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Nebraska vs. Northwestern 2012: Wildcats offense and defense falter in loss

The Northwestern Wildcats allowed two late touchdowns and surrendered a 12-point fourth quarter lead as they lost to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, 29-28.

The Nebraska offense, led by quarterback Taylor Martinez, finished the day with 543 total yards. Martinez was 27-of-39 for 342 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Ameer Abdullah rushed 19 times for 101 yards.

SB Nation's Northwestern blog, Sippin' on Purple, writes that as porous as the defense was, the blame for Saturday's loss rests squarely on the offense:

Odd as it is to say after giving up 543 yards, I don't blame the defense much in this game. They dropped two potential interceptions in the final quarter, but they also held an offense scoring over 40 points per game under 30 and came up with a fumble recovery.

The offense, on the other hand, once again couldn't stay on the field. Northwestern went 3-and-out 10 times out of 17 drives, not counting the drives to end each half...I don't know what is going to happen against the Iowa and Michigan State defenses, but it probably won't be pretty.

Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian was only 15-of-35 passing for 116 yards, an average of 3.3 yards per pass attempt. Running back Venric Mark accounted for a large portion of the Wildcats offense as he rushed for 118 yards, but most of that production came on one play -- an 80-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter.

The loss drops Northwestern to 6-2 on the season and 2-2 in conference play. Their next contest comes next Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes.