MINNEAPOLIS — Nebraska coaches had been waiting for the perfect time to run receiver Kenny Bell on a reverse play.
What better situation than against an aggressive defense like Minnesota's?
That, combined with Bell's speed, resulted in Nebraska's longest run from scrimmage since 2004.
The redshirt freshman, on his first career rushing attempt, ran 82 yards for a second-quarter touchdown Saturday in Nebraska's 41-14 victory against Minnesota.
"I told Kenny after he ran that for a touchdown, I said, 'That's all coaching,'" Nebraska receivers coach Rich Fisher said with a smile.
"Actually, at one point, I thought that guy had the angle on him and was going to knock him out of bounds, and the next thing I know he's stiff-arming him and taking off to the house.
"Great play, good blocking. A lot of great blocks on that play. It's always nice when they execute."
Fellow receiver Quincy Enunwa and left tackle Yoshi Hardrick had key blocks that helped spring Bell.
Bell ran down the sideline in front of the Nebraska bench and was headed toward the pylon before cutting back and crossing the goal line while avoiding the pursuit of a few Minnesota defenders.
"I had some great blocking, so I just tried to turn the wheels on," Bell said. "Just didn't want to get hawked at the 1-yard line."
The play set up perfectly, Bell said, with the way Nebraska has been running the toss play this season.
"We've got one heck of a running back in Rex Burkhead, and one heck of a quarterback in Taylor Martinez," Bell said, "so, obviously, if you're a defensive player and you see those guys flowing one way, you're going to want to go make a tackle on those guys."
Said Fisher: "We've had that play in the offense since Day One. We just haven't had an opportunity to call it. We haven't played a lot of teams that are as aggressive to the football as Minnesota."
Bell also had a team-leading four receptions, most on screen passes, but had his hands on two other deep balls thrown by Martinez during a 17-play drive in the third quarter. The near-misses didn't stop Nebraska; the Huskers still scored a touchdown on the series.
That might not happen in future games, Bell said.
"If it hits my hands, I've got to catch it," he said. "I didn't play up to snuff today on that part. I had a ball hit my hands that I dropped, and I laid out for a ball I didn't get to.
"The corner route, I thought I had secured, but the force of the ground forced that out. The one I dived for, I just wasn't fast enough."
Martinez, though, believes Bell is the fastest guy around — not only on Nebraska's team, but in all of college football.
Bell's too humble to confirm.
"I would never call myself the fastest guy on the team," Bell said. "Taylor's got speed, but I'd put my money on Tyler Wullenwaber. He's a guy not many guys hear about. He's a scout-team guy and one heck of a football player, and he can fly."