Taylor (4 TDs), No. 21 Huskers sharp on eve of USC showdown

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska can finally start talking about
Southern California.

Moments after the No. 21 Cornhuskers dispatched I-AA Nicholls
State 56-7 on Saturday, coach Bill Callahan's weeklong gag order on
Trojan talk was officially lifted.

"U-S-C, U-S-C," linebacker Corey McKeon chanted as he walked
off the field.

Defensive end Jay Moore said it was difficult keeping his mind
from wandering to this week's road game against third-ranked USC.

"Late at night I couldn't help but picture what it would be
like playing USC," he said. "When people all around us are
pumping up a future game, it's a test of our maturity."

The Huskers (2-0) easily passed the test against their
overmatched opponent.

Zac Taylor threw a career-high four touchdown passes in the
intermittent rain, Marlon Lucky ran for 103 yards and the Huskers
scored on six of their first seven possessions while building a
42-0 lead.

"They were looking to try and take care of business early,"
Colonels coach Jay Thomas said.

Nicholls State (1-1) didn't cross midfield until its only
scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. The Colonels, who run
the triple-option offense, became the first team since Oklahoma
State in 1992 to not complete a pass against the Huskers. Chris
Bunch, who took over for Montgomery, was 0-for-3.

Callahan said he never was concerned about a possible letdown
against the Colonels, who were playing a nationally ranked I-A
opponent for the first time.

"We practiced hard, and I didn't see anyone backing off or
taking it easy or lightening the load," he said. "I'm real proud
of how we handled our business."

The victory was Nebraska's fifth in a row and it gave the
Huskers their longest winning streak since opening the 2003 season

"We are a lot more confident and sure of ourselves," Taylor
said. "Last year we were kind of running around and trying to make
plays. Now we know we can go down and score on teams. I'd say we're
ahead of where we were at the end of last year."

Taylor, who completed 12 passes in a row after Lucky dropped his
first attempt, finished 19-of-23 for 202 yards before Joe Ganz
relieved him in the fourth quarter.

Taylor threw TD passes of 1 yard to Dane Todd, 19 yards to Matt
Herian, 14 yards to Frantz Hardy and 42 yards to Maurice Purify.

Cody Glenn ran for two touchdowns Lucky and Kenny Wilson each
had a rushing TD.

The Huskers scored on their first three possessions and led 28-0
at halftime.

"I was extremely pleased with the way we began the game,"
Callahan said. "We got a lot of good work in today. A lot of young
players played and got on the field."

Stewart Bradley recovered Nicholls State quarterback Vincent
Montgomery's fumble near midfield on the opening series, and the
Huskers ran on nine of 10 plays before Glenn scored from the 1.

Taylor's touchdown passes to Todd and Herian finished drives of
51 and 39 yards, and his long pass to Purify capped a one-play

In the first half alone, Nicholls State managed just three first
downs, lost Montgomery to a knee injury and fumbled on a fake punt.

The Colonels' lone touchdown came after they recovered a muffed
punt that brushed the back of Nebraska's Todd Peterson. After Grant
Thorne broke loose for 49 yards, Broderick Cole scored from a yard

Thorne led the Nicholls State with 65 yards. The Huskers had 30
first downs to the Colonels' seven and outgained them 498-187.


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2015 Southland Conference Standings

McNeese State9-010-0
Sam Houston State7-28-3
Central Arkansas7-27-4
Incarnate Word5-46-5
Northwestern State4-54-7
Stephen F Austin4-54-7
Southeastern Louisiana3-5-14-6-1
Abilene Christian3-63-8
Nicholls State2-6-12-8-1
Houston Baptist0-82-9