Nebraska Moves To 2-0 With 31-7 Win
Nebraska Postgame Notes vs. Utah State, Sept. 6, 2003
The No. 23/24 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska Cornhuskers improved to 2-0 after defeating Utah State, 31-7, in Lincoln, marking the seventh straight year NU has opened the season 2-0. NU has defeated USU in all eight meetings and the Huskers have now won 33 straight home games against non-conference opponents. The win is Coach Frank Solich's 51st in six years as a head coach and he is 19-1 in regular-season games against non-conference opponents. NU has now won 100 games in the last 10 seasons (since start of the 1994 season).
* Williams' Wreaks Havoc on USU Offense...Demorrio Williams' three sacks ties the school record for sacks by a linebacker, most recently by LeRoy Etienne vs. Oklahoma in 1988. Williams is the first Husker at any position to record three sacks in a game since defensive tackle Steve Warren had three sacks against Texas A&M in 1999. The school record for sacks is four by five players, most recently Mike Rucker in 1996. Williams had eight tackles in the game, including three sacks in the game totaling 27 yards, caused two fumbles (both recovered by Nebraska, recovered one himself) and one pass breakup.
* NU Linebackers Shine...NU's three linebackers, Demorrio Williams (8 tackles), Barrett Ruud (team-high 10 tackles) and T.J. Hollowell (5 tackles) led the team against USU. Combined, the three had 23 tackles, four sacks for minus 37 yards, three fumbles caused and three pass breakups.
* Four More Newcomers See Action...Junior college transfers Darren DeLone (OT) and Donald DeFrand (CB) saw action in today's game as did two true freshmen in quarterback Joe Dailey and kicker David Dyches. Dyches connected on a 23-yard field goal to give the Huskers a 15-7 halftime lead, and hit on two more field goals in the third quarter (20 and 29 yards). He hit on a 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, the first time a Husker has converted on four field goals since Kris Brown had four vs. Texas A&M in the 1997 Big 12 Championship game. Dyches' four field goals also marks just the fourth time in school history an NU kicker has had four or more field goals in a game (joining Brown's four vs. A&M in 1997; Kris Brown's four vs. Kansas State in 1996; and Dale Klein's school-record seven at Missouri in 1985). Dyches was also 1-for-1 on PATs, scoring 13 points for the Huskers. Quarterback Joe Dailey entered the game at the end of the third quarter and on his second drive led the Huskers to three points. In the game, Dailey carried nine times for 47 yards and completed 4-of-5 passes for 47 yards.
* First-Time Starters...Nebraska had two first-time starters today, senior tight end Phil Peetz, when NU opened in a two tight-end set, and sophomore defensive tackle Titus Adams (two tackles), who started for ailing Le Kevin Smith (did not play). Wide receiver Mark LeFlore earned his first start this season after moving to the top of the depth chart at the "Z" position, but had started one game last year against Oklahoma State as a true freshman when he ran a reverse on the first play of the game. LeFlore had 1-5 receiving, 1-21 rushing today.
* QB Jammal Lord Moves into Top 25 on NU Career Rushing List...With 72 yards rushing today on 20 carries, Jammal Lord moved into the No. 25 spot on the NU career rushing chart. Lord now has 1,787 in his career. Lord also had 85 yards passing, completing 8-of-12 passes.
* I-back Josh Davis has busy day...in addition to his 14 carries for 63 yards, starting I-back Josh Davis also had one reception for 7 yards, one kickoff return for 30 yards and three punt returns for 44 yards for 144 all-purpose yards. Davis' backup, David Horne had 10 carries for 50 yards, as Horne, Davis and Lord have each topped 50-yards rushing in each of the last two weeks.
* Huskers score Nine Points off Turnovers...After scoring 14 points off of turnovers last week, NU scored nine today off three turnovers gained. USU did not convert on NU's first turnover in the second quarter, turning the ball over on the next play when Josh Bullocks intercepted Matt Crivello. It was Bullock's third pick this season after recording two last week vs. Oklahoma State. While NU did not convert on Josh Bullocks' interception, Husker linebacker Demorrio Williams caused fumbles on USU's next two possessions. On the first, Williams sacked Cox and recovered himself at the USU 1-yard line (NU scored one play later on a 1-yard Judd Davies run, but did not convert 2-point PAT); on the next series, Williams again sacked Cox on first play of series, and Titus Adams recovered at the USU 35 yard line. NU scored nine plays later on David Dyche's first career field goal. NU had one other fumble lost in the second half, which USU did not convert.
* Herian and Pilkington Have Career-High Catches...Sophomore tight end Matt Herian recorded a career-high four receptions today, and extended his streak of games with at least one catch to five. Herian had four catches for 62 yards, bettering his two receptions (for 95 yards) vs. Colorado last year. He now has 7-104 this season, after catching a total of seven passes last season (for 301 yards). Sophomore wide receiver Ross Pilkington also had a career high in receptions with five for 57 yards, including three from Joe Dailey. Pilkington's previous best was 3 (for 54 yards) vs. McNeese State last year.
* Huskers Scoring in the Third...Nebraska has outscored its first two opponents 27-0 in the third quarter; last year, NU was outscored 110-97 in the third quarter.
* Defense cracks down after first quarter...After allowing 145 yards in the first quarter, the Husker Blackshirts held Utah State to just 93 yards the rest of the game (43 yards until last 50-yard drive at end of game). Last week, Oklahoma State gained just 57 of 183 yards in the second half. NU has allowed just 119 second-half yards the last two games. USU was 4-for-13 on third down conversions and 0-for-1 on fourth down conversions. After beginning the game 10-for-11, Travis Cox completed 7-of-22 the rest of the way.