IL drops game against Nebraska, moves to 4-6 on the season

Illinois Football: 3 observations from the Illini loss to Nebraska

Illinois Football: 3 observations from the Illini loss to Nebraska

Nebraska football advanced to three and seven for the season after a decisive victory over IL on Saturday.

The muffed punts by Carlos Sandy and Jordan Holmes in the second quarter led to a field goal and touchdown for the Huskers.

Cornhuskers freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 55 yards and a score, and Devine Ozigbo rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns with career-best scoring runs of 66 and 60 yards. They weren't able to get any points in the third quarter, while Nebraska scored seven.

Nebraska finished with 606 total yards, including 316 on the ground.

The first quarter of the game was exciting as Nebraska scored three touchdowns and IL scored two.

Two weeks after Maryland gashed the Illini for seven offensive touchdowns of at least 25 yards, the Huskers had four scores of 30-plus yards: Ozigbo's two long runs and first-quarter passes from Martinez to Stanley Morgan Jr. of 37 and 32 yards.

The Illini came right back with an eight-play, 76-yard charge of their own, tying it up on Bush's second touchdown run of the day from eight yards out.

It was the fifth loss out of six in which the Illini (4-6, 2-5 Big Ten) gave up at least 45 points while allowing opposing players to look like Heisman Trophy candidates.

In addition to the muffed punts, IL had a punt blocked for a safety in the fourth quarter. To get back to the postseason, IL needs to close with wins against Iowa and Northwestern.

IL was the first to slip up offensively, and Nebraska took full advantage to extend the lead.

Nebraska forced its fourth turnover of the game on Illinois' opening drive of the third quarter when safety Aaron Williams hauled in a dropped Bush pass for an interception.

When Illinois went to the receiving game, the team's pass-catchers couldn't hold onto the ball. The final horn sounded, and the score showed 54-35 in favor of Nebraska.