Coverage: ABC Regional coverage
8:00 PM ET, September 13, 2003
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, NE), Lincoln, NE
Nebraska (3-0) ran on all but six of its 78 plays from scrimmage, piling up 337 yards on the ground.
"Everybody on this team is really well-conditioned, and we just keep pounding," Davis said. "Teams get tired after a while, so we just run right at them."
David Dyches, who kicked four field goals for the second straight game, accounted for all of Nebraska's scoring until the third quarter.
The Huskers ran the ball on 16 straight plays while moving 80 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on the opening series of the second half.
Davis carried 10 times for 49 yards before Lord ran in from 3 yards to finish the drive, which chewed 8:12 off the clock. Davis was stopped short of the goal line on the 2-point try, leaving the Huskers with a 15-10 lead.
"To open the half with that kind of drive was really big for our players and big in the outcome of the game," Nebraska coach Frank Solich said.
Penn State (1-2) moved to midfield midway through the fourth quarter, but Zack Mills fumbled a snap and Nebraska linebacker Barrett Ruud recovered.
Dyches, who had four field goals in last week's win over Utah State, kicked a 32-yarder with 3:53 left to make it 18-10.
Mills completed a 31-yard pass to Gerald Smith as Penn State penetrated the Nebraska 40 on its final drive. But Mills threw four straight incompletions, and the Huskers ran out the clock.
"We lost the football game, and that's tough, but we played hard and hung in there," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said.
The Huskers still haven't made good on their promise to open up more of a passing game.
On this night, they didn't have to. They averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
"That's their game, and we tried the best we could," Penn State safety Andrew Guman said. "Davis is a tough runner. He ran hard, and their fullbacks did a good job of blocking."
Lord, who completed his only pass of the second half, finished 4-of-6 for 60 yards. He threw one interception on a poorly thrown ball into the end zone.
"We were running it well enough that we had a lot of second-and-5s and second-and-6s," Solich said. "I just didn't feel comfortable throwing it. A couple times Jammal had guys open and didn't throw it. We have a lot of work to do in the passing game."
Mills was 16-of-33 for 159 yards, with one interception.
Austin Scott was Penn State's top rusher, with 19 yards on six carries. The Lions ran for only 44 yards.
Penn State led 10-9 at half after converting a Lord fumble into a touchdown and using its 2-minute offense to set up Robbie Gould's 47-yard field goal as time ran in the second quarter.
Nebraska's offense showed it could move the ball from the start, but mistakes forced the Huskers to settle for Dyches' field goals of 36, 35 and 41 yards in the first half.
Leading 3-0, the Huskers drove deep into Penn State territory on their second possession, but Yaacov Yisrael intercepted Lord in the end zone.
Nebraska stalled at the Penn State 18 on its next series, bringing on Dyches for a 35-yarder.
The Lions then went three and out, but they got the ball right back when defensive tackle Ed Johnson stripped the ball from Lord and Lavon Chisley recovered at the Nebraska 29.
Ricky Upton scored from 13 yards out three plays later to give Penn State a 7-6 lead.
The Huskers drove to the Penn State 25 on their ensuing possession. But they had to call on Dyches again after Lord recovered his own fumble for a 13-yard loss, drawing boos from the crowd of 78,008.
Mills then went 4-of-5 to move the Lions to the Nebraska 30 as the clock wound down in the half. Gould drilled his 47-yarder to give Penn State its 1-point lead.
"We were dominating statistically but were down by a point," Solich said. "That was a frustrating first half."
The victory avenged last year's 40-7 loss at Penn State. That loss set into the motion a 7-7 season that was Nebraska's worst in 41 years.
Now Nebraska is 3-0 for the seventh straight year.
"There are a lot of people out there who have no respect for this football team. That's all right," Davis said. "We like where we're at right now, and we're going to keep on coming and getting victories."