The Blackshirts were more like Vandals. The NU defense stole the show by picking off North Platte, NE. native Nathan Enderle five times, taking two of them for scores, and they sacked him seven times in a 38-17 win over Idaho, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
DeJon Gomes and Ricky Thenarse scored NU’s defensive touchdowns as Enderle was basically telegraphing all of his passes by locking his eyes in on his intended receiver all day. The defensive picks came in a 28 point second quarter that put the game out of reach. Gomes picked off Enderle and took it 40 yards the other way to put NU up 24-0. Then on the next possession, Thenarse stepped in front of a pass and went 47 yards. Idaho kicked a field goal to make the scored 31-3 at the half.
NU had a 3-0 lead in the end quarter when Taylor Martinez broke off a 67 yard run. He finished with 167 yards and two touchdowns. Roy Helu Jr. picked up over half of his 107 yards rushing on a 57 yard score less than four minutes to give NU a 17-0 lead.
However, Bo Pelini stressed the need for his team to pay attention to detail. The offense turned the ball over four times and committed 10 penalties that backed NU up 123 yards. In the first quarter, Martinez was sacked and fumbled the ball away at the Idaho 21. On the first play of the third quarter, Niles Paul fumbled the ball giving Idaho a short field to work with, but they missed a field goal. In the fourth quarter after Pierre Allen sacked backup quarterback Brian Reader, NU had the ball at the Vandal four yard line, but on his second carry Dontrayevous Robinson fumbled at the Idaho two yard line.
The Vandals drove the field and scored their final touchdown before NU recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock.