The Cornhuskers, with a 10-0 lead, started the second quarter with the ball and a 3rd-and-10. What followed was a rush for no gain and they were forced to punt. The Spartans started on their own 38-yard line, but their passing woes continued, failing to move the ball when they needed to through the air and, again, were forced to punt. The teams would go on to exchange punts yet again.
A break came for the Spartans after that, when Taylor Martinez was intercepted by Johnny Adams and set up a 25-yard return to the Nebraska 28-yard line. Michigan State's offense continues to struggle, but they did end up getting a first down and put the ball on the 11-yard line. Kirk Cousins threw two quick incompletions and they called on Dan Conroy to kick the 28-yard field goal.
Nebraska got the ball back and started driving, but as they spent timeouts and tried to get within field goal range, Michigan State's defense tightened up and forced a loss of yardage on two consecutive plays, bringing the half to an end with Nebraska ahead 10-3.