HUSKER FOOTBALL

Dominated may be a good way to describe what happened to Troy State's offense against the Nebraska defense Saturday.

Losing 30-0, the shutout was only the second under Coach Larry Blakeney in his 13 seasons at Troy State.

The Trojans' scoreless game had as much to do with Nebraska's defense as it did the Trojans' lack of offense, Blakeney said.

"We faced a very good defense, a defense to be reckoned with," he said. "The Blackshirts are for real. We were not good enough to consistently move the ball on them in any fashion."

The Trojans, who were averaging 303 yards a game through their first five games, were held to 150 total yards against the Huskers.

Troy State had 84 passing yards and only 66 rushing yards on 37 carries.

Trojan tailback DeWhitt Betterson, Troy State's leading rusher this season, was held to 34 yards on 14 carries. Betterson attributed his team's offensive woes to the Huskers' swarming defense.

"They were fast; they were disciplined; they got to the ball," Betterson said. "It took the life out of us. They just outplayed us today."

Troy State quarterback Aaron Leak, who completed 9 of 19 passes for 81 yards, hurt his shoulder in the second quarter and had to leave the game for a series.

"I tried to stay in the pocket for as long as I could," Leak said. "I took some blows. We tried to spread it out and do whatever it took to get the first down."

But nothing seemed to work for the Trojan offense against the Blackshirts.

"They played like they were the number one defense (in the country) today," Betterson said. "It seemed like they were taking chances. They were blitzing with their safeties and their corners. When they were blitzing, we just couldn't pick it up."

Despite the lopsided score, Blakeney thought his team played better than in the Sept. 27 33-24 win over Marshall.

"Our kids tried to play hard," Blakeney said. "I think we were probably a better football team today than we were last Saturday. We just gave them too many turnovers and penalties."

The Trojans were penalized a season-high 13 times for 115 yards. Troy State also had four turnovers, throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles.

"We kept hurting ourselves with the turnovers," Betterson said. "Our defense was playing a great ballgame, but we kept giving Nebraska field position, giving them chances to score, and that wears your defense down."

After losing 41-5 to Kansas State earlier this season, Troy State offense tackle Branden Hall had high remarks for the Blackshirts.

"(Nebraska's) defense is faster than Kansas State's defense," he said.