LINCOLN, Neb. (WSAV) – The moment Timmy Bleekrode’s potential game-tying 52-yard kick sailed wide left for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Georgia Southern Eagles officially accomplished something they hadn’t done in a decade: defeat a Power 5 team.

Georgia Southern knocked off Nebraska in Lincoln, 45-42, for their first win over a major conference opponent since a 26-20 win over Florida in 2013. Quarterback Kyle Vantrease’s eight-yard keeper into the end zone put the Eagles up for good with 36 seconds left, capping off a frenetic, back-and-forth offensive shootout.

Vantrease put on a clinic Saturday night, throwing for 407 yards on 37-of-56 passing. His total passing yardage ranks second on Georgia Southern’s all-time list of single game performances, behind only Tracy Ham’s 419-yard performance against Furman in 1985.

Although he threw two interceptions, both to Nebraska safety Marques Buford, Vantrease also threw a touchdown pass to Amare Jones in addition to the game-winning rushing TD.

Eight different wide receivers caught at least one pass for the Eagles, with Derwin Burgess leading the pack at 12 catches for 119 yards. It was Burgess that caught a six-yard pass on 4th and 2 from the Eagles’ own 33-yard line with his team down 42-38, keeping Georgia Southern alive with just over two minutes to go.

Fellow wideout Khaleb Hood followed that play up with a 27-yard reception of his own five plays later to put the Eagles in the Nebraska red zone, setting up Vantrease’s heroics.

Georgia Southern complemented their strong passing attack with a dominant ground game that picked up 7.8 yards per carry. Junior Gerald Green ran for 132 yards on 10 carries and found the end zone twice. Fellow junior Jalen White also scored two touchdowns, running for a total of 85 yards on 17 carries.

In total, the Eagles gained 642 total yards of offense.

Wide receiver Sam Kenerson left the game due to a right leg injury in the last minute of the first half. He caught a 31-yard pass from Vantrease, but came up grabbing his leg and in pain. A cart took Kenerson back to the locker room and he did not return.

The Eagles have now started a season 2-0 for the first time since 2018. Their next game is on the road against University of Alabama-Birmingham at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.