Nebraska Gets Off to Fast Start

Associated Press

Nebraska cornerback Brian Davis said it was almost “too easy,” but he was glad to start the Illinois game with an interception and touchdown.

“It really set the tone for the game,” said Davis, who intercepted Illinois quarterback Shane Lamb’s opening pass Saturday and raced 32 yards to spark a 59-14 rout by sixth-ranked Nebraska.

It was the widest margin of defeat for Illinois at home since a 57-0 loss to Michigan in 1969.

The Cornhuskers led, 14-0, after two minutes and two Illini turnovers. They got two touchdowns each from halfback Keith Jones and quarterback Steve Taylor to improve their record to 2-0.


Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne said the two early turnovers “really disconcerted Illinois and shifted the momentum in our favor.”

Two minutes after Davis’ touchdown, which came just 12 seconds into the game, teammate Broderick Thomas recovered a Lamb fumble on the Illinois 22-yard line to put Taylor in position for a six-yard touchdown run.

Jones, who led Nebraska with 168 yards in 16 carries, scored on a 78-yard run and a 1-yard run. Taylor’s second touchdown came on a 1-yard run.

Nebraska’s other scores were a 5-yard run by Micah Heibel in the first quarter, a 23-yard field goal by Dale Klein in the second quarter, a 21-yard pass from No. 3 quarterback McCathorn Clayton to Willie Griffin in the third quarter, and a 1-yard run by freshman Terry Rodgers, son of Nebraska’s 1972 Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Rodgers.


Illinois scored on a 7-yard pass from Lamb to Jerry Reese in the second quarter and a 17-yard bullet from Brian Menkhausen to James Gordon in the fourth quarter.