Official Game Stats
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