When the press-box announcer starts throwing out names like Ralph Brown and Grant Wistrom as a reference for a “last-time-that-happened” statistic, you know the Blackshirts are doing something right. Like scoring touchdowns.

Nebraska scored on two interception returns and one fumble return in a 31-3 victory against Wake Forest on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

The last time the Huskers returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a game was 1996, when Brown and Wistrom accomplished the feat.

This time, linebackers Corey McKeon and Stewart Bradley returned interceptions for scores. Strong safety Daniel Bullocks had a 30-yard fumble return for a touchdown, and free safety Blake Tiedtke had an interception, as the Blackshirts collected four turnovers.

In two games, all three of Nebraska’s starting linebackers have scored touchdowns. Bo Ruud did it last week against Maine. The single-season record for interception returns for touchdowns is five, set in 1995.

Bradley’s score, a 43-yard return off a ball tipped by defensive end Adam Carriker, came in the fourth quarter.

“I’m not even kidding you,” Ruud said, “me and Corey were kind of dogging Stew the play before (his interception). We were like, ‘Well, maybe next week, you’ll get one.’

“Then he goes out the next play and does that. We were laughing our heads off.”

The Blackshirts had a lot to laugh about. They held Wake Forest (0-2) to 247 total yards, or an average of 3.1 yards per play. A week after rushing for 274 yards against Vanderbilt, the Demon Deacons were held to 130 yards on the ground.

“Coming in, all week that’s all we heard, was stopping the run,” said Bullocks, who had a team-high 13 tackles, two shy of his career high. “Every time there was a run, I got up there real quick and played my butt off.”

That especially paid dividends in the first quarter, when Bullocks ripped the ball from Micah Andrews, then darted the opposite way, untouched, for a 30-yard score. The fumble return gave Nebraska a 14-0 lead.

McKeon had already returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown earlier in the quarter. Wake Forest quarterback Ben Mauk, pressured by Ruud, averted a sack but made an ill-advised throw directly to McKeon.

“I didn’t feel like I used to be a running back (in high school), because (38) yards felt more like 80,” said McKeon, who had 10 tackles, including two sacks. “They always tell you to never look back, but I had to because I was dying out there.”

The Huskers hadn’t scored two defensive touchdowns in a quarter or half since at least 1962.

“It isn’t always going to work that way,” said Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove, whose unit scored zero touchdowns in 2004. “There’s going to be adversity at times. But so far we’ve responded to any adversity that’s come our way.”

Ruud said the defense does everything possible to score touchdowns. That’s a good thing, because Nebraska’s struggling offense could certainly use the help.

“We’re not going to go into any game expecting to rely on the offense,” Ruud said. “We’re going in there expecting to rely on the defense winning the game. Scoring touchdowns … we’ll do whatever we have to do.”

As for stopping the run, Ruud said the Blackshirts were well prepared.

“We really watched a lot of film on their run game,” he said. “We were calling out their plays. But I’ll give them credit. We knew what they were doing, but they still at times made some plays. They were a physical team. But we also did our job.”

Cosgrove lauded his team’s ability to get off blocks and make plays. He also said the Blackshirts didn’t play a perfect game.

“The good news is, because of that, we’ll continue to get better,” Cosgrove said. “I think we can still get better.

“We’re all on the same page right now. We’re having a lot of fun. That’s the way it should be. When everybody does what they’re supposed to do and they execute the way they’ve been executing, good things should continue to happen.”

Reach Brian Rosenthal at 473-7436 or brosenthal@journalstar.com.