(Saturday, September 5th)
Final Score: (24) Nebraska 49, Florida Atlantic 3
Lincoln, NE (Sports Network) - Roy Helu rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, and the 24th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers had their way with the Florida Atlantic Owls, 49-3, at Memorial Stadium, extending their nation's-best winning streak in season debuts to 24 games.
Zac Lee tossed for 213 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on 15- of-22 attempts for Nebraska (1-0), which had nine wins in 2008, including a Gator Bowl victory over Clemson. Curenski Gilleylen hauled in four balls for 92 yards and a score, and Menelik Holt had another TD reception for the victors.
"I saw some good things out there and I saw some things I was disappointed with," Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said. "It's just kind of the same with the whole football team. There were some positives and there are some things we need to get fixed and that's to be expected the first game."
Rusty Smith had a rough game behind center, throwing two interceptions and completing just 15-of-31 throws for 164 yards for Florida Atlantic (0-1), which is coming of its second straight winning season.
Alfred Morris led the running attack with 85 yards on 18 carries, but the Owls were outgained 259-122 on the ground.
On their second possession of the game, the Cornhuskers found paydirt courtesy of Holt's 28-yard catch-and-run midway through the opening quarter.
Early in the second, Lee found Gilleylen deep down the middle of the field for a 51-yard score.
Willie Rose's 38-yard reception set up FAU inside the Nebraska five on the ensuing possession, but the Cornhuskers bore down and forced a 21-yard field goal off the foot of Ross Gornall with roughly eight minutes left.
Nebraska held the ball for the next 7 1/2 minutes, and on the 15th play of the drive, Helu plunged into the end zone on 4th-and-goal from the one for a 21-3 lead at the break.
Helu extended the lead in the third with touchdown runs of seven and 44 yards, respectively.
Rex Burkhead scored from the eight on the final play of the period, then Cody Green added another score on the ground in the fourth to account for the final margin.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Rose said. "We did have high expectations and we felt confident that we were going to make things work, knowing the experience we had coming back and just working in practice the last few weeks, but it didn't turn out the way we hoped."
This was the first ever meeting between the programs...Rose led FAU with 59 yards on three receptions...Holt had three grabs for 45 yards...Both teams had 22 first downs...Nebraska hosts Arkansas State next Saturday and Florida Atlantic returns to action September 19 at South Carolina.
09/06 00:11:09 ET