Lincoln – The Blackshirts put up an impressive defensive performance, and quarterback Heinrich Haarberg moved the Husker offense effectively in his first career start to lead the Big Red to a 35-11 win over Northern Illinois in Head Coach Matt Rhule’s home debut at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
Haarberg finished with 256 total yards to guide a Husker attack that rolled up 382 yards of total offense, including 224 rushing and 158 passing. The Blackshirts held Northern Illinois to just 26 rushing yards, while limiting NIU starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi to 11-for-28 passing for just 73 yards and an interception. Lombardi also managed five carries for minus-17 yards.
Haarberg completed 14-of-24 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-5, 215-pound sophomore from Kearney, Neb., added 21 carries for a game-high 98 yards to lead Nebraska’s rushing attack as well, including a 20-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run.
Nebraska improved to 1-2 on the season, while Northern Illinois slipped to 1-2.