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Troy University
Cornhuskers Roll Past Troy 56-0

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    LINCOLN, Neb. � The Nebraska Cornhuskers gave Troy a lesson in offensive efficiency Saturday night, scoring touchdowns on four of their first five possessions in route to a 56-0 thrashing of the Trojans at Memorial Stadium. The shutout for Troy was the first in 30 games and the worst loss since a 70-7 defeat at Montana in 1996.

    Nebraska improved to 3-1 on the year with the victory while dropping the Trojans to 1-3 with Troy�s third consecutive loss. It is the second year in a row that the Trojans have had a three-game losing streak follow a season-opening win. It is also the fifth time in Troy coach Larry Blakeney�s career that he has had a team lose three straight.

    Nebraska wasted little time in establishing its dominance of the line of scrimmage, marching 73 yards on 10 plays on the opening possession of the game for a 7-0 lead. The drive was capped by a 34-yard touchdown run by sophomore Marlon Lucky at the 9:13 mark of the opening period.

    After the Trojans failed to moved the ball on their first possession, Nebraska started at its own 28 and needed just five plays to cover 72 yards to paydirt. Senior quarterback Zac Taylor completed passes of 28 and 49 yards to sophomore Nate Swift. Taylor then hit junior J.B. Phillips for a six-yard touchdown.

    After Troy forced a punt on Nebraska�s third possession, the Cornhuskers struck quickly on their first possession of the second period. After a Troy punt pinned Nebraska at its own 19, Taylor hit junior Maurice Purify for a 36 yard gain, and then handed the ball to Lucky, who went 45 yards untouched for a touchdown.

    The Cornhuskers continued to push their advantage with a 12-play, 71-yard drive later in the second quarter. Nebraska kept the ball on the ground for much of the drive, with a 21-yard run by junior Kenny Wilson setting up a three-yard scoring run by Wilson two plays later.

    The Cornhuskers piled up 406 yards of total offense in the first half, including 252 yards passing by Taylor on 13-of-16 attempts. Lucky finished the opening half one yard shy of the century mark rushing, on just seven carries.

    Nebraska picked up in the third quarter right where it left off. After holding the Trojans to 18 yards on five plays, the Cornhuskers needed just five plays of their own to cover 75 yards. Lucky was again the main cog for Nebraska, scoring on a career-best 51-yard run for a 35-0 Cornhuskers lead.

    The Trojans became their own worst enemies on the next possession. After failing to move the ball, senior punter Jason Wright, who managed to get away kicks on two bad snaps in the first half, got a clean snap from center, but dropped the ball. Nebraska�s Brandon Rigoni recovered and returned the fumble to the Troy four, setting up a one-yard TD pass from backup QB Joe Ganz to Matt Senske.

    Nebraska made it 49-0 early in the fourth quarter after Leodis McKelvin fumbled on a punt return, giving the Cornhuskers possession at the Troy 25. Junior Brando Jackson capped the short Nebraska scoring drive with an eight-yard touchdown run. The Huskers added another rushing score with 6:45 left to cap the scoring.

    For the contest, Nebraska�s offense was the greatest seen by Troy since 2001, the first year in Division I-A. The 597 yards of total offense was the most since Middle Tennessee gained 614, while the Huskers� 313 rushing yards were the most since they posted 330 in the season opener that year.

    The Trojans will try to snap their three-game losing skid next Saturday when they travel to Birmingham to face in-state rival UAB. The Blazers, who are also 1-3 on the year, dropped a 16-10 decision to Mississippi State Saturday night.

    Kickoff for the game at Legion Field is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    Troy Game Notes

  • Troy won the opening coin toss and deferred the choice. It is the second straight week the Trojans won the opening flip after losing it the first two weeks.

  • Troy opened the game in a 5-2 defense, a change from its standard 4-3. The switch involved DT Marcus Pittman opening in place of SLB Randy Underwood. Cornelius Williams and Adrian Vera made their first collegiate appearances

  • The shutout ended a 29-game scoring streak. The last time Troy failed to score was against Arkansas on Nov. 2, 2002. The Trojans have been held scoreless only five times during Coach Blakeney�s 16-year tenure.

  • The 56 points allowed were the most during Troy�s Division I-A era (five years). Montana tallied 70 against the Trojans on Dec. 14, 2002 during the Division I-AA semifinals. Tonight�s game marked the worst shutout loss since a 61-0 drubbing at the hands of Marion Military Institute (Marion, Ala.) in 1970.

  • Troy fell behind 14-0 with 4:30 left in the first after Nebraska scored touchdowns on its first two drives of the contest. The opening march marked the first time the Trojans allowed a score on the opponent�s first touch since Oct. 29, 2005, when UL-Lafayette marched 87 yards on eight plays (3:31) after receiving the opening kickoff. The Cornhuskers match the Ragin� Cajuns, who added a 56-yard drive to the endzone on their next possession.

  • Saturday marked the fifth straight game (four in 2006, one in 2005) that the Trojans have failed to score in the first quarter. Their last points in the first 15 minutes came on a 33-yard Greg Whibbs� field goal against Arkansas State. The last touchdown was in the game before against Florida Atlantic, a six-yard Kenny Cattouse run with 5:53 into the period.

  • Today�s attendance of 84,799 was the second-largest ever to see a Troy football game. The largest was 89,493 at LSU on Oct. 23, 2004.

  • Nebraska�s 28 first-half points were the most allowed by the Trojans since Kansas State tallied 34 in the opener 30 minutes on Aug. 30, 2003. The 28-0 deficit was also the most since that day, when Troy trailed 34-5 deficit at intermission.

  • Troy allowed 597 yards of total offense, the most since Middle Tennessee gained 641 against the Trojans on Sept. 8, 2001. The 316 rushing yards allowed were the most since Nebraska gained 330 yards on the ground on Sept. 1, 2001 (their first game in Division I-A history).

  • This is the second straight season Troy has suffered three straight losses after an opening day win. Last year the progession went Cal Poly, UAB, Missouri and South Carolina. This is the fifth time in Head Coach Larry Blakeney�s career that the Trojans have lost three straight.

  • Cornhusker Marlon Lucky posted the longest run against Troy this season three different times during the game. He started with a 34-yard touchdown run on the opening drive before a 45-yard run to paydirt in the second quarter. He added a 51-yarder in the third quarter. Last week, a Georgia Tech running back rushed for 26 yards on a single attempt.

  • The 67-yard Nebraska completion from Zac Taylor to Terrence Nunn was the longest since Troy�s last visit to Lincoln. On Oct. 4, 2003, Jammal Lord tossed a 77-yarder to Matt Herian. The previous long of the season was a 61-yarder last week by Georgia Tech.

  • Defenders Justin Bray and Martin Teal enjoyed career firsts on Saturday. Bray made his first career interception during the second quarter, while Teal registered his first career sack on the final play of the third quarter.

  • Brannon Condren led the team in tackles for the second straight week with a career-high 13 (12 solo). He had the exact same numbers � team season highs -- against Georgia Tech.

  • Saturday marked the fifth straight game (four in 2006, one in 2005) that the Trojans have failed to score in the first quarter. Their last points in the first 15 minutes came on a 33-yard Greg Whibbs� field goal against Arkansas State. The last first-quarter touchdown was in the game before against Florida Atlantic, a six-yard Kenny Cattouse run with 5:53 into the period.
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