It's the kind of game-ending play that could turn around a mediocre season and maybe save a coach's job. That's how some are referring to the game-winning, last-second, "Hail Mary" touchdown pass thrown by Nebraska's Ron Kellogg III in the Cornhusker's 27-24 victory over Northwestern's Wildcats on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Just a week after losing to Minnesota (something that had not happened to this team since the 1950s) and dropping out of the AP Top 25 rankings, things were not looking good for Nebraska.
With no time outs remaining, just 1:20 left in the game, the Cornhuskers struggled to move the ball from their own 17 yard line to a spot where they might kick a field goal to tie the game.
With a scant four seconds left, they had the ball across the 50 yard line, but far away for a field goal. That's when beleaguered head coach Bo Pelini called for the "Hail Mary" play.
Northwestern was expecting the play and sent seven defenders deep down the field to cover the three Nebraska receivers who would streak towards the goal line. The Cornhuskers third-string QB, a walk-on player who just received a scholarship in August, launched a 57-yard pass that flew from his own 43 to the goal line.
As the ball approached the end zone it was tipped into the air, allowing Nebraska's Jordan Westerkamp the chance to grab it, plant his feet and score the game winning touchdown.
Watch the play and the joyful reaction from the faithful Nebraska fans jammed into Memorial Stadium in Lincoln:
Most experts don't think the win will catapult Nebraska back into the top 25 on the various national polls, but it does keep the Cornhuskers in contention to win their Big Ten Legends Division title. Northwestern drops to 0-5 in the Big Ten and will likely be watching all college bowl games on television and not from the sidelines.
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