Nebraska 24, Missouri 13

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ After getting embarrassed in losses at Penn
State and Iowa State, Nebraska's defense finally has something to
be proud about.
The Cornhuskers held Missouri to less than half its offensive
average Saturday in a 24-13 victory, Nebraska's 24th straight over
the Tigers.
``This is the first time all year I've seen the defense fly
around like that. We were all over the place,'' said Huskers
cornerback DeJuan Groce, who returned a punt 89 yards for a
touchdown. ``It was fun out there.''
Nebraska was playing without defensive end Chris Kelsay, a
senior co-captain who pulled a hamstring the week before in a win
over McNeese State. Kelsay leads the team with 4{ sacks, but his
team did fine without him Saturday.
Nebraska (5-2, 1-1 Big 12) sacked Brad Smith four times and held
him to 157 total yards. Smith had been averaging 332 yards per
game. The Tigers (3-3, 0-2) gained just 28 yards in the second half
and 220 for the game, 221.4 below their average.
``Today we put things together,'' Nebraska defensive tackle Jon
Clanton said. ``We came out and put on a show.''
Smith ran 17 times for 34 yards and was 14-of-29 for 123 yards
passing. His 157 yards of offense was his lowest output since
gaining 281 against Ball State.
Jammal Lord ran for 98 yards and threw a touchdown pass and
David Horne, playing in just his second game, scored his first
career touchdown and rushed for 88 yards for the Cornhuskers.
Lord, making his second start since nearly losing his job,
recovered nicely after fumbling the Huskers' first snap of the
game, which set up an easy touchdown for Missouri.
He finished with 17 carries and was 4-of-12 for 34 passing yards
with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Golliday. Nebraska finished
with 325 yards rushing and topped the 300-yard mark for the second
week in a row.
``We were a little more fluid at times and executed a little
better,'' center John Garrison said. ``I think it was a step
forward. I don't know what go into us, but something did.''
The Huskers led 14-13 at halftime and pulled away in the third
quarter on Groce's third punt return touchdown of the year. Groce
took the ball up the middle, then spun punter Brock Harvey around
while breaking for the right sideline. Missouri's Brandon Barnes
nearly caught Groce from behind, but Groce broke the tackle inside
the 10 and made it across the goal line.
``He made several guys miss. It took great talent to put that
thing in the end zone,'' Nebraska coach Frank Solich said. ``There
are a lot of return guys that would have returned it for 30 yards,
35 yards. But he took it all the way.''
Josh Brown added a 42-yard field goal early in the fourth
quarter for the Huskers, who sealed it with about 7 minutes left
when Lannie Hopkins caught Smith from behind on fourth-and-2. Smith
had only been sacked five times entering the game.
``Give them credit. We were three-and-out, three-and-out,
three-and-out,'' Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. ``It was awful
offensively for us in the second half, and it was a great half
defensively for them.''
Missouri took a 13-7 lead on field goals of 22 and 44 yards by
Mike Matheny before the Huskers took over the game.
Missouri's Justin Gage became the Tigers' all-time leader in
receiving yards with a 7-yard catch in the first quarter. He needed
just 3 yards to break the mark of 2,144 set by Victor Bailey from
1990-92. Gage had seven catches for 47 yards, giving him 2,189 for
his career.
``The receiving record is bittersweet,'' Gage said. ``I'm glad I
got it, but it's hard to lose. I lost to Nebraska four straight
years. It's hard to swallow.''


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