Lee helps Nebraska rebuff Rutgers
Junior quarterback Tanner Lee overcame another shaky performance to throw a pair of touchdown passes as Nebraska rebuffed stubborn Rutgers 27-17 on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb., handing the Scarlet Knights their 15th straight Big Ten loss.
Lee, who threw three interceptions in last week’s stunning 21-17 home loss to Northern Illinois, tossed two more picks Saturday — giving him nine this season — and finished 13 of 26 for 109 yards as the Cornhuskers (2-2, 1-0 Big Ten) snapped a two-game losing streak.
Running back Mikale Wilbon rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries while wide receivers De’Mornay Pierson-El and freshman JD Spielman caught scoring passes for Nebraska.
Quarterback Kyle Bolin was 15 of 29 for 126 yards and two interceptions for Rutgers (1-3, 0-1). Scarlet Knights running back Gus Edwards rushed for a touchdown while safety Kiy Hester returned an interception for a score.
Rutgers took a 7-0 lead as Edwards snuck into the left corner of the end zone from the 2-yard line on the opening drive. The Cornhuskers answered on their first possession when Lee had plenty of time to find Spielman, who recorded his first career touchdown after securing an 18-yard pass near the left boundary.
Nebraska trailed 10-7 when Pierson-El fielded a punt at his own 33, found a seam on the left sideline and reversed field for a 63-yard return. One play later, Wilbon bulled in from the 4 to give the Cornhuskers a 14-10 lead with 4:48 left in the first half.
Lee threw his third pick-six in the last two weeks to put the Scarlet Knights on top 17-14 in the first minute of the second half. Hester returned the interception 33 yards for his first career touchdown.
Lee atoned for his mistake by hitting Pierson-El over the middle on third-and-goal for an 8-yard touchdown to put the Cornhuskers ahead for good 21-17 with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
Nebraska defensive back Aaron Williams was ejected with 11:25 left in the first quarter for targeting after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Rutgers freshman wide receiver Hunter Hayek.