Even Nebraska coach Frank Solich can't help smiling as his team heads into a bye week.
The No. 4 Cornhuskers gained 524 yards and got another solid performance from their defense in a 49-14 rout of Iowa State on Saturday night.
Eric Crouch ran for a touchdown and Dan Alexander and Correll Buckhalter each rushed for more than 100 yards as Nebraska (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) gained 524 yards against a defense that was fifth in the nation in yards allowed.
"There's not a lot to smile about in this profession," Solich said.
"I feel better about this team right now. We are playing better. We're doing things well on both sides of the ball," Solich said.
The Cornhuskers celebrated homecoming with another one-sided win over the Cyclones (3-2, 0-2). Iowa State hasn't won in Lincoln since 1977 and has been outscored 199-42 in its last three visits.
Derrahn Diedrick, who entered the game in the third quarter when Solich pulled his starters, ran for 99 yards.
The Huskers had little trouble running against Iowa State, which was allowing only 215 yards per game. The Huskers' 439 yards rushing was their highest total of the season, and their total yards were second to only the season opener against Iowa, when Nebraska gained 543.
"I think we overpowered them up front. Any time you're running as effectively on as many different plays as we were running that means you're getting people blocked," Solich said.
Nebraska shut down the nation's top rushing offense, which was averaging 328 yards per game, holding the Cyclones to 185 yards. Darren Davis gained just 40 yards in the first three quarters. He was able to break free against Nebraska reserves in the fourth quarter and fiished with 107 yards, well below his nation-leading average of 176.8.
"We got whipped really bad up front," said Iowa State coach Dan McCarney, 0-5 against Nebraska. "We have a pretty good back and every time we gave him the ball there was one red shirt back there and usually two or three red shirts (on the line)."
Nebraska has next weekend off and heads to Texas for a game on Oct. 23.
The Cyclones didn't do themselves any favors on Saturday. They were penalized 12 times for 99 yards, including one for roughing the punter that kept a scoring drive alive. Iowa State also had two punts blocked, fumbled twice and threw an interception.
"The penalties killed us. The blocked punts really hurt and we got ourselves in some real deep holes that we couldn't get out of," McCarney said.
Crouch, who left midway through the third quarter, was 5-for-10 for 85 yards, with touchdown throws of 47 yards to Matt Davison and 24 yards to Bobby Newcombe. He also ran for 58 yards on 10 carries, including a 20-yard dash early in the third quarter that put Nebraska up 42-0.
Alexander finished with 135 yards on 10 carries, the first time he broke 100 yards in a game this season. Buckhalter, who topped 100 against Missouri two weeks ago, carried 14 times for 127. Buckhalter's 7-yard touchdown run gave the Huskers a 28-0 halftime lead.
Nebraska defensive back Joe Walker, who missed the first few games while recovering from knee surgery, forced two fumbles that resulted in touchdowns. Walker sacked Sage Rosenfels from the blind side early in the first quarter and recovered the fumble, setting up the Huskers' 62-yard drive that ended on Alexander's 7-yard run to make it 7-0.
Early in the fourth quarter, after Walker sacked Derrick Walker, reserve end Demoine Adams scooped up the ball and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown.
Nebraska cornerback Ralph Brown scored on a blocked punt he recovered in the end zone, making it 14-0 with 5:44 left in the first quarter.
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