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October 31, 2009

Huskers snap losing streak with win over Bears

Game Ticker | box score


WACO, Texas - Freshman Cody Green led Nebraska to points on its first three drives in his first college start as the Cornhuskers ended a two-game losing streak, beating Baylor 20-10 on Saturday.

Justin Blatchford returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, Dontrayevous Robinson added a rushing score and Jared Crick had a school record of five sacks to help Nebraska (5-3, 2-2 Big 12) beat Baylor (3-5, 0-4) for the 10th-straight time.

Green, a Texas high school star from a town about 200 miles southeast of Waco, was 12 of 21 for 128 yards passing to stake Nebraska to a 20-0 lead. The Huskers had scored a just 17 combined points in recent home losses to Texas Tech and Iowa State, and they matched a school record with eight turnovers against the latter.

Baylor lost its fourth in a row and hasn't beaten Nebraska since 1956. Clifton Odom returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter to bring the Bears within 10.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini promised personnel changes earlier this week after watching his offense sputter in consecutive lackluster performances. The biggest move came at quarterback, where junior Zac Lee had started the first seven games of the season.

Green got a hand from the Huskers' special teams before he even took the field.

Eric Martin came up the middle and blocked Derek Epperson's punt on the first series of the game. Blatchford scooped up the loose ball at 25 and dove into the end zone right in front of the red-clad Nebraska contingent.

Green and the Huskers offense received a hearty applause from Nebraska's fans when they first took the field.

The 18-year-old from Dayton, Texas scrambled for 10 yards to earn a first down on third-and-5 during Nebraska's opening offensive series, which ended in Alex Henery's 45-yard field goal.

Green was 3 of 5 passing on his second drive, including a 22-yard toss to Kyler Reed that set up another Henery field goal.

Green dropped a perfect throw just over Niles Paul's shoulder for 45 yards, giving the Huskers the ball at the Baylor 1. Robinson scored two plays later, extending Nebraska's lead to 20-0 with 9:28 left in the first half.

Nebraska had 273 yards of offense, 30 fewer than what it averaged in conference play. The Huskers, though, capitalized on their opportunities, something they didn't do when they turned the ball over four times inside the 5 last week.

The Huskers then went more than a quarter without a first down to help Baylor get back in the game.

Ben Parks kicked a 41-yard field goal to cap the Bears' first possession after halftime, then Green made his biggest mistake of the game.

Odom stepped in front of Paul and intercepted Green's pass, returning for a touchdown with 3:27 left in the third.

The Bears drove inside the Nebraska 20 twice in the fourth quarter but came away with no points. Parks missed a 24-yard field goal and turned the ball over on downs as Baylor failed to cut into Nebraska's lead.

Nebraska's defense constantly badgered quarterback Nick Florence, who started the season third on the depth chart before he was forced into action because of injuries.

Florence, 19 of 38 for 222 yards, was intercepted twice and sacked seven times. David Gettis caught seven passes for 124 yards.



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