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Connor Culp was ready to seal the game for Nebraska, but he never got a chance

Connor Culp was ready to seal the game for Nebraska, but he never got a chance

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Michigan State's Darius Snow tackles Nebraska's Adrian Martinez.

Sam McKewon's reaction to "heartbreaker" Nebraska loss at Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Connor Culp was ready to seal the game for Nebraska in the fourth quarter. He was ready to contribute in overtime.

The senior kicker found a rhythm Saturday after entering having made just 3 of 8 field goals and 13 of 16 extra points. He connected on 28-yarders in the second and third quarter and made both PATs without incident against Michigan State.

“It’s never really been a lack of confidence in my kicking,” Culp said. “Just something else. Tonight I was able to work through that and definitely felt really good. I couldn’t do it without my teammates and coaches.”

That “something else” might have been an injury, though Culp declined to be specific. Those within the program encouraged him all week, he said, and even after every kick he hit during warmups.

Culp said he would have been comfortable attempting a field goal from 53 yards out had NU gotten that far in the final minute of regulation. Then Michigan State intercepted an Adrian Martinez pass over the middle to begin overtime, leaving the veteran on the sidelines.

Culp, clearly emotional afterward, said he was feeling a blend of things. Disappointment in the loss. Vindication in his own abilities. Concern for his teammates who absorbed yet another gut punch.

“I’m happy that I was able to help the team today,” Culp said. “It sucks because all of the games we’ve been in have been one score, super close. I know we’re a damn good football team and we’re going to figure it out. I’m disappointed right now in the outcome. I worry about the team more than myself. I don’t care about my personal performance right now. That’s kind of where I am right now.”​

Untimely Martinez sack

Eighteen seconds remained when Adrian Martinez took a sack on the second play of Nebraska’s final regulation drive. But instead of preserving time for a game-winning drive, Scott Frost left regulation with two timeouts in his back pocket.

Frost planned to go for the win until Martinez took the sack at Nebraska’s 32 yard line. After that, he worried his offense might lose the game trying to win it.

“At that point, I think more bad things can happen than good,” Frost said.

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