LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Tommy Armstrong Jr. scored on a 34-yard quarterback draw with 2:29 left, the Nebraska defense held on Oregon’s final series and the Cornhuskers beat the No. 22 Ducks 35-32 on Saturday.
Armstrong converted a fourth-and-9 with a 14-yard pass to Jordan Westerkamp before taking off on his winning run for the Huskers (3-0).
The Ducks, playing without star running back Royce Freeman since early in the game, made it to midfield on their last possession, failing to convert on fourth down.
Armstrong finished with 95 yards rushing, and completed 17 of 33 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Devine Ozigbo also ran for 95 yards.
Kani Benoit rushed six times for 100 yards to lead the Ducks (2-1), and Dakota Prukop passed for 146 yards and ran for 87.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley, who was 0-7 against Ducks from 2008-14, his last seven years as Oregon State’s coach, downplayed the personal satisfaction he got from beating his old nemesis.
“What it means right this moment is a lot. We’re 3-0 going into the Big Ten,” Riley said. “What this team is doing, I love the fight, just the the fact we kept our poise so well to come back and make the plays to win.”
Prukop led a 10-play, 97-yard drive to put the Ducks ahead 32-28 after they had surrendered a 20-7 second-quarter lead. Prukop busted a 22-yard run and Benoit a 46-yarder and Prukop hit Darren Carrington to convert a third-and-12 before Tony Brooks-James scored from the 1.
Freeman went out of the game on the Ducks’ second possession after running five times for 31 yards.
OREGON: The Ducks, who allowed 193 yards rushing and 4.8 a carry against Virginia last week, had trouble stopping the run in the second half. They also played another undisciplined game, getting penalized 13 times for 126 yards.
“We need to manage situations better,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. “Obviously, the penalties killed us. It’s a tough one to swallow.”
NEBRASKA: The Huskers made a good start to getting back on the national radar, turning up their running game in the second half and getting a poised performance from Armstrong.
OREGON: The Ducks open Pac-12 play at home against Colorado. Oregon has outscored the Buffaloes 52-15 while beating them five years in a row, but this year’s Colorado team looks better than recent ones.
NEBRASKA: The Huskers play their Big Ten opener on the road against Northwestern, which beat them 30-28 in Lincoln last year.