Lincoln - A capacity crowd of 57,415 Husker fans filled Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Saturday to watch the Reds race to a 35-7 victory over the Whites in Nebraska's 57th Annual Spring Game.
Although not a Spring Game record crowd, the attendance represented the first capacity crowd in Spring Game history with the more than 20,000 seats in North Stadium closed due to the Memorial Stadium Expansion Project set for completion by NU's season opener this fall.
Among the tens of thousands on hand for Nebraska's celebration of spring football were all three Husker Heisman Trophy winners in school history - Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier and Eric Crouch - and dozens of current and former Huskers from the NFL. Thousands of young Husker fans also took the field at halftime to participate in a Drug Free Pledge led by former Husker linebacker Curt Tomasevicz, who competed on the U.S. bobsled team at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Along with the fanfare enjoyed by Husker fans, Zac Taylor treated the crowd to an impressive performance by the first-team offense in the first half. Nebraska's returning starter at quarterback, Taylor completed 14-of-21 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Red squad to a 28-0 halftime advantage.
Freshmen I-backs Cody Glenn and Marlon Lucky also contributed impressive efforts in the opening half. Glenn carried the ball 13 times for 87 yards in the opening half, while Lucky amassed 10 carries for 54 yards and one touchdown.
For the game, Glenn led all rushers with 16 carries for 98 yards, while Lucky pitched in 15 carries for 84 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. Leon Jackson carried the ball for both squads, managing three carries for four yards in the first three quarters for the White team, before carrying nine times for 48 yards in the fourth quarter for the Red squad.
Lucky put the Reds on the board with 8:06 remaining in the first half with his four-yard touchdown run that capped an 11-play, 62-yard drive for the Red squad. On the drive, Lucky carried five times for 36 yards, while Glenn added a 13-yard burst.
While the Red's rushing game carried the load on their first scoring drive, Taylor's passing game sparked the Red's second strike. Taylor opened the Red squad's second scoring drive by completing a 34-yard pass to Terrence Nunn, before capping the drive three plays later with a 23-yard connection with Todd Peterson to put the Reds up 14-0 with 5:18 left in the first quarter.
Taylor tossed his second touchdown pass of the day early in the second quarter, hooking up with fullback Dane Todd on a three-yard touchdown pass to cap a nine-play, 65-yard drive with 13:10 left in the half.
The Reds closed the half on a high note as Taylor hit tight end Josh Mueller with a seven-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds left to close the first-half scoring.
After taking all the snaps at quarterback for the White team in the first half, Joe Ganz changed teams and took over for the Reds in the second half. He led the Reds on their only scoring drive of the second half with a four-play, 17-yard drive that culminated with Lucky's second touchdown run of the day from six yards out with 5:52 left in the third quarter.
Linebacker Steve Octavien set up the Red's only second-half touchdown with his interception and five-yard return of a Beau Davis pass.
Titus Brothers provided the game's most electrifying highlight and the only score for the White squad with his 100-yard kickoff return with 3:45 left in the third quarter to prevent a shutout for the Reds.
In a dominant performance by the Red defense, NU's top units allowed just four total yards on 31 plays by the White offense. The Reds amassed 414 yards on 74 plays, including 219 yards rushing and 195 yards passing.
Spring Game Notes
- Last season, a Spring Game record 63,416 fans gathered for Nebraska's final practice of the spring season, while 61,417 fans packed Memorial Stadium in 2004 for Coach Bill Callahan's debut on the NU sideline.
- The Red squad posted their seventh win in the eight games of the Red-White series, following last season's 42-14 victory by the Whites, which snapped the Red team's six-game winning streak.
- Overall, the Red team leads the series 32-14-1. The 57 spring games that have been played include 10 games by the varsity against the alumni in the 1950s and early 1960s.