Northwestern-Nebraska grades: Huskers have no answer for Dean Lowry
Here are the top takeaways and the highest graded players from Northwestern’s 30-28 win against Nebraska.
– QB Tommy Armstrong (+5.3) got off to a bad start that was highlighted by an absolutely abysmal interception that Nick VanHoose (+4.7) returned for six. It was all uphill after that pick, though. Armstrong made a slew of nice throws (including a 3rd-and-16 dagger he tossed on the run after escaping pressure) to lead Nebraska downfield for a touchdown right before half; he followed it up with a strong second half performance. It wasn’t his best game of the season, but he bounced back nicely from that early interception to put Nebraska in a position to win.
– It’s been an up and down year for LT Alex Lewis (-3.7), who had one of his worst games of the season on Saturday after having one of his better games of the season last week in Minnesota. Lewis didn’t have a great day as a run blocker (-0.9), but where he really hurt Nebraska was in pass protection (-3.1), where he allowed seven total pressures.
– LB Josh Banderas (+1.7) has posted positive grades in each of the last two weeks now, after he missed the previous three games with a groin injury. He struggled in coverage (-2.1), where he allowed all four of his targets to be caught (39 of the 50 yards he surrendered came after the catch). Banderas was great against the run (+2.5), though, leading Nebraska’s defense with five stops.
QB Tommy Armstrong (+5.3)
RG Chongo Kondolo (+2.8)
DT Greg McMullen (+1.8)
RT Zach Sterup (+1.8)
WR Brandon Reilly (+1.8)
– QB Clayton Thorson (+3.1) had an average day through the air (0.0), but offensively, he single-handedly kept Northwestern alive in the first half with just two runs (+3.0 rushing grade). The first was a 68-yard scramble that set up Northwestern’s first touchdown three plays later (a QB sneak by Thorson); the second, a 49-yard scramble with under 30 seconds to go in the second quarter, allowing the Wildcats to kick a field goal to close out the half.
– On the other side of the football, Nebraska had no answer for DE Dean Lowry (+7.2). Lowry dominated in all facets on Saturday. He received a +2.8 grade as a pass rusher, thanks to five total pressures, including two sacks; he had a +4.2 grade in run defense, and he even batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage. Lowry has now received an overall grade of +7.0 or better in two of his last four games.
– CB Nick VanHoose (+4.7) had his first negative performance of the season last week against Iowa, but he followed it up with his best game of the season in Nebraska. VanHoose was targeted 12 times and he allowed just four catches to go with an interception (that he returned for a touchdown) along with two additional pass defenses.
DE Dean Lowry (+7.2)
CB Nick VanHoose (+4.7)
LB Anthony Walker (+4.6)
DE Deonte Gibson (+3.3)
QB Clayton Thorson (+3.1)