LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — B.J. Smith scored on a 26-yard run midway through the fourth quarter and Will Sunderland made an interception in the final 3 minutes, giving Troy the cushion it needed to beat Nebraska 24-19 on Saturday and denying new Cornhuskers coach Scott Frost his first win.
The Huskers (0-2) have lost their first two games for the first time since 1957 and have dropped six straight home games since beating Rutgers Sept. 23, 2017.
The Trojans (2-1) of the Sun Belt Conference took down a power-five conference opponent for the second straight year. Last year they won at then-No. 25 LSU.
Sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch, starting at quarterback for Nebraska in place of the injured Adrian Martinez, converted a fourth-and-8 while leading the Huskers on a 75-yard drive to pull Nebraska to 24-19 with 2:55 left.
Insight by VMware: Examine how agencies are transitioning to the cloud in the latest Expert Edition: Federal Cloud Report.
But Sunderland stepped in front of his pass along the sideline intended for JD Spielman, starting the celebration on the Troy bench.
Troy got a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown by Cedarius Rookard while getting out to a 17-0 lead and was up 17-7 at half. But the Trojans were teetering after Nebraska kicked field goals to cut it to 17-13 in the third quarter.
After the Trojans forced a punt early in the fourth quarter, they went 62 yards in 10 plays to make it a two-score game. Kaleb Barker converted two third-and-longs, passing on one and running on the other, and Nebraska safety Aaron Williams was called for pass interference on a third-and-9 to keep the Trojans’ drive alive. Smith broke through the line untouched on his way to the end zone on his TD run.
Troy: This is mostly a new cast of Trojans, but once again they showed they aren’t intimidated playing a blue blood opponent on the road. It’s the lift they needed after losing to Boise State in their opener and beating an FCS opponent last week.
Nebraska: The Huskers couldn’t get out of their own way. They had two turnovers and a missed field goal among their first five possessions, gave up the long punt return and had costly personal fouls on a Troy touchdown drive. Mohamed Barry was ejected for his head-on-head hit at the end of a run by backup quarterback Sawyer Smith.
More SEWP for you! An online chat where you can ask questions about NASA’s technology products and services contract and its plans for 2019 and beyond.
Troy visits Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
Nebraska visits Michigan for its Big Ten opener Saturday.
More AP college football: http://apnews.com/tag/collegefootball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.