Postgame notes: 2002 Nebraska vs. Arizona State
Nebraska Postgame Notes
- The No. 10/8 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska defeated Arizona State, 48-10, in the Black Coaches’ Association Football Classic in Lincoln. The game marked the Huskers’ earliest season opener and was the 248th consecutive sellout in Memorial Stadium. The win marked Nebraska’s 17th straight in a season opener (nation’s longest); NU’s sixth straight win in a preseason game; NU’s 22nd straight home victory (nation’s longest); gave NU a 6-2 edge in the series; and gave Coach Solich his 43rd win and fifth straight win in a season opener.
- Jammal Lord has Stellar Game in First Career Start…In his first start at quarterback, Lord surpassed the rushing totals of three of Nebraska’s best quarterbacks in their first career starts including 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch (7-69-2 in 1998), Scott Frost (10-58-1 in 1996) and Tommie Frazier (14-72-2 in 1992). Lord had a career-high 17 carries for a career-best 103 yards (0 TDs), including 12 carries for 71 yards in the first half. He tied his career best with a 33-yard scramble at the end of the first quarter that led to Judd Davies’ two-yard TD run. In the game, Lord completed 5-of-13 passes for 33 yards. He threw his first career touchdown pass to Wilson Thomas to put the Huskers up 17-3 with 11:20 remaining in the third quarter. Lord hit the 100 yard rushing mark for the first time in his career with 10 minutes remaining in the game. The last Husker quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a season opener was Scott Frost vs. Akron on Aug. 30, 1997. The last time a Husker quarterback rushed for 100 yards in the season opener in a first career start was Steve Taylor, who had 139 yards vs. Florida State on Sept. 6, 1986.
- Husker Blackshirts Apply Pressure…Nebraska rush end Demoine Adams led the Huskers with 1.5 sacks for 13 yards lost. He had one for eight yards lost and shared another with rover Lannie Hopkins for nine yards lost. Chris Kelsay also had a 13-yard sack. Patrick Kabongo forced a fumble and shared a 17-yard sack with Justin Smith. In the game, NU had four sacks for 47 yards lost. Junior left cornerback Pat Ricketts had a career-high three pass breakups on the evening. ASU completed just 17-of-41 passes for 175 yards (25 long, one interception). ASU was 4-of-16 on third downs and 0-for-2 on fourth-down conversions.
- Block Party…Junior college transfer Demorrio Williams (WLB) blocked ASU punter Tim Parker when he punted from the end zone with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter. Senior linebacker Scott Shanle ran the blocked punt in six yards for the Huskers’ first non-offensive touchdown of the season. In the fourth quarter, Lannie Hopkins blocked a Parker punt which Williams recovered on the 9-yard line and two plays later, I-back Dahrran Diedrick scored on a two-yard run. The last time the Huskers blocked two punts in a game was vs. Kansas State in 1999.
- Place-Kicker Josh Brown hit a 40-yard field goal to open the game’s scoring and a 42-yard field goal with 10:21 remaining in the fourth quarter to improve his over-40 career percentage to 5-of-11. The two field goals marked the first time in Brown’s career to hit on two 40-yard plus field goals. ASU had just 16 yards on Brown’s nine kickoffs. ASU’s average field position was its own 24 compared to NU’s own 32.
- NU Split End Wilson Thomas led the Huskers in receiving with three catches for eight yards, including a nine-yard touchdown pass from Lord with 11:20 remaining in the third. Thomas has had at least three catches in a game 10 times since the 2001 season opener. The score was Thomas’ fourth of his career.
- First-Time Starters…Seven Huskers earned their first career start against ASU, including four on offense (junior QB Jammal Lord, sophomore LG Mike Erickson, senior RG Wes Cody and redshirt freshman LT Richie Incognito). Incognito became the third Husker offensive lineman to earn a start in his first year of competition, joining Rob Zatechka (1991) and Dominic Raiola (1998). Incognito is the first of the three to start a Husker season opener. On defense, three other Huskers earned first-time starts as Nebraska opened in a nickel package, including redshirt freshman Shane Siegel as the nickel back, sophomore MLB Barrett Ruud and junior NT Ryon Bingham. Senior Troy Hassebroek earned his first regular-season start (started against Tennessee in 2000 Fiesta Bowl). Siegel made a solo tackle on his first play on defense, while Hassebroek had two catches for 25 yards on NU’s first drive, doubling his career total. Ruud led the Huskers in tackles with eight tackles including one tackle for a six-yard loss.
- Two True Freshmen Take the Field…Two true freshmen took the field tonight, including split end Ross Pilkington and cornerback Fabian Washington. Washington recorded his first career interception and ran it in (29 yards) for his first career score and the defense/special team’s second score of the night. The pick was the only turnover of the evening by either team.
- Other Firsts…redshirt freshman I-back Cory Ross scored his first touchdown on a third-and-14 play. He ran 34 yards to give NU a 41-10 lead with 2:10 remaining. Senior linebacker Scott Shanle scored his first career touchdown on a blocked punt. Playing in his first game, nose tackle Le Kevin Smith had two tackles, including one for a loss.
- Next Week…Nebraska hosts Troy State in a non-televised 6 p.m. kickoff, while Arizona State hosts Eastern Washington.
Arizona State Postgame Notes
- Ricardo Stewart set career highs in tackls and tackles for loss…he recorded his first tackle for loss in his career vs. the Huskers.
- ASU tied a school record with two blocked punts in a game (tied record also set in 1984 and 1953).
- ASU had eight redshirt freshmen and four true freshmen play in tonight’s game.
- ASU had a streak of three straight season-opening wins broken in tonight’s loss.