The kicking battles at Nebraska still may provide intrigue this fall, though the three Huskers who handled those chores in the opener against Wyoming all had bright spots on their resume.
"I don't know if it's settled. Mauro Bondi is a great kicker, he's very talented and he has a very strong leg," said senior Pat Smith, who handled the place-kicking chores while Bondi did kickoffs. "I have to perform every weekend knowing he wants the job. The competition is always ongoing at this level. It keeps us on our toes."
Smith's first appearance was for a 24-yard field goal in the first quarter.
"It kind of snuck inside the upright. That's just nerves on the first kick," he said. "I was just excited to get that first field goal out of the way. A little closer than I would have liked, but three points is three points."
Smith, a transfer from Western Illinois, converted his next four extra-point kicks before his last attempt sailed wide-right.
"It was a little disappointing to have a PAT blocked at the end. I have to see if it was a timing issue or if someone came clean," Smith said.
Bondi said he found out hours before the game that he would be handling only kickoffs.
"I was a little bummed out, but I got to hit a couple of kickoffs," said Bondi, who had four touchbacks and kept the Cowboys inside the 25-yard line on his other three kickoffs. "You want to pin them as close to the goal line as you can. Sometimes you like to put the ball high to limit their returns and sometimes you just want to limit their play on a return."
Sam Foltz, a redshirt freshman from Grand Island, took over the punting chores, averaging 45.6 yards on five kicks. His first punt went 56 yards and sailed through nearly as rarified air as the fans in the new East Stadium addition. While his last punt was only 31 yards, it pinned the Cowboys at their 6.
"That first one, as soon as it left my foot, I didn't think I hit it well," said Foltz, who also was the holder for kicks. "It looked like a lazy spiral and kind of floated in the air a while and he had to fair-catch it.
"There's a lot of room for improvement, to get more hang time. But I was pleased with how the first day went."
Upon further review
The first officials' review of the game proved to be good for Nebraska. Quincy Enunwa's acrobatic catch at the side of the end zone late in the third quarter initially was ruled an incomplete pass, then ruled a touchdown after review.
On the ensuing drive, Wyoming also got the benefit of a review. Running back Brandon Miller spun away from a defender at the 11-yard line and dove for the end zone. He was ruled down at the 1-yard line, but that was overturned and the TD trimmed NU's lead to 31-21.
The third review of the game also overturned the original ruling. In the fourth quarter, officials ruled a pass by Wyoming wide receiver Trey Norman bounced into Nebraska cornerback Ciante Evans' hands. Review turned it into an interception for Evans.
End of the streak
Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste's interception of a Brett Smith pass with 3:28 left in the first quarter ended the Wyoming junior quarterback's impressive string of 183 passes without an interception, dating to October of last year.
Linebacker David Santos had a career-high 12 tackles to lead NU. ... Ameer Abdullah's 62-yard run was a career long. ... Taylor Martinez threw three touchdowns to move ahead of Tommie Frazier into second place on NU's career passing touchdown list.