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LINCOLN — The play looked familiar to Zavier Betts earlier in the week, and it felt that way Saturday as he was sprinting toward his first Nebraska touchdown.

The true freshman receiver and former four-star prospect turned on the jets for a 45-yard score early in the second quarter. He came in motion and took a short flip from quarterback Luke McCaffrey, then wove through blockers along the right sideline to put the Huskers ahead 17-3.

Betts said the call was the same one he executed countless times at Bellevue West during his decorated prep career.

“I was like, ‘Wait a minute, we ran that in high school,’” Betts said.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder made his debut at Northwestern last week, when he snagged a pair of passes for 17 yards. He caught two more Saturday — including a nine-yarder in the fourth quarter — for a team-high 54 yards.


Betts said the score “felt normal to me” considering how much work he has put in to prepare. As he weaved toward the end zone, he said he was thinking about how thankful he was for multiple blocks from other skill players that sprung him on the boundary.

His breakout afternoon was part of Nebraska’s first victory in nearly a calendar year, and that made it even more special.

“It honestly feels amazing,” Betts said. “All the wins I had in high school do not compare to this first win I had with Nebraska. It’s so much different. … It’s contagious.”

Betts said it’s been fun “busting my ass this whole time” learning the offense and adjusting to college life — even during a pandemic. Scott Frost said it could be just the beginning as long as he stays committed to the craft.

"To see a homegrown kid have that kind of success is really special," Frost said.


Photos: Nebraska hosts Penn State