Published Saturday, November 2, 2013 AT 9:48 PM / Updated at 11:03 PM
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 24
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Lot to Like: The overall tone of the game, two fighters, heart everywhere. There were mistakes but this was a good football game, one worthy of respect. Ameer Abdullah’s 16-yard gain on the final drive. The Nebraska defense bowing up in the second half, showing some character. Quincy Enunwa, on a bad wheel, volunteering to return the last Northwestern kick because he wanted to make a play. That’s leadership.

Not so much: Nebraska’s offensive line, allowing four sacks and backfiring in the fourth quarter with three ill-timed penalties after a relatively clean game. It’s a beat-up group, to be sure. But they won’t get any sympathy from Northwestern.

Harry Grimminger Award: Jordan Westerkamp will get the kudos but the play of the game before was Avery Moss’ interception for a TD that tied the game at 21 midway through the third quarter. Add four tackles and one sack to Moss’ day. Good stuff.

Bottom line: Nebraska went from disaster, two games behind Michigan State in the Legends, to holding serve in a way that might jump-start the rest of the season. Nebraska is beat-up but confidence has been the issue with this team. This might be a momentum wave they can ride into Ann Arbor, where Michigan is coming off a devastating loss. Hang on. The season is still alive.

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Video: Postgame analysis with Sam McKewon:

Video: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini talks after Nebraska’s win over Northwestern:

Video: Nebraska quarterback talks after Nebraska’s win over Northwestern:

Video: Nebraska wide receiver talks after Nebraska’s win over Northwestern:

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at tom.shatel@owh.com.