Diedrick, Blackshirts Shine in 42-14 Win
Diedrick, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, scored on runs of 1, 11 and 33 yards, as the Huskers improved to 2-0 heading into next Saturday?s nationally televised showdown with No. 17 Notre Dame. Diedrick, who missed last week?s 21-7 win over TCU because of a one-game suspension, set career bests in carries (25), yards (177) and touchdowns (3) in posting his first 100 yard game.
Quarterback Eric Crouch accounted to 157 yards of total offense, completing 8-of-15 passes for 109 yards, while rushing 15 times for 48 yards and a score, as the Huskers finished with 457 yards of total offense.
While the junior I-back set a career high for NU, the Husker defense recorded eight sacks and held the Trojans to minus-25 yards on the ground, the fourth-lowest total ever allowed on the ground by the Blackshirts. Seven different Huskers recorded sacks, including a pair by senior nose tackle Jason Lohr, while 12 different players made at least one tackle for loss.
The Trojans, playing their first game at the Division I-A level, took advantage of a Husker turnover, as Demontray Carter raced in from nine yards out to give Troy State a 7-0 lead. Keyuo Craver fumbled Troy State's first punt after the game's opening possession, and Lee Walls recovered at the NU 29, leading to the touchdown three plays later.
The Huskers would come right back, scoring a pair of touchdowns during a span of 2:40 midway through the first quarter. On NU?s ensuing possession after the Trojan score, the Huskers marched 69 yards on 11 plays for the equalizer, a one-yard dive by Diedrick, who had eight rushes for 62 yards, including a 38-yard gallop to the TSU 1.
On Troy State?s next possession, the Huskers would convert a Troy State miscue, as Willie Amos intercepted a Brock Nutter pass at the NU 46 yard line. Nebraska would march 54 yards in eight plays with Crouch scoring from one yard to give NU a 14-7 lead. Wilson Thomas provided the drive?s key play, taking a Crouch pass 36 yards to the TSU 1-yard line, before Crouch scored three plays later.
NU extended the lead to 14 when Lannie Hopkins sacked Nutter and forced a fumble that Jon Clanton picked up and raced 20 yards for the touchdown. Clanton?s score, the first of his career, pushed the NU lead to 21-7. The Huskers stretched the lead to 28-7 on their next possession with Diedrick?s second score of the day, an 11-yard run, capping a 57-yard drive in six plays.
The Trojans marched 88 yards in nine plays, scoring on Nutter?s 31-yard strike to Eric Skipper to close to within 28-14. TSU would not get any closer, gaining just three total yards after halftime.
While the Blackshirts put the clamps on the Trojan offense, NU continued to pound away, as Diedrick raced 33 yards in the third quarter for his third touchdown, before Thunder Collins capped the scoring with a seven-yard run with less than seven minutes remaining.
Nutter completed just 15-of-36 passes for 190 yards, while he was sacked eight times for 68 yards by NU.
Nebraska Postgame Notes vs. Troy State, Sept. 1, 2001
The No. 4/4 Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the Troy State Trojans, 42-14, in Lincoln on Saturday. Nebraska?s win was NU?s 15th straight win at home; Nebraska's first against Troy State; and the Huskers? fourth straight win overall. Next week the Huskers host Notre Dame in a 7:07 p.m. kick on national television. Troy State, who played its first game as a Division I-A team vs. Nebraska, plays at Middle Tennessee State next week.
* In his first career start, after sitting out last week, junior I-back Dahrran Diedrick ran for more than 100 yards for the first time in his career. Diedrick had career highs in carries (25), yards (177) and touchdowns (three), scoring on runs of 1, 11 and 33 yards. He had two long runs, of 38 yards and 33 yards, which gives him four long runs in his career. His longest career run is 46 yards vs. Kansas State in 1999. His previous bests were 16 carries for 99 yards vs. Iowa State in 1999. Last season he had one long carry for 30 yards vs. Baylor, 33 carries for 212 yards and three touchdowns total.
* Senior quarterback Eric Crouch is 26-5 as a starter. Crouch had 15 carries for 48 yards vs. Troy State, and a one-yard TD run in the first quarter, after the flu kept him out of two practices this week. He completed eight of 15 passes for 109 yards. He threw one interception, the second this season, and 16th of his career. With the 48 rushing yards, Crouch moves up from 15th to 13th on the NCAA Division I-A quarterback rushing chart. He now has 2,436 career rushing yards and 42 TDs to remain 13th overall at NU, first among quarterbacks. Crouch had more than 100 yards passing for the second straight game this season. He moves up from sixth to fifth on the NU career passing chart, moving ahead of Vince Ferragamo?s 3,244 yards from 1975 to 1965. Crouch now has 3,231 passing yards and is first on the NU total offense chart with 5,567 yards.
* Senior tight end Tracey Wistrom has 43 career catches for 901 yards, inclouding three for 36 yards today. Wistrom moved up to a tie for second on the Husker career charts for receiving yards by a tight end, tying Jerry List's 901 yards from 1970 to 1972. He is 144 yards short of school-record holder Junior Miller (1,045 from 1977 to 1979). Wistrom's 43 catches rank third, moving ahead of Johnny Michell's 42 from 1990 to 1991. Wistrom needs two more catches to move into the Husker top 25 for all positions.
* Firsts and Bests...split end Wilson Thomas had a career-best five catches for a career-high 83 yards, including a career-long 36 yard catch. His catch set up Crouch?s one-yard TD run to give NU a 14-7 lead. Thomas? previous bests was three catches for 53 yards including a long of 22 vs. TCU last week. Both Thomas and Wistrom each had at least three catches in the first two games. CB Lornell McPherson and CB Pat Ricketts earned their first career starts as NU opened up in a nickel package. True freshman Mike linebacker Barrett Ruud led the team, unofficially, with 10 tackles. Sophomore Will linebacker T.J. Hollowell was second with eight stops in his first game this season (missed last week with an ankle injury). Junior wingback Clifford Brye had his first career carry on a 17-yard gain. Punter Kyle Larson bettered his average, punting twice for 99 yards for a 49.5 average on five punts. Last week in his first career start and first career punts, Larson averaged 48.6 yards per punt. True freshman Philip Bland had his first career kickoff return of 13 yards when TSU short-kicked to the upback. Keyuo Craver had four punt returns for 48 yards, including a long of 26 yards, which was a career best. Backup quarterback Jammal Lord saw his first action this season, rushing three times for five yards and completing one pass on one attempt for 18 yards.
* Sacks...Nebraska had five sacks for 48 yards lost and 10 tackles for 66 yards lost at halftime. In the game, NU totaled eight sacks for 68 yards lost. Huskers with sacks included 2-12 by NT Jason Lohr; 1-15 by NT Jon Clanton, 1-12 by rover Lannie Hopkins, 1-9 by MLB Jamie Burrow; 1-5 by RE Chris Kelsay, 1-8 by CB Lornell McPherson and 1-7 by RE Justin Smith. Hopkins? first-career sack caused quarterback Brock Nutter to fumble, which Clanton returned for a 20-yard touchdown to give NU a 21-7 lead with 14:47 remaining in the second quarter. Clanton?s fumble return is the first by a Husker since Burrow returned a fumble 28 yards vs. Missouri last season; the first by a defensive lineman since Demoine Adams? 37-yard fumble return vs. Iowa State in 1999, and the first by a defensive tackle since Jason Peter scored on a 31-yard fumble return vs. Virginia Tech in the 1996 Orange Bowl. Clanton?s fumble return for a TD was the first by a TSU opponent since Southwest Texas? William Welch returned one on Oct. 2, 1997. The eight sacks are the most by a Solich-coached team. The eight sacks are the most since NU had eight vs. Texas A&M in 1999 and eight vs. Colorado in 1998. Nebraska had 15 tackles for 90 yards lost in the game, including two each by Hopkins, Lohr, and Kelsay.
* Turnovers...Nebraska 3 (2 fumbles, 1 interception). Husker punt returner Keyuo Craver was hit from behind by David Philyaw and fumbled the punt that followed TSU?s first drive. Lee Walls recovered and Troy State scored two plays later, taking a 7-0 lead on NU with 11:43 remaining in the first quarter. That marked the first time NU trailed in a game this season. Nebraska?s second turnover was a fumble by Diedrick on the first play of the second half (caused by Byron Knight and recovered by Vernon Marable). TSU did not score because NU?s MLB Mark Vedral intercepted Nutter two plays later. Nebraska?s third turnover was Crouch?s second interception thrown on the season, when Freeman White picked off Crouch. TSU did not convert. Troy State 3 (2 interceptions; 1 fumble)...NT Jason Lohr hurried Nutter and CB DeJuan Groce broke up the pass and FS Willie Amos came down with it. It was Amos? second interception of his career (first was against Iowa State last season). Nebraska converted eight plays later when Crouch scored on a one-yard run with 4:05 remaining in the first quarter. TSU?s second turnover was caused when rover Lannie Hopkins sacked Nutter, and Clanton scored on a 20-yard rumble return. TSU?s third turnover was two plays after Nebraska?s Diedrick fumbled the ball to TSU. Vedral intercepted Nutter early in the third quarter, but NU did not convert. It was Vedral?s first career interception. It marked the first time Nutter has thrown two interceptions in a game since he had two at McNeese State on Nov. 13, 1999, a streak of 15 games and 12 straight regular-season games.
* Misc...NU rushed for a season-best 330 yards, while the defense held TSU to negative 25 yards, a total which was aided by eight sacks. Nebraska held TSU to two total-offense yards in the second half. The minus 25 yards rushing is the fourth-best mark by a Husker defense, behind (-45 by Kansas State in 1976; -42 by Kansas in 1971 and -36 by Oregon State in 1989). It is the fewest rushing yards allowed by a Solich-coached team and the first time NU allowed negative yardage since Louisiana Tech had -21 in 1998. Those two games mark the only times Solich-coaches teams held opponents to negative yardage.