CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Wes Lunt hit Geronimo Allison with a 1-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the game to lead Illinois past Nebraska on Saturday, 14-13.
Illinois (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) trailed by 10 at the half and never led until placekicker Taylor Zalewski, who missed two first-half field goals, converted the extra point.READ MORE: First Illinois Case Of Omicron COVID-19 Variant Confirmed In Chicago Resident
Lunt finished the day 23-of-45 for 251 yards and two touchdowns, the first a 22-yarder to Marchie Murdock early in the final quarter.
Allison caught eight passes for 91 yards and the winning touchdown.
Nebraska (2-3, 0-1 Big Ten) led 10-0 at the half.
Backup Nebraska running back Devine Ozigbo led the Cornhuskers with 70 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.
The win was Illinois’ first against Nebraska since 1924.
Illinois’ defense kept the Illini the game.
Nebraska managed just 292 total yards. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. finished the day 10-31 for 105 yards and an interception.
And the Illinois defense stopped the Cornhuskers on a fourth-and-7 at the Illini 27 yard-line with 51 seconds to play, giving Lunt one last shot.
The junior led Illinois up the field and to the Nebraska 7. On three straight plays, Lunt went to Allison on the right side of the Nebraska end zone. Twice Allison caught the ball out of bounds.
But twice Nebraska defensive backs also interfered with Allison, moving the ball to the 1.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Testifies Osundairo Brothers Asked For $2 Million To Say They Weren't Involved In Any Hoax
Then Lunt finally found his target, hitting the senior receiver low and just inside the end zone.
Allison, on his knees, raised his arms and looked to the sky. On the sideline, Lunt ran straight into a hug from interim coach Bill Cubit.
The celebration appeared to be as much relief as anything.
For much of the first half, the upper hand was there for Illinois to take.
The Cornhuskers stumbled to three three-and-outs to and a fumbled punt on their first four possessions.
The Illini could move the ball, but only until they neared the end zone.
Three trips into the Nebraska red zone produced the two missed field goals, from 51 and 41 yards, and a failed fourth-down attempt at the Cornhusker 13. And the half’s final play ended with Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s 48-yard run to the Nebraska 12, putting a fourth empty trip inside the Husker 20 yard-line on the stat sheet.
In the meantime, Nebraska found a way to scratch out 10 first-half points.
Ozigbo rumbled 19 yards around the right side of Illinois’ defense with 12:35 left in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Then, late in the quarter, Armstrong hit Cethan Carter for a 55-yard pass down the right sideline that set up a 39-yard Drew Brown field goal. With 11 seconds to play, Nebraska was up 10-0.MORE NEWS: Caught On Video: Semi-Trailer Truck Driver Knocks Down Road Sign, Plows Into Multiple Cars On Southwest Side
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