Nebraska 59, South Dakota State 20: Freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. accounted for 207 yards and a touchdown in his first career start and the Cornhuskers' defense stiffened after a rough first quarter to rout the visiting Jackrabbits.
Armstrong went 12-for-15 for 169 yards and added 38 more on the ground for Nebraska (3-1), which rested quarterback Taylor Martinez due to a turf toe injury. Ameer Abdullah rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown, while Imani Cross converted a pair of short first-quarter scores.
Zach Zenner, who entered the weekend leading Division I with 742 rushing yards, gouged Nebraska for 202 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Austin Sumner threw for 238 yards but was intercepted twice for South Dakota State (3-1), which committed its first turnovers on offense this season.
Cross and Zenner traded touchdowns on each of the teams' first two possessions before the Jackrabbits forced an Abdullah fumble on Nebraska's third drive - their nation-leading 13th takeaway - and took their first and only lead at 17-14 on a 48-yard field goal from Justin Syrovatka. Abdullah put the Cornhuskers back ahead for good on a 1-yard run up the middle on their next possession early in the second quarter.
Armstrong threw his first career touchdown pass on Nebraska's next drive, while Ron Kellogg III contributed to the 24-point second quarter with a scoring strike to Tyler Wullenwaber. The Cornhuskers got a short field goal as time expired before the break and capped a stretch of 38 unanswered points with a 10-yard run from Terrell Newby and 33-yard interception return by Randy Gregory for another score in the third quarter.
GAME NOTEBOOK: After a week of turmoil highlighted by the release of a 2011 recording of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini criticizing the fan base, Pelini led his team out on the field to a warm ovation. … South Dakota State forced two fumbles Saturday and leads Division I with 14 takeaways. … Martinez's absence snapped his streak of 32 consecutive starts.