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Saturday, October 29, 2011
Huskers legend rises, shut down Spartans

There would be no dramatic, last-second finishes for the Michigan State Spartans in Lincoln on Saturday afternoon, as the Nebraska Cornhuskers cruised to a 24-3 victory at Memorial Stadium.

The Cornhuskers improved to 3-1 in conference play and now control their own destiny for a trip to the Big Ten Championship game as they moved into a tie for the lead in the Legends Division .

In a battle between the nation’s seventh-best rushing team (Nebraska) and the eighth-best defensive team against the run (Michigan State), the Cornhuskers were winners both on the scoreboard and in the trenches. Nebraska outrushed Michigan State 190-101 and scored two of its three touchdowns on the ground.

Rex Burkhead had 157 of the Cornhuskers' 270 total yards and scored all three of Nebraska’s touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving). Burkhead has scored at least one rushing touchdown in all eight games.

The Nebraska defense dominated the Spartans, allowing a season-low three points and 187 total yards. Nebraska entered the game allowing more than 25 points and 350 yards of offense per game this season.

Nebraska has now won nine straight games at home against current Big Ten teams, with its last loss coming in 1981 against Penn State.

The Cornhuskers are 6-0 all-time against Michigan State, outscoring the Spartans 205-37 in those six games. The three points scored by Michigan State are its fewest since a 17-3 loss in the 2003 Alamo Bowl to…Nebraska.

Michigan State, which had beaten 11th-ranked Michigan and sixth-ranked Wisconsin in the previous two weeks, was trying to beat an AP-ranked opponent for the first time in school history. This was the 12th time they had played ranked opponents in three consecutive weekends in the same season.

Around CFB Nation
• Fitzgerald Toussaint rushed for a career-high 170 yards and two touchdowns as Michigan beat Purdue 36-14. The Wolverines piled up 535 yards of total offense, the third time this month they have cracked the 500-yard mark.

• Missouri rallied from a 11-point halftime deficit to beat Texas A&M 38-31 in overtime. The Aggies have had double-digit halftime leads in all three of their losses this season. It was Missouri's first win over a ranked team in a true road game since 1997 against Oklahoma State.

• Arkansas escaped with a 31-28 victory at Vanderbilt when Commodores’ kicker Carey Spear missed the game-tying 27-yard field goal with eight seconds left. Vanderbilt has still not beaten an AP top-10 opponent at home since 1974.

• Florida State blanked N.C. State 34-0, the second time this season the Seminoles have beaten a team by that score. The last time FSU had two shutouts in a single season was 2003, when they beat North Carolina and Notre Dame by identical 37-0 scores.