“I’m just a role player,” Johnson said. “I’m not worried about who’s the man.” It didn’t really matter who carried the ball with the size of the holes, as Nebraska’s defense got fooled by players going in motion. “They oftentimes followed what’s moving instead of what was really happening,” offensive line coach Pat Ruel said. It was a good thing the Trojans ran at will because their passing game left something to be desired for the second straight game. John David Booty barely passed for 100 yards before some garbage-time throws increased his total to 144 yards. “Whether we weren’t catching the ball or missing reads, we missed a lot of yards through the air,” offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said. Wide receiver Patrick Turner, who missed the season opener with a shoulder injury, dropped three passes and fumbled to illustrate the struggles. “I had some passes I should have caught,” Turner said. “You’re really anxious to get back. I’m not used to being injured. Who knows if that had something to do with it.” But that could be overlooked by a dominant running game that even surprised the Trojans. “Everyone keeps asking why the holes were so big and I don’t know why,” offensive tackle Sam Baker said. “We just moved guys.” USC also made a statement after losing some national respect following a lackluster victory over Idaho and a week off while LSU routed Virginia Tech. “The Idaho game was lethargic,” nose tackle Sedrick Ellis said. “We wanted to come back with intensity and show everyone what we can do.” Nebraska fans might regret getting what they wished for in this second meeting in two years. Huskers coach Bill Callahan, criticized by his fans (and Carroll) for being too conservative last year, opened up the playbook and the result was similar. Last year, Nebraska lost, 28-10, in a boring contest. This bordered on an embarrassment, as quarterback Sam Keller self-destructed in the second half with two interceptions and the Trojans led, 42-10, midway through the third quarter. Maybe USC (2-0) gave Nebraska (2-1) second thoughts on Callahan’s recent contract extension. USC might lack a glamour tailback, but the manner in which the Trojans ran resembled the not-too-distant past as Johnson and C.J. Gable (69 yards) made a mockery of Nebraska’s confused defense. Gable did not play in the second half and did not know why. “It’s always frustrating,” he said. “But you have to deal with it.” Nebraska’s defense seemed clueless against the Trojans’ offense in the first half, with gaping holes for the tailbacks to run through. Johnson barely got touched carrying five times for 60 yards and finished with a 7-yard run to give USC a 21-10 lead with 1:19 left in the half. That lead quickly grew to 35-10 in the third quarter as Keller turned the ball over and the Trojans quickly capitalized with Booty throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony McCoy and Chauncey Washington (South Torrance High) scoring on a 1-yard run. But things were much closer early. In one of the USC’s biggest blunders in recent years, linebacker Rey Maualuga committed a disconcerting penalty that canceled a Nebraska field goal and gave the Huskers a first down at the Trojans’ 2-yard line. According to the NCAA rules, the penalty is meant to stop a player from distracting an opponent, usually the snapper. “It was a bogus call,” Maualuga said. Two plays later, Nebraska tailback Cody Glenn scored on a 1-yard run to tie the score, 7-7. Defensive coordinator Nick Holt shrugged his shoulders when Carroll spoke to him after the penalty. It did not look like it would matter based on USC’s first series, when the Trojans rushed for 90 yards in two plays. Fullback Stanley Havili went 50 yards on the first play and Gable gained 40 on the next. Both runs were career longs for the players. Havili then scored on a 5-yard pass from Booty to give USC a 7-0 lead with 10:49 left in the first quarter. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “You could feel guys getting cold and they may not be as loose, so I told them we’ll run the ball every time until we score,” Carroll said. “And we banged it all the way down there. We didn’t look back the rest of the game. “We didn’t have to throw the ball at all tonight. There were some colossal holes.” USC’s misdirection plays gave Nebraska fits and the No. 1-ranked Trojans rushed for 313 yards en route to a 49-31 victory over the No. 14-ranked Cornhuskers before 84,959. “This means so much to a new team to win like this when we go on the road the rest of the season,” Carroll said. “We faced the crowd, some adversity early, but we hung tough and took over the line of scrimmage.” Sophomore tailback Stafon Johnson rushed for a career-high 144 yards on 11 carries. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 1-ranked Trojans stick with a solid running game to blast the Cornhuskers. By Scott Wolf STAFF WRITER LINCOLN, Neb. – With a long delay inside chilly Memorial Stadium following an injury to USC kick returner Vincent Joseph, Trojans coach Pete Carroll gathered his offensive line and made a command decision.