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updated: 11/4/2017 6:59 PM

Northwestern wins again in overtime, 31-24 over Nebraska

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  • Northwestern players including running back Corey Acker, center, celebrate with fans their 31-24 win over Nebraska in overtime in an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Northwestern players including running back Corey Acker, center, celebrate with fans their 31-24 win over Nebraska in overtime in an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) scores the go-ahead touchdown behind offensive lineman Rashawn Slater (70), during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northwestern won 31-24 in overtime.

    Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) scores the go-ahead touchdown behind offensive lineman Rashawn Slater (70), during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northwestern won 31-24 in overtime.
    Associated Press

  • Nebraska's Joshua Kalu, top center, Northwestern's Bennett Skowronek (88) and others leap but cannot catch a Hail-Mary throw by Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (13), in the final seconds of the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northwestern won 31-24 in overtime.

    Nebraska's Joshua Kalu, top center, Northwestern's Bennett Skowronek (88) and others leap but cannot catch a Hail-Mary throw by Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (13), in the final seconds of the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northwestern won 31-24 in overtime.
    Associated Press

  • Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater (70) gestures touchdown as quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northwestern won 31-24 in overtime.

    Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater (70) gestures touchdown as quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northwestern won 31-24 in overtime.
    Associated Press

  • Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (13) looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (13) looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) throws as offensive lineman Brad North (69) blocks Nebraska defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg (44) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) throws as offensive lineman Brad North (69) blocks Nebraska defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg (44) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Northwestern running back Justin Jackson (21) scores a touchdown as he is tackled by Nebraska defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg (44) as defensive back Marquel Dismuke (19) runs left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Northwestern running back Justin Jackson (21) scores a touchdown as he is tackled by Nebraska defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg (44) as defensive back Marquel Dismuke (19) runs left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Nebraska defensive back Joshua Kalu (46) intercepts a throw by Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Nebraska defensive back Joshua Kalu (46) intercepts a throw by Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Northwestern players celebrate with running back Jeremy Larkin (28) after he scored a touchdown against Nebraska during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Northwestern players celebrate with running back Jeremy Larkin (28) after he scored a touchdown against Nebraska during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

  • Nebraska head coach Mike Riley, right, and Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald chat before an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

    Nebraska head coach Mike Riley, right, and Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald chat before an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
    Associated Press

 
 

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Northwestern has no problem working overtime. None at all, it seems.

The Wildcats' 31-24 victory over Nebraska on Saturday made them the first Football Bowl Subdivision program in history to play three consecutive games that have gone to overtime and win them all.

"I definitely think it's our mentality going in," linebacker Paddy Fisher said. "You get to play some more football. There's nothing better than that. You just take it up another notch."

Northwestern had the ball first in overtime for the third straight game, and Thorson sneaked into the end zone on fourth-and-1 for the go-ahead touchdown. The Wildcats' defense came up with a big sack and pass breakup to give them their fourth straight win after an 0-2 start in Big Ten play.

Northwestern (6-3, 4-2), which became bowl eligible for a third straight year, came to Lincoln off a 39-31 triple-overtime win at Michigan State. The week before the Wildcats beat Iowa 17-10 in overtime at home.

"I think our guys have some confidence in tight games," coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "To see the look in their eye in overtime - we're going to win the game."

Northwestern scored the tying touchdown with 5:32 left in the fourth quarter, and Thorson's pass to the end zone was broken up on the final play of regulation.

In overtime, the Cornhuskers (4-5, 3-3) kept Thorson out of the end zone on third-and-goal from the 1. Northwestern chose to go for the touchdown rather than kick a field goal, and Thorson got into the end zone on the next play with a push from Trey Pugh.

On Nebraska's possession, freshman defensive tackle Samdup Miller sacked Tanner Lee on second down for a 10-yard loss. After Lee hit Tyler Hoppes for 8 yards to set up a fourth-and-12, Kyle Queiro broke up a pass intended for JD Spielman to end the game.

"We're obviously disappointed in our finish," Nebraska coach Mike Riley said. "It felt like there had been some good football and then it felt deflated right through and into the overtime. The defense did their best after giving up some yardage early in the overtime to keep them out. It went to fourth down and we didn't quite get it done."

THE TAKEAWAY

Northwestern: The Wildcats, who have won three of four meetings in Lincoln since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011, took sole possession of second place in the Big Ten West.

Nebraska: Lee had shaken off the interception bug the last month, but his three picks against Northwestern gives him 13 for the season.

ACTION JACKSON

Northwestern's Justin Jackson scored on a 17-yard run in the first quarter, his school-record 39th career touchdown. He ran 31 times for 154 yards and has 798 yards in nine games. He has three games and a bowl to get the 202 yards he needs to hit 1,000 for a fourth straight year.

"The line was working," he said. "I think they did a great job. Credit goes to them, man. They've been working the last month, month and a half, getting better every single day. You're seeing that on the field."

QUITE A DAY, QUEIRO

Northwestern's Queiro intercepted two passes, broke up three and finished with six tackles. Queiro tipped away a deep ball intended for JD Spielman that probably would have gone for a touchdown, and he had the breakup on the game's final play.

"Not to be corny, but I thought I left some plays on the field," Queiro said. "On the same note, I was fortunate to make those plays. The coaches put me in the right position."

BROWN PASSES BROTHER

Nebraska's Drew Brown kicked a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter for the 58th of his career. He passed his brother, Kris (1995-98), for second place on the school field-goal chart.

UP NEXT

Northwestern hosts Purdue on Saturday.

Nebraska visits Minnesota on Saturday.

___

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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