Zac Lee passed for 238 yards and a touchdown, Roy Helu Jr. scored twice and No. 25 Nebraska celebrated its 300th consecutive sellout with a 55-0 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Huskers (3-1), coming off a devastating 16-15 loss at Virginia Tech last week, beat up on an opponent from the Sun Belt Conference for the third time this season. Nebraska outscored Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State and Lafayette by a combined 142-12.
"Now the season starts. Right now. That's the way we look at it," coach Bo Pelini said. "Time to put the foot on the gas pedal and go. We have a long season and challenges in front of us."
The Big 12 North favorites get a week off before opening conference play at Missouri on October 8th.
The Huskers scored on their first five possessions against the Ragin' Cajuns (2-2) before Larry Asante ran back an interception 74 yards to put Nebraska up 34-0 in the middle of the second quarter.
The Ragin' Cajuns generated only 222 yards and penetrated the Nebraska 20-yard line once, losing the ball on one of their three turnovers.
Nebraska wore throwback uniforms from 1962, when its NCAA-record sellout streak began. There also was a pregame ceremony honoring members of the '62 team.
"We knew there would be a lot of hoopla," said receiver Chris Brooks, who caught a touchdown pass. "There have been so many good players here, so many who were building blocks and we wanted to hold up our end of the deal and get the job done."
The Huskers, playing before a stadium-record crowd of 86,304, posted their first shutout since a 56-0 win over Troy in 2006. The Cajuns, 1-23 all-time against ranked opponents, were held scoreless for the first time since a 27-0 to North Texas in 2002.
"Any time you shut someone out, it's not easy to accomplish," Pelini said. "But I said before that our football team would come out and play with great passion. I like the attitude of this team after the trouble we hit last week. We didn't play perfect, but we did some good things in all phases."
Lee, who struggled against Virginia Tech, was sharp despite playing with a broken left thumb. He throws right-handed and completed 15-of-18 passes before Cody Green entered in the middle of the third quarter and led the Huskers to two touchdowns. Green hit 7-of-8 passes for 62 yards.
"That was important for me personally after the Virginia Tech game," Lee said. "I wanted to come out sharp and get back on track."
Nebraska's first TD came when Helu, who ran for 83 yards, fumbled into the end zone on first-and-goal from the Lafayette four and tight end Ben Cotton recovered.
Lee found Brooks for a 4-yard TD, and Helu scored from 2 yards for a 27-0 lead early in the second quarter.
"It just kind of snowballed on us tonight," Lafayette coach Rickey Bustle said. "That's a good football team out there. You hand them some plays on a silver platter and they're going to beat you to death."
Chris Masson completed five straight passes in moving the Cajuns from their 20 to the Nebraska 29, but Asante stepped in front of a ball intended for Luke Aubrey, cut to the inside and then outran Masson to the end zone.
The Cajuns made it to the Nebraska 17 late in the third quarter, but Draylon Booker fumbled.
Nebraska's Alex Henery, who kicked five field goals in the 16-15 loss at Virginia Tech last week, made 39- and 46-yarders and now has made 8-of-9 for the season.
Undrea Sails led Lafayette with 41 yards rushing and Masson completed 13-of-22 passes for 102 yards.
"It was very frustrating because if we can't move the ball and put up points and put our defense in bad positions, it's going to be a long night," Sails said. "We thought we were going to come in here and play better than that."