LINCOLN - In front of a crowd of 85,946 fans on a beautiful sunny day at Memorial Stadium, the Nebraska football team hosted its annual Red-White Spring Game on Saturday and the Red Team prevailed with a 24-13 win.
Saturday marked the second straight year that Nebraska has had over 85,000 fans for its Spring Game after a record 86,818 fans attend last year’s event.
Offensively, five quarterbacks saw the field and with sophomores Adrian Martinez (110) and Noah Vedral (144) each throwing for over 100 yards. Jaylin Bradley led all rushers with 57 yards on 12 carries while Brody Belt was close behind with 53 yards on 13 carries. Miles Jones, Todd Honas, Wyatt Mazour and Bradley each caught three passes, while Kade Warner led all receivers with 58 yards.
The Red squad opened the scoring on the first drive of the game, marching 75 yards over eight plays. A 3rd-and-10 conversion covered most of the yards with Martinez finding Warner for a 57-yard completion. Three plays later Martinez ran up the middle six yards for a touchdown.
The teams traded possessions before the White team got on the board with a 27-yard field goal from Barret Pickering. The kick came after six plays covered 43 yards, including a 22-yard pass to Miles Jones and an 11-yard pass to Katerian LeGrone, both from Andrew Bunch.
With 1:20 left in the first quarter the White defense posted a fourth-down stop on its own eight-yard line, but then quickly gave the ball back to the Red squad with the game’s first turnover. Marquel Dismuke stepped in front of a pass from Bunch and returned it to the 18-yard line. Two plays later Martinez found Jaron Woodyard streaking across the back of the endzone for 21 yards and the Red took a 14-3 lead.
Two drives later freshman Luke McCaffrey took over at quarterback for the White team and led a 11-play drive that covered 50 yards. They entered the red zone, but were unable to get into the endzone, instead settling for a 33-yard field goal from Pickering.
With its lead cut to 14-6, the Red squad posted its third touchdown of the first half. Vedral methodically marched the offense down the field and Mazour capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive, with a one-yard touchdown.
The Red defense forced a quick 3-and-out and got the ball back for its offense at its own 33-yard line with 55 second left in the half. Vedral moved the team across midfield and Pickering buried a 45-yard field goal as time expired to put the Red up 24-6 into halftime.
With a running clock in the second half, redshirt freshman Matt Masker took over late in the third quarter and led the White team to its first touchdown of the game. On 3rd-and-5 at his own 45, Masker hit Wyatt Liewer for a 55-yard touchdown and after a PAT from Pickering the White cut the Red lead to 24-13.
The White team notched its second turnover of the second half when Chad Alioth Jr. picked off a McCaffrey pass with 6:03 left in the game, while earlier in the half Jordan Paul intercepted Vedral. Unfortunately neither time the White offense was able to covert the turnover into point.
The White team touchdown was the lone score in the quick second half and the Red team held on for a 24-13 win.
The Huskers open the 2019 season on Saturday, Aug. 31, when they host South Alabama at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska will hit the road for week two with a visit to Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 7, before wrapping up non-conference play at home on Saturday, Sept. 14, against Northern Illinois. The Huskers open Big Ten play on the road at Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 21.