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Lord shows promise running Nebraska's option

8/25/2002

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Jammal Lord threw his first career
touchdown pass and ran for 103 yards in his first start for
Nebraska as the No. 10 Cornhuskers beat Arizona State 48-10 on
Saturday night in the Black Coaches Association Classic.

The Cornhuskers blocked two punts and played strong defensively
on a night they were trying to forget closing last season with
blowout losses to Colorado and Miami.

Nebraska scored 38 points in the second half as it improved to
6-0 in "preseason'' games.

Lord's first start was highly anticipated, largely because
Nebraska's offense had been centered around 2001 Heisman Trophy
winner Eric Crouch for the past three years.

While Lord and the option attack struggled at times, he also
showed some promise.

With three new starters on the offensive line, Lord didn't get a
lot of protection and was forced to scramble a lot. He finished
with 17 carries with most of his yardage coming on broken pass
plays.

He also completed 5 of 13 passes for 33 yards, including a
9-yard strike to Wilson Thomas that put the Huskers up 17-3 early
in the second half.

Arizona State's Chad Christensen, a redshirt freshman who was
starting his first college game, was 6-for-16 for 77 yards, and
Mike Williams scored on a 34-yard run. Williams had 12 carries for
77 yards for the Sun Devils (0-1).

Dahrran Diedrick, Cory Ross and Judd Davies also scored for the
Huskers and Fabian Washington, a true freshman who starts his first
college classes next week, returned an interception 29 yards for
the final TD.

After yielding 99 points in the final two games of last year,
Nebraska's defense wanted a big night and got it. The defense held
Arizona State to 258 total yards, 52 of which came on the final
drive against Nebraska reserves.

The defense also set up one score with a sack just outside the
goal line, scored one on a blocked punt and set up another TD with
the second blocked kick.

Demoine Adams started it when he sacked Christensen at the ASU 1
on third down, then Tim Parker shanked the punt to the right
sideline and Nebraska got the ball on the 20. The Huskers drove to
the 9 and Lord hit Thomas for his first touchdown pass.

On third-and-7 in the next series, Chris Kelsay ran down
Christensen and sacked him at the 10. Demorrio Williams blocked
Parker's punt and Scott Shanle scooped it up and went 6 yards for
the touchdown that put the Huskers up 24-3 with 9:38 left in the
third.

Arizona State cut it to 24-10 when Williams broke away on a run
up the middle, but Nebraska countered with Josh Brown's 42-yard
field goal and Diedrick's 2-yard dive over the top with 7:12 left.
The Huskers opened the touchdown drive on the Arizona State 9 after
Williams recovered the second blocked punt.

Lord quickly showed a knack for scrambling. His 33-yard run on
what was supposed to be a pass started Nebraska's first touchdown
drive. Lord eluded the initial rush and did a head fake on Mason
Unk that spun the linebacker in a circle, then took off down the
right sideline to the Arizona State 24. Davies scored on a dive
eight plays later.

Christensen, who lived in Lincoln for five years as a kid and
used to go to Nebraska games, showed some early poise for somebody
who had never played in a college game.

With the crowd roaring "Go Big Red,'' Christensen calmly hit
Shaun McDonald on a 14-yard pass on the Sun Devils' second play
from scrimmage. Christensen had a 6-yard run later in the series
and took off for 9 yards on a play later in the quarter.

Brown gave Nebraska a 3-0 lead with a 40-yard field goal to end
the opening drive of the game. Mike Barth tied it for Arizona State
with a 33-yarder with 2:12 left in the first.