Sunday, October 26, 2003
Huskers head to Texas on defensive roll
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Nebraska defense hasn't given up an
offensive touchdown in eight quarters.
That streak will be put to the test this week when the No. 12
Cornhuskers face the third highest-scoring team in the nation at
No. 16 Texas.
The Longhorns raised their scoring average to 42.3 points by
shutting out Baylor 56-0. Their offense is generating 426.5 yards a
Nebraska, after shutting out Iowa State 28-0, is second
nationally in scoring defense at 11.4 points a game. The
Cornhuskers are allowing 252.3 yards, which ranks third, and are
tied with Michigan State for first in turnover margin at plus-1.88
A year ago through eight games the Huskers were giving up 20.5
points and 347 yards a game.
"They have a tremendous defense," Iowa State quarterback
Austin Flynn said. "That's why they are successful. They dominate
the game. They take it over. They have big, strong guys who really
fly to the ball."
Interestingly, the Huskers are much improved on defense even
though seven of the starters are the same.
Free safety Josh Bullocks, one of the returning starters, said
the debacle that was 2002 is all but forgotten.
"Last year was last year and that's the past," he said. "This
year, we're unified and just want to go out and win and get better
each week. Expectations are really high for us."
The defense hasn't given up an offensive touchdown since
Missouri's Brad Smith scored on a 9-yard run with 5:11 left in the
fourth quarter of the 41-24 loss on Oct. 11.
Since then, all the defense has allowed is two field goals to
Texas A&M. The Aggies scored a touchdown against the Nebraska
special teams on an 89-yard kickoff return.
The shutout of ISU was Nebraska's second of the season. The
Huskers blanked Troy State 30-0 on Oct. 4.
"Our defense keeps showing up," linebacker Barrett Ruud said.
"We're always going for the shutout. That's a pride thing for the
defense, a statement thing."
The Huskers can make a huge statement by shutting down the
Longhorns, who won 27-24 in Lincoln last year.
Nebraska has lost six of its last eight on the road since 2001,
not including two bowl losses, and hasn't beaten a nationally
ranked opponent on the road since Notre Dame in September 2000.
"I'm really looking forward go going down to Austin," Bullocks
said. "We're going to do our thing, cause turnovers, put points on
the board and come up with a victory."