Huskers Silence Cyclones
Ames, Iowa - Cody Glenn and Brandon Jackson each rushed for more than 100 yards and combined for three touchdowns to carry the No. 22 Nebraska football team to its first road win of the season in a 28-14 victory over Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday night.
Playing in front of an ABC regional television audience in prime time and a packed house that included tens of thousands of Husker fans in Ames, Nebraska improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12, while Iowa State slipped to 3-3 on the season and 0-2 in the league.
"It was a great win for our team on the road," Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan said. "I told our players that I was awfully proud of the way they responded on the road in all three areas. I really liked our focus during our week of practice. Our players rose to the occasion in a hostile environment."
Along with another impressive performance by Nebraska's ground game, the Blackshirt defense flexed its muscles to frustrate Iowa State's potent attack throughout the night.
"I was proud of the fact that we made plays and put pressure on (Bret) Meyer," Callahan said. "I was also proud that we did not give up a big run tonight. I thought we played well on the defensive side of the football."
The Huskers produced 251 rushing yards, including career highs of 148 yards and two scores from Glenn and 116 yards and another score from Jackson, who gave NU its second double-100-yard rushing performance in the last three games.
Marlon Lucky and Kenny Wilson each went over 100 yards against Troy two weeks ago, giving the Huskers four different 100-yard running backs in the past three weeks and five total 100-yard rushing performances on the season.
"Two backs over 100 yards is huge," Callahan said. "Our offensive line deserves a lot of credit for that, they did a great job all night long."
Quarterback Zac Taylor completed 17-of-21 passes for 131 yards and a key touchdown pass to Maurice Purify to close the first half. Purify closed the night with two catches for a team-high 35 yards and his first career score. Taylor completed passes to nine different Husker receivers, as he became just the fourth quarterback in NU history to cross the 4,000-yard career passing mark.
Lucky led the Huskers with three catches for 28 yard, while Todd Peterson, Terrence Nunn, J.B. Phillips, Matt Herian and Frantz Hardy each joined Purify with two receptions on the night.
While Nebraska's West Coast Offense rolled up 382 yards and dominated the time of possession by holding the ball for nearly 37 minutes on the night, the Blackshirts surrendered just one touchdown on a short field in the first 59:54, before giving up an insignificant touchdown in prevent defense with six seconds left in the game.
The Blackshirts limited ISU to just 53 rushing yards in a magnificent performance. Junior linebacker Bo Ruud led the defense with a team-high nine tackles, while defensive tackle Barry Cryer wreaked havoc up front with four tackles, including a nine-yard sack and a pass deflection on the night.
In the secondary, Cortney Grixby nabbed his first career interception, while Andre Jones posted a team-high seven unassisted tackles.
The Huskers established the run and the pass early to take control of the game on the opening drive. Taylor led Nebraska on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Glenn. The sophomore carried the load for the Huskers on the drive, carrying three times for 46 yards, including a 36-yard rumble to set up his fifth touchdown run of the season.
Taylor completed all three of his pass attempts on the drive, but the passing game covered just 14 yards through the air, while the ground game took care of the rest.
Nebraska carried that 7-0 advantage into the second quarter, but Iowa State tied the game in the opening minute of the second stanza on a one-yard touchdown run to cap an 11-play, 43-yard drive.
The Huskers produced an instant answer to regain the lead on Jackson's one-yard touchdown with 8:07 remaining in the first half. NU did much of its damage on the ground again during the drive, as Jackson carried five times for 34 yards including a 21-yard burst on the second play of the drive. Overall, the Huskers stayed on the ground for 45 yards on the drive, while Taylor completed 2-of-3 passes on the drive, including a 15-yard connection with Peterson.
While the offense continued to feature its balance the Blackshirts had a stranglehold on Bret Meyer and the Iowa State offense. After scoring their lone touchdown early in the second quarter, the Cylcones managed just eight more yards against the Blackshirts the rest of the half.
The biggest stop for the Blackshirts came on ISU's final drive of the first half, when the defense forced a three-and-out to give Taylor and the Huskers the ball back at their own 40 with 1:15 to play in the half.
Taylor immediately went to work, engineering a seven-play, 60-yard drive that culminated with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Purify with three seconds left in the half. On the drive, Taylor completed 5-of-7 passes for all 60 yards through the air, including three receptions for 28 yards from Lucky.
In the opening half, Nebraska's offense rolled up more than 100 yards on the ground and through the air, but the Huskers were unable to get similar production in the second half as the two defenses pitched shutouts until the final two minutes of the game.
That's when Nebraska put the game out of reach with a nine-play, 78-yard march that chewed up 5:13 on the clock. Glenn did most of the damage for the Huskers on the drive, carrying seven times for 75 yards, including runs of 28 and 21 yards against a weary ISU defense. Jackson added two carries for 13 yards on the drive, as the Huskers were able to overcome a 10-yard holding penalty on the drive, despite keeping all nine plays on the ground.
The Cyclones closed the scoring on Todd Blythe's 13-yard catch from Meyer with six seconds left in the game to make the final margin.
Nebraska posted its 83rd victory in its 101st all-time meeting with Iowa State to give the Huskers their first win at Jack Trice Stadium since a 49-27 win on Oct. 7, 2000.
Nebraska will play its third straight Big 12 North Division foe next Saturday, when the Huskers travel to Manhattan, Kan., to collide with the Kansas State Wildcats. The game time and television information for the contest will be announced on Sunday.
Final - Nebraska 28, Iowa State 14
First Quarter (NU, 7-0)
NU - Cody Glenn 3 run (Jordan Congdon kick), 9:33 - NU, 7-0
Second Quarter (NU, 21-7)
ISU - Bret Meyer 1 run (Bret Culbertson kick), 14:10, 7-7
NU - Brandon Jackson 1 run (Congdon kick), 8:07, NU, 14-7
NU - Maurice Purify 27 pass from Zac Taylor (Congdon kick), 0:03, NU, 21-7
Third Quarter (NU, 21-7)
Fourth Quarter (NU, 28-14)
NU - Glenn 5 run (Congdon kick), 1:33, NU, 28-7
ISU - Todd Blythe 13 pass from Meyer (Culbertson kick), 0:06, NU, 28-14