Nebraska 24
Pittsburgh 17

Sept. 18, 2004 • 11:10 a.m. Central
Heinz Field •Pittsburgh, PA • ABC
1st2nd3rd4th F 

Embed from Getty Images

1st quarter
NEB: S.DeAngelis 26 field goal, 7:16
NEB: C.Ross 2 run (S.DeAngelis kick) 1:07
PIT: M.Furman 96 kickoff return (J.Cummings kick) 0:52
2nd quarter
NEB: R.Pilkington 6 pass from J.Dailey (S.DeAngelis kick) 12:22
NEB: J.Dailey 17 run (S.DeAngelis kick) 5:46
PIT: J.Cummings 38 field goal 0:04
4th quarter
PIT: G.Lee 34 pass from T.Palko (J.Cummings kick) 4:45

                             NEB      PIT
FIRST DOWNS.................. 15       15
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)....... 43-123    25-30
PASSING YDS (NET)........... 142      228
  Att-Comp-Int.......... 23-11-1  45-22-3
TOTAL OFFENSE ........... 66-265   70-258
Fumble Returns-Yards........ 0-0      0-0
Punt Returns-Yards.......... 1-8     6-20
Kickoff Returns-Yards...... 3-64    4-139
Int. Returns-Yards......... 3-61      1-5
Punts (Number-Avg)....... 9-38.8   7-43.6
Fumbles-Lost................ 1-0      2-1
Penalties-Yards............ 8-60    11-60
Possession Time........... 32:14    27:46
Third-Down Conv. .......... 3/14     8/18
Fourth-Down Conv. ......... 0/1       2/3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances..... 4-5      0-1
Sacks By: Number-Yards..... 3-23     2-10

NEB: C.Ross 24-73; T.Green 5-24; J.Dailey 8-14; D.Horne 6-12.

PIT: R.Kirkley 13-23; T.Murphy 2-9; M.Furman 1-3; T.Palko 7-0; J.Flacco 2-minus 5.

NEB: J.Dailey 11-22-1-142; K.Huston 0-1-0-0.
PIT: T.Palko 22-45-3-228; J.Flacco 0-0-0-0.

NEB: R.Pilkington 5-81; M.Herian 2-26; M.LeFlore 2-13; G.Mulkey 1-18; S.Kriewald 1-4.

PIT: G.Lee 6-98; J.Delsardo 4-38; M.Furman 3-4; R.Kirkley 3-5; D.Strong 2-40; K.Chandler 2-31; E.Gill 2-12.

Attendance: 40,133

Embed from Getty Images


Stats & Recap
Complete Stats

Huskers hold off late Pitt rally

Nebraska’s Blackshirts played dominant defense and the offense played turnover-free football for 55 minutes to build a 24-7 lead before the Huskers survived a furious Pittsburgh rally in the final five minutes to escape from Heinz Field with a 24-17 victory.

After cruising to a 24-7 lead and maintaining a 24-10 lead with five minutes left and the ball in the fourth quarter, the Huskers made their first major mistake of the day when Joe Dailey’s pass was intercepted by H.B. Blades at midfield. The Panthers capitalized on the next play with a 46-yard touchdown strike from Tyler Palko to Greg Lee to cut NU’s lead to 24-17 with 4:44 remaining.

The Huskers maintained a seven-point lead after picking up a crucial first down thanks to a pass interference penalty on third-and-long to leave Pittsburgh with just 1:18 to play and 76 yards of field to cover in order to send the game to overtime.

The Blackshirts appeared to have the game locked up, but miraculous conversions, including a fourth-down-and-10 pass that appeared initially to be intercepted by Daniel Bullocks but was instead caught by Darrell Strong for a 31-yard gain, put Pittsburgh on the NU 15-yard line with six seconds left in the game.

On the game’s final play, Palko was forced out of the pocket and dropped back nearly to the 30-yard line before lofting a desperation jump ball into a horde of Pittsburgh receivers and NU defenders. The ball was batted to the ground to secure the Nebraska win.

Omaha World-Herald
Lincoln Journal Star
More Neb. Sources
More Sources
Pregame & team info
2004 schedule
04/17Red 35, White 6
09/04W. IllinoisW 56-17
09/11S. MissL 17-21
09/18@ PittsburghW 24-17
10/02KansasW 14-8
10/09@ Texas TechL 10-70
10/16BaylorW 59-27
10/23@ Kansas St.L 21-45
10/30MissouriW 24-3
11/06@ Iowa St.L 27-34
11/13@ OklahomaL 3-30
11/26ColoradoL 20-26
Ross Pilkington absorbs a hit


Colonel Mustard

This game was not a step forward — we just survived.


They had to stick their fingers in the dike to avert a disaster. No wonder Callahan, though pleased to emerge dry, tempered his enthusiasm.

Lincoln Journal Star

If nothing else, Callahan had to be pleased with the way the Huskers responded in adversity.

Grand Island Independent

It's too early to say this is a great Nebraska defense. Pittsburgh and Southern Miss aren't world-beaters on offense. But this defense is very good.

Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska had about 20 chances to land a knockout blow against Pittsburgh. And until that last play of the game, the Huskers went 0 for 19.

Daily Nebraskan

The opponent was Nebraska, one of the blue bloods of college football but, fortuitously, on a downswing and ready for the taking. Too bad Tyler Palko still wasn't ready.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
* Article may require subscription