Red tops White in 24-13 Spring Game victory
In front of a nearly capacity crowd of 85,946, the second season of the Scott Frost era at Nebraska unofficially debuted during Saturday’s annual Red-White Spring Game.
Led by 111 total yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Adrian Martinez, the Red team pulled away for a 24-13 victory.
The Red team out-gained the White 389-236 in total offense, while Barret Pickering connected on all three of his field goals while kicking for both teams.
A 57-yard pass to walk-on receiver Kade Warner led to a six-yard touchdown run by Martinez on the opening drive of the day. Andrew Bunch, who started the first two drives for the White squad, connected with Miles Jones on a 22-yard completion to set up a 27-yard field goal by Pickering on the White’s second possession to make it 7-3.
Martinez got things going again towards the end of the first with a 30-yard strike to tight end Austin Allen. But Martinez was sacked by defensive end Damian Jackson on a fourth-and-goal to end the drive on downs.
The Red defense answered with a turnover of its own on the ensuing possession, though, as safety Marquel Dismuke picked off Bunch and returned it to the White 18-yard line. Martinez capitalized on it with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Woodyard, making it a 14-3 lead 10 seconds into the second quarter.
True freshman Luke McCaffrey took over under center for the White team and led an 11-play, 50-yard drive for another Pickering field goal from 33 yards out to cut the deficit to 14-6.
Quarterback Noah Vedral, who took over for Martinez early in second quarter, converted a fourth-and-six with a six-yard pass to running back Brody Belt and then Wyatt Mazour finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to push the Red lead up to 21-6 with 1:19 left in the half.
After a quick stop by the Red defense, Vedral hit walk-on Todd Honas on completions of 20 and 17 yards to march into White territory with just nine seconds left. Pickering finished it off with a 45-yard field goal as time expired to send the Red into halftime up 24-6.
Martinez completed 5-of-9 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown in his five series, while Bunch hit 10 of his first 12 attempts for 105 yards in less than a quarter of work.
Vedral’s hot start quickly got derailed on the first Red drive of the third quarter, as his pass popped out of the hands of freshman Jamie Nance, off the helmet of safety Avery Anderson, and into the arms of linebacker Jordan Paup for an interception.
Bunch and the White offense couldn’t do anything with the turnover, though, and it wouldn’t be until the 2:08 mark of the third quarter when the game’s next and final points were scored on a beautiful 55-yard touchdown pass from Matt Masker to Wyatt Liewer to make it 24-13.
Bunch ended the day 9-of-21 passing for 80 yards and an interception, while Masker completed 3-of-8 attempts for 61 yards and his touchdown. Vedral led the Red with a game-high 144 passing yards on a 13-of-19 clip, while McCaffrey went a combined 3-of-13 through the air while getting reps on both the Red and White squads.
Jaylin Bradley rushed for a game-high 57 yards on 12 carries for the Whites, while Belt led the Red with 13 rushes for 53 yards.
On defense, Quayshon Alexander and Reid Karel had a game-high seven tackles, while Jackson had five stops and two sacks for the White team. Mohamed Barry led the Red with six tackles, while Alex Davis also had two sacks.