Rebels rally, snap 40-year Husker streak
Nebraska couldn’t hold a 10-point lead as the Huskers’ season ended with a 27-23 loss to Ole Miss in the Independence Bowl.
The Huskers managed just 97 yards of offense in the second half as the Rebels stormed back for the win. With a final 7-7 record, Nebraska saw its streak of winning seasons end at 40.
Nebraska jumped to a 10-0 lead when Jammal Lord found tight end Matt Herian for a 41-yard scoring strike 1:22 into the second quarter.
Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning cut the lead to 10-7 with an 11-yard TD pass to Kerry Johnson midway through the second quarter before the Huskers’ DeJuan Groce broke a punt return for a 60-yard score to put the Nebraska back up by 10. It was Groce’s fourth punt-return TD of the season, tying an NCAA record.
Ole Miss came right back, driving 88 yards in 71 seconds to put the Rebels within 17-14 at the half.
In the second half, the teams exchanged field goals before a failed fake punt by the Huskers gave Ole Miss the ball at the NU 35. Four plays later, Toward Sanford’s 1-yard scoring run gave the Rebels a 24-20 lead.
The Huskers cut the deficit to 24-23 on a Josh Brown field goal, but the Rebels got some breathing room with a field goal of their own with 4:39 left.
Nebraska had two more possessions but failed to mount a threat. The game ended with Ole Miss intercepting Lord’s deep desperation pass at the Rebels’ 15.