2003 Nebraska-Penn State football postgame notes
Nebraska Postgame Notes
- No. 18 Nebraska (AP/Coaches) defeated unranked Penn State, 18-10, in Lincoln before the Huskers’ 258th consecutive sellout. The win gives Nebraska a 3-0 record and drops Penn State to 1-2. The win was NU’s 34th straight home victory against non-conference competition; was Nebraska’s ninth victory in its last 10 games against Big Ten Conference opponents; is Coach Frank Solich’s 52nd victory as NU’s coach; improves his record to 20-1 in regular-season games against non-conference opponents; and marks NU’s 27th straight home victory in the month of September, dating back to 1991. NU improves to 3-0 for the seventh straight season.
- I-back Josh Davis has career-best day…with two long plays of 25 yards or more (26 punt return, career-long 42-yard run), starting I-back Josh Davis had a career day. Davis had 85 yards at halftime and 179 in the game, bettering the 95 he had against Oklahoma State in the season opener. He passed the 100-yard mark on Nebraska’s second drive of the second half. In the game, Davis totaled 237 all-purpose yards, including 140 in the first half. His 179 rushing yards marked the first time this season a Husker had gone past the century mark. It was the most yards rushing by a Husker since Jammal Lord’s 234 against Texas last season and the most by an I-back in a regular-season game since Dan Alexander had 208 vs. San Jose State on Sept. 2, 2000 (also had 240 vs. Northwestern in 2000 Alamo Bowl, Dec. 30, 2000). Davis also had a career-high 32 carries, the most since Dahrran Diedrick had 32 vs. Notre Dame in 2001. It is the most carries by any Husker since Jammal Lord had 30 at Texas A&M last year. Davis carried 11 times for 51 yards on Nebraska’s drive to open the second half that ended in Nebraska’s first touchdown of the game, including eight straight carries. Davis’ 42-yard run was the Huskers longest play from scrimmage this season. Davis was the Nebraska Chevrolet/ABC player-of-the-game. Through three games, Davis averages 112.3 rushing yards per game and 183.3 all-purpose yards per game.
- Quarterback Jammal Lord rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries and scored the Huskers’ only touchdown of the game when he scored on a three-yard run with 6:48 remaining in the third quarter. Along with Davis’ 173 yards, NU had two 100-yard rushers in one game for the first time since Nov. 9 vs. Kansas last season. Lord completed 4-of-6 passes for 60 yards and had one interception, moving up from 15th to 13th on the NU career passing list. With his sixth 100-yard rushing performance, he became the third Husker quarterback to reach that mark (also Eric Crouch and Steve Taylor). Lord is averaging 87.3 yards per game rushing and has completed 58.8 percent of his passes (74.3 yards per game).
Place-Kicker David Dyches continues to score for the Huskers… True freshman David Dyches is now 8-for-9 on field goals, connecting on four field goals for the second consecutive game. Dyches eight field goals in two games are half of Nebraska’s 16 total last season in 14 games. Dyches is the first Husker all time to kick four field goals in back-to-back games and his two four-field goal performances are two of five all time. Dyches connected on a 36-yard field goal with 9:06 remaining in the first quarter; a 35-yarder with 12:27 remaining in the second to give NU a 6-0 lead; a career-best 41-yarder with 2:23 left in the second quarter to account for all of Nebraska’s first-half scoring. All four of Dyches field goals tonight were longer than the four he hit last week vs. Utah State. Dyches had a 34-yard field goal blocked in the third quarter, but connected on a 32-yarder with 3:53 remaining in the game to give Nebraska a more comfortable eight-point lead.
Turnovers…Penn State 2 (1 int, 1 fumble); Nebraska 2 (1 int., 1 fumble)…After scoring 14 points in week one off turnovers vs. Oklahoma State, and nine points last week off turnovers vs. Utah State, NU convert PSU’s last turnover to three points. Fabian Washington intercepted Zack Mills in the first quarter, but NU gave it back as Lord was intercepted by Yaacov Yisrael on the subsequent drive (PSU did not convert). Nebraska fumbled on its second drive of the second quarter which PSU recovered at the Nebraska 29 and scored three plays later. NU linebacker Barrett Ruud recovered Mills’ fumble at midfield with six minutes remaining in the game, and Dyches put three points on the board with a 32-yard field goal.
- Nebraska’s drive to start the third quarter that ended in Jammal Lord’s three-yard touchdown run, was a season-long 16 plays and a season-long 8:12.
- Nebraska rushed for a season-high 337 yards, led by Josh Davis’ 179. NU ran 24 straight running plays, from the last offensive play of the first half and including the first 23 of the second half, the string was broke with a 12-yard completion from Lord to Herian on third and nine. In the game, NU ran 72 times and attempted six passes. As a result, the time of possession was again largely in the Huskers’ favor tonight as NU held a 39:45 to 20:15 advantage.
- The Husker Blackshirts held Penn State to 203 yards, including an opponent season-low 44 yards rushing. Last year, PSU totaled 476 yards, including 217 on the ground. Barrett Ruud had a team-high seven tackles tackles and recovered a Penn State fumble at midfield with six minutes remaining, which NU converted to three points and the final eight-point margin. PSU’s longest rush was 13 yards. Nebraska gave up its first rushing touchdown of the season, but has not given up a rush longer than 17 yards this season. For the first time this season, NU did not have a sack, but Le Kevin Smith led the team with two tackles for 10 yards lost to go with his four tackles. Recording his first interception of the season and the fifth of his career, Fabian Washington also had one breakup and six tackles.
- NU next faces Southern Miss on ESPN on Thursday, Sept. 25. There will not be a press conference until Monday, Sept. 22.
- NU’s six pass attempts were the second-lowest total by a Penn State opponent under Coach Paterno and lowest since Army had seven passes in 1974.
- Fullback Sean McHugh had career highs in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (48).
- Cornerback Alan Zemaitis (11 tackles), linebacker Deryck Toles (12 tackles) both set career highs in tackles.
- Scott Paxson’s blocked field goal was the first of his career.
- Five Penn State players started their first game of their career at Nebraska, Wide receiver Ernie Terrell and guard Tyler Reed started for the first time on offense. Defensive end Matt Rice, defensive tackle John Robinson and safety Andrew Guman on defense.
- Ricky Upton’s second quarter touchdown run was the third of his career and the first rushing TD that Nebraska has allowed this season and first points NU has allowed outside the first quarter in 2003
- Yaacov Yisreal’s first quarter interception was the third of his career
- Defensive end Lavon Chisley recovered a fumble (his second of his career) and caused a fumble (his second of his career) in the second quarter. The recovery was PSU’s first of the season.
- PSU’s second quarter touchdown following a recovered fumble were the first points off a turnover for PSU on the season.
- Defensive tackle Ed Johnson caused the first fumble of his career in the second quarter, which resulted in a PSU touchdown on the following possession. It was PSU’s first caused fumble this season.
- Tight end Matt Kranchick’s 20-yard second quarter reception was his first of the season and the longest of his career. It was also his first catch in a regular-season game.
- Robbie Gould’s 47-yard field goal at the end of the half was his longest of the season.
Penn State Postgame Notes
Source: Nebraska and Penn State athletic departments