Blackshirts Force School-Record Eight Turnovers in Rout of Texas A&M

The Nebraska Blackshirts were back to their ball-hawking ways, forcing a school-record tying eight Texas A&M turnovers that led to 35 points in the Huskers’ 48-12 win at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The defense picked off five passes and recovered three fumbles to propel NU to victory. The eight turnovers tied the school record which has been accomplished several times in school history, most recently against Colorado State in 1991.

After Texas A&M got on the board with a first-quarter field goal, Nebraska erupted for 34 unanswered points, sparked by a Husker defense that put the clamps down on a high-powered Aggie offense. The Blackshirts limited the Aggies to 244 total yards on Saturday, including 49 second-half yards.

Jammal Lord
Jammal Lord rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns. | Nebraska Athletic Communications

Nebraska’s offense got rolling on its second drive of the day, marching 51 yards in seven plays capped by a Jammal Lord 22-yard TD run to give NU a 6-3 lead. It was the first of two rushing touchdowns for Lord, and he carried 15 times for 109 yards, his third 100-yard rushing game of the season.After Nebraska’s first score, the Blackshirts set the tone for the rest of the day. Sophomore free safety Josh Bullocks pulled down his school-record tying seventh interception of the year on A&M’s first play of the next drive to set NU up at the A&M 33-yard line, and the Huskers converted five plays later on David Horne’s one-yard TD run for a 13-3 lead.

On A&M’s next drive, the Blackshirts struck again. Junior linebacker Barrett Ruud grabbed his first-career interception and raced 27 yards for the touchdown, his second score of the year, to give Nebraska a 20-3 cushion with 1:45 left in the first quarter. Demorrio Williams recovered his third fumble on the season later in the second quarter to thwart an Aggie scoring threat, and the Blackshirts picked up their third interception midway through the second quarter on a Lornell McPherson pick.

Five minutes into the second half, the Blackshirts were back at it, with Ruud causing a McNeal fumble, recovered by Le Kevin Smith to set up a Josh Davis 12-yard touchdown run, and a 27-3 NU lead. Lord ran for his second touchdown of the day, going 31 yards and improving the Husker lead to 34-3 with 8:06 remaining in the third quarter to cap a three-play, 55-yard drive. Daniel Bullocks caused the sixth turnover of the day late in the third, when he caused and recovered an Aggie fumble and Fabian Washington’s interception was the seventh turnover of the day and resulted in a 29-yard touchdown pass by Joe Dailey to Isaiah Fluellen. The Blackshirts capped the game with a three-yard interception return for touchdown by Titus Adams with 3:09 remaining. A&M returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards, but Jerrell Pippens blocked the extra point try, giving NU the 48-12 final advantage. Nebraska finished with 384 total yards, including 333 on the ground, led by Lord’s 109-yard effort, 84 yards by Horne and 63 yards rushing from Davis.

Source: Nebraska Athletic Department


Game notes

  • Nebraska won on Homecoming for the 35th straight year and improved to 9-2 all-time against Texas A&M. The win was Frank Solich’s 55th as NU head coach, tying him with Tom Osborne for the most victories in the first six seasons as Nebraska coach.
  • The Huskers’ sixth win of 2003 made NU eligible for an NCAA record 35th consecutive bowl appearance.
  • Nebraska improved to 5-0 at home this season and 100-5 at Memorial Stadium in the last 16 seasons.
  • Nebraska’s eight takeaways tied the school record accomplished several times, most recently against Colorado State on Sept. 14, 1991. The last time Nebraska had forced eight turnovers in a conference game was against Kansas State on Nov. 10, 1979.
  • Husker sophomore free safety Josh Bullocks picked off a pass for the fourth straight game and ran his season total to seven interceptions to tie the Nebraska school record. Bullocks joined Larry Wachholtz (1966), Dana Stephenson (1969) and Bill Kosch (1970) as the only Huskers to have seven interceptions in a season. He has eight career picks.
  • Junior linebacker Barrett Ruud made a team-high 10 tackles in the game, his fourth double-figure tackle game of the season. Ruud now has 206 career tackles to tie Grant Wistrom for 22nd on the NU career list. In the game, Ruud passed his father, Tom, who finished his NU career from 1972 to 1974 with 202 tackles. Ruud made his first career interception and returned it 27 yards for a score, his second TD of the 2003 season. Ruud also caused his third fumble of the year.
  • The Nebraska defense has now forced 29 turnovers this season, eight more than all of last season and the most since NU forced 35 in 1999. The Huskers converted the eight A&M turnovers into 35 points, and have scored 96 points in seven games off opponent turnovers this season, exactly double their 48 points off turnovers in 14 games last season.
  • Defensive end Trevor Johnson did not directly share in NU’s turnover parade, but he had a pair of quarterback hurries that caused first-half Aggie interceptions.
  • Nebraska’s offense did not committ a turnover in a game for the first time in 2003.
  • Punter Kyle Larson averaged a season-high 49.6 yards on nine punts in the game, and had seven of his nine punts travel at least 45 yards, including a 69-yarder.
  • Quarterback Jammal Lord posted his second straight 100-yard rushing game and third of 2003 with 109 yards on 15 carries. Lord now has eight 100-yard games in his career and scored two rushing touchdowns to give him eight this season, matching his 2002 14-game total. Lord also moved into the top 20 on Nebraska’s rushing list, as his 2,185 career rushing yards is 20th in school history and second only to Eric Crouch among Husker quarterbacks.
  • Sophomore I-back David Horne became the 53rd Nebraska player to surpass 1,000 career rushing yards. He ran for 86 yards on 14 carries in the game and now has 1,054 career rushing yards to rank 49th in school history.
  • Tight end Matt Herian did not have a catch, ending a streak of nine straight games with at least one reception. Wide receiver Ross Pilkington was also held catchless, ending his streak at seven consecutive games.
  • Wide receiver Isaiah Fluellen made his second and third career catches with two receptions for 42 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown. He now has two TD receptions in three career catches.
  • Nebraska rushed for more than 300 yards for the second time this season, piling up 333 yards on the ground, just four yards shy of its 337-yard effort against Penn State. Nebraska rushed for more than 330 yards for the third straight meeting against Texas A&M.
  • The Nebraska defense held Texas A&M to an 0-of-12 effort on third-down conversions, and also thwarted a fourth-down conversion attempt on the Aggies’ first possession of the game.
  • Nebraska senior I-back Josh Davis scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on a 12-yard third quarter run and had a 43-yard kickoff return to tie his season-long.
  • NU’s 48 points were a season-high and its most since also scoring 48 in the 2002 opener vs. Arizona State.

Source: Nebraska Athletic Department