Cornhuskers scrambling in Lincoln

September, 6, 2008
9/06/08
2:26
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Even while Nebraska fans are cheering the scoreboard updates from Columbus featuring Ohio University coach and former Nebraska coach Frank Solich, the Cornhuskers were battling through their own struggles against San Jose State.

The Spartans showed they meant business early in the game, notching two sacks to end Nebraska's first possession. San Jose State then marched 59 yards on five plays to take a quick 6-0 lead on Kyle Reed's 12-yard TD run as the conversion was missed.

Nebraska reclaimed the lead on their next possession as backup I-back Roy Helu accounted for 48 yards on three plays. Quentin Castille scored two plays later to give Nebraska the lead.

Perhaps the best sign of the first half for Nebraska coach Bo Pelini came on the next drive. NT Ndamukong Suh, who underachieved badly last season as he struggled with injuries, returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown to extend Nebraska's lead to 14-6.

But San Jose State pulled within 14-9 on a 41-yard field goal by Louis Schuman. It could have been much closer with San Jose twice having the ball inside the Nebraska 25, but Schuman misfired on two field goals in the second half, including a 32-yard attempt to end the first half.

San Jose State coach Dick Tomey told San Jose reporters earlier this week that he backed out of a game against Tennessee in favor of one against Nebraska because he thought the Cornhuskers were easier. The Spartans responded by dominating the first half offensively with a 13-7 edge in first downs, 221-111 in total offense, 107 yards rushing and three sacks of Nebraska QB Joe Ganz.

At the end of the first half, the Cornhuskers were fortunate to be ahead even by five points.      

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