Nebraska 24

(2-1, 1-0 away)

Pittsburgh 17

(1-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: ABC

12:00 PM ET, September 18, 2004

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

1 2 3 4 T
NEB 10 14 0 024
PITT 7 3 0 717

Top Performers

Passing: T. Palko (PITT) - 228 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: C. Ross (NEB) - 24 CAR, 73 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: G. Lee (PITT) - 6 REC, 98 YDS, 1 TD

Huskers preserve win with late red-zone stop

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Nebraska capitalized on four Pittsburgh turnovers and batted down a pass in the end zone on the game's final play to preserve a 24-17 win Saturday in the first meeting of the teams since 1958.

The win kept Nebraska (2-1) from dropping below .500 for the first time in 23 years.

The Cornhuskers, who gave the ball away 11 times in their first two games, got into trouble again when Joe Dailey threw a fourth-quarter interception that allowed the Panthers (1-1) to pull within a touchdown in the closing minutes. Pitt got the ball back and drove inside the Nebraska 20, but could not score again.

Linebacker H.B. Blades picked off Dailey with 4:53 left, and one play later Pitt's Tyler Palko threw a 34-yard scoring pass to Greg Lee to pull the Panthers within 24-17. On Pitt's final drive, Palko's 31-yard completion to Darrell Strong on fourth down with 6 seconds left put the ball inside the 20.

Palko scrambled to his left on the final play and threw a floater into the end zone, but cornerback Titus Brothers batted it down.

Dailey, who entered the game with a nation-high seven interceptions, was 11-of-22 for 142 yards and a touchdown. He also scored untouched on a 17-yard run.

Palko, who passed for just 49 yards in last week's win against Ohio, again looked shaky. He was 22-of-45 for 228 yards and a touchdown. The left-hander threw three interceptions. Redshirt freshman Joe Flacco took over for a series late in the third quarter but couldn't move the offense.

Three of Nebraska's first-half scores were set up by turnovers -- each giving the Huskers the ball inside Pittsburgh's 10-yard line.

Fabian Washington intercepted Palko on Pitt's first possession and returned it 19 yards to the Nebraska 4, leading to a field goal. Wali Muhammad later picked off Palko, leading to a 2-yard scoring run by Cory Ross, who led the Huskers with 73 yards on 24 carries.

Pitt's Allen Richardson dropped a fair catch punt later in the half, leading to Dailey's 6-yard scoring pass to Ross Pilkington.

Marcus Furman had a 96-yard kickoff return for Pitt.