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NEBRASKA 49 , Pacific 7

(c) 1995 Copyright The News and Observer Publishing Co.
(c) 1995 Associated Press
Pacific          	 0  0  7  0-- 7
Nebraska         	21 14 14  0--49

LINCOLN, Neb. (Sep 23, 1995 - 18:54 EDT) -- It was almost as ugly as advertised.

Pacific didn't cross midfield until the third quarter, punted 11 times and couldn't muster 200 yards of offense in a 49-7 loss to No. 2 Nebraska on Saturday. The Cornhuskers can't wait for a challenge.

"It's great blowing these teams out," defensive tackle Christian Peter said. "Eventually, we'll run into a real good team and they'll hang in there for four quarters with us. We're looking forward to a game like that."

Coach Tom Osborne is looking forward to a game without an injured tailback. Damon Benning, the team's third starter in three games, left the game in the third quarter with a sprained ankle after a career-high 173 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior Clinton Childs is out for at least two more weeks with a sprained knee and star Lawrence Phillips remains suspended after pleading no contest to assault and trespassing charges following a Sept. 10 incident with an ex-girlfriend.

"We're very, very thin there," Osborne said. "It's a position that looked quite deep at one point this year."

Benning and freshman Ahman Green were more than enough for Pacific. Green finished with 112 yards and two touchdowns, his second straight week with at least 100 yards.

"I think they've taken their kind of offensive football to another level," Pacific coach Chuck Shelton said. "They've improved it to a point where it's very difficult to deal with and certainly we couldn't match up physically."

The Tigers (1-3) did better than Arizona State a week earlier. Nebraska piled up 63 points and 508 yards in the first half against the Sun Devils. On Saturday, Nebraska led 35-0 at halftime and had 446 yards.

The Huskers, who had 699 yards against Pacific in a 70-21 rout last year, totaled 731 yards this time -- the school's fifth-highest total and the most ever given up by the Tigers. The 569 rushing yards were the school's sixth-highest total.

Osborne said he liked the effort, but said his team was "not as into it as maybe they should have been."

Benning scored all three of his touchdowns in the first quarter as Nebraska opened a 21-0 lead. The ankle sprain comes after a pulled hamstring that sidelined him for two games.

Nebraska probably could have scored more points. Three drives in the fourth quarter stalled inside the Pacific 30. Nebraska's only field-goal attempt came in the first quarter when Kris Brown missed from 30 yards.

"I didn't want to embarrass them," said Osborne, who substituted freely beginning in the second quarter and eventually used 102 players.

Nebraska quarterbacks, who came into the game averaging 10 throws through three games, attempted 36 passes for 162 yards.

Quarterback Tommie Frazier blamed gusty winds for finishing 6-of-14 for 90 yards and an interception. Backup Brook Berringer was 9-of-17 for 57 yards.

Pacific crossed midfield for the first time with 6:59 in the third quarter on the its only scoring drive. Nick Sellers found Eric Atkins with a 38-yard pass to the Nebraska 33 to set up a 12-yard scoring pass to Tyrone Watley.

Pacific finished with 60 yards rushing and just 197 yards overall.

"I don't know if there's such a thing as a perfect college football team, but they're about as close as you can come," said Pacific tailback Joe Abdullah, who finished with 25 yards on 13 carries.

Benning's 26-yard run opened the scoring and capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive. After a 33-yard punt return by Kenny Cheatham to the Pacific 17, Benning scored on the next play.

After Nebraska converted a fourth-and-1, Benning ran 43 yards for the score to put Nebraska ahead 21-0 with 4:57 left in the first quarter.