LINCOLN — Nebraska needed one like this.
After losing two of their previous three games and having to come from 17 points behind to win the other one, the Huskers let it all hang out in Saturday's 45-7 victory over Kansas.
I-backs Dahrran Diedrick and David Horne each rushed for more than 100 yards-Diedrick for the first time this season, Horne for the third time in four games.
Jammal Lord became the third NU quarterback in the past six years to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,000 yards in the same season.
Perhaps the key statistic indicating the kind of afternoon it was at Memorial Stadium: 111 of the 126 Huskers who suited up saw action.
Before a crowd of 77,351, the 254th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium, the Huskers beat KU for the 34th straight year, qualified for a bowl game for a 34th straight year and guaranteed a non-losing season for the 41st consecutive year.
"It's good to get a big win, finally," Diedrick said. "Everyone was happy on the sidelines. It was good to see a lot of the young guys, ones who don't get a chance to play a lot, get into the football game. Those are the guys who are always cheering for you on the sidelines and patting you on the back. It's good when you can finally pat them on the back and tell them they're doing a good job."
The 38-point margin of victory was NU's widest since the season-opening, 48-10 win over Arizona State.
The Huskers, who led 24-7 at halftime, built their cushion to 38-7 just over three minutes into the third quarter. Mike Stuntz took over at quarterback on the second offensive series of the third quarter, and by game's end Joe Chrisman and Garth Glissman also had taken snaps for the Huskers (7-4, 3-3 Big 12).
If there was a breakthrough in this game, it was for Diedrick.
The senior from Scarborough, Ontario, had seven 100-yard games while leading the Big 12 in rushing last season. Before Saturday, the closest he had come to a triple-figure game this season was a 93-yard night against Utah State.
"It's been a long time," Diedrick said. "I'm glad it's finally here. It's been a struggle to get it. That's not the most important thing. The most important thing is our football team is improving each week."
Diedrick eclipsed the 100-yard mark early in the third quarter, on his 11th carry. No one was happier for him than Coach Frank Solich.
"Dahrran has been amazing in how he's going through the year and really accepted everything," Solich said. "He's been very much a team player. You always want a player like that to have an excellent day. He's got a big heart every time he's got the ball under his arm."
Diedrick's highlight was breaking a dive play for 53 yards on his fourth run of the game. Once he popped through the line, Diedrick outran KU safety Johnny McCoy to the end zone for the longest run of his career.
"As soon as I got the ball, I saw a crease," said Diedrick, who averaged 8.9 yards a carry. "The offensive line blew those guys out of the water. All I saw was the end zone. I just had to run to get it."
Last week against Texas, Horne had only 12 yards on seven carries and spent most of the second half on the bench as Lord accounted for most of the offense. Against KU (2-9, 0-7), he required only seven carries to reach 100 yards, and he got there by late in the second quarter.
Horne scored his seventh touchdown of the season midway through the first quarter when he busted loose for 30 yards on a pitch play to break a 7-7 tie. Horne had a 38-yard touchdown run in the third quarter called back because of a holding penalty on the Huskers.
"This is a big win, even though Kansas isn't all that great a team," Horne said. "It's still a 'W.' Hopefully we can build off this win when we go to K-State."
Lord showed little emotion after becoming the 18th quarterback in Division I history to post a 1,000-1,000 season. Lord joined Scott Frost (1997) and Eric Crouch (2001) as one of three Huskers to accomplish the feat.
"It doesn't mean anything. I only care about wins and losses," said Lord, who now has a team-leading 1,229 rushing yards and 1,016 passing yards.
On this feel-good day, Solich had only one complaint-the passing game wasn't efficient. Lord was 4 of 10 for 59 yards, with an interception and two touchdowns, and the team was 5 of 15 for 62 yards.
Those kinds of numbers won't cut it at Kansas State next week and at home against Colorado on Nov. 29.
"It wasn't too good-not too good at all, as a matter of fact," Lord said. "It's something that can be worked out, so it's no big concern."
|Yards per carry||2.0||6.3|
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
|Arizona State||Aug. 24|
|Troy (formerly Troy State)||Aug. 31|
|Utah State||Sept. 7|
|Penn State||Sept. 14|
|Iowa State||Sept. 28|
|McNeese State||Oct. 5|
|Oklahoma State||Oct. 19|
|Texas A&M||Oct. 26|
|Kansas State||Nov. 16|
Nebraska has played 17 games on Nov. 9. See them all »
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