Stillwater, Okla. - David Horne became the first Husker I-back to top 100 yards this season, but OSU quarterback Josh Fields threw for 192 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns, as the Cowboys downed Nebraska, 24-21, Saturday afternoon
Horne, a true freshman from Omaha Central, set career highs by rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, as Nebraska, which dropped to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, nearly rallied from a pair of 10-point second half deficits.
Trailing 3-0 early in the second quarter, the Huskers went 53 yards on four plays to take a 7-3 lead on Dahrran Diedrick?s two-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Jammal Lord found freshman tight end Matt Herian for a 44-yard reception to the OSU 9-yard line before Diedrick scored three plays later to give the visitors a 7-3 halftime advantage.
Herien and Horne were two of three true freshmen to provide a spark for the Husker offense, as wide receiver Mark LeFlore made his first start and opened the game with a 29-yard run on a reverse.
The Cowboys regained the lead for good on its first possession of the second half, driving 80 yards on 12 plays, as Fields scored on a bootleg from three yards out to take a 10-7 lead and added to the margin on NU?s next possession, as Greg Richond recovered a Lord fumble at the NU 40. The Cowboys, who improved to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league play, capitalized on the miscue and scored seven plays later as Fields found Rashaun Woods for a five-yard touchdown pass.
The tandom of Woods and tailback Tatum Bell caused problems for the Huskers, as Woods hauled in 11 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown, while Bell rushed for a career-high 182 yards on 32 carries, as the Cowboys toppled Nebraska for the first time since 1961.
Led by a pair of freshmen, the Huskers forced a turnover early in the fourth quarter, as Daniel Bullocks stripped Bell of the ball and Fabian Washington recovered at the OSU 49. Horne then led the Huskers on a scoring drive, carrying six times for 36 yards, including the final two yards for a score to trim the Cowboy lead to 17-14.
OSU responded on its next possession, going 80 yards on nine plays, as Fields, who completed 17-of-27 through the air, found a diving John Lewis in the back corner of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown, pushing the lead back to 24-14.
Lord, who completed 7-of-14 passes for 110 yards, while rushing for 73 yards and a score, calmly led the Huskers down the field, engineering a 10-play, 70-yards drive to close the lead to 24-21 with 2:06 remaining. He completed three consecutive passes for first downs on the series, including a pair to wingback Ben Cornelsen, before scoring from one yard.
The Huskers had a chance to send the game into overtime, but NU failed to recover the onside kick, and Bell helped the Cowboys run out the clock.
The Huskers will return to action next Saturday, Oct. 26, when NU travels to College Station, Texas to take on the Texas A&M. The game will be televised nationally by TBS beginning at 6 p.m.