Ron Brown always lost the recruiting battles when it came to Willie Amos.

The former Nebraska assistant coach tried to tell his coaching mates he thought Amos would make a better receiver than defensive back.

"I tried to recruit him, but the defensive coaches weren't ready to give him up," Brown said at halftime of NU's 56-17 win over Western Illinois.

Maybe they should have. Amos made a big impact at receiver Saturday, scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter on the first two catches of his career.

His first score came six seconds into the second quarter on a 36-yard pass from Joe Dailey. He scored less than five minutes later on an 18-yard reception.

"The thing that really impressed me was the great fluidity he had while catching the ball. Catching the ball was really the only thing I didn't know if he could do," said Brown, who used to marvel at the senior's ability to shake the opposition and burst down the field as a bullet on punt coverage.

Consider Brown, NU's receivers coach last season, as pleased as anyone about the senior's success. He and the Sweetwater, Texas, native became close because of their spiritual commonality.

"It's great to see Willie come back beautifully after a tough knee injury in 2002 and a tough year last year with having to redshirt," Brown said. "It's really a miraculous comeback."

Brown watched the game from the perspective of the KRNU radio booth. KRNU is a campus radio station.

Brown said he wanted to study the role of the radio analyst, noting there's a "98 percent" chance he'll be serving such a role for a Marshall-Miami (Ohio) game later this year.

As for what Brown thought of Nebraska, he joked that he barely recognized the new West Coast Huskers.

But added: Usually the first game you concern yourself with a coach as a coach is logistics, like getting the plays in on time and making sure players are going in in the right direction. They looked smooth."

It should be noted he said that after the first half, in which NU outscored WIU 42-3.

GREEN DAY: Nebraska freshman Tierre Green didn't look to nervous for a guy playing his first college football game.

Green carried the ball only 7 times, but had 112 yards and two touchdowns. The Omaha Benson graduate had a 28-yard score in the second quarter, only to better that with a 34-yard jaunt to the end zone in the fourth quarter.

He was not the only freshman running back to play. Brandon Jackson, from Horn Lake, Miss., also burned his redshirt by receiving playing time.

Another notable freshman was receiver Terrence Nunn, who started and caught a 21-yard pass after bobbling the ball about three times on Nebraska's first scoring drive.

Nunn also had a 65-yard touchdown pass called back in the first quarter because of a holding penalty.

SEVEN'S MAGIC: Matt Herian tied a school record for most catches in a game by a tight end with seven. He had 98 yards receiving to go with two touchdowns.

— Ryly Jane Hambleton and Brian Christopherson