NEW ORLEANS, JAN. 1 -- Abiding by Coach Tom Osborne's edict, Nebraska players stayed away from the French Quarter here this week after nine players were arrested for disorderly conduct. But nobody said anything about the Superdome being off limits, and the Cornhuskers did some serious damage to Louisiana State there in the Sugar Bowl today.

Charges against the Nebraska Nine eventually were dropped, amid claims by Osborne that his players were being harassed by New Orleans' police, but the Cornhuskers' convincing 30-15 victory over LSU in the 53rd Sugar Bowl stands.

Nebraska, which cultivated an us-against-the-city-of-New Orleans attitude all week, let out all of their frustrations against the Tigers in a second half that they almost totally dominated. The win gave the sixth-ranked Cornhuskers a 10-2 record; fifth-ranked LSU finished at 9-3.

"This was a hostile environment for us," said Nebraska nose guard Danny Noonan, one of the nine players involved in the incident. "But a lot of us like hostile places like Norman, Okla. {home of the Sooners} and Boulder, Colo. {home of the Buffaloes}, where they throw beer on you.

"Walking down the street, people would yell at us. We weren't treated kindly at all. But that only helped us in the long run."

Nebraska defensive tackle Neil Smith, a native of New Orleans, said: "I wasn't too pleased coming home and seeing the way we were treated. A lot of guys said they didn't want to come back here. We figured this game was a going away present for the fans and {LSU}."

The bad feelings translated to the field. Nine personal fouls were called, LSU leading that statistical category, 5-4. At one point late in the game, Nebraska's red-clad supporters started repeating a new chant: "No more personal fouls."

Even though running back Tyreese Knox rushed for 86 yards and scored two touchdowns, and quarterback Steve Taylor jump-started the offense with passing and option running, it was the bruising Nebraska defensive unit that was the real star.

The Cornhuskers, second in the nation in total defense, allowed only 73 yards total offense and four first downs in the second half. The Tigers, behind freshman quarterback Tom Hodson, managed to score a late touchdown and two-point conversion after Nebraska had built a 30-7 lead and mercifully inserted its second-string defense.

When it mattered, though, Nebraska's defense did not budge. LSU was held to minus six yards in the third quarter, and the Tigers did not get a first down in the second half until the game's final two minutes.

Hodson, sacked just twice in the Tigers' previous five games, was sacked three times and was constantly pressured in the second half. That resulted in either incomplete passes or LSU holding penalties.

"We were just incapable of holding their defense out," LSU Coach Bill Arnsparger said. "And when we did, we were called for holding."

Nebraska's defense had several serious challenges in the second half, but turned away LSU each time. The most serious Tigers threat came late in the third quarter with the Cornhuskers ahead by 17-7. LSU nose guard Henry Thomas blocked a Nebraska field goal attempt and the Tigers recovered the ball at the Cornhuskers' 17-yard line.

On first down, Hodson was thrown for a 15-yard loss by defensive end Broderick Thomas. On second down, Hodson was sacked by nose guard Danny Noonan for a nine-yard loss.

The Tigers meekly punted on fourth down and weren't heard from again until Hodson's 24-yard touchdown pass to Tony Moss with 2:01 to play. Osborne said, "That was the turning point, that we didn't let them get any points after that blocked punt. The defense really shut them down."

Throughout most of the first quarter, Nebraska didn't look ready to shut down anybody. The first time the Tigers had the ball, they scored. Hodson completed a 42-yard pass to Davis on LSU's first play and, six plays later, Harvey Williams scored from the 1.

LSU's quick-strike capability jarred Nebraska's defense into action, but the offense didn't awaken until late in the second quarter, when Osborne briefly replaced Taylor at quarterback with backup Clete Blakeman. The Cornhuskers' only points until then came on Dale Klein's 42-yard field goal early in the second quarter.

After Blakeman failed to sustain a drive, Osborne went back to Taylor, a 5-foot-11 sophomore. Taylor drove Nebraska 72 yards in nine plays in a little more than a minute, culminating the drive by scoring on a keeper from the 2.

That touchdown, coming with 39 seconds left in the half, gave the Cornhuskers a 10-7 lead.

Taylor, named the game's outstanding player, rushed for 63 yards on 20 carries and completed 11 of 19 passes for 110 yards.

When Taylor wasn't gaining yardage from the option, Knox bulled through the line in short bursts for 84 yards on 16 carries. Knox, filling in at running back for injured starter Keith Jones (bruised right thigh), scored twice on one-yard runs in the second half.

Nebraska 0 10 7 13 30 Louisiana St. 7 0 0 8 15

LSU -- Williams 1 run (Browndyke kick)

Neb -- FG Klein 42

Neb -- Taylor 2 run (Klein kick)

Neb -- Knox 1 run (Klein kick)

Neb -- Millikan 3 pass from Taylor (Klein kick)

Neb -- Knox 1 run (kick failed)

LSU -- Moss 24 pass from Hodson (Lee pass from Hodson)

A -- 76,234. Neb LSU First downs 22 10 Rushes-yards 60-242 29-32 Passing 110 159 Return yards 48 11 Comp-Att-Int 11-20-0 14-30-2 Punts-average 4-30 6-42 Fumbles lost 5-2 6-1 Penalties yards 5-78 12-130 Time of possession 39:13 20:47 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING -- Nebraska: Knox 16-84, Taylor 20-63, Kaelin 6-32, Heibel 3-25, K. Jones 6-20, Dalton 2-7, Brinson 5-4, Clayton 1-4, Rodgers 1-3. Louisiana St.: Williams 12-48, Martin 7-4, Fuller 1-1, Harris 1-0, Hodson 7, minus 7, DeFrank 1, minus 14.

PASSING -- Nebraska: Taylor 11-19-0, 110 yards, Blakeman 0-1-0, 0. Louisiana St.: Hodson 14-30-2, 159.

RECEIVING -- Nebraska: Banderas 4-42, R. Smith 2-24, Millikan 2-23, Schnitzler 1-10, Kaelin 1-7, Brinson 1-4. Louisiana St.: Davis 3-63, Martin 3-19, Magee 2-29, Williams 2-12, Lee 2-4, Moss 1-24, Fuller 1-8.