(Wednesday, December 30th)
Final Score: (20) Nebraska 33, (22) Arizona 0
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Zac Lee threw for a touchdown while running for another score, as No. 20 Nebraska recorded its first-ever bowl shutout, a 33-0 defeat of No. 22 Arizona in the Holiday Bowl.
The Cornhuskers (10-4) dominated on both sides of the ball, limiting the Wildcats (8-5) to 109 total yards while piling up 396 yards of their own.
Nebraska was coming off a loss on December 5 in the Big 12 title game, which Texas won on a field goal on the final play. But the Huskers rebounded from that setback to record their first 10-win season since 2003, as well as their first shutout in 46 bowl appearances.
"We kind of took the momentum early," said Bo Pelini, who improved to 3-0 in bowl games as Nebraska head coach. "I thought we executed, I really liked our plan going in. Our kids executed from start to finish. It was a complete win against a really good team."
Lee completed 13-of-23 passes for 173 yards while running for 65, and Niles Paul had four catches for 123 yards. Rex Burkhead ran for 89 yards and a score, as Nebraska ended its season by winning six of seven.
Huskers tackle Ndamukong Suh, a Heisman finalist, was part of the Nebraska defensive front that consistently caused trouble for Arizona in rainy conditions. Nick Foles completed just 6-of-20 passes for 28 yards, with one interception, as the Wildcats had their two-game win streak snapped.
"I haven't seen that from our offense all year," Foles said. "Usually if we do have a series where we're flat or something, we fight back and just execute our plays. I don't think we executed at all tonight."
The Huskers' domination was evident early, as Matt O'Hanlon intercepted Foles on the game's opening drive. That put the ball at the Arizona five-yard line, and on 2nd-and-goal from the four, Lee got into the end zone on a sweep to the right.
Alex Henery kicked a 47-yard field goal with just under nine minutes left in the first quarter, after an Arizona three-and-out. The Wildcats didn't reach Nebraska territory until the third quarter.
Burkhead took a direct handoff for a five-yard dash across the goal line a little more than three minutes into the second quarter, and field goals of 50 and 41 yards from Henery made it a 23-0 game at halftime.
Henery kicked a 22-yarder on the opening drive of the second half, and Lee punctuated the rout with a 74-yard scoring connection with Paul later in the third quarter.
Paul was named the game's offensive MVP...Suh totaled three tackles, one for loss...Arizona's second quarterback, Matt Scott, was 4-of-11 for 18 yards in late-game action...Nebraska held the ball for more than 38 minutes...Wednesday's contest was a rematch of the 1998 Holiday Bowl, which Arizona won, 23-20...Nebraska improved to 24-22 all-time in bowl games...Henery's four field goals were a Holiday Bowl record.
12/31 01:41:26 ET