Nebraska Cruises Against Idaho State
In a moment of candor leading up this week's contest with ISU, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini admitted that he didn't like to play lower division schools. About a quarter into this one, it was clear why. The Bengals may not have asked for a mercy rule, but for their sake it might have been nice. A 35-0 first quarter advantage for the Huskers stretched to a 45-0 halftime lead. The only real drama was whether or not any key NU personnel would be injured.
The Huskers took the opening kick to midfield, but the drive stalled and NU missed a 51-yard field goal attempt. Nebraska would have little trouble scoring after that. The offense scored four straight touchdowns and the defense contributed a fifth in the first period. Backup quarterback Ron Kellogg entered the game in the second quarter, but after an interception was given a seat. Starter Taylor Martinez led two more scoring drives in his next three attempts.
Rex Burkhead managed 119 yards and two touchdowns on just eight attempts. Nebraska's other playmakers got into the act with Ameer Abdullah, Quincy Enunwa, and Kenny Bell all scoring first-half TD's. Ciante Evans had an interception return for a score as well. The only drama was when Mohammed Seisay, PJ Smith, and Courtney Osborne were each shaken up briefly. The Huskers amassed 361 yards at the half while yielding just 74.
NU special teams stood out in the third quarter with an 80-yard punt return by Ameer Abdullah that went for a score and a blocked punt that set up another. Ron Kellogg got his first touchdown pass to Steven Osborne and Braylon Heard adding a rushing touchdown to make it 66-0 going into the fourth quarter.
Idaho State finally got on the board when their backup quarterback (and starting punter) connected on a touchdown pass against NU's reserves after freshman running back Imani Cross fumbled to open the fourth period. Cross responded with a score to make it a 73-7 game with over 8 minutes to go. Mercifully, neither team would score again.
There could be quibbles about NU's execution. Too many sacks given up, too many penalties and too many turnovers. So many of the errors happened to backup players, that it's hard to get too concerned. All things considered, the kind of effort you'd hope for against an overmatched opponent.