LINCOLN, Neb. -- For a very brief moment last week, Jordan Hill's Penn State career looked like it might be over.
Even the senior defensive tackle himself was surprised to be out on the field a week later against Nebraska.
What was initially feared to be a torn ACL by his teammates who saw Hill's left leg get rolled up against Purdue turned out to be a sprained left knee. He did little this week during practice and even though he made the trip out to Lincoln, he wasn't certain he'd be able to play.
I woke up this morning and it wasn't feeling too good, Hill said after Penn State's 34-23 loss to the Cornhuskers. But I was too anxious to just get out there and play.
Hill sported a heavy, black brace on the knee, during the game and what looked like a half-pound of ice wrapped around it afterward.
He came out and participated in warm-ups but did not start. Fellow senior James Terry got his first career start in his place, with Hill spelling him.
But when Terry was knocked out of the game with severe cramping, Hill ended up playing most of the plays the rest of the way.
I felt a little sluggish at first, Hill said. I felt like my first step was a little slow. But once I got going it felt pretty good.
I didn't expect for (Terry) to go down and that I'd have to play (that much). But I was ready for it. I wanted to get in there anyway.
Hill finished the game with five stops, including a stop on tailback Ameer Abdullah in the backfield for a 3-yard loss.
Lions coach Bill O'Brien said that Hill was not on any type of snap count despite the injury.
Tight end Kyle Carter also made the trip out to Lincoln but did not fare as well as Hill.
O'Brien said Carter was not as far along in his recovery from an ankle injury and the tight end was limited to playing only in specific packages.
Carter had one catch for 12 yards on the day before leaving early with another injury. Carter had a potential third-quarter touchdown knocked away in the end zone and the redshirt freshman left the field holding his right wrist. He went into the locker room and did not return to play.
O'Brien said he didn't have an update on Carter's new injury after the game and would know more by his Tuesday press conference.
He also had no news on safety Malcolm Willis who twice had to be helped off the field. The second time knocked him out for good in the third quarter, unable to put weight on his left leg.
Both Terry and tailback Zach Zwinak dealt with cramps in the game. Zwinak received an IV in the locker room before returning. He finished with a career-high 141 yards rushing.
Curtis Dukes did not make the trip, having suffered an apparent concussion last week against Purdue.
Penn State's controversial touchdown-turned-fumble in the fourth quarter was set up by sophomore wideout Allen Robinson, who hauled in a 38-yard catch into Nebraska territory.
The grab was his sixth of the game, giving him 63 for the year. That tied Penn State's single-season record of 63, set previously by O.J. McDuffie and Bobby Engram. He led Lions receivers with 97 yards on the day.
Matt McGloin, who threw the record-tying ball, finished 18-of-37 for 240 yards, throwing a touchdown and his first road interception of the season.
McGloin now has 41 touchdowns for his career, tying him for second in school history with Todd Blackledge, Zack Mills and Tony Sacca.
Matt Lehman's fumble on the goal line will be the most-talked about call from Saturday, but it wasn't the strangest.
Fielding a punt late in the second quarter, Penn State looked to start a drive near midfield. But a flag was sitting right on the sideline chalk in front of the Penn State bench.
The Lions were called for sideline interference and were moved back brought back 15 yards.
I guess the ref was running down the sideline and ran into a player, O'Brien said. I guess that's sideline interference.
Asked if he had ever seen that called in a game, O'Brien simply replied, No.
It was the third straight game Penn State was flagged for at least eight penalties.