After slow start, Huskers steamroll Fordham in 52-7 win
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After slow start, Huskers steamroll Fordham in 52-7 win

Despite stumbling out of the gates until midway through the second quarter, Nebraska eventually accomplished what it was supposed to do with a 52-7 win over Fordham on Saturday.

The Huskers, who came in as 42.5-point favorites over the FCS-level Rams, racked up over 600 yards of total offense and 34 first downs over a whopping 94 plays from scrimmage in the victory.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez accounted for 287 yards of offense and three total touchdowns while completing 17-of-23 passes. Running back Markese Stepp led the way with 101 yards on 18 carries, as NU averaged more than 5.0 yards per rush.

It was hardly a perfect effort, though, as the Huskers only led 10-7 deep into the second quarter before finally breaking the game open. Still, the end result was exactly what Nebraska and the 85,938 fans in attendance needed.

Samori Toure caught eight passes for 133 yards to help Nebraska get a much-needed blowout victory over Fordham on Saturday.
Samori Toure caught eight passes for 133 yards to help Nebraska get a much-needed blowout victory over Fordham on Saturday. (Associated Press)

After a punt on its opening offensive series, Nebraska needed a tipped interception from JoJo Domann at its own 25 to stop Fordham from taking the first lead. The Huskers finally got on the board with a four-yard fourth-down touchdown run by Adrian Martinez, capping a 13-play, 75-yard drive to make it 7-0.

But after another stalled NU drive and punt, the Rams marched down the field and tied the game on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Tim DeMorat to Fotis Kokosioulis with 14:14 left in the second quarter.

That was Fordham’s first touchdown against a power conference opponent since 1969.

Nebraska got its offense going on the ensuing drive but stalled deep in Fordham territory, thus settling for a 39-yard field goal by Culp.

The Rams once again moved the ball into scoring position on their next series and had a chance to tie it up on a 46-yard field goal try, but Marquel Dismuke blocked the kick to end the threat.

The Huskers capitalized with a four-yard touchdown scramble by Martinez that made it 17-7 with 3:56 remaining in the half. Fordham quickly got the ball back into NU territory, but Deontai Williams picked off DeMorat at the Husker 38 with 2:27 still on the clock.

Dismuke’s block was the first for Nebraska since Randy Gregory blocked a field goal against Minnesota in November of 2014.

Martinez connected with Samori Toure on passes of 30 and 23 yards to set up Sevion Morrison - who didn’t play at all last week at Illinois - for a one-yard touchdown run to send Nebraska into halftime with a 24-7.

The defense got the second half off to a good start by forcing a quick three-and-out, but Cam Taylor-Britt muffed the punt return, and Fordham recovered at the NU 34. However, it ended up all being for not, as Deontai Williams intercepted DeMorat again on a fourth-down pass.

Nebraska’s offense took from there and pushed the lead to 31-7 on a two-yard touchdown toss from Martinez to walk-on tight end Chancellor Brewington with 8:24 left in the third.

One drive later, Toure converted a fourth down with a 25-yard catch and then took an option pitch for an eight-yard scoring run to make 38-7.

The starters checked out, and the backups took over from there, and No. 2 quarterback Logan Smothers helped lead NU to a six-yard touchdown by Morrison to start the fourth quarter.

Marvin Scott barrelled in for a six-yard touchdown run to put a bow on the win, as the Huskers ended up out-gaining Fordham 309-71 while running 48 plays to 24 in the second half.

Next week, Nebraska will return to action when it hosts Buffalo for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff on Big Ten Network.