Huskers Breeze Past Cyclones
Lincoln -- No. 4 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska rushed for a season-high 439 yards and held Iowa State to just 146 yards on the ground to improve to 6-0 on the season with a 49-14 victory over ISU in front of 77,743 fans at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Cyclones, who dropped to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12 Conference, entered the game as the nation?s top-ranked rushing offense, averaging 328 yards per game. But the Huskers defense was up to the challenge, holding ISU to almost 200 yards below its average. Nebraska?s defense, ranked sixth nationally against the run, has held four of its six opponents to less than 100 yards rushing.
While the Cyclone ground attack was held in check, NU I-backs Dan Alexander and Correll Buckhalter each eclipsed the century mark by the third quarter as NU bettered its previous season best of 347 yards rushing against Iowa. Alexander finished with a career-high 135 yards and a TD on 10 carries, while Buckhalter finished with 127 yards and a score on 14 carries. In addition, I-back Dahrran Diedrick finished with 99 yards on 16 carries.
The Huskers, who have won 31 straight Homecoming contests, built a 28-0 halftime advantage as NU has outscored the opposition 115-10 in the first half this season.
After Iowa State drove deep into Nebraska territory on its first possession, Husker rover Joe Walker sacked ISU quarterback Sage Rosenfels, forcing a fumble and recovering it on the 38-yard line. The Huskers would take advantage, driving 62 yards on seven plays. Alexander took the option pitch from NU quarterback Eric Crouch and scored from seven yards out to cap the drive and give Nebraska a 7-0 lead. NU kept the ball on the ground, rushing on all seven plays on the drive, including a 26-yard run by Crouch that gave NU a first-and-goal at the ISU 7 to set up the score.
After holding ISU to three-and-out on its next possession, sophomore linebacker Randy Stella blocked Carl Gomez? punt. Ralph Brown recovered the football in the endzone for the touchdown to give the Huskers a 14-0 lead with 5:51 remaining in the first quarter. It was NU?s third blocked punt of the season and the first of two on the evening.
Nebraska stuck again later on its second offensive possession, marching 82 yards on three plays as Crouch connected with Matt Davison on a 47-yard touchdown pass to give the Huskers a 21-0 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter. For the game, Crouch completed five-of-10 passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 58 more and a touchdown on 10 carries.
After another ISU punt, wingback Bobby Newcombe returned Gomez? punt 26 yards to the ISU 24, but Nebraska could not capitalized as Josh Brown?s 42-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
The Cyclones had apparently stopped Nebraska on its next series, but a 15-yard roughing the punter penalty gave the Huskers a first down at the Iowa State 40-yard line. Nebraska would capitalize as Buckhalter capped the 16-play, 64-yard drive with a 7-yard TD run to give Nebraska a 28-0 lead with 3:13 left in the half.
Alexander, who rushed for 44 yards on the final play of the first half, started the second half with a career-long 54 yard effort to start the second half as the Huskers took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards on four plays. Crouch threw for his second TD of the game, a 24-yarder to Newcombe to put NU up 35-0 just 1:11 into the second half.
On ISU?s first possession of the half, the Cyclones lost three yards, before more misfortune hit on special teams. Cornerback Keyuo Craver partially blocked Gomez?s punt, giving the Huskers the ball at the ISU 24. Two plays later, the Huskers extended their lead to 42-0 as Crouch went around the end for a 20-yard touchdown run.
Nebraska would increase its lead to 49-0 as Demoine Adams picked up a Derrick Walker fumble and went 37 yards for a touchdown. NU rover Joe Walker sacked the Cyclone QB for his second sack of the game, both causing fumbles.
Darren Davis, who entered the day leading the nation with an average of 176.8 yards per game, was held to 107 yards, including just 40 yards on 15 carries prior to the fourth quarter. His 35-yard touchdown run with 12 minutes remaining cut the Husker advantage to 49-7 and ended NU?s bid for a fourth consecutive Homecoming shutout, while his 2-yard TD run with 5:11 left provided the final margin. The Huskers had outscored its Homecoming opponents by a 119-0 margin the last thee seasons.
At halftime, Matthew Meyer (Lexington, Neb.) and Angela Klein (Battle Creek, Neb.) were crowned as Homecoming King and Queen. The the duo was selected by a vote of the student body earlier in the week.
The Huskers will be off until traveling to Austin, Texas, for a contest with the Longhorns on Oct. 23. The kickoff time will be determined on Monday.
Nebraska Postgame Notes vs. Iowa State, Oct. 9, 1999
* The No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers posted a 49-14 win over the Iowa State Cyclones in Lincoln on Homecoming. Nebraska jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead as the defense, for the third consecutive week, caused a miscue on the opponent?s first drive. Dan Alexander scored on a 7-yard run seven plays after Joe Walker sacked Sage Rosenfels, caused and recovered a fumble, giving NU the ball on ISU?s 38. On ISU?s second possession, Randy Stella blocked a Carl Gomez punt in the end zone and All-American Ralph Brown recovered for the TD. Matt Davison caught a 47-yard pass from Eric Crouch on NU?s second offensive drive. In the second quarter, NU increased its lead to 28-0 at halftime after Correll Buckhalter scored on a 7-yard run. Nebraska increased its lead to 49-0 on a second defensive touchdown by NU rush end Demoine Adams. ISU scored two fourth-quarter TDs against Husker reserves for the final 49-14 margin. NU totaled 439 yards rushing, led by Alexander?s 135 and Buckhalter?s 127 and recorded 524 total yards. ISU had 146 rushing (59 after three quarters) and 331 total. Nebraska improves to 6-0 on the season, 3-0 in conference play, while ISU drops to 3-2 and 0-2 in league action. The win was Nebraska?s seventh straight over ISU, fifth straight at home.
* It?s a Rush...For the first time this season and the first time since 1997, Nebraska had two 100-yard rushers (last time--Nov. 8, 1997, Ahman Green had 189 and Scott Frost had 141 at Missouri in a 45-38 overtime Husker win). The Huskers were 1-yard short of having three Huskers with 100-plus rushing yards (would have been just second time in Husker history, had three 100-yard rushers vs. ASU in 1988). Starting I-back and part-time fullback Dan Alexander had 10 carries for career-high 135 yards and one TD., and No. 2 I-back Correll Buckhalter rushed 14 times for 127 carries and one TD. It was the first time this year (second career) that Alexander had 100-plus rushing yards, the second time this season (fifth in career) for Buckhalter (also had 132 vs. Missouri this year). QB Eric Crouch rushed 10 times for 58 yards and nine Huskers total had rushing statistics giving the Huskers a season-best 439 yards (first time NU totaled 400 or more yards since 466 vs. Kansas last year). Alexander?s previous season rushing best was 95 yards at Iowa, while his previous career best was 110 against Iowa State last year. The Huskers? No. 3 I-back, freshman Dahrran Diedrick had 16 carries for a career-high 99 yards. Alexander?s total was aided by a 44-yard run to end the first half and a career-long 54 yard run on the first play of the third quarter which set up the Crouch to Newcombe TD. Nebraska has won 92 straight when rushing for 300-plus yards and is 88-0 since 1973 when rushing for 400 or more yards.
* Defense Scores Again...Iowa State?s first two possessions resulted in miscues caused by the Husker defense leading to 14 points. On the Cyclones? first possession, Rosenfels was sacked by rover Joe Walker. Walker caused and recovered a fumble. NU scored seven plays later. On ISU?s next possession, the Husker D caused ISU to punt from their own 8-yard line after a three-and-out series, freshman linebacker Randy Stella blocked Gomez? punt and senior preseason All-American recovered for the touchdown. In the fourth quarter, NU?s Walker again sacked the quarterback, this time on QB Derrick Walker. He again caused a fumble, which redshirt freshman Demoine Adams returned 37 yards for the TD. The Husker defense has gained 17 turnovers this season, leading to 70 points and has scored 30 points themselves (14 vs. USM, 2 vs. MU, 14 tonight). In addition to Stella?s blocked punt, sophomore corner Keyuo Craver partially blocked a punt in the third quarter which gave the Huskers the ball on the Iowa State 24 yard line. Eric Crouch scored two plays later on a 20-yard run to give NU a 42-0 lead. That is the fourth blocked punt by NU this season (Brian Shaw has two). As NU caused a fumble and scored on ISU?s first possession, that marks the third straight game that the Husker defense has done so this year. Against Missouri NU scored a safety when the ball was snapped over the punter?s head out of the end zone; against OSU, Nebraska caused a fumble on OSU?s first play from scrimmage and scored on the ensuing drive. Ralph Brown had three pass breakups to extend his career school record to 42. Nebraska had three sacks (a 9-yarder by DT Jason Lohr, and a 5-yarder and 12-yarder by Joe Walker), and 10 tackles for loss, led by Walker?s two and Mike Brown?s two for 5.5 yards.Unofficially, LB Carlos Polk and RE Aaron Wills led the team with six tackles apiece.
* The Husker Homecoming shutout streak ended at three games (15 quarters) when ISU scored against Husker reserves with 12:10 remaining in the game on a Darren Davis 35-yard run. Opponents still have not scored a rushing TD against the No. 1 Husker defense this year. Davis had 22 carries for 107 yards against the Huskers, the most by an individual rusher this year (previous best was 73 by Ladell Betts of Iowa). Davis also scored on a 2-yard run with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, also against reserves. However, the 107 yards was well under Davis? nation-leading average of 176.75 yards per game. Davis had 22 yards in the first quarter, had 32 of ISU?s 51 rushing yards at halftime, and 40 of ISU?s 59 rushing yards at the end of three quarters. He is the first person to rush for 100 yards against Nebraska since Trung Canidate had 101 against NU in the 1999 Holiday Bowl.
* Quarterback Eric Crouch rushed 10 times for 58 yards, including a 20-yard TD run in the third to give the Huskers a 42-0 lead. Crouch also completed 5 of 10 passes for 58 yards, no interceptions and two TDs (a 47 yarder to Matt Davison to give NU a 21-0 lead in the first and a 24-yard pass to WB Bobby Newcombe in the third to give NU a 35-0 lead. The 47-yard TD reception was Davison?s first TD against a team other than Missouri (third TD reception in career) and was a career-long TD reception (but not career-long reception).
* Other Firsts/Lasts/Bests...Sophomore fullback Tyrone Uhlir earned his first career start as Willie Miller sat out with a sprained ankle.
* Scoring...Nebraska scored 35 or more points for the fifth time this year. NU has won 218 consecutive games when scoring at least 35 or more points improving to 282-1 all-time.