And when I say kicked off, I really mean kicked off.
Led by the six touchbacks from true freshmen Adi Kunliac, Nebraska dominated the Pack up and down the field en route to a 52-10 victory.
The Huskers were lead by junior Marlon Lucky, who tallied 266 yards and four TDs (one receiving). This was a welcome sign for Husker fans, as Lucky has been plagued by injuries all season.
What most Husker fans wanted to see, though, was the debut of Sam Keller.
Keller, who last played in 2005 as the starting QB at Arizona State, had a mostly uneventful game, going 14-25 for 193 yards, one TD, and one INT. The QB didn't have a lot to do, as the Huskers ran 71 times in 96 offensive plays.
Fans also got a taste of the future as nine Huskers got to see their first action (six true freshmen): Kunliac, Kevin Dixon, Shukree Barfield, Blake Lawerence, Anthony Blue, Armondo Murillio, Larry Asante, Quinton Castille, and Roy Helu.
Based on the feedback I've heard, fans were most encouraged by three developments:
1. Improved offensive line play.
Nebraska dominated the Pack's front three, racking up 413 yards on the ground. A far cry from what fans have become used to seeing the past few years.
2. Improved play from the secondary.
Newcomer Murillio has supplanted senior Andre Jones at one corner; combine that with the comeback of Zach Bowman , the emergence of Asante at strong safety, and three-year starter Tierre Green at free safety, and the Huskers look loaded at D-back.
3. Special Teams.
Kunliac hit touchbacks on six of his nine kickoffs, leading the Big XII. One area of concern continues to be the punt return game, as the Huskers struggled to get anything going.
Next week: Wake Forest. The Huskers travel to Winston Salem in the hopes of taking the ground game on the road. Just some quick hitters about the Wake game...
-Wake QB Riley Skinner is highly doubtful with a separated shoulder.
-Wake will also be without a starting DE in the game.
-Maurice Purify and Hunter Teafitiller will be returning from suspension.
More notes as we near game time. Oh and just so you know: USC comes to town in two weeks.
Who's counting? This guy!
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