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PSU-Nebraska highlights, lowlights

November 11, 2012
By Neil Rudel ( , The Altoona Mirror

LINCOLN, Neb. - Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State's 32-23 loss to Nebraska on Saturday at Memorial Stadium:

Play of the game: With Nebraska leading 27-23, Penn State tight end Matt Lehman fumbled at the Cornhuskers' goal line, and the Lions suffered a touchback with 7:39 remaining. Replays appeared to show the ball crossed the plane, but the officials did not overturn it.

Offensive player of the game: Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez rushed for 104 yards on 15 carries (a 6.9 average) and completed 12-of-20 for 171 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive player of the game: Husker safety Daimion Stafford made eight tackles, recovered a fumble and returned an interception 22 yards to set up the game-tying touchdown (20-20) in the third quarter.

Most telling statistic: Penn State fumbled twice inside the Nebraska 10.

Hidden statistic: Penn State's starting field position was its 40 in the first half (on seven possessions) and its 22 (on seven possessions) in the second half. Nebraska's was its 21 in the first half and its 44 in the second half.

Best run: Martinez deceptively took a quarterback draw 21 yards to the PSU 1 early in the third quarter, setting up the TD that pulled the Cornhuskers within 20-13.

Best pass: On third-and-goal from the Lions' 5, Martinez threaded a 5-yard touchdown to Jamal Turner that gave the Huskers their first lead (27-23) with 10:57 left in the game.

Worst pass: McGloin's interception, forced into the middle, was eerily similar to the Ohio State pick that turned that game around. Stafford returned it to the PSU 4.

Best catch: Allen Robinson went high to snag a 30-yarder up the sideline over Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the first quarter.

Catch it, will ya: Thought Brandon Moseby-Felder had a shot at a slant in the second quarter, but he appeared to hear/sense footsteps.

Hold it, won't ya: Aside from Lehman's fumble, Zack Zwinak fumbled at the Nebraska 10 with the Lions up 7-3 and driving for more.

Best block: Nit guard John Urschel blew open the hole for Zwinak's 50-yard touchdown that opened the scoring.

Best tackle: Michael Mauti stopped Martinez inside the Lions' 5 early in the fourth quarter, forcing a fumble with the Lions leading 23-20.

Best hit: With Penn State leading 17-6 in the second quarter, Martinez hit Turner over the middle on third down, but Lion corner Adrian Amos drilled Turner, forcing an incompletion and a punt.

Best kick: Nebraska punter Brett Maher boomed a 69-yarder with the wind in the fourth quarter, pinning the Lions at their own 2. The play set up an eventual safety and a 29-23 Nebraska lead.

Worst kick: Maher shanked one 16 yards, into the wind, in the second quarter.

Best call: On second-and-1 from the Nebraska 10, the Lions went to tight end Jesse James on a square out for a touchdown that extended the PSU lead to 17-6 with 2:42 left in the first half.

Worst call: Facing third-and-15 from their own 16, up 20-13, the Lions passed on a more conservative draw, and McGloin was picked.

Best effort: Sam Ficken was 3-for-3 in field goals, including a career-long 38 yarder, and has now made six straight.

Unsung hero: Nebraska's David Santos jarred the fumble on Lehman and Alonzo Whaley was credited with forcing two other fumbles.

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