In a display to make Husker Nation proud, the Huskers did exactly what they used to do to undermanned teams that came into Lincoln to open the football season. They kicked the living crap out of them to the tune of 49 to 3.
In opening up Bo Pelini’s second year as the Husker leader, the Huskers had a few bumps along the way, but the Huskers played a very dominate game against an undermanned Florida Atlantic Owl squad.
In the first half the Huskers pounded the Owls to the tune of 21 to 3, only allowing a “oh by the way” field goal late in the second quarter and playing the type of pressure defense that Pelini is known for. Zac Lee threw for a couple of touchdowns and Roy Helu pounded the ball in from the one yard line to account for the scoring.
In his first start as the Huskers starting quarterback Zac Lee was an impressive 14-of-19 for 208 yards and two touchdowns that included at least three drops in three quarters of work. Roy Helu showing that he will be a force this season had 16 carries for 123 yards and three touchdowns including a 44 yard run in the third quarter.
Zac spread the ball around with seven different players getting in on the action. Menelik Holt gets credit for the Huskers first touchdown of the 2009 season by scoring on a 28 yard pass from Zac on the second possession of the game.
Not to be outdone, Curenski Gilleylen came right back in the second quarter with a 51 yard catch and run for a score of his own.
The Huskers defense started out like gang busters allowing a total of only 34 yards on the Owls first three possessions. After that however the defense seems to tire a bit as the Owls gained over 150 yards on its next two drives that resulted in a missed field goal and then finally getting on the board with a 21 yard field goal.
For the game the Blackshirts only allowed the Owls to go a paltry 4-of-12 on third down conversions, and only average five yards per play; while the Huskers averaged more than eight yards and were six out of nine on their third down conversions.
Pelini was very impressed with Zac Lee’s first half and mentioned the drops as a disappointment. Coach also pointed out the roughing the passer penalty that wiped out an interception right before half time as something that needed to be corrected.
The Huskers were extremely dominate to open the third quarter with Roy Helu going past the 100 yard rushing mark on the drive including a five yard touchdown run. It took the Huskers only four plays to go 62 yards for the score.
After an interception by O’Hanlon, Roy Helu exploded for his third touchdown of the game with a 44 yard blast to clip the owl’s wings and make the score 35-3. True freshman Rex Burkhead from Plano Texas finished up the scoring in the third quarter with an eight yard TD run to push the margin to 42-3.
Not to let Burkhead hog all the action, fellow true freshman, Texas schoolboy star Cody Green got into the action in the fourth quarter impressing all with a 49 yard run down the Florida Atlantic 16 yard line. Green soon found the end zone on the same drive with an option run of one yard a fitting conclusion of an 80 yard drive to push the score to final outcome of 49 to 3.
For the game the Huskers offense had more than 250 yards rushing and 230 plus passing yards showing that Watson’s offense is an extremely balanced, efficient thing of beauty.
Next up is another Sun Belt Conference game against Arkansas State. Go Big Red.