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College football Week 1 highlights: Minnesota stuns Nebraska on last-second FG
College Football

College football Week 1 highlights: Minnesota stuns Nebraska on last-second FG

Updated Sep. 1, 2023 5:42 p.m. ET

Dragan Kesich drilled a 47-yard field goal as time expired as Minnesota spoiled the Nebraska debut of coach Matt Rhule, beating the Huskers 13-10 in a Big Ten showdown Thursday night.

A year ago, Rhule found himself suddenly out of work after being dismissed by the Carolina Panthers. Now, he's back in the college game, tasked with rebuilding a program that's hungry to rediscover its past dominance — and he gushed earlier this week about how he's loving every second of it.

But Minnesota had no interest in providing a soft landing for Rhule, as the Gophers rallied to score 10 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

'That was beautiful' — P.J. Fleck on Minnesota's comeback win

Tyler Nubin had two of Minnesota’s three interceptions of Nebraska newcomer Jeff Sims, including a leaping grab in the final minute that set up the game-winning drive.

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Sims, who transferred from Georgia Tech, rushed 19 times for 91 yards. He completed 11 of 19 passes for 114 yards and a broken-play touchdown that gave the Huskers the lead early in the second half.

The Gophers have beaten the Huskers five straight times.

Highlights: Gophers stun Cornhuskers in Week 1 thriller

Here are the top plays from the game.

Minnesota 13, Nebraska 10

:00, 4th: Game-winner for the Gophers!

Kesich was money from long range as the clock ran out, and the fans went wild at Minnesota.

1:28, 4th: Another pick for Gophers!

Nebraska QB Jeff Sims locked onto his receiver, and Tyler Nubin took advantage, stepping in front for his second interception of the game. It was also Sims' third interception of the game, and Nebraska's fourth turnover.

2:38, 4th: TOUCHDOWN GOPHERS!

Toe-tapping catches are often things of beauty, but the term doesn't even do justice to what Daniel Jackson did on his game-tying touchdown catch. Look at the concentration, the ability to drag the back foot before the front foot touches down, and … well, just look. It's amazing!

Minnesota's Daniel Jackson makes amazing 13-yard TD catch

4:53, 4th: Gophers defense comes up big

If Minnesota is going to make a move, time is running short. But the defense stepped up to give the Gophers a chance with a huge fumble recovery. That's the third turnover Nebraska has committed in this game.

7:53, 4th: Sack-macher

Minnesota was trying to get something going mid-way through the fourth quarter, but Nash Hutmacher came up with a drive-killing sack.

12:46, 4th: Huskers extend lead

During an 8-minute stretch, Nebraska mounted an impressive 13-play drive. It stalled out at the Minnesota 9-yard line, but Tristan Alvano knocked through an easy field goal to give the Huskers a 10-3 lead.

5:26, 3rd: Gophers are denied

Minnesota had another nice drive going — seven plays, 58 yards — but it was stopped when Athan Kaliakmanis tossed an interception to Nebraska's Omar Brown.

14:03, 3rd: TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!

That was an exciting way to start the second half! First, Rahmir Johnson returned the kickoff 65 yards to put Nebraska in great field position. …

Then Matt Rhule called a trick play, Jeff Sims fumbled the ball, picked it up, and threw a strike for the TD, giving the Huskers a 7-3 lead.

:07, 2nd: Intercepted!

Jeff Sims, a transfer from Georgia Tech, led Nebraska on a nice drive late in the half, ripping off runs of 5 and 9 yards, and also completing a 15-yard pass, as the Huskers drove deep into Minnesota territory.

But with a chance to at least get a chip-shot field goal to tie the score before halftime, Sims instead lofted a pass into the waiting arms of Minnesota's Tre'Von Jones in the end zone.

Minnesota's Tre'Von Jones picks off Jeff Sims

8:48, 2nd: Sims picked off!

Nebraska had a nice little drive going, but on third-and-long, Huskers QB Jeff Sims threw a pass that sailed, and it was intercepted by Tyler Nubin.

Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck took a moment to praise the poise of his QB Athan Kaliakmanis.

12:31, 2nd: Gophers strike first

All of that possession finally paid off for P.J. Fleck's Minnesota squad, which took a 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Dragan Kesich.

0:00, 1st: A defensive struggle

Minnesota was putting together another time-consuming drive when the first quarter ended, driving to the Nebraska 34-yard line.

Minnesota held the ball for 10:27 in the first quarter, which ended 0-0.

7:55, 1st: Sims is a problem

The Gophers got the ball first and held it for more than five minutes before ultimately being forced to punt. They pinned the Huskers at their one 1-yard line, but new Nebraska quarterback Jeff Sims gave his team some breathing room with a 26-yard dash on a designed run.

Still, the Gophers defense held firm, forcing a punt. 

Pregame scene

New faces on the scene

Big Noon welcomes two new stars to the lineup: former NFL running back Mark Ingram to bring the analysis …

… and Chris "The Bear" Fallica to provide all your wagering guidance.

‘The Ultimate Experiment’

Looking ahead to Saturday, Urban Meyer took a look at expectation levels for Deion Sanders' Colorado squad.

‘The ultimate experiment:' Urban Meyer on Deion Sanders at Colorado

Big Noon poll … 

Matt Leinart wants to know who you're picking in this game.

Donkey and Shrek at the game? Why not!

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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