The Nebraska Cornhuskers have gotten their first win for Head Coach Mike Riley. And, in doing so, found a Running Back.
Behind 198 yards rushing by Terrell Newby, 270 yards passing on 70% completion from Tommy Armstrong Jr., and a much cleaner game, the Huskers defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 48-9 Saturday night.
Playing in their second game of the season after their heartbreaking loss to BYU on Labor Day weekend, the Huskers (1-1) amassed 561 yards of total offense Saturday and won the turnover battle with a +2 rating.
South Alabama (1-1) who came into the game after a defeat of Garner-Webb last week, had some success with the deep ball. However, the Jaguars couldn't take advantage of their opportunities to score till the game was out of their favor in the second half.
The contest started with South Alabama getting the ball to start the game, but Jags QB Cody Clements gave the ball away with a deep interception to Nebraska Safety Nate Gerry. The Huskers didn't waste any time, going 10 plays and 75 yards to strike first with Terrell Newby's first rushing TD, a 13-yard effort.
Nebraska forced a punt by South Alabama, and the next drive once again yielded points. Newby snagged a 8-yard pass from Armstrong to make the game 14-0, where it stayed through the end of the First Quarter.
The teams traded possessions through the start of the Second Quarter, where Newby scored his third TD of the night on a nifty 8-yard TD run. That capped a 91-yard drive that took 8 plays, giving the Huskers a 21-0 lead.
The Huskers were content to run the clock out after South Alabama was stopped deep in Nebraska territory, however, the Huskers were forced to punt. South Alabama couldn't field the kick, however, and Nebraska got the ball in Jaguar territory with 16 seconds to go. After moving the ball some, Nebraska got points off a Drew Brown 42 yard Field Goal, which made it 24-0 Nebraska at Halftime.
The Huskers and Jaguars traded possessions as the Second Half started, but Nebraska capitalized on their second possession for a spinning Imani Cross TD run from 9 yards out. That made the score Nebraska 31, South Alabama 0.
South Alabama finally cracked the scoreboard with a 7 play, 37-yard drive that finished with a Sunanon Allen Field Goal from 36 yards out. That made it 31-3 Nebraska after the Third Quarter.
The Fourth Quarter scoring kicked off with Drew Brown hitting a 25 yard FG, then on the next possession Jordan Westerkamp reeled in a 21 yard TD pass from Armstrong, making the score 41-3 Nebraska.
The Huskers got the ball back from a South Alabama fumble at the USA 2, and Alonzo Moore took in a TD pass from Ryker Fyfe, capping the Husker scoring for the night at 48 points.
South Alabama would get on the scoreboard one final time in the contest, as Josh Magee took in a 36 yard TD pass from backup QB Dallas Davis. The XP was botched, however, so it became 48-9 Nebraska. The Huskers ground out the rest of the clock to end the game.
Terrell Newby was the star of the game with 236 yards of Total Offense and 3 total TD's. Armstrong and Fyfe spread the ball out to 8 total Nebraska receivers.
The Huskers totaled 303 yards passing and 258 yards rushing. South Alabama had 19 yards Rushing and 313 yards passing for a 332 yard total. Cody Clements went 23-40 for 271 yards and 1 interception for South Alabama.
Armstrong went over the 4000-yard passing and 5000-yard total offense marks in the game. He is the 7th QB to reach 4k in passing yards, and the second to do it before his SR year (Taylor Martinez). Armstrong is the 9th QB to reach 5k in total offense, and the 3rd to do it before his SR year (Martinez, Eric Crouch).
Lane Hovey had career highs in passes caught (5) and yards (68) tonight. The leading WR was Brandon Reilly, who had 71 yards on 5 catches as well.
The Huskers move to 12-0 vs. members of the Sun Belt Conference, and give up single digits on Defense for the first time since the Florida Atlantic game last year.
The Huskers head to Miami next week to take on the Hurricanes. South Alabama heads farther west to take on San Diego State next Saturday.