LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska’s 28-7 win over Maryland on Saturday was never truly in doubt as the Huskers scored touchdowns on each of their first two drives and held the Terrapins to 56 total yards and no points on their first two possessions. In a three-score win, it’s hard to single out any one play as more important than the rest.
However, after a blocked field goal, the Huskers still only led 14-0 as the first half clock was winding down. After a six-minute drive, Nebraska had the ball inside the Maryland 5-yard line. Tre Bryant lost yardage on a first-down run, and with 21 seconds left Danny Langsdorf put the ball in the hands of his back-up quarterback turned starter Ryker Fyfe.
The Grand Island native rewarded his offensive coordinator’s faith. Fyfe’s touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp is this week’s play of the game.
On second-and-goal, Westerkamp motioned behind sophomore Stanley Morgan Jr. while junior De’Mornay Pierson-El lined up on the other side. Morgan ran a fin route while Westerkamp slanted underneath him.
Fyfe dropped back, surveyed the field and saw Westerkamp open over the middle with his defender on his back. Fyfe put the ball out in front of his receiver, allowing the senior to reach out and make a play on the ball where the defender couldn’t get to it.
The sure-handed senior pulled it in for a touchdown reception, putting the Huskers up three scores.
“It’s a play we put in earlier,” Westerkamp said. “Normally, you’d hit the other guy, Stanley, I believe was who was there. How they played it where they switched off worked out well because I was running sort of an inside slant and Ryker put it out to where only I can get it. Next thing you know it’s a touchdown. It was a great read by Ryker.”
Westerkamp was Fyfe’s favorite target as he hauled in eight of his 11 targets for 85 yards. Westerkamp came up big in key moments too, moving the chains on third down three times and on fourth down once.
“I thought he did a good job catching the ball and when they went man, I would just get him the ball and he’d go up and get it, so he did a good job, made his own great catches out there,” Fyfe said.
The touchdown was just one of four in a 21-point win, but had the Huskers not been able to score the Terps likely could have gained some confidence. Holding the Huskers to a field goal attempt – after Maryland had blocked one already and with Nebraska relying on its backup kicker – would have given the game a much different feel heading into halftime. However, the Huskers scored – giving Fyfe his seventh career touchdown pass and capping a terrific first half. That’s why Ryker Fyfe’s 4-yard touchdown pass late in the first half is this week’s play of the game.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.