Longhorns Hand Nebraska Second Loss of 2003 Campaign

Texas dominated both lines of scrimmage en route to a 31-7 victory over Nebraska on Saturday in Austin, handing the Huskers their second loss of the 2003 campaign, and dropping NU to 3-2 in Big 12 Conference play. The Longhorns took control of the game from the outset with a strong running game behind quarterback Vince Young and tailback Cedric Benson.

Nebraska thwarted a Longhorn scoring threat on the game’s first drive as defensive end Trevor Johnson blocked a UT field goal attempt. However, UT regained possession following a Nebraska punt and marched methodically down the field behind a power rushing attack. The Longhorns covered 72 yards in 14 plays, including 13 rushing plays, capped by Benson’s 1-yard touchdown run to take a 7-0 advantage.

Titus Adams interception

Titus Adams runs with the ball after a second-quarter interception near midfield. | Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

The Huskers squandered an excellent scoring opportunity midway through the second quarter. A Jammal Lord to Matt Herian 42-yard pass put the Huskers inside the UT 10, but the drive stalled and David Dyches’ field goal attempt was blocked, keeping Texas in front 7-0. The Longhorns quickly capitalized on the momentum shift, taking just two plays to extend their lead to two touchdowns. After completing a 15-yard pass on the first play of the drive, Young sprinted 65 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to push the lead to 14-0, a lead UT took into the locker room at halftime.

A bad snap on a punt deep in Nebraska territory set up Texas at the Nebraska 10 on its second drive of the second half. The Blackshirt defense stiffened, allowing only a field goal to give the ?Horns a 17-0 lead. Texas marched deep into Nebraska territory early in the fourth quarter, but the scoring threat ended when safety Josh Bullocks notched his school-record eighth interception of the season, and Nebraska’s third interception of the day.

The takeaway temporarily changed momentum, as Nebraska marched 73 yards in six plays to score its first points of the day. Lord connected with Herian on a 48-yard touchdown pass to cut the Longhorn advantage to 17-7 with more than 11:58 remaining in the game.

The Husker momentum did not last long. Texas went back to a power rushing attack to march 71 yards in 10 plays on the next drive. Benson carried 10 times on the drive, and gave Texas a 24-7 edge with a five-yard TD run. Benson capped the scoring with his third touchdown of the day later in the fourth quarter to account for the final 31-7 margin.

Texas out-gained Nebraska 353-53 on the ground, with Benson (174 yards) and Young (163 yards) both topping the 150-yard mark. Overall, Texas racked up 484 yards of total offense and controlled the football, holding the ball for more than 33 minutes in the contest.

Source: Nebraska Athletic Department


Game notes

  • The loss marked Nebraska’s fifth in the last six meetings with Texas, and gave the Longhorns a 6-4 edge in the all-time series between the schools, including a 2-1 advantage in Austin.
  • Nebraska intercepted three Texas passes in the game, marking the sixth straight game and seventh time overall this year the Huskers have had at least two interceptions. Nebraska has 21 interceptions this season, its most since picking off 23 passes in 1996 and tied for the fourth most by Nebraska since 1946.
  • The three takeaways marked the ninth straight game this season that Nebraska has had at least two turnovers gained. Nebraska now has 35 takeaways in nine games this season, tying the 1999 team for the most takeaways during Frank Solich’s six seasons.
  • The Huskers gained just 175 yards of total offense, its lowest offensive output since putting up 171 yards in a 22-0 loss to Miami in the 1992 Orange Bowl.
  • Nebraska’s 53 rushing yards marked the lowest rushing output in the Frank Solich era and the lowest overall by a Nebraska team since gaining just 36 yards rushing in a 17-7 loss at Missouri on Oct. 11, 1969. Nebraska entered the game ranked fourth nationally in rushing offense, with its previous season low on the ground 141 yards at Southern Mississippi.
  • Senior defensive end Trevor Johnson blocked a first-quarter UT field goal, marking the Huskers’ sixth blocked kick of the season, including three field goals. Nebraska’s blocked kicks have been by six different players.
  • Junior linebacker Barrett Ruud continued his outstanding play in the loss. Ruud posted a career-high 17 tackles against Texas, marking the fourth straight game he has posted 10 or more tackles. Ruud has at least seven tackles in every game this season.
  • Sophomore free safety Josh Bullocks put his name in the Nebraska record book with his fourth-quarter interception of Texas’ Vince Young. The pick was Bullocks’ nation-leading eighth of the season, surpassing the previous school record of seven held by three players. Bullocks also moved into the top 10 on the Nebraska career interception list, as his nine career interceptions are tied for ninth on the list. He is just five interceptions away from the NU career record.
  • Josh’s twin brother Daniel Bullocks posted a career-high 15 tackles in the game and had a pass breakup.
  • Nebraska quarterback Jammal Lord threw for 122 yards in the game, and moved into the top 10 on Nebraska’s career passing list. Lord now has 2,334 career passing yards to rank 10th on the Husker career list.
  • Sophomore tight end Matt Herian was Nebraska’s top offensive threat in the Texas contest. Herian caught two passes for 90 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Herian now has 24 catches in his Husker career, with 11 of those receptions covering 28 yards or more. Herian’s TD catch was his second of the season and sixth of his Husker career.
  • Redshirt freshman wide receiver Isaiah Fluellen caught a season-high three passes for 32 yards in the game and rushed twice in the contest. Fluellen entered the game with just three career catches.
  • Senior punter Kyle Larson continued his outstanding season by averaging 54.4 yards on eight punts, including a career-long 80-yard punt on the final play of the first quarter. All eight of Larson’s punts covered at least 44 yards, including four punts of 50 or more yards.

Source: Nebraska Athletic Department