LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- If No. 1 Nebraska was looking past Baylor
to next week's game against third-ranked Oklahoma, it didn't show.
The Cornhuskers (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) scored on their first nine
possessions and went on to a 59-0 victory.
"We really dominated from the start and really just didn't make
any mistakes. I think our offense can do that to anyone," said Dan
Alexander who rushed for 104 yards and scored twice in Nebraska's
38-point first quarter.
The Huskers outgained the Bears 189 yards to 1 in the opening
quarter and didn't start a possession in their own territory.
Nebraska's 38 points in the quarter topped the school record of 35,
set three times, most recently against Iowa State in 1997.
It was Nebraska's most one-sided win since a 69-7 victory over
Oklahoma in 1997. The No. 3 Sooners get their first rematch since
the blowout when the Huskers visit Oklahoma next week.
"I know a lot of people were thinking about Oklahoma coming
into this. I'm glad to get this one out of the way," center
Dominic Raiola said. "We look at every game the same, but this one
-- Oklahoma -- is one of those with something extra."
After sputtering with inconsistency in the first five games, the
Huskers have outscored their last two opponents 115-3.
"We've stuck to basic Nebraska running the ball up the middle
football," Alexander said. "When it comes to the hard games,
we'll be able to put in some plays that you haven't seen the last
couple of weeks."
With a 52-0 halftime lead, coach Frank Solich was able to rest
most of his starters and keep them fresh for next week. The only
offensive starters to play in the second half were the linemen, who
were in for the opening drive of the third quarter.
Starting quarterback Eric Crouch played in just the first
quarter, running five times for 46 yards and a touchdown. He was
2-for-6 passing for 23 yards.
"It was a game where we were able to rest some players. It came
at a really good time for us," Solich said. "We're fortunate to
be where we're at health wise and I think today probably helped
Solich said he would have liked to have seen the Huskers work
more on their passing, but the game got out of hand too quickly and
he didn't want to run the score up any higher.
Alexander had his fifth 100-yard game of the season, and Correll
Buckhalter ran six times for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
Baylor finished with just 84 total yards, 5 rushing. The Bears,
who lost to Texas Tech 28-0 and Texas A&M 24-0 coming into
Saturday, have been shut out in three straight games for the first
time since 1946.
Guy Tomcheck relieved starting quarterback Kerry Dixon and was
just 7-for-26 for 79 yards. Chedrick Ricks led the Bears (2-5, 0-4)
in rushing with 28 yards on six carries.
"Nebraska beat us in every phase of the ball game. They
executed to perfection," Dixon said. "They showed why they're the
No. 1 team."
The loss spoiled the return of Baylor coach Kevin Steele and
assistant Tommie Frazier. Steele coached Nebraska's linebackers in
the early 1990s and Frazier, Baylor's running backs coach, was the
Huskers' quarterback when they won national titles in 1994 and '95.
"We played the No. 1 team in the nation," Steele said. "We
know where we need to be to beat the best team in the country. You
may not see it on the field, but internally we've got some things
going that make us feel real good about the program."
No. 2 quarterback Jammal Lord made his earliest appearance this
year, and the offense didn't skip a beat. Lord led the Huskers on a
12-play, 80-yard drive and capped it with a 2-yard TD run. Nebraska
drove 87 yards in seven plays on its next possession, scoring on
Buckhalter's 7-yard run with about two minutes left in the half.
"It was a little surprising. I thought their defense would come
out and play harder. I'm not saying they didn't play hard, it must
be something about our offense," Raiola said.
The Huskers had a 7-0 lead before their offense even took the
field. On the fourth play of the game, Keyuo Craver blocked Adam
Stiles' punt and was the first to pounce on it in the end zone.
Nebraska forced Baylor into another three-and-out and got the
ball back at the Baylor 45. It took Alexander two plays to score
again, running in easily from 15 yards out. He added a 2-yard TD
run on Nebraska's next possession.
Crouch scored on an option-keeper from the 14 and Buckhalter had
a 36-yard TD run that put Nebraska up 38-0 with 40 seconds left in
the second quarter.
Josh Brown had a 33-yard field goal.
Third-team I-back Dahrran Diedrick scored on a 23-yard run in
the third quarter for the only score of the second half.
|The Nebraska defense sacked Baylor quarterback Kerry Dixon three times Saturday.|
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