12:30 PM ET, October 5, 2002
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, NE), Lincoln, NE
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Jammal Lord shouldn't have to worry anymore about whether he'll remain Nebraska's starting quarterback.
A week after briefly getting benched in a loss to Iowa State, Lord set Nebraska records for total offense and rushing yards by a quarterback in a 38-14 win over Division I-AA McNeese State on Saturday.
"There is no question this has been a tough two or three weeks for him. He did everything he could to hang in there,'' said Cornhuskers coach Frank Solich, who didn't announce he would start Lord until Friday.
Lord threw three interceptions in Nebraska's 40-7 loss at Penn State three weeks ago, and he had another interception and fumbled in last week's 36-14 defeat at Iowa State, which dropped the Huskers out of the Top 25 for the first time since 1981.
Lord, who didn't speak to the media this past week, continued his silence Saturday.
His performance said plenty, however. He ran 17 times for 218 yards and three touchdowns, breaking the school's single-game rushing mark of 199 yards, set by Tommie Frazier in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl against Florida. Lord also completed 12 of 18 passes for 151 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Lord's 369 total yards topped Eric Crouch's record of 360 set in last year's loss to Colorado.
"The quarterback we saw on film and the quarterback today were two different guys,'' added McNeese State defensive tackle John Paul Jones. "The one on film seemed to make bad decisions. The guy in the game was on fire.''
Lord, who had to win his starting position back during practice, will start against Missouri next week.
"He's definitely our guy,'' QBs coach Turner Gill said. "He gives us the best opportunity to get some things happening.
The Cornhuskers (4-2) gained 595 total yards, by far their highest output of the season.
"Today we found a few more ways to hurt the opponent rather than hurt ourselves,'' Solich said.
The Cowboys (4-1), ranked second in I-AA, struggled against Nebraska's running game. David Horne, a true freshman playing in his first game, had 81 yards on 12 carries. Dahrran Diedrick ran 15 times for 64 yards for the Huskers, who still haven't had an I-back rush for 100 yards in a game this season.
Ryan Corcoran threw a 43-yard touchdown pass and Marcus Trahan scored a TD for McNeese State, which had 355 yards of offense.
The Cowboys, who left St. Charles, La., two days early because of Hurricane Lili, had trouble all game stopping Lord.
"It was a tough day for the Cowboys, but Nebraska had a lot to do with that,'' McNeese coach Tommy Tate said. "The coaches and the players thought they took criticism this week that they didn't deserve. They took that and came out and made a statement.''
If Solich was trying to get Lord's attention by holding off on naming him the starter, it apparently worked. Lord's previous career highs were 111 yards rushing against Penn State and 120 yards passing at Iowa State.
Lord completed eight passes in a row during one stretch in the first half, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Troy Hassebroek that put the Huskers up 21-0.
Lord also had touchdown runs of 5 and 57 yards in the first half and threw a key sideline block on Mark LeFlore's 64-yard TD run that gave Nebraska a 31-14 lead with 12:33 left in the game. Lord capped his day with a 56-yard touchdown run on an option with about seven minutes to play.
Lord's only blemishes were an interception and a fumble in the third quarter. The Cornhuskers recovered the fumble, which happened at the end of a 21-yard run.
"That speaks a lot for Jammal. Everybody in the state, everybody in the country had been doubting him. Very few thought he could get it done,'' said Nebraska tight end Jon Bowling. "But he comes out and makes some great plays. He did everything right today and everything clicked.
"When the offense didn't do well, they put it on the quarterback. The fact of the matter is it wasn't all Jammal.''