Nebraska’s high-powered offense set an Alamo Bowl scoring record with a 66-17 rout of Northwestern on Saturday.
Eric Crouch ran for two scores, including the go-ahead 50-yard jaunt in the second quarter, and fired two touchdown passes for the Cornhuskers (10-2).
Northwestern (8-4), shooting for their first bowl win since 1949, appeared poised to go punch-for-punch with the perennial national championship contender when Teddy Johnson caught a 10-yard TD pass from Zak Kustok to give the Wildcats a 10-7 lead 44 seconds into the second quarter.
But after a long runback on the ensuing kickoff, Crouch took off from midfield on Nebraska’s next play from scrimmage and outran the Northwestern secondary to the end zone, putting the Huskers ahead to stay.
Two-yard runs by Dan Alexander and Correll Buckhalter padded the lead before Josh Brown’s 51-yard field goal made it 31-10 with 1:28 left in the first half.
Alexander rushed for 241 yards—the most by any Husker in a bowl game—and two scores on 21 carries as the nation’s best ground game shredded Northwestern’s defense.
The Wildcats again showed some fight when Damien Anderson ripped off a 69-yard TD run on the ensuing drive, pulling Northwestern back within two touchdowns.
But Bobby Newcombe hauled in Crouch’s 58-yard scoring toss just 20 seconds before intermission.
Crouch opened the second-half scoring with an 11-yard strike to Matt Davison to make it 45-17.
Late in the third quarter, Crouch rumbled in from two yards and threw a lateral to Newcombe, who fired a 69-yard TD pass to Davison that made it 59-17 with 1:14 left in the period.
Anderson ran for 148 yards on 18 carries for Northwestern, which slipped to 0-3 in bowl games since winning the Rose Bowl more than a half-century ago.
The Huskers have won six of their last seven bowl games and are 19-19 all-time.