This game has shaped up to be a classic weather day in the Big Ten. Freezing temperatures, high winds and snow flurries have made things more difficult. The snow stopped and things cleared up for a while, but the first half was still primarily a defensive struggle, as neither offense was able to get much going. Nebraska leads the low-scoring game, 7-6 at halftime.
After trading punts the first three drives, Jesse Della Valle returned a punt 25 yards to get over midfield and set the Nittany Lions up in good position. Penn State put together an eight play, 40-yard drive that was capped by a two-yard pass from Christian Hackenberg to Adam Breneman. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, Sam Ficken knocked the extra point off the right goalpost.
Hackenberg has now connected with his fellow freshman tight end for a touchdown in two-straight games. For the half, Hackenberg completed 10 of 19 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Zach Zwinak is Penn State’s leading rusher, running the ball 14 times for 68 yards
Entering the game, the Penn State defense has allowed just 14 points in the last six quarter. That streak can now be stretched to seven, as Nebraska was held off the board in the first half. However, things began to turn in the second quarter, as Nebraska was able to start moving the ball and the Nittany Lions were unable to create any pressure on the quarterback.
Nebraska scored early in the second quarter when Ron Kellogg III found Quincy Enunwa on a 27-yard touchdown pass. That score gave the Cornhuskers some momentum, as Kellog III, who didn’t start, stayed in the game and finished the half completing 11 of 13 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
The defense was able to get the big play it needed late in the half when Malcolm Willis forced a fumble by Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah on the goal line. Just as the Cornhuskers were looking to extend their lead, Penn State got the big turnover.
Nebraska has the edge in total yards, out-gaining the Nittany Lions 198-159. This has been an ugly game offensively in tough weather conditions. Penn State gets the ball to start the second half and will look to retake the lead from the Cornhuskers.
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