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No. 3 Nebraska 77, Iowa State 14

A Big Red Tornado: Early Husker flurry buries Iowa State

Cutting away
Independent/Gerik Parmele
Ahman Green dashes between two Iowa State defenders, Kevin Hudson (13) and Preston Rhamy (32) during a third quarter run.

Huskers leave no doubt in crushing Iowa State

By Bob Hamar
The Independent

LINCOLN - The Nebraska offense kicked it into high gear in the home finale Saturday against Iowa State.

The Huskers rushed for 178 yards (13 per carry) and scored five touchdowns against the Cyclones.

And those were the first quarter statistics.

Nebraska (10-0, 7-0 in the Big 12) went on to a 77-14 victory over Iowa State before 75,613 fans at Memorial Stadium.

The win clinched a berth in the Big 12 Championship game Dec. 6 against the South Division winner in San Antonio.

"I was pleased with how we played,'' Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said. "We gave up a couple of big plays on defense. Other than that, I couldn't see much wrong.

"I was pleased with the fact that we got a lot of players in the game.''

Nebraska got many players in the game because this one got ugly in a hurry. Remember the Alamo? How about Custer's Last Stand?

The Cyclones (1-9, 1-6 in the Big 12) can identify with those guys. It went like this:

  • Ahman Green scored on an 18-yard touchdown run.
  • Bobby Newcombe returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown.
  • Green broke loose for a 49-yard TD.
  • Green scored on a 32-yard run.
  • Newcombe scored on an option from 16 yards out.
All that came in the first quarter as the Huskers took a 35-7 lead.

The 35 points in the first quarter tied an NU record set against Oklahoma State in 1988 and Arizona State in 1995.

"We feel like that is the best football team in America,'' Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said of Nebraska. "There is just no doubt in my mind that is the finest college football team in the country. I am on the coaches poll and I have been voting them No. 1 all along, and they will get my vote again next week.''

The first quarter scoring explosion was just a prelude of things to come. When halftime rolled around, Nebraska had a commanding 63-7 lead.

The 63 points in a half tied the NU record set against Arizona State in 1995.

Dragging him down
Independent/Gerik Parmele
Octavious McFarlin and Jason Peter (bottom) haul down Iowa State's Darren Davis.
The halftime statistics were also impressive. Nebraska had 19 first downs, 305 yards rushing on 31 attempts and 394 total yards.

The Cyclones had just 14 yards rushing in the first half to go with 94 passing.

Green had 142 yards on 12 carries, while Scott Frost had 88 yards on eight tries and was 7 for 8 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown.

Green ended with 209 yards on 15 carries. He had just three carries in the second half.

"I could have kept going,'' Green said. "I wasn't tired. But I wanted to let the whole team play. I don't worry about statitics. I just want to do whatever I can to help put points on the scoreboard.''

In three games against Iowa State, Green has ammassed 599 yards.

Frost ended the game with 88 yards rushing, while he completed 8 of 9 passes for 111 yards. Frost said it was just the kind of game the offense wanted after last week's 45-38 overtime win against Missouri.

"We wanted to come out and take control after last week's game,'' Frost said. "And we came out and jumped on them early.

"I don't think there was more than one or two plays that didn't work just as they were supposed to.''

Osborne said it looked like Iowa State was trying to copy what Missouri did against the Huskers last week when it won the toss and took the ball even with a brisk wind blowing out of the north.

"I think their thought was to take the ball down the field and set the tempo for the game and that didn't happen,'' Osborne said. "And very quickly it was 21-0. I don't think it was a bad decision. I think maybe they felt the only chance they had was that their offense would have to carry them a little bit against our defense and it just didn't work out.''

The first quarter, which lasted 1 hour and 2 minutes, had to seem longer to Iowa State. It also seemed long to the Nebraska players.

"Somebody told me the first quarter was an hour long,'' Green said. "We'd kept scoring and that would stop the clock. They kept passing the ball and that would stop the clock.''

McCarney said he did not feel like Nebraska was trying to run up the score.

"We were absolutely ineffective on both sides of the ball in the first half,'' he said. "When people are putting up that many points and we're that ineffective, then it's our fault - not theirs.''

Osborne said he was caught in a tough position right before the half when Nebraska had the ball on the Iowa State 2-yard line with just a few seconds remaining before the break.

A quarterback sneak resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run for Frost.

"I didn't want them to kneel down, I didn't want them to stay in the huddle,'' Osborne said. "I didn't know what to do, so I called a quarterback sneak from the 2-yard line and Iowa State doesn't get lined up and we squeak it in.''


Other Stories
Going out in style: Frost's last home performance moves him up record books

Enjoying one last romp: For 23 seniors, the final game makes more memories, brings back others

Start the campaign: Terry Douglass is taking over running the "Ahman Green for Heisman" office

Game Notes: Players who look like Johnny, a team getting back on track and looking ahead

Game summary, statistics

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