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Northwestern beats Nebraska 31-28 in Week 0 opener, Scott Frost’s seat gets hotter

The Wildcats erased two 11-point deficits to defeat the Cornhuskers in Ireland. Is Scott Frost’s job in jeopardy?

Northwestern Wildcats v Nebraska Cornhuskers - Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2022 Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Nebraska lost a close game.

The Northwestern Wildcats pulled ahead late to defeat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 31-28 in their Week 0 opener overseas in Dublin, Ireland. The Cornhuskers tried to orchestrate a game-winning drive late, but a Casey Thompson pass bounced off the hands of Wyatt Liewer and into the arms of Xander Mueller for a game-sealing pick.

Head coach Scott Frost has been identified as the biggest coach on the hot seat heading into the 2022 season and is coming off a 2021 campaign where all nine of their losses came by single digits. Saturday’s loss to a Wildcats team that also went 3-9 last year doesn’t bode well for his tenure at his alma mater, especially considering that they had manageable leads multiple times during the contest.

The Huskers’ offense looked efficient right out the gate as transfer quarterback Casey Thompson led the team on a pair of touchdown drives to take a 14-3 lead. However, things would stall out in the second quarter as their next three drives resulted in a fumble, a punt, and a missed field goal. Meanwhile, it took the Wildcats’ offense a little bit to get revved up, but they were able to get things going late in the second quarter. Transfer quarterback Ryan Hilinski matched the team down the field on a 13-play, 82-yard drive and connected with Donny Navarro III on a six-yard touchdown with 25 seconds left in the half to take the lead.

Nebraska came back out hot in the second half and re-took the lead off an Anthony Grant touchdown. After recovering a Wildcats fumble, Grant broke off a 46-yard touchdown to put them up by 11 once again. Northwestern responded in kind by driving down the field and setting up a three-yard Cam Porter score to make the game 28-24.

At the start of the fourth, Wildcat defensive back Cameron Mitchell picked off Thompson to set his team up at around midfield. The Peter Skoronki-led offensive line would clear the paths and open the door for Evan Hull to punch in a four-yard score to help the Wildcats retake the lead.

With just over two minutes remaining, a Wildcats punt pinned the Cornhuskers on their own four. Trying to drive the length of the field, the tipped interception sealed the deal for the Purple and White.

Nebraska closed as a 12.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.