LINCOLN, Neb. — An entire week of preparation for the Vandals evaporated in nine seconds.
Down by only 17 points, senior quarterback Nathan Enderle’s arm failed him, his receivers dried up, and in the span of nine seconds of possession, the Nebraska Cornhuskers put up 21 of their 38 points in a 38-17 win over the Vandals today, giving Nebraska its 500th home win.
“I guess everybody was right, we couldn’t beat those guys today,” said Idaho coach Robb Akey. “We gave the ball away, interceptions for touchdowns. That’s a damn good football team over there — they are ranked sixth in the country for a reason — and against a football team like that you can’t turn the ball over that many times. That really killed us.”
Over 85,000 fans, more than five times the capacity of the Kibbie Dome, saluted the Vandals as the team took the field following a performance of Idaho’s fight song by the University of Nebraska pep band. Enderle, who is from North Platte, Nebraska, received the warmest greetings from fans excited to see their home quarterback again.
On the field, the Cornhuskers showed Enderle little love, blitzing Idaho’s offensive line and putting up seven sacks on Enderle and fellow quarterback Brian Reader.
When not on his back, Enderle was busy running and dodging from closing linesmen. In the rare occasion Enderle got time in the pocket, his receivers would be well defended and covered.
Akey said the Nebraska defense covered Idaho’s receivers, but also said he expected more from the team on the offense.
“We’ve got to do more than put 17 points up,” Akey said. “If there is an interception for a touchdown so be it. Our defense goes back on the field and they have the opportunity to get an interception. We have the opportunity to create fumbles and our specialty teams have the opportunity to produce — we win as a team, and when things don’t go well, we lose as a team.”