LINCOLN, Neb. — Fordham hung tough with Nebraska for a while, but ultimately the Cornhuskers imposed their will on their overmatched visitor from New York City.
Adrian Martinez ran for two touchdowns and passed for another, and the Huskers broke away in the second quarter and went on to a 52-7 victory Saturday.
“We have confidence in who we are as a team and what we’re capable of, so that means in games like this we need to come in and take care of business, and we did what we were supposed to do,” Martinez said.
The Rams were on even terms with the Huskers for a while, got the experience of playing in one of the cathedrals of college football and pocketed a $500,000 guarantee.
“I think they enjoyed it,” Fordham coach Joe Conlin said. “I think our kids did a great job. Everyone was very nice, it’s a heck of a venue, so the atmosphere I don’t think affected us in any way, shape or form.”
As for Nebraska, the win came a week after the Huskers’ season-opening loss at Illinois. Did a 45-point win over a Football Championship Subdivision opponent represent progress?
“I would say so,” coach Scott Frost said. “We won a game.”
Martinez established a connection with Montana transfer Samori Toure, who caught eight balls for 133 yards and ran three times for 35 yards and a touchdown. Markese Stepp added 101 yards on 18 carries as the Huskers (1-1) finished with 633 total yards.
Fordham linebacker Ryan Greenhagen finished with a Division I record-tying 30 tackles, the most since Donald Payne had the same number for Stetson against Campbell in 2014.
The Rams (0-1) gouged the Huskers for 221 yards in the first two quarters. They had 71 yards and one first down after half.
“Guys came out and they played their hearts out,” Conlin said. “In the second half we came we came out and got the ball and we stalled out and didn’t generate any first downs. It was just too much for the defense to shoulder the load and they were able to get the better of us on the ground.”
Fordham quarterback Tim DeMorat threw three interceptions in Nebraska territory, and the Huskers converted each into touchdowns. Deontai Williams had two of the picks and he also blocked a field goal.
Fordham forced punts on two of Nebraska’s first three possessions and tied it 7-7 when Fotis Kokosioulis caught a pass over the middle and made a couple nice moves to finish a 31-yard touchdown.
Things started falling apart for the Rams when Nick Leinenweber attempted a tying 46-yard field goal. Williams blocked it, Leinenweber picked up the ball and dished it to lineman Anthony Diodato for a 2-yard loss.
Martinez’s short run finished a 69-yard touchdown drive for a 10-point lead, and after DeMorat threw his second interception, the Huskers went 83 yards in nine plays to go up 24-7 at half.
Martinez, 17 of 23 for 254 yards, led two touchdown drives in the third quarter before Logan Smothers entered for his first college snaps.