Huskers head to Texas on defensive roll

Updated: October 26, 2003, 3:39 PM ET

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Nebraska defense hasn't given up an offensive touchdown in eight quarters.

That streak will be put to the test this week when the No. 12 Cornhuskers face the third highest-scoring team in the nation at No. 16 Texas.

The Longhorns raised their scoring average to 42.3 points by shutting out Baylor 56-0. Their offense is generating 426.5 yards a game.

Nebraska, after shutting out Iowa State 28-0, is second nationally in scoring defense at 11.4 points a game. The Cornhuskers are allowing 252.3 yards, which ranks third, and are tied with Michigan State for first in turnover margin at plus-1.88 a game.

A year ago through eight games the Huskers were giving up 20.5 points and 347 yards a game.

"They have a tremendous defense," Iowa State quarterback Austin Flynn said. "That's why they are successful. They dominate the game. They take it over. They have big, strong guys who really fly to the ball."

Interestingly, the Huskers are much improved on defense even though seven of the starters are the same.

Free safety Josh Bullocks, one of the returning starters, said the debacle that was 2002 is all but forgotten.

"Last year was last year and that's the past," he said. "This year, we're unified and just want to go out and win and get better each week. Expectations are really high for us."

The defense hasn't given up an offensive touchdown since Missouri's Brad Smith scored on a 9-yard run with 5:11 left in the fourth quarter of the 41-24 loss on Oct. 11.

Since then, all the defense has allowed is two field goals to Texas A&M. The Aggies scored a touchdown against the Nebraska special teams on an 89-yard kickoff return.

The shutout of ISU was Nebraska's second of the season. The Huskers blanked Troy State 30-0 on Oct. 4.

"Our defense keeps showing up," linebacker Barrett Ruud said. "We're always going for the shutout. That's a pride thing for the defense, a statement thing."

The Huskers can make a huge statement by shutting down the Longhorns, who won 27-24 in Lincoln last year.

Nebraska has lost six of its last eight on the road since 2001, not including two bowl losses, and hasn't beaten a nationally ranked opponent on the road since Notre Dame in September 2000.

"I'm really looking forward go going down to Austin," Bullocks said. "We're going to do our thing, cause turnovers, put points on the board and come up with a victory."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index