Huskers conclude road slate with loss to Penn State, 44-56

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Saquon Barkley broke Penn State's career touchdown record with three scores and had 208 of 224 total yards in the first half to lead the No. 13 Nittany Lions to a 56-44 victory over Nebraska on Saturday night.

Barkley passed Lydell Mitchell for the record with his 39th touchdown.

Trace McSorley ran for a touchdown and threw for 325 yards on 24-of-36 passing with three touchdown passes for Penn State (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten). Mike Gesicki caught two scoring passes and became Penn State's career touchdowns leader by a tight end with 13, and DeAndre Thompkins also had a touchdown catch.

Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens added a touchdown pass to tight end Nick Bowers to help the Nittany Lions go unbeaten at Beaver Stadium for the second straight season.

Nebraska's Tanner Lee returned from concussion protocol to complete 26 of 41 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns.

Morgan Stanley Jr. caught seven passes for 185 yards and a touchdown for Nebraska (4-7, 3-5) . De'Mornay Pierson-El and Jack Stoll added touchdown catches for the Cornhuskers, who outscored Penn State 34-14 in the second half after trailing 42-10 at halftime.

Devine Ozigbo and MIkale Wilbon ran for touchdowns and Drew Brown added a 23-yard field goal for the Cornhuskers. They will miss out on a bowl game for the first time since the 2007 season.

It didn't take Barkley long to snap out of a recent rushing funk. The Heisman Trophy candidate broke his streak of three games with 63 rushing yards or less when he galloped 65 yards down the sideline on his first carry.

Barkley gave Penn State the lead for good with a 1-yard plunge late in the first quarter to make it 14-10 and passed Mitchell on an 8-yard run up the middle in the second.

Nebraska took advantage of two short fields to pull ahead 10-7 early.

The Cornhuskers recovered a punt that hit a Penn State player and Brown made a short field goal eight plays later. A shanked Blake Gillikin punt gave the Cornhuskers the ball in Penn State territory again and Ozigbo capped a short drive with a 1-yard scoring run that gave Nebraska a 10-7 lead with 6:17 to play in the first.

Nebraska managed just seven yards of offense the rest of the half and went 3-and-out six times, with five in a row to end the half.

Nebraska: The loss knocked the Cornhuskers out of bowl contention and speculation about head coach Mike Riley's job security will likely ramp up in the coming days. Nebraska has lost five of six and allowed a combined 235 points in those defeats.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions got a confidence boost for what had become a one-dimensional offense lately and delivered a big blow in the series. Their 56 points are the most a Penn State team has put on a Nebraska squad ever, surpassing a 40-7 win in 2002.

Nebraska hosts Iowa on Saturday.
Penn State travels to Maryland on Saturday.

50 –– Senior place-kicker Drew Brown made his 50th career start in today’s game. Brown is the fourth Husker in school history to make 50 career starts, joining Alex Henery, Ralph Brown and his brother, Kris Brown, in the 50-start club. Brown connected on a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter, marking his 17th consecutive made field goal away from Lincoln. Brown has 59 career field goals and 353 career points.

5 –– Junior receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. had seven receptions for a career-high 185 yards in the game, the second-highest receiving game in school history, trailing only JD Spielman’s 200 receiving yards against Ohio State earlier this season. The 185 receiving yards marked Morgan’s fifth 100-yard receiving game of 2017, setting a Nebraska season record. The previous record of four 100-yard receiving games had been accomplished six times by five players. His previous career yardage high was 115 yards vs. Wisconsin earlier this season.

With his seven receptions, Morgan has 54 this season to rank eighth on the NU single-season catch list. He also moved up to eighth on the Nebraska career receptions list with 112 catches. Morgan increased his season receiving yardage total to 912 moving him up to No. 4 on the NU single-season yardage list, and 30 yards from the NU single-season record of 942 yards. Morgan also moved up three spots to sixth on the Nebraska career receiving yards list with 1,169 career yards, passing Quincy Enunwa, Niles Paul and Todd Peterson in the game.

6 –– Redshirt freshman JD Spielman had six receptions in the game, giving him 55 receptions this season, extending his own freshman record for receptions. Spielman’s 55 receptions rank in a tie for sixth overall on the NU single-season chart. With 830 receiving yards this season, Spielman ranks seventh on Nebraska’s single-season list.

800 ––Morgan(912) and Spielman (830) have both eclipsed 800 receiving yards this season, marking the first time in school history Nebraska has had a pair of 800-yard receivers in the same season.

399 & 2,938 –– Junior quarterback Tanner Lee threw for 399 yards in the game, the eighth-highest total in school history. Lee now has 2,938 passing yards this season, marking the most passing yards ever for a first-year Husker. His passing yardage total ranks fourth overall on the single-season list. Lee needs 62 passing yards in next week’s season finale to post the fourth 3,000-yard passing season in school history.

Other Notes
· Redshirt freshman Collin Miller recovered a first-quarter Nittany Lion fumble. The fumble recovery was the first for Nebraska since the Northern Illinois game.
· Senior tight end Tyler Hoppes had six catches for 43 yards. Hoppes has 30 receptions this season, two catches shy of the NU tight end record of 32 catches by Mike McNeill in 2008.
· Senior linebacker Chris Weber had six tackles. Weber needs 12 tackles in next week’s season finale against Iowa to post the first 100-tackle season for a Husker since Zaire Anderson had 103 tackles in 2014.
· Junior linebacker Dedrick Young had four tackles in the game to push his career total to 193. He is seven tackles from becoming the 36th Husker with 200 career tackles.
· Senior linebacker Marcus Newby had a career-high-tying 10 tackles, matching his 10 tackles against Northwestern and Oregon earlier this season. Newby passed the 100-career tackle mark in today’s game.