Huskers Blast Bulldogs, 43-10
|Score by quarters|
|Williams, K. (NU)||10||0.5||0|
100 –– Tonight’s victory marked the 100th career college coaching victory for Head Coach Mike Riley. Riley was the all-time winningest coach in Oregon State history with 93 wins and has seven victories at Nebraska. Riley is one of 10 active coaches with at least 100 victories at a Power 5 Conference School.
30 –– Nebraska won for the 30th consecutive time against an opponent from the Mountain West Conference and improved to 35-2 all-time against Mountain West foes. The Huskers are 3-0 all-time against Fresno State. Nebraska plays host to Wyoming of the Mountain West next Saturday.
18– Nebraska won its 18th consecutive night home game at Memorial Stadium and improved to 44-5 all-time in home night games. Tonight marked the 33rd time in 44 home victories the Huskers’ victory margin was at least 13 points.
103–– Sophomore I-back Devine Ozigbo rushed 17 times for a career-high 103 yards and a career-best two touchdowns in tonight’s game. His yardage total bettered his 80 rushing yards against UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl. Ozigbo had one rushing touchdown last season as a true freshman.
57–– Senior receiver Alonzo Moore had a 57-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the fourth quarter, marking the longest reception of his career. His previous long was a 44-yard touchdown catch at Rutgers last season. Each of Moore’s past four touchdown catches have covered at least 32 yards. Moore finished with a team-high three catches for a career-high 92 receiving yards, bettering his 84 yards at Minnesota last season. Moore also had a career-long 24-yard rush and had two carries for 34 yards.
292 –– Nebraska rushed for 292 yards in tonight’s game, marking the second straight game the Huskers have topped 200 rushing yards after NU rushed for 326 yards in a bowl victory over UCLA.
Nebraska rushed the ball on 20 of its first 21 offensive plays in tonight’s game, including 15 of 16 first-quarter snaps.
8,000 –– Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. became the second player in school history to surpass 8,000 career total offense yards, joining Taylor Martinez. Armstrong now has 8,148 yards of total offense in his career, second at Nebraska behind Martinez’s 10,233 career total offensive yards. Armstrong accounted for 150 yards of total offense tonight, including 108 passing yards and 42 rushing yards. Armstrong accounted for three touchdowns in tonight’s game (2 rushing, 1 passing).
31 –– Nebraska limited Fresno State to just 31 rushing yards, marking the third time in four games dating back to last season Nebraska has held its opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. Nebraska finished ninth in the nation in rushing defensen
Lincoln - Nebraska showcased an effective running game in a balanced offense that featured strong performances for Tommy Armstrong Jr., Devine Ozigbo and Alonzo Moore, as the Huskers rolled to a 43-10 season-opening win over Fresno State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
Playing in front of the NCAA-record 348th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium with 90,013 fans on hand, the Huskers helped Ozigbo produce the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. The sophomore I-back from Sachse, Texas, finished with 103 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns to give Nebraska Coach Mike Riley his 100th career collegiate coaching victory.
Ozigbo scored both of his touchdowns in the first half to give the Big Red a 14-0 lead early in the second period. While Ozigbo, along with senior I-back Terrell Newby, who finished 56 yards on 11 carries including 40 on eight totes in the first half, got the Huskers to a strong start on the ground, Moore and Armstrong fueled Nebraska's 29-0 domination of the second half.
Armstrong completed 5-of-10 passes for 108 yards for the game, including a 57-yard touchdown strike to Moore on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Moore's career-long catch also gave him a career-high 92 receiving yards on three catches.
Moore added a career-long 24-yard run on Nebraska's second drive of the fourth quarter to help set up Armstrong's second rushing touchdown of the game. Moore, a senior from Winnfield, La., finished with 34 rushing yards on two carries, while Armstrong closed with 11 carries for 42 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Armstrong, a senior quarterback from Cibolo, Texas, engineered a Nebraska offense that finished with 405 total yards, including 292 yards on the ground. The Blackshirt defense held Fresno State to just 274 total yards, including a suffocating 31 rushing yards.
Although Nebraska jumped to a 14-point lead, Fresno State changed momentum midway through the second quarter with a blocked punt by Robert Stanley that was recovered by Dalen Jones that led to the first Bulldog score of the season.
Following the blocked punt, the Bulldogs cashed in with a seven-yard pass from Chason Virgil to Aaron Peck with 5:38 left in the half to pull within 14-7.
Fresno State added a 26-yard Kody Kroening field goal to close the half and went to the locker room trailing 14-10.
The Huskers regained momentum immediately in the second half and never relinquished it. After the Blackshirts opened the half with a three-and-out, Armstrong and the offense took over. They marched 57 yards in nine plays over the next 4:07, before Armstrong finished the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run to give the Huskers a 21-10 lead.
Neither team was able to mount a serious scoring threat the rest of the quarter, but safety Kieron Williams gave the Huskers a boost heading into the fourth quarter by pulling down his first career interception on Nebraska's final defensive play of the third.
Williams' pick gave the Big Red the ball at its own 38, and Armstrong turned the turnover into points two plays later by hitting Moore with a 57-yard touchdown strike on the opening play of the fourth quarter. Drew Brown's extra point pushed the Husker lead to 28-10 with 14:54 to play.
Moore provided another highlight on Nebraska's next drive, ripping off a career-long 24-yard run. On the next play, Ozigbo notched his first career 100-yard game, pounding his way for 10 yards to the Fresno State 4 to push his career-best total to 103 yards.
On the next play, Armstrong notched his second rushing touchdown game, bulling his way through Bulldog defenders into the end zone to push the Big Red lead to 34-10 with 9:50 left. Nebraska then extended the edge to 36-10 with a successful two-point conversion run by sophomore wide receiver Zack Darlington.
The Blackshirts continued to flex their muscles on the next defensive possession, and Ryker Fyfe took over at quarterback for the next drive with freshman running back Tre Bryant joining him in the backfield. Bryant erupted for a 13-yard gain on his first touch, then added 12 yards on his second carry. He came up with a bruising five-yard gain on 4th-and-2 to keep Nebraska's drive alive, before Mikale Wilbon ripped off a 16-yard gain.
Fyfe then hit senior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp on a short gain to extend Westerkamp's streak of games with at least one reception to 27.
Bryant finished Nebraska's third touchdown drive of the fourth quarter with a three-yard run to cap a 10-play, 67-yard drive in 4:03, giving the Huskers a 43-10 lead after Spencer Lindsay's extra point. Bryant carried five times for 36 yards and a score on the first drive of his career.
Junior corner back Chris Jones capped a big night for the Blackshirts and the Huskers with an acrobatic interception in the end zone to close the game for the Big Red.
Nebraska honored Husker senior punter Sam Foltz before and during the game. Foltz, who was killed in a tragic car accident in Wisconsin prior to the start of fall camp, was the Big Ten Punter of the Year in 2015. Nebraska honored his friend and teammate place-kicker Drew Brown with the presentation of the first Sam Foltz Memorial Scholarship on the field in pregame ceremonies. Foltz's parents and many family members joined the Brown family on the field for the presentation.
Prior to Nebraska's opening punt, the Huskers lined up without a punter in the formation and took a delay of game penalty at which time Nebraska's players and many of Fresno State's players pointed to the sky to remember Foltz. Fresno State declined the penalty.
Nebraska continues its season-opening three-game home stand by taking on Wyoming on Saturday, Sept. 10. Kick-off with the Cowboys is set for 11 a.m.
Nebraska vs Fresno State
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
First Quarter (NEB 7-0)
NEB 0:43 - Devine Ozigbo 1 run (Drew Brown PAT), 13 plays, 80 yards, 6:25, NEB 7-0
Second Quarter (NEB 14-10)
NEB 12:34 - Ozigbo 6 run (Brown PAT), 4 plays, 38 yards, 1:27, NEB 14-0
FS 5:38 - Aaron Peck 7 pass from Chason Virgil (PAT), 7 plays, 32 yards, 2:37, NEB 14-7
FS 0:00 - Kody Kroening 26 FG, 10 plays, 68 yards, 3:39, NEB 14-10
Third Quarter (NEB 21-10)
NEB 9:59 - Tommy Armstrong Jr. 9 run (Brown PAT), 9 plays, 57 yards, 4:03, NEB 21-10.
Fourth Quarter (NEB 43-10)
NEB 14:54 - Alonzo Moore 57 pass from Armstrong (Brown PAT), 2 plays, 62 yards, 0:53, NEB 28-10
NEB 9:50 - Armstrong 4 run (2PAT Good, Zack Darlington rush), 8 plays, 63 yards, 4:17, NEB 36-10
NEB 4:20 - Tre Bryant 3 run (Spencer Lindsay PAT), 10 plays, 67 yards, 4:03, NEB 43-10
Time of Game: 3;26
Game Start: 7:06 p.m.