No. 16 Bruins rally to beat No. 23 Huskers 41-21
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LINCOLN, Neb. — Brett Hundley threw three touchdown passes in the third quarter and No. 16 UCLA came back from an 18-point deficit to defeat No. 23 Nebraska 41-21 in a monumental Cornhusker collapse at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Huskers (2-1), wearing alternate black jerseys instead of their traditional home red, looked to be in total control the first half.
Then they couldn't stop Hundley and a UCLA offense that gained 653 yards while beating them a year ago at the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins (2-0) scored 35 unanswered points in 16 minutes. The barrage started with Paul Perkins' 10-yard touchdown run to cut Nebraska's lead to 21-10 at the half.
Jordon James scored from 3 yards before Hundley threw TD passes of 28 yards to Shaquelle Evans, 12 yards to Phillip Ruhl and 3 yards to Nate Iese.
Nebraska's defense, which has struggled in the biggest games in the past year, allowed 236 yards in the third quarter and 504 for the game.
The Huskers still looked as if they had some life in them when trailing 38-21, they moved from their 25 to the UCLA 12 early in the fourth quarter.
But Ameer Abdullah fumbled at the 6 after getting hit by linebacker Anthony Barr, who had 11 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Nebraska generated more than 19 yards on just two of its last 10 possessions and had only 130 of its 326 yards after halftime.
Hundley completed 16 of 25 passes for 294 yards, with one interception. Jordon James ran 22 times for 105 yards and a TD.
Taylor Martinez was 21 of 35 for 203 yards and three touchdowns, and Abdullah had 98 yards on 23 carries for the Huskers.
According to STATS, the 18 points marked the biggest deficit overcome by a Nebraska opponent in Lincoln since at least 1996. Neither STATS nor Nebraska sports information officials had records available prior to 1996.
Washington rallied from 12 points down to beat the Huskers in 1991 and Colorado came back from 12 points down to win in 1990, but those games can't compare to what occurred Saturday.
The Huskers led 21-10 at half after converting two UCLA mistakes into touchdowns and had a long drive for another TD.
Martinez and Quincy Enunwa connected for TDs on two straight possessions. The first, an 11-yarder, came after Stanley Jean-Baptiste returned his third interception of the season 34 yards to the UCLA 28.
The next one, a 14-yarder, came at the end of a 92-yard drive. Nebraska made it 21-3 after UCLA punter Sean Covington mishandled a snap and took a 12-yard loss to the Bruins 26. Two plays later, Martinez floated a 22-yard pass to Kenny Bell in the corner of the end zone.
Hundley kept alive the Bruins' lone touchdown drive of the half when he scrambled for 13 yards on a third-and-12. He passed 32 yards to Devin Fuller on the next play, and Perkins went 10 yards up the middle to make it an 11-point game.
The Bruins wore No. 36 patches on their jerseys in memory of receiver Nick Pasquale, who was killed last Sunday when a vehicle struck him while he was walking in his hometown of San Clemente, Calif. The Huskers wore No. 36 decals on their helmets, and there was a moment of silence for Pasquale before the game.
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