Ames, Iowa -- Behind the punishing running of reserve I-back Dan Alexander, the No. 14/15 Huskers rebounded to defeat Iowa State, 42-7, in Ames.
Alexander, making his first career start, rushed for 110 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries as the Huskers churned out 359 rushing yards in snowy conditions.
Iowa State nearly got an early break when the Cyclones partially blocked a Bill Lafleur punt, but ISU fumbled on the return and reserve linebacker Josh Kohl recovered at the Iowa State 42-yard line. The Huskers capitalized five plays later as Alexander scored on a nine-yard run to take a 7-0 lead.
The Cyclones drove deep into NU territory before Husker free safety Clint Finley intercepted a Todd Bandhauer pass at the goal line and returned it to the 21. The interception was the first of Finley?s career and one of four ISU miscues on the afternoon. Finley?s interception set up a 79-yard, 13-play drive that Alexander capped with a three-yard run to make it 14-0.
Finley added a second interception on the next series, but NU was unable to capitalize. Late in the first half, the Huskers extended their lead to 21-0 as I-back Correll Buckhalter scored from one yard to cap a seven-play, 47-yard drive with 44 seconds remaining in the half.
After Alexander?s third touchdown of the day increased the Husker lead to 28-0, NU added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, a 16-yard run by senior quarterback Monte Christo and a 65-yard interception return by Joe Walker. With that return, Walker became only the fifth player in NCAA history to return an interception, punt and kickoff return for a touchdown in the same season.
While the Huskers converted Cyclone mistakes into scores, the NU defense held ISU to zero yards rushing after three quarters and allowed 227 yards of total offense. The Cyclones scored a late touchdown to avoid a shutout.
Erwin Swiney led NU with eight tackles, while Tony Ortiz added five, including four tackles for loss.