Husker notes: One crazy catch puts Brandon Reilly past 1,000; Blocked punt leads to safety

Husker notes: One crazy catch puts Brandon Reilly past 1,000; Blocked punt leads to safety
Photo Courtesy: World-Herald News Service

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Brandon Reilly went over 1,000 receiving yards with a memorable catch.

The senior was battling Marcelino Ball down the right sideline in the first quarter on a long throw from Tommy Armstrong that seemed likely to fall incomplete. But as the ball was batted into the air and Reilly fell on his back, it glanced off Ball’s facemask on the way down and Reilly pulled it in with his right hand.

“I haven’t quite checked my phone yet, but I’m sure there’s some video out there of it,” he said. “It kind of fell in the right spot. I just saw it coming down, it kind of hit his head and it hadn’t hit the ground yet, so I had to go get it.”

The 45-yard completion set up a Husker touchdown that led to a 10-0 lead. It also made the former walk-on the 24th player in school history to go over 1,000 receiving yards (now at 1,020).

Block leads to safety, film study

Nebraska will have a special teams mistake to review after Indiana blocked a punt out of the end zone for a second-quarter safety.

NU faced fourth down from its 9-yard line when the Hoosiers swarmed the Husker shield and punter Caleb Lightbourn. It was the second blocked punt allowed by Nebraska in six games.

“They doubled our guys up front and they hit four guys against our three-man shield,” Lightbourn said. “I knew they were going to come at me. I got the ball off plenty quick, but we just got outnumbered up front.”

The freshman averaged 37.8 yards on his other five punts, including two that made Indiana start inside its 20.

Down 17-0, Hoosiers weren’t out

In recent seasons, Indiana has given up as many yards as its has accrued. And getting down 17-0 in those years would have been reason for finger-pointing to begin.

Safety Chase Dutra, who blocked the Nebraska punt that gave the Hoosiers their first two points Saturday, said those days are over.

“We’re not negative,” Dutra said. “We don’t do that anymore. We don’t play like that; we don’t think like that. We just continue to push; we continue to fight for 60 minutes.

“You could be beating us 17-0 if you want, but we’re going to keep fighting, clawing and scratching at that score until we get back on top.”

Indiana backup QB also shines

How Indiana’s offense moves when Zander Diamont is in and starter Richard Lagow is getting a break has the makings of a quarterback controversy.

Media questions directed at players and coach Kevin Wilson after Saturday’s loss suggest that Diamont might become the most popular guy in Bloomington, at least until basketball season begins.

“We had a couple of situations we thought Zander could be a running threat because you’re either going to throw it or you need to incorporate an extra runner,” Wilson said. “He was 5 of 7 throwing. It wasn’t like we were going … we weren’t playing Wildcat.

“He’s just a quarterback that can run a little bit more.”

Bits and pieces

» Saturday’s two interceptions give NU 11 through six games, one more than Nebraska recorded in 13 games last season.

» Senior Terrell Newby had 22 carries for 102 yards and one touchdown, marking his second straight 100-yard game and the fourth of his career.

» Junior safety Kieron Williams tied his career high with 10 tackles. He also had 10 in the season opener vs. Fresno State.

» Tommy Armstrong’s 72-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan with 9:57 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Huskers a 24-15 lead, was Nebraska’s longest play this season.

» Armstrong passed for 208 yards to push his career total to 8,050. Armstrong is the 20th player in Big Ten history to pass for 8,000 yards. He also has 560 career completions, 15 shy of Taylor Martinez’s school record.