Nebraska 17
Michigan St. 3

Dec. 29, 2003 • 8:05 p.m. Central
Alamo Bowl • San Antonio, TX • ESPN
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Michigan St.30003

2003 Alamo Bowl, Jeff SmokerMSU quarterback Jeff Smoker is sacked by Trevor Johnson (right) during the first quarter as Le Kevin Smith also applies pressure. · Lansing State Journal ·

1st quarter
NEB: D. Dyches 29 field goal, 8:19
MSU: D. Rayner 46 field goal, 3:53
2nd quarter
NEB: C. Ross 2 run (Dyches kick) 13:17
NEB: Ross 6 run (Dyches kick) 3:20
                            MSU      NEB
FIRST DOWNS................. 13       20
  Rushing.................... 4       12
  Passing.................... 6        6
  Penalty.................... 3        2
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)....... 23-18   54-229
PASSING YDS (NET).......... 156      160
  Att-Comp-Int......... 39-21-3   17-8-0
TOTAL OFFENSE .......... 62-174   71-389
Fumble Returns-Yards....... 0-0      0-0
Punt Returns-Yards......... 2-3     4-28
Kickoff Returns-Yards..... 3-47      0-0
Int. Returns-Yds........... 0-0      3-2
Punts (Number-Avg)...... 8-46.4   7-42.9
Fumbles-Lost............... 0-0      1-0
Penalties-Yards........... 5-53     8-69
Possession Time.......... 29:31    30:29
Third-Down Conv. ......... 3/14     6/15
Fourth-Down Conv. ......... 0/1      0/0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.... 0-1      3-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards..... 0-0     5-37

MSU: Dortsch 9-31, Hayes 6-13, Smoker 8-(minus 26).

NEB: Ross 37-138, Lord 10-79, Kriewald 2-10, Davies 2-4, Fluellen 1-3, team 2-(minus 5).

MSU: Smoker 21-39-3-156.
NEB: Lord 8-17-0-160.

MSU: Alexander 8-63, Brown 4-41, Shabaj 4-31, Scott 1-18, Knott 1-10, Kavanaght 1-8, Hayes 1-(minus 6), Dortch 1-(minus 9).

NEB: Fluellen 4-84, Pilkington 3-70, Keiser 1-6. 

Attendance: 56,229


Stats & recap

PHOTO CAPTION HERE | Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

Pelini-led Huskers shut down Spartans

Behind a stifling defensive performance and a record-setting day by sophomore I-back Cory Ross, Nebraska picked up its 10th victory of the year with a 17-3 victory over Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl under interim head coach Bo Pelini.

The Husker Blackshirts recorded five sacks and intercepted three passes in holding the Spartans to three points, equaling the lowest point total by a Husker opponent in 42 bowl games.

Nebraska allowed just 174 total yards, more than 200 yards below MSU’s season average. Trevor Johnson and Demorrio Williams had two sacks apiece.

On offense, Ross rushed for a career-high 138 yards and two touchdowns on a school-record 37 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 6 yards as NU built a 14-point halftime lead. Offensive MVP Jammal Lord was solid through the air, completing 8 of 17 passes for 160 yards.

With the score tied 3-3 in the opening minute of the second quarter, Nebraska’s Daniel Bullocks intercepted a Jeff Smoker pass and returned it to the NU 35-yard line. Lord found Isaiah Fluellen for a 58-yard pass deep into MSU territory, and Ross scored two plays later to give the Huskers the lead for good.

Omaha World-Herald
Grand Island Indep.
More Sources
Pregame & team info
2003 schedule
04/19Red 13, White 0
08/30Oklahoma St.W 17-7
09/06Utah St.W 31-7
09/13Penn St.W 18-10
09/25@ S. MissW 38-14
10/04Troy St.W 30-0
10/11@ MissouriL 24-41
10/18Texas A&MW 48-12
10/25Iowa St.W 28-0
11/01@ TexasL 7-31
11/08@ KansasW 24-3
11/15Kansas St.L 7-38
11/28@ ColoradoW 31-22
12/29Michigan St.W 17-3


Colonel Mustard

Whatever happens, it was a great reflection on both Frank and Bo that the team played well for them.


Yes, it was a workmanlike job against an unranked Michigan State team. But there were many signs ... that Monday night’s combination might be a winner.

Omaha World-Herald

Coach John L. Smith reportedly told his charges at halftime to shut up and play football. They kept talking. The football didn’t go so well.

Nebraska StatePaper

It was one last snapshot of the way things used to be. You might want to put that one in the scrapbook.

Grand Island Independent

In the end, what’s left are some bittersweet scenes from San Antonio.

Lincoln Journal Star
Red Clad Loon

Monday’s win did little to shake out any non-believers in the Church of Bo.


Michigan State talked smack. And in the end — as usual — got smacked.

Detroit Free Press
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