Husker Press Box - Season Opener Heats Up Huskers
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Season Opener Heats Up Huskers
Nebraska Rolls 49-13 Over San Jose State

--  by Mark Fricke
     September 02, 2000

 

The number one ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers' offense may have found themselves battling the weather as much as the San Jose State defense in the season opener for both teams.

Facing game time temperatures that reached 91 degrees and 130 on the field, the top ranked Huskers showed they still have the offensive might that they have become known for. Nebraska rolled up 596 yards of total offense, including 505 yards rushing. They scored touchdowns five of the six times they got the ball, and cruised to a 49-13 victory over the Spartans.

"That offensive unit of Nebraska is very, very dominant. We couldn't stop them." said San Jose State head coach Dave Baldwin. "I think we stopped them two or three times all game."

In fact the Huskers only saw three drives end with either a touchdown or the end of a half. Twice the Huskers were stopped by an interception and once they punted.

I-Back Dan Alexander ran for 208 yards on 17 carries to lead all rushers. He also scored two touchdowns including a 57-yard jaunt in the third period. Correll Buckhalter added 117 yards of his own. Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch scored three times with runs of 6, 4 and 9 yards. He also threw a 27 yard touchdown pass to tight end Tracey Wistrom. Crouch finished with 57 yards rushing and was 4-10 for 67 yards in passing.

"It's just a different confidence level. The confidence of the offensive line, the running backs and just the whole offense in general - that's what's going for us." said Crouch. "There's a lot of motivation out there to be on the top of our game all the time. With the experience that we've all had together, it just makes it that much easier for us."

The biggest question the Huskers faced going into the season was left unanswered for the most part. The Husker defense was looking to fill in the loss of several key players from last year's Blackshirt squad that ranked 4th in the nation in total defense. The Huskers failed to provide any solid answers as they allowed San Jose State 291 yards in offense, failed to record any sacks or fumbles and managed a lone interception on the last play of the second quarter.

Spartan running back Deonce Whitaker ran for 144 yards to lead the San Jose State threat. He provided several key plays and long runs to frustrate the Huskers.

The game started off looking much like it was expected to. On their first possession of the game the Huskers drove 80 yards in 8 plays, including a 40 yard option run by Dan Alexander. On the next play Crouch took the ball in from six yards out.

San Jose State appeared to be ready to respond on their first drive, but a 25 yard field goal attempt was tipped by Kyle Vanden Bosch, hit the upright and fell no good.

Nebraska turned it on again on the next drive. Crouch caught s a streaking Tracey Wistrom for a 27 yard score putting the Huskers up 14-0 with 5:02 left in the first.

San Jose State showed they wouldn't give up easily. They pushed a 10 play drive over 69 yards to score on an An Truong 9 yard pass reception. The extra point was blocked and the Spartans had to settle for six points.

The Huskers scored twice in the second period. Crouch took a keeper in from four yards out midway through the period. Later in the quarter, Alexander scored from one yard out. His run followed a 31 yard run by Alexander in which he lost his footing at the one yard line.

The fireworks continued in the third. On their first drive Nebraska hit with a 57 yard run by Alexander to stretch the score to 35-6 with 12:21 left in the third.

San Jose State took advantage of their second interception to drive 19 yards to score on the next possession.

The Huskers returned to form by scoring on their next two turns. Crouch ran in from nine yards out in the third and Dahrran Diedrick dove in from 4 yards out early in the fourth to finish the scoring.

The win was the Huskers 14th straight season opening victory. They now head to South Bend to face Notre Dame.

Husker rush end Kyle Vanden Bosch says it's not hard for his team to already be looking ahead to the Irish. "We know what kind of game we have next week. The tradition they have - it's always tough for opponents to go in there and play." Vanden BOsch said. "A lot of people have been looking forward to this. We're going to go out there and give it our best effort."
 
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©2000 Husker Press Box

What Are Your Thoughts On The Huskers' Season Opener?
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09/03/00 I THINK THIS GAME LOOK LIKE A PROMISING... MIKE ZOUCHA
09/05/00 Soak this victory up...the Irish are... Darron Nelson
09/05/00 Our defense has usually looked a little... Laura Buchman
09/05/00 Defense needs to tighten up but offense... keith Brisack
09/07/00 Darren Either you are a pessimist, a... Bob Crockford
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