After the early scare in the season opener against Wyoming, the Nebraska Cornhuskers looked like totally different team against Southern Mississippi, blowing out the Golden Eagles by a score of 56-13 in Lincoln.
Last week’s game did nothing but further the skepticism everyone had for the Husker defense, but yesterday’s performance was if nothing else, a sign of good things to come.
Nebraska picked off four passes, and returned two for touchdowns, in their rout of Southern Miss that only saw the Golden Eagles gain 284 total yards – a far cry from the mile and half Wyoming gained against them last week.
Senior cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste returned the third play of the game for a touchdown off an interception, giving the No. 22 Cornhuskers a 7-0 lead.
It was all Huskers from there on, and their defense was the catalyst, only allowing four rushing yards before the fourth quarter, and only allowing 62 total.
The offense had another good week as well, rushing the ball for a total of 285 yards, including a 114-yard performance by Ameer Abdullah, who also added two touchdowns. Taylor Martinez was 15 of 23 and threw for 170 yards and three touchdowns.
Martinez has been efficient in his first two weeks, passing for a little over 70 percent of his passes with 6 touchdowns, and only one interception. He also only has one fumble in his first two games, which is an improvement considering his proclivity for putting the ball on the ground.
Although the Huskers started the season 2-0, they have dropped in the rankings in two consecutive weeks. After starting the season with a preseason No. 18 ranking, the Huskers dropped four places to No. 22 following the lackluster performance against Wyoming.
The Huskers dropped one place this week, even after the blowout victory against Southern Miss. SMU obviously isn’t a national power, and are currently on a 14-game losing streak, but Nebraska didn’t keep it close and won in dominating fashion. Baylor, now the No.22 team, jumped Nebraska in the rankings, making the Huskers No. 23.
The win was a good confidence booster for the Huskers heading into their Top 25 battle with No. 16 UCLA next Saturday. The Huskers will look to avenge the loss from last season on the backs on their talented offense, and their young defense loaded with freshmen.