Dahrran Diedrick made the most of his first career start, rushing for 177 yards and three scores, while the Husker defense held Troy State to two yards of total offense in the second half in a 42-14 win over the Trojans.
Diedrick scored on runs of 1, 11 and 33 yards as the Huskers improved to 2-0 heading into a nationally televised showdown with No. 17 Notre Dame. Diedrick, who missed the season opener because of a one-game suspension, set career bests in carries (25), yards (177) and touchdowns (3) in posting his first 100-yard game.
Quarterback Eric Crouch accounted to 157 yards of total offense, completing 8 of 15 passes for 109 yards while rushing 15 times for 48 yards and a score. The Huskers finished with 457 yards of total offense.
The Husker defense recorded eight sacks and held the Trojans to minus-25 yards on the ground, the fourth-lowest rushing total ever allowed by the Blackshirts. Seven Huskers recorded sacks, including a pair by senior nose tackle Jason Lohr, while 12 players made at least one tackle for loss.
The Trojans, playing their first game at the Division I-A level, took advantage of a Husker turnover as Demontray Carter raced in from nine yards out to give Troy State a 7-0 lead. Keyuo Craver fumbled Troy State’s first punt after the game’s opening possession, and Lee Walls recovered at the NU 29, leading to the touchdown three plays later.
The Huskers came right back, scoring a pair of touchdowns during a span of 2:40 midway through the first quarter. On NU’s ensuing possession after the Trojan score, the Huskers marched 69 yards on 11 plays for the equalizer, a one-yard dive by Diedrick, who had eight rushes for 62 yards, including a 38-yard gallop to the TSU 1.
On Troy State’s next possession, the Huskers’ Willie Amos intercepted a Brock Nutter pass at the NU 46 yard line. Nebraska marched 54 yards in eight plays, with Crouch scoring from one yard to give NU a 14-7 lead. Wilson Thomas provided the drive’s key play, taking a Crouch pass 36 yards to the TSU 1-yard line.
NU extended the lead to 14 when Lannie Hopkins sacked Nutter and forced a fumble that Jon Clanton picked up and raced 20 yards for the touchdown. Clanton’s score pushed the NU lead to 21-7. The Huskers stretched the lead to 28-7 on their next possession with Diedrick’s second score of the day, an 11-yard run, capping a 57-yard drive in six plays.
The Trojans marched 88 yards in nine plays, scoring on Nutter’s 31-yard strike to Eric Skipper to close to within 28-14. TSU would not get any closer, gaining just two total yards after halftime.
While the Blackshirts put the clamps on the Trojan offense, NU continued to pound away, as Diedrick raced 33 yards in the third quarter for his third touchdown, before Thunder Collins capped the scoring with a seven-yard run with less than seven minutes remaining.
Nutter completed 15 of 36 passes for 190 yards and was sacked eight times for 68 yards in losses.