Tommy Armstrong got off to a good start in his first career Big Ten start, leading Nebraska to a 14-0 lead after two offensive possessions against Illinois.
I-back Ameer Abdullah carried four times for 46 yards as NU put together a seven-play, 57-yard drive to start out. Abdullah scored the touchdown on a 2-yard run.
Armstrong then had completions of 20 yards to Quincy Enunwa, 15 to Abdullah and 4 to Enunwa on a 10-play, 69-yard march. The last of those throws provided the TD and 14-0 advantage with 5:53 left in the first quarter.
Illinois went scoreless on its first three drives, with a punt, fumble and failed fourth-down conversion.
Other first-quarter items:
>> After two series by Armstrong, Nebraska rotated to Ron Kellogg on the series that started in the final minute of the first quarter. Armstrong was 4 of 6 passing for 48 yards.
>> Ciante Evans forced the Illinois fumble by Donovonn Young after a 17-yard run, and LeRoy Alexander recovered.
>> Nebraska started the game defensively with a three-linebacker set, playing Michael Rose at weakside and Jared Afalava at strongside around David Santos. It was the first career start for Afalava, who also got a solo tackle on the Illini’s first play.
>> Andrew Green started at safety, but moved down to the dime position when NU took two linebackers off the field. Alexander replaced Green at safety.
>> There was not a single penalty flag thrown in the first quarter.