Huskers Topple Trojans, 56-0
Lincoln - The Nebraska offense generated nearly 600 yards total offense, including more than 400 in the first half alone, and the Blackshirts pitched their first shutout of the season as the Cornhuskers rolled to a 56-0 victory over Troy on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The No. 23 Huskers improved to 3-1 on the year with the victory in front of 84,799 fans in the NCAA-record 278th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium. Troy slipped to 1-3 on the season.
Sophomore I-back Marlon Lucky erupted for the best game of his young career with 10 carries for career highs of 156 yards and three touchdowns through Nebraska's opening drive of the second half. Lucky's big night included successive career-long runs of 34, 45 and 51 yards that all went for touchdowns, capped by his 51-yard burst up the middle on his final carry to give the Huskers a 35-0 lead. (Audio Highlight)
While Lucky carried the load for Nebraska's balanced West Coast offensive attack, senior quarterback Zac Taylor propelled the Huskers through the air, completing 14-of-17 passes for 268 yards and one touchdown. Taylor played just over a half, giving way to backup Joe Ganz after leading the Huskers on their fifth touchdown on the opening drive of the second half.
Junior wide receiver Terrence Nunn enjoyed a career night as well with his first 100-yard receiving game, which included a 67-yard catch in the first half to push him past the century mark.
Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan said he was pleased with all facets of Nebraska's offensive game against the Trojans.
"I thought (Marlon Lucky was excellent tonight. The line deserves a lot of credit for that. They worked extremely hard this week in practice. The line, the tight ends, the way Zac (Taylor) managed some of the calls that got us into some good runs against some good fronts and out of a bad run in some bad fronts. He managed the running game well."
While Lucky, Taylor and Nunn did the most damage in the first half, I-back Kenny Wilson added a career rushing night of his own with 106 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, including the Huskers' final score midway through the fourth quarter to close out Nebraska's first shutout victory since a 28-0 win over Iowa State on Oct. 25, 2003. The win was also the Huskers' most lopsided victory since a 59-0 pounding of Baylor on Oct. 21, 2000.
The Huskers finished the night with 597 yards of total offense, including 316 yards on the ground and 281 yards passing. The Blackshirts held Troy to just 140 total yards, including just 48 yards rushing and 92 yards passing.
Nebraska established the ground game early, as Lucky carried five times for 51 yards, including a career-long 34-yard touchdown run, on the game's opening drive to put the Huskers up 7-0 just 5:47 into the game. (Audio Highlight)
After pounding it down the field on the ground on their first drive, the Huskers took to the air for their second score. Taylor, who completed his first seven passes in the game, hit Nate Swift on a pair of long completions, including Swift's career-long 49-yard catch to convert on 1st and 35. (Audio Highlight)
On the drive, Swift had two catches for 77 yards, while Taylor connected with J.B. Phillips for a six-yard touchdown to put the Huskers ahead 14-0 with 4:30 left in the first quarter.
Lucky struck again on Nebraska's fourth possession. After Taylor connected with Maurice Purify on a 36-yard pass to open the drive, Lucky erupted for another career-long run, this time taking the hand-off to his left and cutting off-tackle into the middle to out-run a pair of Trojan defenders to the endzone for a 45-yard touchdown. (Audio Highlight)
Lucky's burst gave him six carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns with 11:34 remaining in the first half and gave the Huskers a commanding 21-0 lead.
The Huskers continued to roll with precision in the second quarter, stringing together their most balanced drive with a 12-play, 71-yard march that took 5:42. The drive featured a pair of third-down completions from Taylor to Nunn and a 21-yard run from Wilson, who capped the drive with a five-yard run to give NU a 28-0 lead with 3:09 left in the half.
Nebraska's first half continued to feature big plays, as Andrew Shanle grabbed his first career interception to stop a Troy drive and set up Taylor's 67-yard connection with Nunn on the next play. The catch was a career-long reception for Nunn and gave him his first career 100-yard receiving game with four catches for 102 yards in the first half alone. (Audio Highlight)
On the next play, Taylor threw his first interception in 84 attempts, but he still finished the opening half with 252 yards and a touchdown on 13-of-16 passing, while engineering the Nebraska offense to 406 yards of total offense. The Huskers' first half included eight plays of 20 or more yards, including six plays that went for longer than 30 yards.
Nebraska continued to add individual milestones in the third quarter, when reserve quarterback Joe Ganz hooked up with reserve fullback Matt Senske for a one-yard touchdown with 6:21 left in the third quarter. It was Senske's first career touchdown, which was set up on a fumble recovery on a mishandled punt snap by special teams captain Brandon Rigoni inside the Trojan 5. (Audio Highlight)
The Huskers, who have scored 49 or more points in each of their three home games this season, dominated from start to finish in every phase of the game, scoring 14 points in each quarter for the second straight home game. Nebraska ground out six rushing touchdowns and had five different players score touchdowns for the third straight home game.
Nebraska remains at home next weekend when the Huskers take on Kansas at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff with the Jayhawks is set for 6 p.m., with national television coverage provided by Fox Sports Net.
1st Quarter (NU - 14-0)
NU - Marlon Lucky 34 run (Jordan Congdon kick), 9:13 (10 plays, 73 yards, 5:47) NU, 7-0
NU - J.B. Phillips 6 pass from Zac Taylor (Congdon kick), 4:30 (5 plays, 72 yards, 2:54) NU, 14-0
2nd Quarter (NU - 28-0)
NU - Lucky 45 run (Congdon kick), 11:34 (2 plays, 81 yards, 0:56) NU, 21-0
NU - Kenny Wilson 5 run (Congdon kick), 3:09 (12 plays, 71 yards, 5:42) NU, 28-0
3rd Quarter (NU - 42-0)
NU - Lucky 51 run (Congdon kick), 9:31 (5 plays, 75 yards, 2:54) NU, 35-0
NU - Matt Senske 1 pass from Joe Ganz (Congdon kick), 6:21 (3 plays, 4 yards, 1:47) NU, 42-0
4th Quarter (NU - 56-0)
NU - Brandon Jackson 8 run (Congdon kick), 13:39 (4 plays, 25 yards, 1:06) NU, 49-0
NU - Kenny Wilson 8 run (Congdon kick), 6:45 (11 plays, 67 yards, 5:25) NU, 56-0