Huskers Halt Red Raiders, 56-3
Lubbock, Texas (Ticker) -- Cornerback Joe Walker delivered the first blow and quarterback Eric Crouch followed with his usual steady dose of big runs and passes as No. 1 Nebraska rolled over Big 12 rival Texas Tech, 56-3.
Walker returned an interception 19 yards for a score on the Red Raiders' first drive and Crouch accounted for three first-half touchdowns as the Cornhuskers (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 12 games.
"I thought this was our most complete game of the year," Nebraska coach Frank Solich said.
The Red Raiders (5-2, 1-2) had a nine-game home winning streak snapped and suffered the worst loss in school history. The previous worst was a 58-7 loss to Texas last season.
"We just all blew up," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said.
Crouch, a Heisman Trophy candidate, gave Nebraska a 14-0 lead when he scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter. The 6-1, 205-pound signal-caller hit wingback John Gibson with an eight-yard TD pass 4:13 into the second quarter and made it 28-0 with a one-yard TD pass just over five minutes before the half.
"We wanted to make a statement tonight," Crouch said. "That was part of the plan. Everyone made their assignments and we overpowered them. The power game worked so well and that's due to a great offensive line."
Crouch sat out most of the second half, passing up the opportunity to pad his statistics for the Heisman. He completed 6-of-12 passes for 86 yards and rushed for 52 yards on 12 carries.
Dan Alexander rumbled for 113 yards on 20 carries and Willie Miller, Correll Buckhalter, Dahrran Diedrick and Jammal Lord each scored on short TD runs in the second half as Nebraska laid it on.
"This is a big confidence booster with a defense ranked one or two against the run and allowing a few points," Alexander said. "We have to do this every week. We showed what we are capable of and we weren't getting done like this, like we can in the first five weeks."
The Huskers have won all six meetings in the series, which began with a narrow 27-24 Nebraska triumph in the 1976 Bluebonnet Bowl. Tonight's game came closer to resembling Nebraska's 29-0 rout of Texas Tech in 1997 -- the last meeting between the teams.
Buckhalter helped the Huskers hold onto the ball for nearly 38 minutes, rushing for 105 yards on 13 carries. Nebraska held an astonishing 442-19 edge in rushing yardage and limited Texas Tech's passing game, which entered the contest ranked 10th in the nation, to 181 yards.
Red Raiders quarterback Kliff Kingsbury was 20-of-37 for 165 yards with two interceptions.
Beginning at his own 16 with 12:23 remaining in the first quarter, Kingsbury watched Walker step in front of his first play on the drive and dash into the end zone, providing Nebraska with all the points it would need.
Crouch broke off a 40-yard run to spark a four-play, 58-yard drive that gave the Huskers a 14-0 lead. He carried four times on a grueling 16-play, 61-yard march before capping it with an eight-yard TD toss to Gibson, making it 21-0 with 10:47 left in the second period. The drive took 7:21 seconds and took the life out of Texas Tech.
Nebraska vs. Texas Tech, Postgame Notes, Oct. 14, 2000
Lincoln --Playing in its fifth game this season, and 52nd overall as the AP No. 1 team, Nebraska defeated Texas Tech 56-3 in Lubbock. The Husker defense played its best game this season and shut down the potent Red Raider attack. The Huskers shut out the opponent in the first half for the first time this season as NU took a 28-0 halftime lead, and held its opponent without a touchdown for the first time this year. Nebraska held the Raiders to just 11 rushing yards on a NU season-opponent school-record low 12 attempts (previous school record was 14 by Louisiana Tech in 1998, Texas Tech had negative two yards rushing at halftime), a season best for the Husker defense, and 200 total offense yards (85 at halftime). Nebraska meanwhile, rushed for 442 and totaled 540 yards. The nation