24. The Huskies were able to generate a pass rush from every angle. Yes, Northern Illinois is now 4-1 in their last five games against the Big Ten, but this doesn't look as strong as some past Huskies' teams. William Lee tipped the kick which landed in the end zone, keeping the score 14-0.

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Northern Illinois played mistake-free until a glaring blunder on special teams.

Nebraska cut the margin to 14-10 with 15 seconds left in the third quarter on Brown's 36-yard field goal to finish a 15-play, 71-yard drive. Lee's four-yard plunge with 8:05 left in the quarter capped a two-play, two-yard drive that followed a fumbled punt by Jalen Embry that was recovered by Nebraska's Marquel Dismuke at the NIU 2.

The Huskers' defense had shut down the Huskies much of the game, but that changed as soon as they took the lead.

The following week, Nebraska dug themselves a huge first half hole by trailing OR 42-14 at halftime before the Ducks eased up in the second half.

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