Steven Sipple/LJS: Armstrong tantalizes with opening act.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini hinted at his team's mindset. The captains, after the victory, told their teammates, "You know what? We didn't come into this season to beat Florida Atlantic."
Nebraska has its eyes on a slightly bigger prize — a conference championship. Remember those? The Huskers possess enough talent to get the job done. This is Pelini's most balanced team in terms of talent on both sides of the ball.
But when you're talking about a team winning a league title, the conversation winds through and around many important areas while finishing at one critical position:
Does Nebraska have a championship-level quarterback?
A tough-minded quarterback who can respond in the clutch, and/or when it seems everything is crashing down around him?
We need more evidence. But Tommy Armstrong Jr.'s performance Saturday — as a runner, passer and field general — was tantalizing.
It was 784 yards of offense, No. 5 on NU’s all-time list of offensive days, a pretty exclusive club. And the most offense in an opener since 1991, when Keithen McCant came in and dazzled Utah State on a stormy day. As I recall, there was lightning that day, too, that cleared the field.
For this storm, the people stood and cheered and soaked in all of the swagger and confidence.
To say this fell out of the sky is not entirely accurate. The players expected it. So did the coaches. But there’s preseason jabber and hope and then there’s the audacity to actually put it on a shirt.
The Husker offensive players had red T-shirts designed with "Red Storm" on them. It takes some nerve to come up with a slogan and tell the world this is what you’re going to do.
To go out and do it? That breeds swagger and confidence and every other buzzword that comes with big seasons.
Dirk Chatelain/OWH: Ameer Abdullah is continually elevating his game.
We witnessed Saturday the launching pad for potentially the best running back season by a Husker since Mike Rozier in 1983.
All of the pieces are in place. An offense built around Abdullah’s feet, a line (especially on the left side) capable of bulldozing, a coordinator whose up-tempo style maximizes Abdullah’s gifts, a relatively soft schedule (especially at home) and, of course, No. 8 himself.
Nebraska football has a first-class superstar, the kind of force a championship team can build around. If you had any doubts before Saturday, surely Abdullah persuaded you. The past eight months, he presented himself like the face of the program — saying and doing all the right things. He backed it up.
Nate Taylor/Florida Sun Sentinel: FAU frustrated, overwhelmed during big loss at Nebraska
FAU knew what to expect against Nebraska's offense. The Cornhuskers were going to run the ball at them. And run the ball again. And run the ball some more. The question was whether the Owls would be ready to accept the challenge.
FAU entered Memorial Stadium on Saturday hoping to surprise the large crowd decked in red. Instead, the Owls left the stadium befuddled. They wondered, with few clear answers, why their performance was so disappointing.
Nebraska dominated FAU and it showed in every statistical category, in particular on rushing yards. The Cornhuskers rushed for 498 yards — and accumulated 784 total yards — as they defeated the Owls, 55-7.
One of the biggest issues for coach Charlie Partridge was watching his team struggling to tackle the Cornhuskers when they were able to run to the perimeter. For Partridge, his first game as a college head coach was a difficult one.
"Statistically, there's nothing that we're proud of today," he said. "We didn't perform the way we expected to perform."
Steven Gonzalez/Underdog Dynasty: FAU stumbles to Nebraska in season opener 55-7
I have never seen Nebraska's kick-off "shoe removal" done before and it was a bit surprising. I have participated in some long tailgates in sweaty south Florida and can only imagine what a section full of shoes in the air can smell like. Also, I did not expect Jordan Westerkamp to perform as well as he did, but heading into Week Two, he will have the best catch in college football and a slightly creepy mustache.
Jordan Westercamp's catch is number 1 on ESPN's Top 10! #Huskers— Matt Coatney (@Coatman1) August 31, 2014
A+ Box Score of the Week belongs to Nebraska: pic.twitter.com/eDRiQbtFXz— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) August 31, 2014
Kevin Thomas (@KevinThomasKLIN) August 31, 2014