Huskers Set Bowl Scoring Record in 66-17 Rout of Northwestern
San Antonio (AP) -- Dan Alexander ran for 240 yards as Nebraska (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) set a bowl scoring record with a 66-17 victory over Northwestern (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) on Saturday night in the Alamo Bowl.
Eric Crouch ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more scores to help the Cornhuskers (10-2) break the bowl record set by Texas A&M in a 65-21 victory over Virginia in the 1990 Holiday Bowl. Nebraska's previous bowl high came in a 62-24 victory over Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl.
Nebraska 2000 Alamo Bowl Notes
*- No. 9/8/8 (AP/Coaches/BCS) Nebraska def. Northwestern (18/19/NR) 66-17 in the eighth annual Sylvania Alamo Bowl Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Nebraska now owns a 3-1 advantage in its all-time series with the Wildcats, claiming victories in the last two contests. The bowl game marked NU?s 32nd consecutive (a continuing NCAA record), and the Huskers? 39th bowl appearance overall, which ranks tied for fourth in the NCAA. The win for Nebraska marked NU Coach Frank Solich?s second in a bowl in three years and gives NU a 20-19 all-time bowl record. Nebraska has now won six of its last seven bowls since losing 18-16 to No. 1 Florida State in the 1994 Orange Bowl. NU is 1-0 in the Alamo Bowl. The Huskers? Alamo Bowl appearance marked the first time since 1980 that the Huskers have played a bowl game in Texas. Nebraska improves to 10-2 on the season with its victory over the Wildcats. Nebraska has now won 10 or more games 23 times, including 22 times in the Devaney/Osborne/Solich era (1962-present). NU has won 10 or more games in seven of the past eight seasons.
*- The 2000 campaign marks Solich?s second 10-win season. He guided the Huskers to a 12-1 mark in 1999. Solich now ranks tied for fourth on the NCAA Division I chart for most careers wins in a coach?s first three seasons. Solich is 31-7 (.816) as the Huskers? head coach and owns a 2-1 bowl record.
*- With its win over Northwestern, the Huskers will most likely finish the 2000 season with a top 10 ranking. Nebraska has finished among the AP top 10 29 times since the first poll in 1936. The Huskers are now 87-90-3 all time vs. opponents ranked in the AP poll. Over the past eight seasons, NU has gone 26-9 against ranked foes, with two of those losses coming in bowl games. The Huskers were 2-2 against ranked opponents this season, losing to then-No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman and then-No. 16 Kansas State while defeating then-No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 18 Northwestern. Solich is 8-6 against ranked teams (3-3 vs. AP top 10 teams), winning six of the past eight matchups. Solich is 2-2 against ranked teams at neutral sites.
*- Senior I-back Dan Alexander was named the 2000 Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP. Alexander?s 240 rushing yards on 20 carries was a new Nebraska bowl record, breaking the previous mark of 206 set by Ahman Green vs. Tennessee in the 1998 Orange Bowl. It was also a Alamo Bowl record, breaking the previous mark of 113 set by Iowa?s Sedrick Shaw in 1996. Alexander broke the record on his ninth carry of the game, a 16-yard run. Alexander?s 240 yards also broke the 17-year old NU total offense record in a bowl game of 230 yards set by Johnny Rodgers in the 1973 Orange Bowl vs. Notre Dame. Alexander?s performance marked the 30th time an NU player has rushed for 200 or more yards and the second time for an NU player in a bowl. Alexander?s 240 yards is tied for eighth best all-time on the Nebraska single-game chart. Alexander reached the 100-yard mark on Nebraska?s second drive of the second quarter when he rushed for all of the Huskers? 49 yards on three carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run at 11:50 that gave NU a 21-10 lead after Josh Brown?s PAT. At that point in the game, Alexander had eight carries for a bowl-best 109 yards and two touchdowns, bettering the 108 and one touchdown he had against Tennessee in last year?s Fiesta Bowl.
*- Junior quarterback Eric Crouch finished with 90 rushing yards on 15 carries for two touchdowns and completed 5 of 13 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Crouch produced two plays of 50 or more yards in the second quarter, hitting Bobby Newcombe with a 58-yard touchdown pass on the Nebraska?s final drive of the second half and rushing for a 50-yard touchdown with 13:56 remaining in the second quarter. The run was the longest scoring run of Crouch?s career in a bowl game. Crouch finished with 181 total offensive yards.
*- Senior wingback Bobby Newcombe?s 33-yard punt return set an Alamo Bowl record for longest punt return. The previous record was a 32-yard return by Kansas State?s David Allen in 1998. Newcombe?s return to the NU 8-yard line set up the Huskers? best starting field position all season and led to a 2-yard touchdown run by senior I-back Correll Buckhalter with 7:13 remaining in the second quarter. Newcombe recorded a passing and a receiving touchdown. He first recorded his first receiving touchdown of the season, a 58-yard strike from Crouch, on NU?s final drive of the second half to put NU up 38-17. Then with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter, Newcombe took a lateral from Crouch and then hit Matt Davision with a 69-yard touchdown pass, a career-long for Newcombe. A former quarterback for NU, Newcombe had not thrown a touchdown pass since September of 1999, when he hit Crouch for a 60-yard score against California. Newcombe also had three punt returns for 43 yards against Northwestern.
*- With three catches for 85 yards tonight, senior split end Matt Davison broke the NU career bowl receiving yards record, as he now has 233 in four bowl games. The mark betters the 200 yards Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers totaled in three bowls from 1971-73. With his five-yard reception with 4:13 remaining in the first quarter, Davison became the first Husker to have at least one reception in four straight bowl games since Abdul Muhammad accomplished the feat (1991-94). Davison was 1-16 in 1998 in the Orange Bowl, 3-64 in the 1998 Holiday Bowl and 2-68 in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl. Davison?s 11-yard touchdown reception with 12:17 remaining in the third quarter was his first touchdown in a bowl game and his fourth of 2000. His 69-yard touchdown reception from Bobby Newcombe set a new career-best, breaking his previous reception-best of 63 yards vs. Kansas in 1999 and his previous touchdown reception-best of 49 vs. Iowa State in 1999.
*- The Huskers? 38 first-half points set a new Alamo Bowl record and a new Nebraska bowl record ... The previous NU record was 35 in the first-half of the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. NU?s 31 points in the second quarter tonight bettered the 29 scored in the second quarter of the 1996 Fiesta Bowl as a single-quarter NU bowl record.The Huskers? 66 points broke the Nebraska record for points in a bowl game and set an NCAA bowl record. The previous NU mark was 62 against Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, while the NCAA bowl record was 65 by Texas A&M in the 1990 Holiday Bowl.
*- Nebraska Defense ... The Huskers were led defensively by senior two-time academic All-American Kyle Vanden Bosch, who was voted the 2000 Alamo Bowl Defensive MVP. Vanden Bosch had five tackles (all solos), three tackles for loss, a career-best five quarterback hurries and one sack for a five-yard loss. One of Vanden Bosch?s tackles for loss was nearly a safety as he pinned Damien Anderson inside the Northwestern 1-yard line midway through the second quarter. Junior cornerback Keyuo Craver tied NU?s bowl record for most pass breakups with three (ties four others, most recently, Ralph Brown in the 1998 Holiday Bowl vs. Arizona). Junior free safety Dion Booker led NU with seven tackles, including five solo stops. Sacks: The Huskers had four first-half sacks vs. Northwestern, including 1-9 by sophomore left rush end Chris Kelsay, 1-9 by sophomore nose tackle Jason Lohr, 1-6 by sophomore nose tackle Jon Clanton, 1-5 by Vanden Bosch. Nebraska had nine tackles for loss in the first half. This year?s season-best was 11 vs. Kansas State.
*- Nebraska Alamo Bowl and All-Time Bowl Records ... Nebraska sophomore kicker Josh Brown broke an Alamo Bowl record with his 51-yard field goal to give NU a 31-10 lead with 1:28 remaining in the first half. The previous field goal record was 49 yards by Texas A&M?s Kyle Bryant in 1995 ... With 476 rushing yards, Nebraska shattered the Alamo Bowl rushing record of 217 yards set by Iowa in 1996...the Huskers 636 yards of total offense was a new Alamo Bowl and NU bowl record... Senior wingback Bobby Newcombe?s 32-yard punt return set an Alamo Bowl record for longest punt return. The previous record was a 32-yard return by Kansas State?s David Allen in 1998. Newcombe?s return to the NU 8-yard line set up the Huskers best starting field position all season and led to a 2-yard touchdown run by senior I-back Correll Buckhalter ... Dan Alexander?s 240 rushing yards is a new Alamo Bowl and NU bowl record, breaking the previous mark of 113 set by Iowa?s Sedrick Shaw in 1996 ... Senior defensive back Joe Walker?s 33-yard kickoff return in the second quarter ranks tied for third on the Alamo Bowl return chart ... The Huskers? 38 first-half points set a new Alamo Bowl record and a new Nebraska bowl record ... The previous NU record was 35 in the first-half of the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. NU?s 31 points in the second quarter tonight bettered the 29 scored in the second quarter of the 1996 Fiesta Bowl as a single-quarter NU bowl record.The Huskers? 66 points broke the Nebraska record for points in a bowl game. The previous mark was 62 against Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl ... Junior cornerback Keyuo Craver tied NU?s bowl record for most pass breakups with three (ties four others, most recently, Ralph Brown in the 1998 Holiday Bowl vs. Arizona).
*- Nebraska Firsts.... Freshman linebacker T.J. Hollowell posted his first kick return of the season with a 17-yard return to the NU 38 with 9:51 remaining in the first quarter ... Junior nose tackle Jason Lohr recorded his first sack in postseason play when he dropped Northwestern quarterback Zak Kustok for a nine-yard loss in the first quarter, forcing the Wildcats to attempt a 44-yard field goal ... Sophomore nose tackle Jon Clanton produced the first sack of his career, a six-yard loss for Kustok in the first quarter ... senior defensive back Joe Walker grabbed his first interception in a bowl game with 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter ...
*- Other Nebraska Career Bests ... Senior punter Dan Hadenfeldt?s 52-yard punt midway through the second quarter was his career-best in a bowl game ... Sophomore kicker Josh Brown set a career-best and broke an Alamo Bowl record with his 51-yard field goal to give NU a 31-10 lead with 1:28 remaining in the first half. Brown was 9-for-9 on PATs.