They celebrated the 1994 National Championship team. And then, the Nebraska Cornhuskers made their point to the College Football world about their spot 20 years later.
Ameer Abdullah went for 229 yards on the ground, Nebraska won the turnover battle including a scoop and score, and a well played game became very chippy at the end. However, your Huskers go undefeated in the non-conference slate with a 41-24 victory over the Miami Hurricanes at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night in front of a record crowd of 91,585.
The Huskers (4-0), playing their first Power 5 team of the season, used a near 100 yard rushing day from Tommy Armstrong along with 2 TD passes to take down the Canes (2-2). With the victory, Nebraska has now won 400 games at Memorial Stadium, making them the fifth program to win 400 or more games at their current stadium (Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, LSU).
Abdullah's 232 yards of total offense put him past Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers as Nebraska's all time All Purpose Yard leader.
For Miami, Brad Kaaya had a productive day with 357 yards and 3 TD's. However, his 2 interceptions along with a fumble recovery from Duke Johnson by Nebraska's Josh Mitchell proved to be too much overall. Johnson, who many folks thought would go toe for toe with Abdullah, finished with only 93 yards on 18 carries.
Both teams started the game with TD drives. The Canes went down the field with the opening kickoff to score a Johnson TD. The opening drive went 9 plays and 75 yards. Nebraska answered themselves with a 6 play, 81 yard drive that ended with a Armstrong to Kenny Bell TD pass from 40 yards out. Miami was knocking on the door again, but David Santos intercepted a wheel route thrown by Kaaya deep in Husker territory. The first quarter of the game ended 7-7.
Scoring in the second quarter started off of a Armstrong fumble near midfield, and the Canes turned it into a Kaaya to Clive Walford TD toss for a 14-7 Miami lead. Nebraska then answered with a 14 play, 79 yard drive that finished with a 3 yard Armstrong to Abdullah TD pass on a swing screen. After a Miami 3 and out, Nebraska went down the field once again, and Drew Brown ended the first half with a 19 yard FG to give Nebraska their first lead 17-14 at halftime.
The Huskers got the ball back to begin the second half, and went 11 more plays for 75 yards, capped off by a Abdullah 6 yard TD. Miami gave no care to that and went back out and put together their own 10 play, 76 yard drive. That was capped off by a Kaaya to Malcom Lewis TD pass in the back of the South end zone. After the Cane D forced a Nebraska 3 and out, Miami was driving, but Johnson was stripped of the football as he went down, and Josh Mitchell raced it back for a TD. Miami did get a Michael Badgley FG to make it 31-24 Nebraska at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter started with a Drew Brown FG that banked in off the upright. After a interception by Josh Kalu, Nebraska took a commanding lead late with Abdullah's last rushing TD of the night. Kaaya led the Canes on a 14 play, 79 yard drive that culminated with a TD toss to Braxton Berrios. The onside failed by Miami, and the Huskers ran the clock out on a 41-31 final score.
The final quarter was marred by 2 skirmishes between the Nebraska DL and the Miami OL. According to many folks, the Nebraska fanbase actually booed the Hurricanes off of the field at the end, something unheard of in Lincoln. That, along with Bo Pelini getting upset over a VERY late Roughing the QB call (that led to the first skirmish) will overlook otherwise a game that was very well played for the first 50 minutes. Miami showed up to play, and Kaaya played much better than most folks were expecting before the game, Canes fans included. However, in the end, Ameer Abdullah did his thing, the Husker D got better, and Nebraska is now 4-0 heading into Big Ten play.
Nebraska gets back on it against Illinois Saturday night, while Miami will host Duke in ACC play next week.