Lincoln ? Behind a school-record tying five touchdown passes by quarterback Eric Crouch, top-ranked Nebraska improved to 3-0 on the season with a 42-13 win over Iowa Saturday afternoon in front of a Memorial Stadium record crowd of 78,070.
A junior from Omaha, Crouch competed 10 of 13 passes for a season-high 159 yards and five scores, tying the NU school record also held by Steve Taylor against UCLA in 1987. He threw three touchdowns to tight end Tracey Wistrom and two to split end Matt Davison in the win, topping his previous career high of three against Kansas State in 1998.
Crouch had three of his TDs in the before intermission, including a 43-yarder to Davison on the final play of the first half, giving the Huskers a 21-13 halftime lead.
After Nate Kaeding?s second field goal of the game cut the Nebraska lead to 14-13, Crouch led the Huskers 80 yards on seven plays, capped by Davison?s second touchdown of the game. Davison, who finished the day with two receptions for 74 yards, caught the pass at the Iowa five-yard line and avoided a pair of Hawkeyes en route to the end zone.
The Huskers extended the lead to 28-13 on their opening drive of the second half, when Crouch found Wistrom for the second of his three TD receptions to cap an eight-play, 86-yard drive. Wistrom finished the day with four catches for 42 yards and tied a school record with three TD catches.
The game would remain scoreless until the Huskers scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, one a four-yard reception by Wistrom and a 39-yard interception by reserve defensive back Troy Watchorn late in the fourth quarter.
Despite NU?s success through the air, the Huskers were able to run effectively, as Dan Alexander and Correll Buckhalter both topped the 100-yard mark. Alexander led all rushed with 113 yards on 15 carries, while Buckhalter finished with 100 yards on 16 carries. Crouch also came close to topping the 100-yard mark, finishing with 93 yards, as the Huskers ran for 331 yards in the victory.
The Hawkeyes (1-2) jumped to a 7-0 lead on its first possession when Scott Mullen connected with Kevin Kasper for 29-yard TD strike.
Mullen finished with 252 yards on 19-of-40 passing, but he was sacked six times and threw an interception, as the Hawkeyes dropped their school-record 12th straight game, dating back to last season.
The Huskers play host to Missouri next Saturday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. The game will be televised by FOX Sports Net
Nebraska vs. Iowa Postgame Notes, Sept. 23, 2000
The No. 1 Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated Iowa in Lincoln, 42-13, in Memorial Stadium's 235th consecutive sellout. Quarterback Eric Crouch led the Huskers with a career-best five TD passes, three to tight end Tracey Wistrom and two to split end Matt Davison. Iowa scored first, marking the first time NU has trailed in regulation since Kansas in 1999 (trailed Notre Dame in overtime period two weeks ago) and the Huskers allowed two Nate Kaeding 40-yard field goals, but four straight touchdown passes from Crouch put the Huskers up 21-13 at halftime and 28-13 after NU's first possession in the third quarter. Crouch hit Wistrom on a third TD pass and Troy Watchorn scored on an interception return for the final 42-13 margin.
The win for Nebraska was...Nebraska's ninth straight win overall; gave NU a 43-6-1 record when playing as AP's No. 1 team, sixth straight win as No. 1; Nebraska's ninth straight at home; gave NU a 26-12-3 lead over Iowa and is the third straight win over the Hawkeyes; and gave Solich a 24-5 three-year record.
Quarterback Eric Crouch...completed 10-of-13 passes for 159 yards and a career-best five and school-record tyingpassing touchdowns in the game, bettering his previous best of three vs. Kansas State in 1998. The 159 passing yards is a season best and fourth best overall (third highest regularseason total). Crouch had a 31-yard TD pass to Matt Davison with 7:40 to tie the game at 7-7; he completed a 12-yard pass to Tracey Wistrom with 11:01 in the second quarter to give NU a 14-7 lead; and completed a 43-yard TD pass to Davison with no time remaining in the half to give the Huskers a 21-13 lead at halftime. On Nebraska's first drive of the second half, Crouch again hit Wistrom for a 10-yard TD to give NU a 28-13 lead. Crouch also hit Wistrom on a 4-yard pass with 1:27 remaining in the fourth quarter. The five TD passes marked Crouch's first multiple TD-passing game since he had two vs. Missouri in 1999. The last time a Nebraska quarterback threw four or more touchdown passes in a game was Tommie Frazier's four vs. Kansas State in 1995. Crouch's five TD passes ties the school record, set by Steve Taylor vs. UCLA on Sept. 12, 1987. (As a team, the five TD passes ties the school record set twice in 1987, vs. Missouri on Oct. 31 and vs. UCLA, both on 15 attempts, today's record was set on 13 attempts.) Crouch also rushed for a season-best 93 yards on 12 carries. Crouch has rushed for at least 50 yards in each of his last eight games and has scored a rushing touchdown in 13 of the last 16 games, but did not have a rushing TD vs. Iowa. Crouch was named the ABC/Chevrolet Player of the Game for the Huskers. Crouch now has 1,578 career rushing yards, 27 TDs and 2,199 career passing yards. He moved from fourth to third on the NU career rushing chart for quarterbacks, ahead of Scott Frost's 1,533 yards in 1996 and 1997.
Senior split end Matt Davison...made two catches for 74 yards including a career-best two TDs. Davison has caught at least one pass in 30 of the last 32 games and in each of last six...Davison caught a career-best two touchdown passes vs. the Hawkeyes, both from Eric Crouch in the first half. He caught a 31-yard pass in the first quarter with 7:40 remaining to tie the score at 7-7; and caught a season-best 43-yard pass as time expired in the first half to give NU a 21-13 halftime lead. Davison now has 77 receptions for 1,192 yards to move into third on the NU career receiving yards list, passing Guy Ingles' 1,157 yards (SE, 1968-70) and is just four yards behind No. 2 Irving Fryar's 1,196 yards (WB, 1981-83). He remains third on the NU all time receptions chart, five catches behind Jeff Kinney's 82 receptions (Kinney had 82-864 as a halfback from 1969 to 1971).
Tight End Tracey Wistrom...caught four passes for 42 yards and a career-best three TD passes vs. Iowa. Wistrom has caught at least one pass in each of the last six games he has played. On Nebraska's first touchdown drive, he made a 16-yard reception on third and seven. He gave Nebraska a 14-7 lead with 11:01 remaining in the second quarter on a 12-yard TD reception from Eric Crouch. Both receptions were for first downs. Wistrom caught his second TD pass in the game (10 yards from Crouch) with 11:25 in the third quarter on NU's first drive of the second half to give NU a 28-13 cushion. Wistrom caught a 4-yard TD pass from Crouch with 1:27 remaining in the game. It was a career best for Wistrom, who now has seven TD receptions in his career. The three TD receptions ties the NU school position record and the overall school record, also held by TE Tom Banderas (vs. Missouri, 1987) and four other non-tight end Huskers. Banderas' three vs. Missouri in 1987 is the most recent time a player caught three TD passes.
I-back Correll Buckhalter...became the 18th Husker to rush for 2,000 career yards with a four-yard gain with 1:05 remaining in the second quarter. With that carry, he had 10 carries for 85 yards in the game. At that moment, Buckhalter had 338 carries for 2,003 yards and 20 TDs. In the game, Buckhalter rushed 16 times for 100 yards, , an average of 6.25 yards per carry. Buckhalter reached the 100-yard mark with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter on his 15th carry (gain of five on a pitch from Crouch). It was Buckhalter's ninth career 100-yard rushing day and second this season, after rushing for 113 vs. San Jose State. Buckhalter now has 345 carries for 2,032 yards and 20 TDs to rank 18th at NU.
Interceptions...Linebacker Scott Shanle...recorded his first career interception in the first quarter, when he picked off a pass tipped by linebacker Carlos Polk from Iowa QB Scott Mullen. He returned the interception 18 yards and NU started on its own 45 yard line, but did not convert the turnover to a score. Senior free safety Troy Watchorn intercepted Mullen with :55 remaining in the game and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown. It was Watchorn's first career interception and the first return for a TD since Julius Jackson returned an interception vs. Southern Mississippi in 1999. It was Nebraska's first points off a turnover this season.
I-back Dan Alexander...recorded his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game with 108 vs. Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl last season, 208 vs. San Jose State in the season opener, 112 vs. Notre Dame and 113 vs Iowa. Alexander had 113 yards on 15 carries, a 7.5 average. He reached the 100-yard mark on his 14th carry of the game, with approximately two minutes remaining in the game. Alexander has nine career 100-yard rushing games, including eight in the last 11 games. Alexander leads the team with 433 yards on 56 carries with three TDs this season, an average of 7.7 yards per carry. Alexander now has 1,735 yards in his career on 276 carries and 15 TDs to rank 23rd all time at NU.
Defensive Notes...Sacks: Nebraska had a season-best six sacks for 41 yards lost in the game. LB Randy Stella and RE Chad Kelsay combined for a 7-yard sack; CB Keyuo Craver recorded his first career sack (9-yard sack); and Iowa native Kyle Vanden Bosch had a 6-yard sack, all of Iowa QB Scott Mullen. LB Carlos Polk had a 10-yard sack in the fourth quarter. Stella had a second sack (5-yards lost) with four minutes remaining in the game. NU had just two sacks for 13 yards coming into the game. DT Junior Tagoa'i had his first sack on Iowa's last drive, a 4-yard loss. Unofficially, NU was led by linebackers Carlos Polk (third straight game Polk has led or shared team lead in tackles) and Scott Shanle (career best) who each had nine stops. Craver had eight tackles and two breakups to total 20 in his career to move up into a tie for fourth all time. Randy Stella and Dion Booker had six stops each, and Vanden Bosch had four.
Misc...True Freshman...left rush end Benard Thomas became the fourth true freshman to play this seaosn vs. Iowa, joining FS Willie Amos, SLB T.J. Hollowell and LCB Terrell Butler. Nebraska had its first fumble lost of the season in the third quarter, giving Iowa the ball on their own 16. A bad exchange from Crouch to Buckhalter, loss charged to Buckhalter, marked the first time this season NU did not score in the red zone. Iowa did not convert the turnover into a score. Wingback Bobby Newcombe...has caught at least one pass in 11 straight games. He had two catches for 24 yards vs. Iowa. Place-Kicker Josh Brown...has made 54 consecutive PATs.
Rushing...Nebraska rushed for 331 yards today, marking the 99th straight game NU has won when rushing for 300-plus yards. NU is 177-5 in the last 28 years when rushing for 300 or more yards. Nebraska had two 100 yard rushers in the game for the 41st time overall, led by Alexander's 113, and Buckhalter's 100. Crouch nearly had 100 with 93. The last time NU had two 100-yard rushers was in game No. 1 vs. San Jose State (Alexander 208, Buckhalter 117). The last time NU did not score a rushing touchdown was the Holiday Bowl following the 1998 season and vs. Colorado in 1998 (regular season). The Colorado game was also the last time NU did not score a rushing touchdown but won the game.
Iowa Notes...Iowa's Kevin Kasper caught five passes for 104 yards in the first half, (8-129 in the game) becoming the first opponent to have 100 yards receiving vs. NU since Tennesse's Donte Stallworth had 108 vs. Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl. Iowa's 13 points marked the first time that Iowa has scored more than seven points in Lincoln (first time in four meetings, first time since Nov. 20, 1943). Iowa's 13 points also marked only the third time in 17 meetings in Lincoln that Iowa has managed 13 or more points against Nebraska.