CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- No. 5 Nebraska employed its speed in many ways to crush Illinois and improve to 2-0.
Keith Jones, the fastest player to ever suit up for Nebraska, rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the 59-14 victory on Saturday. The tone for the game was set in the first two minutes as Nebraska jumped to a 14-0 lead after an interception and fumble recovery.
'We got a lot of help early and it made it hard to determine what the relatives strengths of the two teams were,' said Nebraska coach Tom Osborne.
Nebraska scored on Illinois' first play when Brian Davis intercepted a pass that went through Darryl Usher's hands. Illinois fell to 1-2.
Broderick Thomas recovered quarterback Shane Lamb's fumble on second down of Illinois' next possession and Jones carried three times to the Illinois 6 to set up the Cornhuskers next TD with 12:43 to play in the first period.
'We added to (the) success of their team,' Illini coach Mike White said. 'After the first quarter, we made a reasonable effort -- not great, but reasonable.'
Illinois was held to 3 yards rushing, but managed 204 passing to Nebraska's 470 yards rushing and 73 passing.
Jones, Nebraska's fastest player ever, running 40 yards in 4.33 seconds, sprinted 78 yards up the sideline on the first play following an Illinois punt for a 21-0 lead.
'I started off to the left, came back to the right, had an offensive tackle coming around who blocked the cornerback ... and after that it was all green turf,' said Jones.
Jones scored from 1 yard in the second quarter for a 35-7 lead and he set up quarterback Steve Taylor's second touchdown, a 1-yard dive for a 45-7 lead, with a gain of 9 yards on third-and-five in the third quarter.
Usher fumbled the kickoff following Jones's first touchdown, giving Nebraska the ball at the Illini 36-yard line. Micah Heibel scored from 5 yards five plays later.
Illinois threatened only once in the second half, when Brian Menkhausen hit Anthony Williams for a 52-yard gain to the Nebraska 22, setting up his 17-yard TD pass to James Gordon.
Lamb hit tight end Jerry Reese on fourth-and-3 with a 7-yard pass for Illinois' first score.
Dale Klein kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 38-7 halftime lead. Third-string quarterback McCathorn Clayton hit Willie Griffin for a touchdown late in the third quarter and a 52-7 lead.
Terry Rodgers scored from 2 yards to finish Nebraska's scoring.