IOWA CITY, Iowa, Sept. 4 -- Quarterbacks Eric Crouch and Bobby Newcombe combined to run for five touchdowns and 126 yards Saturday as sixth-ranked Nebraska shook off a sluggish first half and spoiled the debut of coach Kirk Ferentz with a 42-7 thumping of Iowa. Nebraska (1-0) won its 214th straight game when scoring 35 or more points and used its usual formula -- a powerful running game and rugged defense. The Cornhuskers also got a scoring pass of 47 yards from Newcombe to Sean Applegate. Nearly halfway into the second quarter of a scoreless game, Crouch broke through with a 28-yard scoring run. He finished with 92 yards on only five carries. Nebraska had a chance to double the lead after recovering a fumble by Ladell Betts at the Iowa 11-yard line, but Newcombe made a bad pitch on the next play and gave back the ball to the Hawkeyes. Newcombe found Applegate 3:46 into the second half for a 14-0 lead and ran in from a yard out 2 1/2 minutes later as the Cornhuskers exteded their lead to 21 points. The starter in the platoon, Newcombe finished with 33 yards on 11 carries and completed seven of 10 passes for 135 yards and an interception. Crouch was three of five for 69 yards. Newcombe scored on a four-yard carry on the first play of a 21-point fourth quarter. After the second of Betts' fumbles in Iowa territory, Crouch made it 35-0 with a seven-yard burst with 9:43 remaining.
Crouch capped a 21-yard scoring run around the left side by knocking cornerback Mikkel Brown backwards three yards with 5:14 left. Nebraska notched 346 of its 541 yards of total offense on the ground as Dan Alexander had 15 carries for 94 yards and DeAngelo Evans 13 for 73. Matt Davison added 71 yards on four catches. Iowa lost its sixth straight game but avoided the shutout when defensive back Doug Miller blocked a punt by Dan Hadenfeldt and Tim Dodge returned it 37 yards for a touchdown with 2:30 left.