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Backup Electricity: Armstrong & Kellogg Shine, Defense Struggles, Huskers Rout Jackrabbits

Nebraska's backup QB duo leads the Huskers in defeating South Dakota State, but the defense didn't help much early.

Tommy Gun
Tommy Gun
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Behind the combined performance of Tommy Armstrong Jr and Ron Kellogg III at Quarterback, Nebraska got through a 17 point, 200 yard first quarter effort by South Dakota State as the Huskers used 600 yards of offense to beat the Jackrabbits 59-20 in front of 90,614 patrons at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The duo of Kellogg and Armstrong, alternating possessions as 4 year starter Taylor Martinez wore street clothes on the sidelines, threw for a combined 305 yards as the Huskers also ground out 335 yards on the ground. The Nebraska rushing attack was led by Ameer Abdullah's 139 yard effort.

Early on, Nebraska's defense, which was sliced by UCLA last week for 38 unanswered points, had no answer for SDSU running back Zack Zenner. Zenner, who would finish with over 200 yards rushing before being held out for the final 20 or so minutes of the game, gained over 100 yards in the first half as the Jackrabbits counter punched the Huskers' offensive attack early on.

The Jackrabbits answered the Huskers first two scoring drives with two of their own, and were poised to take a 21-14 lead into the end of the first quarter when a potential TD pass from QB Austin Sumner to TE Cam Jones was called back because of offensive pass interference. After penalties and sacks moved the Jackrabbits back, they settled for a Justin Syrovatka field goal to take a 17-14 lead.

However, that is as close as the Rabbits would get in Lincoln on Saturday.

Nebraska went out and scored the next 38 points in the contest. In that span, both Armstrong and Kellogg threw their first touchdown passes in their careers. Armstrong to WR Sam Burtch, while Kellogg's was to Tyler Wullenwaber.

Two rushing touchdowns in the afternoon by both Terrell Newby as well as Imani Cross helped out the Husker cause, while Abdullah had one.

The defense also got on the scoreboard as Randy Gregory took back a interception 33 yards for the touchdown.

Nebraska started slow after a tumultuous, distraction filled week after the UCLA loss last week. Even though the Jackrabbits put up only 20 points, they did total up 465 yards of total offense, which made Head Coach Bo Pelini stress in the early parts of the postgame press conference.

The Huskers enjoy a bye week next Saturday before Illinois comes to town to kick off the Big 10 slate at Memorial Stadium on October 5th.