Perhaps the Iowa State Cyclones should have seen the writing on the wall before their 35-7 loss to Nebraska on Saturday. Or, should they have seen it on the north goal posts?

A thick haze of fog was released to accentuate the Cyclones' entry onto the field during Saturday's pregame festivities, but ISU's Travis Ferguson blindly took a full head of steam straight into the base of the goal post.

Like Ferguson, the Iowa State offense was stopped dead in its tracks by Nebraska once the game started and all the Cyclone defense saw for the majority of the game was the haze of Nebraska's white visitors' jerseys as they flashed by.

Iowa State's offense was also slow to emerge in the first half as Nebraska's defense allowed just two Cyclone first downs and only 45 yards of total offense.

"They have their weaknesses and we attacked them defensively throughout the game," NU defensive end Zach Potter said.

While the Cyclones sputtered, quarterback Joe Ganz and the Cornhusker offense went to work. Ganz threw just five incompletions in 26 pass attempts while leading NU to touchdown drives of 92, 85 and 71 yards and a 21-0 halftime lead. Nebraska picked apart the ISU defense with a balanced attack that featured 37 passes, 41 running plays and 548 yards of total offense at the end of the day.

"We had a good run-pass mix today," NU coach Bo Pelini said. "I thought Joe (Ganz) ran the offense well. We are hard to defend right now because we are keeping the defense off balance."

Nebraska's first score came on a 19-yard Ganz-to-Nate Swift connection that saw Ganz roll out of the pocket and juke an oncoming defender with a pump fake before finding Swift on a crossing route. The play was capped off when Swift lunged into a defender head first and then completed a wide-arcing circle-spin-move that broke two tackles and set him free to the end zone.

The Huskers were dominating with ease at intermission, but a 67-yard touchdown run by ISU's Alexan Robinson on the second-play from scrimmage of the second-half sparked life into the ISU faithful.

"It was a basic play to defend," Pelini said. "We didn't execute. We should have been able to make the tackle, but they made a play."

The momentum Ganz and the Huskers built in the first half failed to carry over in the third quarter as NU was forced to punt without recording a first down three times in the period.

"We came out soft in the second half," Pelini said. "We left a lot of points on the field today."

The two North Division rivals swapped field position for most of the third quarter until the Cyclones threatened inside NU's 35-yard-line with just under a minute remaining before the final quarter.

It appeared the Cyclones had gained a 3rd and 2 on the NU 26 with an eight yard pass from ISU quarterback Austen Arnaud to Derrick Catlett, but NU defensive lineman Pierre Allen forced a fumble near the sideline that cornerback Armando Murillo snatched up to extinguish the threat.

Nebraska turned the ball over on the very next play, but the Huskers held ISU to a 40-yard field goal attempt that ISU kicker Grant Mahoney proceeded to miss.

With the game still just two good ISU possessions away from being tied, the Cyclones forced a three-and-out and a Husker punt.

"Everybody felt our fans were into it in the fourth quarter and cheering us on and we had opportunities to make it 21-14," ISU coach Gene Chizik said.

The punt was received by ISU's Devin McDowell who made a couple of nice moves before NU's Rickey Thenarse "laid the wood" - as Pelini put it after the game - to the returner, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Niles Paul.

Nebraska took the fantastic field position and rediscovered its first-half groove on a 39-yard drive that Ganz capped off with a touchdown sneak to extend the NU lead to 28-7. Nebraska's final score came on a 19-yard run by Quentin Castille that was set up by a 50-yard scamper by fellow running back Roy Helu Jr. earlier in NU's final drive.

In all, the Husker offense totaled 220 yards rushing, 328 yards passing yards and held the ball for over 37 minutes. The NU defense did its part as well, holding ISU to just one score and a 2-for-13 completion rate on third down conversion attempts.

"The players feel themselves getting better," Pelini said. "It is an everyday thing. Every day that we walk out onto the field it provides us an opportunity to get better and we cannot waste an opportunity.