And now Riley, who just received a one-year contract extension through 2020 this week, has Nebraska in the hard situation of entering conference play in need of five more wins simply to go to a bowl game. "When it came down to it, I worked my (tail) off to get back to where I was". 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. "We followed [the defense's] lead today".
Another disastrous first half for Nebraska.
Northern Illinois' defense had a once-in-a-lifetime first quarter, returning two interceptions for touchdowns. Once caught, it was all over as Lurry went 87 yards for the score. Huff scored from there, putting the Huskies back on top to stay, 21-17.
"I think as an offense, we've got to play better, and I know we will", Lee said. "But we have to get going". I would say the same thing about our staff, but everyone has to take it up a notch and we got to get moving in the right direction. Keep going out there, keep doing your thing. We were down 17-14.
"So, it's really, really disappointing and that's what we have to find in the next week to play a better game". We went through that last week with Eastern Illinois.
Nebraska had two chances to answer down the stretch, the first drive ended with an incomplete pass on 4th-and-7 at the NIU 33 with 5:31 left.
Lee then capped off a six-play, 63-yard drive on Nebraska's next possession with a one-yard touchdown run to put Nebraska up 17-14.
Later in the quarter, Jawuan Johnson picked off another Lee pass and scampered 25 yards into the end zone to give the Huskies a 14-0 lead with 1:13 left in the quarter. A blueblood program writes a big check to an FCS or Group of Five conference school (often both in the same season) to visit one of the game's great cathedrals for what will likely be an easy blowout victory for the home team. The senior recorded his second career interception return for a touchdown.
Based on this start, Nebraska doesn't look to be a competitor in the Big Ten this season. 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.
Lee finished the game 25-of-47 with 299 yards passing and three interceptions.
It is the second time in three seasons under Riley that the Huskers have lost two of their first three games.
Nebraska played its worst half of football in the first 15 minutes. The Huskies went into the half with a 14-0 lead. Against the Ducks, Nebraska rallied within seven points. Bryant averaged 149.5 yards in the first two games.
Ketter said that the friendships he has made as a Husker football player have stood out to him. The Huskers, who were just 2 of 14 on third-down conversions last week, were 6 of 19 against NIU - but twice they dropped passes that would have produced first downs. They allowed a combined 1,063 yards to Arkansas State and OR and this week rank 119th in scoring defense, 123rd in total defense and 129th against the pass.