Mike McNeill - flying into the end zone!
Nebraska took their team and a ton of fans into Seattle this weekend for what was supposed to be the Huskers first real test of the season. Instead, the Nebraska offense rolled up 533 yards of offense on route to a 56-21 stomping of the Huskies.
There's little to complain this week about as the Blackshirt defense held Washington's (ex-)Heisman Trophy candidate Jake Locker to four-for-20 passing for 71 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Nebraska got out to an early lead after Locker's first pass was picked off by Eric Hagg and the Huskers went 48 yards in two plays. Quarterback Taylor Martinez hit Mike McNeill for a 24-yard touchdown pass after Rex Burkhead gained 24 yards on Nebraska's first run of the day.
The Huskers forced Washington into a three-and-out, then three plays later Martinez hit Brandon Kinnie for a 55-yard pass to the Husky one yard line. On the next play, Martinez scored on a quarterback keeper to make it 14-0 after the PAT by Alex Kenery.
Washington came back on the following drive, rushing 11 straight times including the seven-yard touchdown scramble by Locker. It looked like Washington might make a game of it after the Huskers faltered on their next two drives, but the Huskies could gain little yardage against the Blackshirt defense.
The Husker offense acted as if they'd saved up all the big plays they didn't have last year to pull them out in 2010. Taylor Martinez scored on a 80-yard run on the first play of the third quarter, then on the next series Locker hit Jermaine Kearse for a 45-yard touchdown reception. Answering again, Roy Helu Jr ripped off a 65-yard dash on the next series for another Nebraska score.
In all, Nebraska finished with 383 yards rushing on 54 carries for a 7.1 yard average. Martinez finished with 19 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns, Helu added 110 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns will Rex Burkhead had 104 yards on 13 carries and another touchdown. Nebraska finished with three 100-yard rushers for only the fifth time in school history.
It was a different Husker rushing attack from the past. Rather than pounding their opponent into the ground with power football, Nebraska used the spread and zone read to discombobulate the overmatched Husky defense.
Nebraska's Blackshirt defense harassed Washington all day, holding them to 246 total yards. Hagg and Alfonzo Dennard had interceptions and Dennard returned his 31 yards for a touchdown, the second straight week in which the defensive secondary returned an interception for a score.
Nebraska's 56 points tied the most ever allowed by the Huskies at home.
Nebraska takes on South Dakota State next week in another tune up game before beginning Big 12 play against Kansas State on October 7th.