1:30 PM ET, September 9, 2006
Memorial Stadium, LINCOLN, NE
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska can finally start talking about Southern California.
Moments after the No. 21 Cornhuskers dispatched I-AA Nicholls State 56-7 on Saturday, coach Bill Callahan's weeklong gag order on Trojan talk was officially lifted.
"U-S-C, U-S-C," linebacker Corey McKeon chanted as he walked off the field.
Defensive end Jay Moore said it was difficult keeping his mind from wandering to this week's road game against third-ranked USC.
"Late at night I couldn't help but picture what it would be like playing USC," he said. "When people all around us are pumping up a future game, it's a test of our maturity."
The Huskers (2-0) easily passed the test against their overmatched opponent.
Zac Taylor threw a career-high four touchdown passes in the intermittent rain, Marlon Lucky ran for 103 yards and the Huskers scored on six of their first seven possessions while building a 42-0 lead.
"They were looking to try and take care of business early," Colonels coach Jay Thomas said.
Nicholls State (1-1) didn't cross midfield until its only scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. The Colonels, who run the triple-option offense, became the first team since Oklahoma State in 1992 to not complete a pass against the Huskers. Chris Bunch, who took over for Montgomery, was 0-for-3.
Callahan said he never was concerned about a possible letdown against the Colonels, who were playing a nationally ranked I-A opponent for the first time.
"We practiced hard, and I didn't see anyone backing off or taking it easy or lightening the load," he said. "I'm real proud of how we handled our business."
The victory was Nebraska's fifth in a row and it gave the Huskers their longest winning streak since opening the 2003 season 5-0.
"We are a lot more confident and sure of ourselves," Taylor said. "Last year we were kind of running around and trying to make plays. Now we know we can go down and score on teams. I'd say we're ahead of where we were at the end of last year."
Taylor, who completed 12 passes in a row after Lucky dropped his first attempt, finished 19-of-23 for 202 yards before Joe Ganz relieved him in the fourth quarter.
Cody Glenn ran for two touchdowns Lucky and Kenny Wilson each had a rushing TD.
The Huskers scored on their first three possessions and led 28-0 at halftime.
"I was extremely pleased with the way we began the game," Callahan said. "We got a lot of good work in today. A lot of young players played and got on the field."
Stewart Bradley recovered Nicholls State quarterback Vincent Montgomery's fumble near midfield on the opening series, and the Huskers ran on nine of 10 plays before Glenn scored from the 1.
Taylor's touchdown passes to Todd and Herian finished drives of 51 and 39 yards, and his long pass to Purify capped a one-play series.
In the first half alone, Nicholls State managed just three first downs, lost Montgomery to a knee injury and fumbled on a fake punt.
The Colonels' lone touchdown came after they recovered a muffed punt that brushed the back of Nebraska's Todd Peterson. After Grant Thorne broke loose for 49 yards, Broderick Cole scored from a yard out.
Thorne led the Nicholls State with 65 yards. The Huskers had 30 first downs to the Colonels' seven and outgained them 498-187.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... A. Game on schedule.
B. Nebraska reaches stadium.
C. 14-0 lead after one quarter.
D. All of the above.
Answer = D
Gameball goes to... Zac Taylor. The Huskers QB went 23 of 27 for 229 yards and 4 TDs.
Stat of the game... 0: Nicholls State went 0-for-3 passing for 0 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-13||7-12|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||2-3|
|TD||8:02||CODY GLENN 1 YD RUN (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 53 yards.
|TD||0:28||DANE TODD 1 YD PASS FROM ZAC TAYLOR (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 51 yards.
|TD||12:54||MATT HERIAN 19 YD PASS FROM ZAC TAYLOR (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 39 yards.
|TD||0:23||MARLON LUCKY 1 YD RUN (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||10:07||FRANTZ HARDY 14 YD PASS FROM ZAC TAYLOR (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||7:36||MAURICE PURIFY 42 YD PASS FROM ZAC TAYLOR (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 42 yards.
|TD||13:33||BRODERICK COLE 1 YD RUN (ALEX ROMERO KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 50 yards.
|TD||11:03||KENNY WILSON 14 YD RUN (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||5:07||CODY GLENN 7 YD RUN (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 49 yards.