(Saturday, August 30th)
Final Score: Nebraska 47, Western Michigan 24
Lincoln, NE (Sports Network) - Joe Ganz threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns and the Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the Western Michigan Broncos, 47-24, in a non-conference affair at Memorial Stadium.
Ganz hit on 20-of-36 pass attempts and was intercepted twice for Nebraska (1-0), which extended the nation's longest winning streak in season openers to 23 games. Nate Swift was his main outlet, pulling down five passes for 121 yards and two scores. Marlon Lucky also had two touchdowns for the Huskers, as the Bo Pelini era got off to a good start.
"It's a win. I'm excited," said new head coach Pelini following the game. "The kids have worked hard. We won the football game. We're 1-0 and that's what we came here to do."
Pelini took over the head coaching duties this offseason after Bill Callahan was fired following a 5-7 finish in 2007. He has served as defensive coordinator at Nebraska, Oklahoma and most recently LSU over the past five seasons.
Tim Hiller put forth a solid effort for WMU (0-1), throwing for 342 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 30-of-49 tosses. His primary target was Branden Ledbetter, who snared nine balls for 123 yards and a score.
Midway through the first quarter the Huskers notched the contest's first points, as Lucky scampered 14 yards for a score.
With under a minute left in the opening frame, Nebraska made it 14-0 behind a Ganz three-yard touchdown strike to Mike McNeill.
It took the Huskers just 10 seconds to strike in the second quarter, as Alex Henery nailed a 44-yard field goal.
Just under four minutes later, WMU put its first points on the board courtesy of a Hiller three-yards touchdown toss to Ledbetter.
Nebraska, however, responded quickly and took a 24-7 lead behind a 61-yard touchdown pass from Ganz to Swift.
After the teams traded field goals, Ganz threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Swift with under a minute left in the first half, giving the Huskers a 34-10 advantage at the break.
Nebraska's Henery got the scoring started in the second half with a 44-yard field goal midway through the frame.
The Broncos countered just over two minutes later with a Brandon West one-yard touchdown plunge.
With just under two minutes left in the third quarter, Nebraska pushed its lead to 44-17 courtesy of a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ganz to Lucky.
Early in the fourth quarter, WMU made it a 44-24 game with a Hiller nine-yard touchdown throw to Juan Nunez.
A 44-yard yard field goal by Henery late in the fourth quarter accounted for the last scoring of the game.
Nebraska gained 138 yards on the ground in the contest, while holding WMU to only eight rushing yards.
08/31 00:01:00 ET