Peculiar plays: A couple plays made it look like the Huskers spend a fair amount of time on tip drills.
The first was an interception returned for a 22-yard touchdown late in the first quarter by cornerback Ciante Evans. The pass was tipped by a Golden Eagles receiver, and Evans corralled it and ran to the end zone to give Nebraska a 21-3 lead. Then with 2:59 remaining in the first half, Kenny Bell was covered in the end zone by Golden Eagles cornerback Ed Wilkins.
Both went up for the ball and it was tipped. Bell kept his eye on the prize and cradled it as he fell backward for the touchdown that gave Nebraska its 35-6 halftime advantage.
What was that? Late in the third quarter, freshman running back Terrell Newby broke loose for a run around the right end for 19 yards, moving the ball to the Southern Miss 5.
On his way out of bounds, Newby stiff-armed defensive back Alexander Walters. Newby made contact with Walters just under his helmet, which popped off. Referee Alex Kemp announced the personal foul penalty on Newby to the dismay of the Memorial Stadium crowd.
The ball was moved back to the Golden Eagles’ 20. Four plays later running back Imani Cross scored Nebraska’s final TD on a 1-yard run.
Noticed: Receivers turning upfield immediately after securing the ball.
The two most noticeable examples were Jake Long’s 18-yard reception in the first quarter and an 11-yard third-quarter grab by wide receiver Quincy Enunwa.
Both players caught the ball and immediately pivoted to head up field. The fluid, effortless moves helped produce longer than normal gains because defenders weren’t able to react until Long and Enunwa already were headed their way.
Rave review: Bell made big impressions both on offense and special teams.
He caught three passes for 45 yards and a touchdown, and his two kickoff returns successfully snuffed Southern Miss momentum. The first was after the Golden Eagles made a first-quarter field goal and went for 26 yards; that drive eventually led to a 16-yard TD pass from Taylor Martinez to Quincy Enunwa.
The second was a 63-yarder after the Golden Eagles’ only touchdown of the game in the third quarter. It took Ameer Abdullah just one play to go the final 37 yards and get Nebraska’s lead back to 29 points.