Huskers Blitz Iowa State, 48-14
Lincoln - Quarterback Eric Crouch rushed for 104 yards and four touchdowns and set a career NCAA record, as fourth-ranked Nebraska downed Iowa State, 48-14, in front of 78,002 fans Saturday evening.
The Huskers, who improved to 5-0 and 2-0 in the Big 12, blitzed the Cyclones with 41first-half points, as Crouch scored from 4, 1, 25 and 1 yard all before halftime. The four scores gave him 51 in his career, breaking the previous Division I record for career touchdowns by a quarterback. The previous record was held by former Ohio University QB Kareem Wilson, who rushed for 49 TDs from 1995 to 1998.
Crouch, who also completed 10-of-14 passes for 110 yards, amassed 100 of his total rushing yards before halftime in posting his 12th career 100-yard performance in less than three quarters of action. Crouch?s four TD runs also tied a career-high, helping NU to its 23rd win in the past 24 meetings with the Cyclones, dating back to 1977.
NU, which has outscored ISU 170-14 in the first half of the last four meetings in Lincoln, capitalized on a pair of Cyclone turnovers and a blocked punt, leading directly to 21 first-half points.
On ISU?s first possession, cornerback Keyuo Craver intercepted a Seneca Wallace pass and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown just 1:56 into the contest. The score was the third of Craver?s career, while the interception was the first for the Thorpe Award candidate since November 6, 1999.
After forcing a punt on the following possession, DeJuan Groce took the return for a career-best 34 yards to give the Huskers excellent field possession. Nebraska would cash in, marching 49 yards on five plays, capped by Dahrran Diedrick?s two-yard touchdown run to give the Huskers a 14-0 advantage. Diedrick finished the day by topping the 100-yard mark for the third time this season, rushing for 107 yards on 15 carries. As a team, NU gained 359 yards on the ground in the win.
Groce collected Nebraska?s second interception and returned it nine yards to the ISU 23 to set up Crouch?s first score, a one-yard run that gave NU a 20-0 lead with 1:30 remaining in the first. NU place-kicker Josh Brown missed the extra point, snapping a streak of 117 consecutive made PATs dating back to his freshman year in 1999.
The Huskers, who scored on six of their seven first-half possessions, the marched 87 and 92 yards on their next two drives, capping both with Crouch TD runs to extend NU?s advantage to 34-0. The two TD runs also gave him 50 for his career, bettering former Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier?s school record of 49. Crouch finished off the half with a one-yard run after Troy Hassebroek blocked an ISU punt deep in Cyclone territory.
Nebraska, which had 287 yards offense in the first half, worked the clock after the intermission, including an eight-minute, 83-yard drive in the fourth quarter. I-back Robin Miller capped the 16-play drive with a one-yard run for the final 31-point margin.
Wallace, who completed 22-of-24 passes, including a Big 12 record 18 in a row, against Baylor last week, struggled in the first half, connecting on four-of-14 passes for 61 yards. He finished the game with 214 passing yards by hitting 13-of-29 through the air. Wallace did most of his damage in the third quarter, hitting 7-of-9 for 101 yards as ISU tried to rally from the 41-point deficit.
Postgame Notes...Oct. 6, 2001...Nebraska vs. Iowa State
The No. 4/4 Nebraska Cornhuskers improved to 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in Big 12 Conference action with a 48-14 win over the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State and Nebraska both entered the game undefeated for the second straight season. Iowa State drops to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 Conference. The win for the Huskers was Nebraska's eighth straight overall; was NU's ninth consecutive over Iowa State; was NU?s 12th straight win over Iowa State in Lincoln; marked Coach Frank Solich's fourth straight over the Cyclones in four tries; and was Nebraska's 18th straight win at home. Nebraska jumped out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead and led 41-0 at halftime, after Crouch scored rushing TDs on four consecutive Husker drives. All-America candidate Keyuo Craver scored the game?s first TD on an interception return. Iowa State did not get on the board until the seven-minute mark in the third quarter and scored twice on the Huskers, marking the first time in 10 quarters that the Blackshirts had given up a touchdown (fourth-quarter rushing TD by Notre Dame). Nebraska has given up just three rushing and three passing TDs in six games this year. Nebraska has outscored ISU 170-14 in the first half of the last four games in Lincoln. The Huskers were led by quarterback Eric Crouch, who rushed 15 times for 104 yards and four TDs, and I-back Dahrran Diedrick, who carried 15 times for 107 yards and one TD. It marked the first time this season and the 53rd time in history that NU has had multiple 100-yard rushers (most recently vs. Kansas last season).
* Senior quarterback Eric Crouch improves to 30-5 as a starter, becoming the 26th quarterback in NCAA Divison I-A to win 30 games as a starter. Crouch passes Steve Taylor?s 29 wins from 1985 to 1988 and is three wins behind school-record holder Tommie Frazier, who won 33 games from 1992 to 1995. Crouch recorded a 4-2 record as a redshirt freshman in 1998 and went 10-1 as Nebraska's starter in 1999, losing only to Texas. In 2000, he posted a 10-2 record, losing only to two ranked teams, Oklahoma and Kansas State. This season, Crouch has posted a 6-0 record. Crouch recorded his second straight 100-yard rushing game this season, second consecutive vs. Iowa State, and reached the 100-yard mark by halftime with 13 carries for an even 100 yards and four rushing TDs at intermission. After leading the Huskers to a 41-0 halftime lead, with four straight rushing touchdowns on NU?s last four drives of the first half, he played the third quarter, then gave way to Jammal Lord. In the game, Crouch totaled 15 carries for 104 yards and four TDs. He also completed 10-of-14 passes for 110 yards. Crouch scored on runs of 1, 4, 25, and 1 yards, the last three were all in the second quarter. In the process, Crouch broke the school career record for most rushing touchdowns and the NCAA Division I record for most career rushing TDs by a quarterback as he entered the game with 47 and now has 51. Those records were previously held by NU Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier (49 from 1981 to 1983), and Ohio quarterback Kareem Wilson's (49 from 1995 to 1998), respectively. He already owns Nebraska school records for career rushing yards by a quarterback (2,859) and career total offense (6,573, 214 tonight) and has 540 and 1,283 this season. Crouch holds the Big 12 record for most rushing yards by a quarterback and moved up three spots from eighth to fifth. At NU, Crouch moves up from seventh on the all-time rushing list to fifth, passing I-back Lawrence Phillips (2,777 from 1993 to 1995) and I-back I.M. Hipp (2,814 from 1977 to 1979). Among NCAA Division I quarterbacks, Crouch remains eighth, but is now just 141 yards short of becoming the fourth quarterback in Division I-A to total 3,000 yards by both pass and rush, joining an elite group (Beau Morgan, Air Force, Brian Mitchell, Louisiana Lafayette and Antwaan Randle El, Indiana). Crouch ranks third all time at NU in passing with 3,714 yards and 12th in the Big 12. Crouch added 24 points to his career total and now has 314 in his career to rank second at Nebraska behind Kris Brown (388, 1995 to 1998) and second in the Big 12 behind Texas? Ricky Williams, who had 404 from 1996 to 1998. Crouch has had multiple rushing TDs 16 times in his career and in each of the last three games, and six times has had three or more. The four rushing TDs ties his career best (also had four vs. Kansas in 2000).
* Backup I-back Thunder Collins set a career best with five catches for 33 yards. His five catches ties the most by a Husker this season (Wilson Thomas also had five vs. Troy State). His previous bests were one catch twice this season (1-12 vs. TCU and 1-7 vs. Missouri). Collins also had a career-long 45-yard run which set up Crouch?s record-tying four-yard TD run to start the second quarter. His previous career long was 26 yards vs. TCU this season.
* Turnovers...Nebraska converted two ISU turnovers to touchdowns in the first quarter, both were on interceptions. Nebraska cornerback Keyuo Craver scored the game?s first touchdown when he intercepted Seneca Wallace on ISU?s fifth play of the game. He returned the pick 57 yards for a score. It marked Craver?s first interception this year, and the fifth of his career. It marks the first time Craver has scored on an interception, but the first time by an interception return. Last year he scored twice on blocked field goals (vs. Baylor and Kansas State). It was the longest interception return for a touchdown by the Huskers since Joe Walker returned a pick 65 yards vs. Iowa State in 1998. It was the first interception return for a touchdown by a Husker since Carlos Polk returned a pick 39 yards vs. Colorado last year. It was the second time the defense took it in the end zone themselves this season as Jon Clanton scored on a 20-yard rumble return vs. Troy State. Craver also had two pass breakups to bring his career total to 37 (second all time behind Ralph Brown?s 50 from 1996 to 1999), seven tackles and two punt returns for 13 yards. The second ISU turnover was an interception by cornerback DeJuan Groce (nine yard return). Nebraska took the ball on the ISU 23-yard line and Crouch scored four plays later on a one-yard run which gave NU a 20-0 lead. The defense has recorded 12 turnovers this season, and the Huskers have converted seven to 44 points (six TDs, one field goal). Nebraska had one turnover, when Jammal Lord threw his first season/second career interception (Jeremy Loyd). ISU did not convert.
* Firsts and Bests...Cornerback DeJuan Groce left the game in the second quarter with bruised ribs and did not return, he had a career-best 34-yard punt return in the first quarter. NU?s No. 4 I-back Robin Miller scored the last TD for the Huskers on a one-yard run with 1:08 remaining which gave the Huskers a 48-14 final margin. Junior wingback Troy Hassebroek recorded his first career blocked punt, when he stuffed ISU?s Tony Yelk. Lornell McPherson recovered for NU at the ISU 10-yard line and Crouch scored four plays later on a one-yard run with 30 seconds left in the half, giving NU a 41-0 halftime lead. Hassebroek?s block is Nebraska?s second of the year (Groce blocked a field goal vs. Rice). NU senior rush end Chris Kelsay had a career-best three tackles for loss, including a six-yard sack. The three TFLs is the most by a Husker this season. Senior rush end J.P. Wichmann (broke his hand in the games) and true freshman LB Barrett Ruud shared a seven-yard sack (career first for Ruud) and sophomore rush end Benard Thomas ended the game with a 24-yard sack of Wallace, his first career sack. NU had a total of three sacks for 37 yards, marking the third time this season NU has had three or more and giving NU at least one sack in each of the first six games. NU had 13 tackles for 58 yards lost.
* Streak Ends...Place-Kicker Josh Brown?s streak of consecutive PATs ended tonight after Nebraska?s third touchdown. He hit the upright, which ended a streak of 104 consecutive regular-season PATs and 117 straight PATs counting two bowl games. The school records were 114 in regular-season action and 125 counting bowl games by Kris Brown (1995-98).
* Junior I-back Dahrran Diedrick recorded his third 100-yard rushing game this season and passed the career 1,000-yard rushing mark on his second carry of the night. On Nebraska?s first series, Diedrick had a one-yard carry, followed by an 18-yard gain, which gave him 1,004 in his career as he became the 51st Husker to pass the 1,000 mark. On the next carry, Diedrick scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Diedrick passed the 100-yard mark midway through the fourth quarter and totaled 15 carries for 107 yards. Diedrick leads the Huskers in rushing with 577 yards in five games played (115.4 yards per game, ranked 16th nationally entering the game).
* Senior tight end Tracey Wistrom leads the team with 17 catches (for 258 yards) and two touchdowns. Wistrom now has 54 career catches for 1,085 yards. His yards rank first among Husker tight ends while his receptions rank third. Wistrom is seven catches behind Jerry List's school-record 61 receptions (from 1970 to 1972), three behind Junior Miller's 55 (from 1977 to 1979). Wistrom has caught at least one pass in every game this season and has caught at least one pass in each of the last 10 regular-season games. Wingback John Gibson tied his career best with three catches for 35 yards (had 3-53 vs. Rice), and NU split end Wilson Thomas had 2-29, marking the fifth time in six games he has had at least two catches. Thomas has 17-300 this season.
* Team Highs and Lows...NU Highs: 48 Points (ties Rice); NU Lows: Fumbles 0 (ties Rice); Penalties 3 (ties season low of 3 vs. Missouri); Opponent Highs: 14 Points (ties Troy State); First Downs 20 (previous best was 17 by Rice); Passing Yards 214 (190 by Troy State); Time of Possession 30:29 (29:32 by Rice), ISU is the first team to have more possession time than NU; Opponent Lows: Fumbles 0 (third time this season).