Special Teams, Defense Key Shutout of Iowa State

Nebraska overwhelmed Iowa State with special teams and defense, as the Huskers improved to 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in the Big 12 North with a 28-0 victory over the Cyclones last Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The Huskers, who clinched a 42nd consecutive winning regular season with the victory, blocked two Cyclone punts, including one that was returned for a score, and forced three turnovers to avenge a 36-14 setback to ISU in Ames last season. The Huskers struck early, converting two blocked punts into touchdowns en route to a 21-0 first-quarter lead in posting their 13th consecutive win over the Cyclones in Lincoln. It was the third straight year that NU blocked at least one Cyclone punt, while the two blocks on Saturday marked NU’s highest total since a two-block effort against Kansas last season.

Nebraska posted its second shutout of the year and has not allowed an offensive touchdown in eight quarters – dating back to the fourth quarter against Missouri on Oct. 11. At home, the Blackshirts have been even stingier, not allowing an offensive touchdown in its last 14 quarters, dating back to Sept. 13. NU allowed just 95 yards before halftime, as the Cyclones did not cross midfield until 1:48 remaining in the half, and allowed just 230 yards of total offense in posting their second shutout of the season.

Josh Bullocks, who entered the contest with a nation-leading seven interceptions, sparked the Huskers on special teams with his first career punt block, giving the Huskers possession at the 19-yard line. NU capitalized on the block, as Jammal Lord scored on a one-yard run on fourth-and-goal, giving the Huskers a 7-0 lead.

The Huskers showed their big-play potential on the next series, going 79 yards in three plays to extend the lead to 14-0. Lord, who didn’t play in the second half, broke open a 2nd-and-1 play for 31 yards to the ISU 39 before the Husker QB had a key block to spring wide receiver Isaiah Fluellen for a 39-yard scoring jaunt around left end.

Fluellen, who entered the game with 17 yards rushing on three carries, led Nebraska with 78 yards on five carries, as Nebraska totaled 282 yards on the ground. The Huskers were able to spread the wealth, as nine different players had at least one rushing attempt, while four NU players rushed for at least 40 yards.

Nebraska’s special teams struck again later in the first quarter, as Demorrio Williams blocked Tony Yelk’s punt which Bullocks scooped up and went 26 yards for his first career touchdown, giving NU a 21-0 advantage 14 minutes into the contest.

The opportunistic Blackshirts helped NU extend its lead to 28-0 on Josh Davis’ one-yard plunge with 8:46 remaining in the half. Trevor Johnson stripped Cyclone quarterback Austin Flynn, and Benard Thomas recovered at the ISU 21-yard line. Lord, who completed 2-of-3 passes for 19 yards and rushed for 46 yards on five carries, found Matt Herian for a 16-yard completion to the ISU 5-yard line before Davis capped the drive with runs of four yards and one yard, leaping over the pile for his second score of the season.

Source: Nebraska Athletic Department


Game notes

  • Nebraska Head Coach Frank Solich posted his 56th win and broke the record for most wins by a Nebraska head coach in the first six seasons, surpassing Tom Osborne’s 55 wins from 1973 to 1978. Solich improved to 5-1 against ISU, including 3-0 in Lincoln.
  • The Huskers’ seventh victory of the season ensured Nebraska of a 42nd consecutive winning regular season and NU’s 41st winning season in the last 42 years.
  • Nebraska improved to 6-0 at home this season and 101-5 at Memorial Stadium in the last 16 seasons with its 13th straight win over Iowa State in Lincoln.
  • Nebraska’s shutout was its second of the season and sixth under Head Coach Frank Solich. The shutout marked Nebraska’s first against Iowa State since 1985, and gave NU two shutouts in a season for the first time since 1999. Nebraska has not allowed an offensive touchdown in eight quarters and has not allowed an offensive touchdown in its last 14 quarters at home.
  • Nebraska increased its nation-leading takeaway total to 32 with three against Iowa State. NU’s three turnovers gained led to seven points, giving 103 points off turnovers this season. Nebraska’s two blocked punts led to 14 points.
  • Nebraska has blocked at least one punt each of the last three years vs. the Cyclones. The last time Nebraska blocked two points in a game was last season against Kansas when Lannie Hopkins blocked two punts, including one returned for a touchdown.
  • Nebraska senior defensive end Trevor Johnson tied for the team lead with a career-high 12 tackles, including his 20th career tackle for loss, and also caused a fumble.
  • Junior linebacker Barrett Ruud tied Johnson for the team lead with 12 tackles, to tie his career high. It marked the fifth time this season Ruud has totaled double figures in tackles, including each of the last three games.
  • Nebraska was led in rushing by wide receiver Isaiah Fluellen who had 78 yards on five carries. It was the most rushing yards by an NU receiver since Dana Brinson had 83 yards on four carries vs. Missouri in 1986. It also marked the first time a receiver has led Nebraska in rushing since Kenny Brown had eight carries for 111 yards on Oct. 20, 1979, against Oklahoma State. Fluellen scored on a 39-yard reverse in the first quarter and has scored touchdowns on three of his 11 offensive touches this season.
  • Nebraska quarterback Jammal Lord saw limited action vs. Iowa State, but did carry five times for 46 yards and a touchdown. He has now rushed for nine touchdowns this season, including at least one rushing TD in each of Nebraska’s last seven games.
  • Sophomore cornerback Fabian Washington broke up two passes to give him eight this season and 21 in his career. Washington is tied for fifth on the NU career pass breakups list.
  • Nebraska had two interceptions in the game, marking the fifth straight game NU has had at least two picks. NU has caused at least two turnovers in every game this season. Josh Bullocks’ streak of four games with at least one interception ended, but he scored his first career TD on a blocked punt return in the first quarter.
  • I-back Cory Ross tied his career high with nine carries and had a career-best 54 yards rushing.

Source: Nebraska Athletic Department