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Saturday, September 17, 2011
Nebraska starts out on fire

By Brian Bennett

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The prevailing theory as to why Nebraska lost to Washington in the Holiday Bowl after stomping the Huskies in the regular season is that the team didn't want to be there after losing in the Big 12 title game.

Well, motivation doesn't appear to be a problem early on for the Cornhuskers.

After a big return from freshman Ameer Abdullah -- who is announcing himself as maybe the most dangerous specialist in the Big Ten -- on the opening kickoff, Nebraska nearly scored on its first play from scrimmage. Tim Beck dialed up a great call by faking the option and then having Taylor Martinez throw deep, where he found Kenny Bell for a 50-yard gain. Nebraska scored on the next play, just 34 seconds into this game.

It's not a good sign for Washington, which is banged up in the secondary. The Huskies were clearly set up to try and stop Martinez from running the ball, but two completions later they already find themselves in a 7-0 hole.