Lucky, not luck, leads to dominating Nebraska victory
LINCOLN, Neb. -- A week after its loss at Southern California, No. 23 Nebraska
took out its frustration on another bunch of Trojans.
Marlon Lucky ran for 156 yards and three long touchdowns, Kenny Wilson ran for 106 yards and two scores and Zac Taylor passed for 268 yards in a 56-0 victory over Troy
on Saturday night.
It was a dominating performance by the Cornhuskers (3-1), who had been criticized for coach Bill Callahan's conservative offensive game plan in last week's 28-10 loss at USC.
"I just feel like everybody kind of gave up on us after the USC game, and a lot of people were down on us when we came into the Troy game because Troy almost beat Florida State and Georgia Tech," said receiver Terrence Nunn, who caught four passes for 102 yards. "We're a hell of a team, too."
Held to 211 yards last week, the Huskers blew past that total early in the second quarter on their way to a season-high 597.
"A lot people put us to the side and said we got blown out by USC. That's not the case," Taylor said. "It's important that we showed we're still the same team we were at the beginning of the season."
Taylor was 14-of-17 for 268 yards and a touchdown before giving way to Joe Ganz in the middle of the third quarter.
Troy (1-3), which led Florida State in the fourth quarter two weeks ago and was tied with Georgia Tech in the fourth quarter last week, couldn't overcome Nebraska's big plays and its own penalties. The Huskers had nine plays of 20 yards or longer. Three of them were Lucky touchdown runs of 34, 45 and 51 yards.
On Troy's first four possessions alone, the Trojans were flagged for intentional grounding, two illegal formations, a false start, holding and offensive pass interference. They were penalized 10 times for 80 yards.
Nebraska scored on four of its first five possessions and led 28-0 at half.
Callahan said he was gratified with the way his team bounced back from last week's loss.
"I'm really excited about our defense throwing a shutout," he said. "It was a good win for our team in the way that we handled ourselves in preparation coming off last week. It just shows the maturity of this team."
Troy coach Larry Blakeney said the Huskers were too big and fast for the Trojans.
"This is the best football team we've seen in a long time," Blakeney said. "I don't know what they call that offense, whether it's the West Coast or East Coast or South Coast or Canadian, but it gave us more than we could handle."
The Huskers recorded their first shutout in 32 games, since a 28-0 win over Iowa State in 2003, and held Troy to 140 yards.
Lucky opened the scoring on the game's first series, hitting the corner and accelerating past free safety Tavares Williams on his way to his 34-yard touchdown.
Taylor, after a 49-yard pass to Nate Swift on first-and-35, found J.B. Phillips alone in the end zone for a 6-yard TD. Lucky's 45-yarder came after he broke through a hole at the line of scrimmage and outran cornerbacks Elbert Mack and Henry Chubb.
Wilson's 3-yard run ended a 12-play drive late in the half, and Lucky opened the third quarter with his 51-yarder up the middle.
"We were all frustrated after the SC game," Lucky said. "This whole week we were getting burned (in the media) because Coach was running too much and wasn't passing. We came out and dominated."
Taylor threw his first interception in 84 attempts when Justin Bray picked him off late in the first half.
Josh Allen led Troy rushers with 39 yards, and Omar Haugabook was 12-of-21 for 88 yards with an interception.
"I don't know when I've been around getting thrashed quite like that," Blakeney said. "We played pretty well against Florida State. We played pretty well against Georgia Tech. But this bunch of guys here, with their style of play and physical approach, presented us with more than we could handle."
The Associated Press News Service