April 16th, 2011
Spring Game 2011 - Turner & Carnes

What stood out to me today was the youth on the Huskers team. Jamal Turner, a QB turned WR, showed what he was capable of with a touchdown reception and several long returns. Brion Carnes looks like he will challenge if not overtake Cody Green for the backup QB spot this fall. His running ability is better than Cody's and his passing looked pretty decent for a redshirt freshman today. At running back, Rex is still the guy, with the least amount of depth at the position in many years. Hopefully, Braylon Heard can step in to help relieve the load that Burkhead will handle this season.

Josh Mitchell is another youngster who showed flashes today, especially in the return game.

Taylor Martinez was pretty limited in action today, for obvious reasons...he's the #1 QB and still not fully 100% after his ankles issues from last season.

The referees were terrible today and obviously a Big 12 crew. When will Dan Beebe let it go? Only partially kidding...Bo had a few discussions with them today in his new, nice sideline demeanor he's been practicing on.
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February 24th, 2011
And the bandwagon just got a little less crowded

After the huge, program-defining win over Texas last Saturday, Doc Sadler and the Huskers were mentioned as a team "on the bubble." That bubble seriously deflated last night after a 61-57 loss at home to Kansas State.

Nebraska never seemed to be playing all that well, while the Wildcats looked like the team everyone expected them to be this year. And yet, NU was still in the game as the clock ticked down.

Football games largely come down to three things: being able to run the ball, stop the run, and not commit turnovers. Basketball games are often decided by turnovers (and points off turnovers) and free throw shooting. The better college basketball teams make free throws, especially late in games. Here's one stat you should know about from the game last night: Nebraska was 3-9 on free throws in the final three and a half minutes. Those six points right there would have been enough to win the game.

Now to turnovers. Nebraska gave it away 17 times versus only 10 turnovers for the Wildcats. KSU scored nearly half their points off Husker turnovers.
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February 8th, 2011
The latest on staff changes

As we tweeted last Friday, Scott Frost turned down the Huskers for now and will remain with Oregon. Tim Beck is likely to be the next offensive coordinator and John Garrison, currently an intern, will likely be promoted to help Barney Cotton with the offensive line.

Many fans are disappointed Frost didn't return home, but considering his current job and what the Ducks program achieved in 2010, it's no surprise he didn't decide on the Big Red. There are conflicting reports as to what position was offered and what wasn't. My source said he was offered a co-offensive coordinator position. Others have said he wasn't offered a co-OC job, but rather a lateral move of coaching receivers. Personally, I don't see why he would be offered to coach the same position at Nebraska that he was at Oregon, unless there was a significant bump in pay. Oregon is at the pinnacle of college football right now. Unfortunately, Nebraska isn't yet there. By all accounts, Scott Frost has a bright coaching career ahead of him and may yet return to Nebraska at some point.
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February 2nd, 2011
Huskers get a boost on Signing Day

Todd Peat, Jr. was told by Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini he could be the next Ndamukong Suh or Glenn Dorsey. Pelini coached both, the latter while at LSU, to NFL careers at the defensive tackle spot. Todd became the 19th member of the 2011 Husker football recruiting class today after he announced his decision. With Peat, Jr. the Huskers now have 11 4-star recruits and seven 3-stars. Kicker Mauro Bondi and TE David Sutton are the only 2-stars.

So what finally pushed Peat to the Huskers? He was driving in Tempe last night and saw a Nebraska license plate. Up until that point he was leaning towards Arizona State. Thank you to that Husker transplant out for a drive last night.

In terms of geography, the Big Red signed four from the state of Nebraska, five from Texas, two each from California, Ohio and Florida, and one from the following states: Kansas, Alabama, Massachusetts, Illinois and Arizona.

By position, the Huskers signed the following:
-five OL
-three DBs
-two DTs
-two "athletes"
-two LBs
-one WR, DE, TE, QB, K, RB

The Huskers were well represented in the U.S.
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January 24th, 2011
Suh to be on T.Ocho Show Tuesday night

Ndamukong Suh, who will likely win the NFL Rookie of the Year, will make a guest appearance on the T.Ocho Show on Versus channel Tuesday night at 9:30 CST. The show features Chad Ochocinco and Terell Owens and their thoughts on sports news of the day. Be sure to tune in to see Suuuuuuuuhhhhhhh!
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January 11th, 2011
Statistically speaking

Now that Auburn cheated their way to a national title, the SEC's fifth in a row, it's time to reflect on the season that was for our beloved Huskers. Here's a look at how the Big Red ranked nationally in various categories.

For all 14 games of the 2010 season, Nebraska’s offense averaged 30.9 points per game, good enough for 38th in the nation. In NU’s four losses, the Huskers scored a total of four touchdowns and six field goals, which averages out to 11.5 points per game. The Big Red averaged 38.6 points in their 10 wins. The Husker offense averaged four points less per game against conference opponents than they did against non-conference. Against ranked teams, NU scored 5.4 points less than against unranked teams.

Perhaps the most telling stat regarding the offense is this. In September, NU averaged 40 points per game. October saw that drop to 35.8. In November, the Big Red offense put up an average of 25.5 points. In their final two games of the season, the Big 12 Championship and Holiday Bowl, NU averaged 13.5 points.
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December 31st, 2010
Huskers end 2010 season on disappointing note

Many saw this coming. I for one did not. Having to face a team you already beat and in a bowl game you played in last year is a lot to overcome evidently. And the Huskers couldn't match the intensity of UW tonight, losing by a final score of 19-7.

Every football game comes down to running the ball, stopping the run, and not turning over the ball. Nebraska wasn't able to run the ball effectively, finishing the game with only 189 total yards of offense. The Blackshirts weren't able to stop the Huskies run game, yielding 268 yards. The turnover battle did not go the Huskers way either as Nebraska had a fumble and interception.

Penalties again reared their ugly head as the Huskers were flagged 12 times for 102 yards. The offensive line was manhandled throughout the game, giving up five sacks to the Huskies, some of which were Taylor's fault for not getting rid of the ball.

Defensively, poor tackling haunted the Huskers all night. UW quarterback Jake Locker wasn't able to get much done through the air (5-18) thanks to good defensive back play.
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December 27th, 2010
Monday, Dec. 27th - The latest Husker news

Niles Paul has been cleared to play in the Holiday Bowl. The senior wide receiver was a standout performer last year in the Holiday Bowl, leading the team in receptions (4) and receiving yards (123).

Five more blackshirts were handed out today. Adi Kunalic, Anthony West, Rickey Thenarse, Alex Henery and Thomas Grove are the newest Blackshirts.

Taylor Martinez is still not talking to the media. He declined interview requests Saturday, Sunday and Monday. By most accounts, Taylor looks healthy and should be ready to go on Thursday.

Lavonte David has no interest in seeing where his NFL draft stock resides. Another junior, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has decided to return for his senior season. Jared Crick hasn't decided yet, but we'd be shocked if he left after this season for the NFL.

Defensive tackle Terrence Moore will get his first career start on Thursday against Washington in place of Baker Steinkuhler, who was arrested earlier this month on DUI charges. Steinkuhler is suspended for the bowl game.

Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson isn't addressing questions "this week" about the Miami (Ohio) job or any other coaching vacancies.
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December 19th, 2010
Husker weekend news roundup

Over 3900 tickets are still available for the Holiday Bowl, according to UNL officials. One interesting idea mentioned in this article is buying a ticket or two and donating them to the many military men and women stationed in San Diego who are Husker fans.

Mike Ekeler is the first Husker coach to leave the program as he heads for a co-defensive coordinator position with the Indiana Hoosiers. Being a Blair, Nebraska guy this is somewhat surprising. As the linebacker's coach under Bo Pelini, Ekeler had a lot to do with the development of defensive standout Lavonte David this season. David is only five tackles away from breaking Barrett Ruud's all-time single season tackle record of 149.

More bad news for the Husker football team today as Rickey Thenarse was charged with DUI early this morning. The fifth year senior had graduated earlier in the day. Unfortunately for him, he'll conclude his final game as a Husker on the bench most likely. Being a California kid, this is especially unfortunate given the Big Red's trip to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

Huskers coaches will have a break from recruiting as Monday, December 20th marks the beginning of the dead period, where limited contact is allowed between coaches and recruits.
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December 14th, 2010
Husker bowl update

Bo Pelini & Company spoke after practice yesterday and reiterated their excitement for playing Washington in the Holiday Bowl. It's not hard to believe that they're telling the truth. Regardless of who they are playing or where, the Huskers have a chance to win their 11th game of the season for the first time since 2001. Eleven wins proves without a doubt, as if anyone really doubted it in the first place, that Nebraska is quickly moving their way into the "back" position. Hats off to Pelini and his staff for engineering this quick turnaround. As others have pointed out, less desirable coaches don't get poached. So Nebraska football fans should get accustomed to hearing Pelini's name mentioned when big time programs have a vacancy. Personally, it would surprise us to see him leave Nebraska for any school not named The Ohio State University. His alma mater and close to his hometown, this is a natural fit. Jim Tressel doesn't appear ready to step down anytime soon, so Pelini to TOSU isn't imminent.

Back to the bowl game for a second, NU will be facing a Washington still smarting from their early season blowout loss at home to the Big Red.
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December 13th, 2010
Legends and Leaders

The Big Ten today announced the names of their two divisions, unveiled their new logo and went hyphen-happy on the conference trophy names.

The Legends Division and the Leaders Division. Interesting. Nebraska is in the Legends Division, while Ohio State is in the Leaders Division.

Dave Rimington was the sole Husker to have his name associated with a trophy. The Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year Award is also named after former Ohio State O-lineman, Orlando Pace.

No Tom Osborne, no Suh, no Jet, no Rozier in the trophy names. Welcome to the Big Ten, right?

Check out their new logo and more about the trophies here.

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December 10th, 2010
A review of our predictions

Taking a break from all the rumors and innuendo, we review our 2010 season predictions.

Our new comments are in bold.

Well Husker fans, the 2010 season is upon us (and now almost over). All the talk of the past week has been about the starting quarterback (a recurring theme in 2010) and NU's tough Big Ten conference schedule the next two seasons. Now it's time to focus on the task at hand, finishing the unfinished...winning a Big 12 Championship. Before the Huskers take their Big 12 Farewell Tour, Husker Faithful presents their season predictions. Without further adieu, here's a look at each opponent on the 2010 schedule, as well as a few other thoughts.

Western Kentucky
Score prediction: NU 45 - WKU 3
Actual score: NU 49 – WKU 10
Basically what we expected, minus the three Taylor Martinez rushing touchdowns.

Score prediction: NU 42 - Idaho 10
Actual score: NU 38 - Idaho 17
Nathan Enderle’s return to Nebraska didn’t go so well for the former North Platter.

@ Washington - Something tells me the Nebraska defense will be able to handle Locker and the Husky offense.
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December 6th, 2010
Big 12 Championship Game reaction

Husker fans are familiar with this story by now. A national title caliber defense, led by one of the great defensive minds in the game paired with an offense that, when it doesn't lack an identity, is schizophrenic, going away from what works and sticking with what doesn't for too long. (Remember the definition of insanity?) We thought the 2009 season was the end of the Husker offensive woes. Twenty-ten would be the year we had an offense to match our defense. It would be the year we stuck it to the Big 12 and all their sportswriters who are nothing more than propaganda machines for the University of Texas and their insatiable appetite for greed.

Perhaps no sportswriter encapsulates our thoughts of the Big 12 Championship game better than Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World Herald:

Time and again, I’ve called Bo Pelini the best defensive mind in college football. What his Blackshirts do on a weekly basis is inspiring to anyone who loves this game. Saturday’s defensive performance, especially in the second half, was no exception.

But Pelini needs to start building an entire team.
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November 27th, 2010
Big 12 North Champs Even Without Trophy Presentation

Nebraska took care of business against Colorado for the last time in Big 12 play, easily winning 45-17. Here are our game photos. Here's a video of Ndamukong Suh's jersey retirement at halftime. And here is the last play of the game, along with a special announcement about Alex Henery.

With the North wrapped up and one final Big 12 Conference game in Dallas next week, it's time to reflect on just how absurd the treatment of Nebraska is getting to be.

Dan Beebe apparently received enough "death threats" and nasty emails from "Husker fans" that he deemed a trip to Lincoln too dangerous for him or any other Big 12 official. Keep in mind that former Husker Ed Stewart works in the Big 12 office. At the very least, Beebe could have sent Ed up to Lincoln to handle the trophy presentation.

Yet another immature slight from the commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. No wonder it's slowly crumbling to the ground. Beebe refuses to reprimand Jerod-Eddie of Texas A&M for his sexual assault of Ben Cotton, even though as this article points out, it's his duty to do so.
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November 24th, 2010
Colorado game preview by Adam Runcie

Greetings Husker Faithful!

It is almost that time of year again. The time when many of us flood the interstates and airways of America trying to get back home to visit family. By "flood" I actually meant "jam" because the word flood is attributed to some sort of consistent movement, of which there is none -- and by "visit" I mean "stuff our faces full of food and spend the afternoon sleeping on the couch pretending to watch professional football." (Psh...like the NFL has anything on the NCAA!) Of course, you could be one of those, uh, "diligent" people that show up in front of your favorite store with a tent to camp out for all the overly-hyped Black Friday sales. If you are one of those people, I would like you to know that you made my life miserable when I was a young college student working at a major retail chain. I hope you enjoy your propane heaters, lawn chairs, and 26-hours worth of conversation you're going to be having with that person you've never met standing in line in front of you - who you will eventually end up hating because they got the last one of that thingy you wanted.

My policy? If I can't find it on eBay or HuskerFaithful.com (shameless plug), it isn't worth buying.
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November 24th, 2010
With apologies, we're moving on to Senior Day

Lost in the Bo and Carl Pelini apologies and the Taylor Martinez rumors is that NU plays Colorado this Friday. A short week and an important game. Not only is the North title on the line, but the game marks the final Big 12 home game for Nebraska, and the final home game period for 23 Huskers.

It's fair to say these seniors have a unique perspective, having been recruited to Nebraska by Bill Callahan but playing for Bo Pelini a majority of their time in Lincoln. Here's a look at the 2010 senior class:

Perhaps no senior's loss will be felt more than kicker Alex Henery, who at times during his career has been our entire offense. Henery should go down as the best kicker in program history. No one will forget the last time Nebraska played Colorado in Lincoln. It was the night Alex Henery became a rockstar, booting a 57-yard field goal to put the Huskers on top late in the fourth quarter. Time and time again, Alex has bailed out our offense when a drive has stalled.
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November 21st, 2010
Unconfirmed rumors (updated at 9:30pm CST)

Rumors are swirling that Taylor Martinez left the team in the wake of his dressing down by Bo Pelini on national TV. Evidently Bo was ticked off at Taylor because Martinez either talked to or texted his father when he went back to the locker room to get treatment on his ankle. This delayed the trainers from working on him. This again is another rumor. As to what Bo yelled at Taylor, are there any lip readers out there?

Eric Martin allegedly posted on his Facebook account that the rumors are untrue, but we haven't been able to confirm that.

Let's hope this is an Eric Crouch-like situation, where cooler heads prevail and he rejoins the team (if in fact he has left). Updated at 9:30pm - Multiple sources reporting that Taylor's high school coach talked to Martinez tonight and the redshirt freshman says he has not quit the team.

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November 21st, 2010
Texas A&M Game Analysis by Adam Runcie

Alright Husker fans, before I get into my write-up for yesterday's game, I need you take a deep breath. Breathe in - breathe out. Breathe in - now breathe out. Better yet, repeat that for a few minutes, and focus on positive thoughts. Go ahead, take as long as you need - I'll wait.

There, isn't that better?

Now that we've got ourselves calmed down a bit, I'll go ahead and share my thoughts with you. If any of you are like me, then perhaps the only reason you clicked to read this little snippit in the first place was to hear my take on the officiating squad from last night's game. Don't worry, I'll get to that. But first, I'd like to start with a brief game recap, then move on to some praises and concerns.


First and foremost, defense. If ever there was a game that defined the term "defensive struggle," this game would certainly be in the top 3 that I've seen. You could probably tell that just by looking at the score. What the score wouldn't tell you is that even though both teams had at least 6 points, none of those points were scored by moving the football into the last 10 yards of the field known as the "End Zone." All of them were scored by each team's field goal unit.
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November 21st, 2010
Texas A&M game links

Here are a few noteworthy links from the Texas A&M game in case you missed them:

So why did Ben Cotton get so upset at the bottom of the pile? Watch this...

Someone's trying to make a big deal about Carl Pelini and this cameraman.

Bo Pelini was caught on camera chewing out Taylor Martinez for an unknown reason. Any lip readers out there?

Still haven't tracked down video of Eric Martin's two, repeat TWO, personal foul penalties, both on kickoffs. No video replay of the hits on TV. Thanks a lot ABC. For once, I wish Ed Cunningham was doing our game. At least then we would have seen both hits about a dozen times.

I was surprised we didn't see more Wildcat once Taylor Martinez went out. It seemed to do the trick before. Put the ball in Rex Burkhead's hands more often. Turnovers kill drives and take points off the board.

We'll have more on the game later.

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November 14th, 2010
KU game photos and thoughts

We had an interesting encounter three hours before the game. As we're walking to our tailgate, Husker linebackers coach Mike Ekeler rounds the corner at 11th & M and runs by. He was out for a jog in downtown Lincoln at 3:00 on a gameday. Made me wonder if he has to burn some energy since he's up in the booth now and can't jump around on the sidelines.

Now to the game...how about those Blackshirts! In a game reminiscent of the 2009 season, the Huskers 20-3 win over KU came down to the NU defense holding the Jayhawk offense to 87 total yards. That's incredible. Jared Crick and Lavonte David were all over the field. The secondary handled their business as usual, with Alfonzo Dennard returning from a concussion suffered against Missouri to record an interception. KU's quarterback was 3 of 13 passing the ball which amounted to 15 yards of offense.

Offensively, Taylor Martinez was nowhere near 100% healthy. He managed to run for 71 yards, putting him 43 yards shy of 1,000 on the season.
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November 11th, 2010
How the Huskers rank nationally

First off, thank you to all the veterans who have served our country. One day is not enough thanks for you, but it's a start.

Here's how the Huskers rank nationally in a variety of categories through the Iowa State game:

#13 in Scoring Offense
#6 in Rushing Offense
#110 in Passing Offense
#20 in Total Offense
#14 in Punt Returns
#16 in Kick Off Returns
#18 in Punting
#9 in Field Goals
#106 in Penalties
#107 in Fumbles Lost
#31 in Turnover Margin at +4

On the defensive side of the ball...
#21 in Scoring Defense
#74 in Rushing Defense
#6 in Passing Defense
#23 in Total Defense
#111 in Tackles for Loss
#42 in Sacks
#6 in Interceptions

And thanks to Adi Kunalic, the Huskers are #1 in Kickoffs nationally.

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November 10th, 2010
Nebraska on the outside looking in

Even with one loss, the Huskers are a long shot at playing for the 2010 national championship game. In fact, a long shot is probably too generous. Currently, NU is ranked #8 in the BCS poll, falling one spot after narrowly beating Iowa State on the road, albeit with their 3rd string quarterback at the helm. Ahead of Nebraska in the BCS are undefeateds Oregon, Auburn, TCU and Boise State, followed by fellow one-loss teams LSU, Stanford and Wisconsin. Ohio State and Oklahoma State are #9 and #10 in the BCS. Here's a closer look at the teams ahead of Nebraska in the latest BCS poll:

1) Oregon - Next up is a road trip to Berkeley to play California. Follow that up with a game against #18 Arizona and the in-state rivalry with Oregon State to close out the season. Barring a complete meltdown, it's pretty hard to see Oregon not running the table. This team's closest game was an 11-point road win at Arizona State. They average nearly 55 points a game (1st in the country) and are only giving up 18 points a game (13th in the country).
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November 7th, 2010
Survive and advance

Survive and advance. It's a term most commonly associated with college basketball during March Madness, but it applies to college football, too. With any number of Top 25 teams losing on any given Saturday, all a team needs to do to remain in the hunt is win by any means necessary. At the end of the day, a one-point overtime thriller win on the road counts just as much as a three touchdown victory, at least in the conference standings. A case can be made that winning ugly may hurt you in the polls, but if you're undefeated or a one-loss team this late in the season, you will be in the national title mix.

With all that said, the Huskers are now 8-1 after they escaped from Ames for the last time with a 31-30 win, sealed by Eric Hagg's interception of a Cyclones two-point try on the last play of the game.

Last week was the Roy Helu, Jr. Show and this week it was Rex Burkhead's time to shine. With Taylor Martinez out with a lingering ankle injury sustained in the Missouri game and backup Zac Lee getting injured in practice leading up to the Iowa State game, Husker fans got a lot of Cody Green and Rex Burkhead at the QB position.
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November 3rd, 2010
Huskers pick up another big commitment from Texas

Charles Jackson called into 1620 The Zone's "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" radio show today at 5:00 to announce that he was "N." Jackson had narrowed down his choices to two: Nebraska and Arkansas. The deal was that he would call a radio station in the state of the school he was committing to and the Omaha station took his call.

The 5'11" 180 pounder hails from Klein, Texas, a suburb of Houston and has been labeled one of the best cornerbacks in the country by recruiting experts. He is a 4-star recruit according to Rivals and Scout. Other schools expressing interest in Jackson included Arkansas, Alabama, Wake Forest, Stanford, and both Arizona schools.

This commitment brings to five the total recruits committed to Nebraska from the state of Texas.

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October 31st, 2010
Huskers move up in polls & team recruiting rankings

With their win over previously undefeated Missouri, the Huskers cracked the Top 10 for the second time this season. NU moves up to #9 in the AP Poll and #10 in the USA Today/Cocahes Poll. Previously, the Huskers were #14 in the AP and #12 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. Nebraska is the highest ranked Big 12 team in the AP Poll and trails only Oklahoma by one spot in the USA Today Poll.

More importantly, Nebraska jumps seven spots in the new BCS poll released on Sunday. NU checks in at #7, behind Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State, Utah and Alabama.

With the big commitment of 4-star running back prospect Aaron Green to NU's 2011 class, the Huskers move up to #12 in the national team recruiting rankings according to Rivals. The Huskers have 15 commitments, including nine 4-star recruits. In addition to Green, Nebraska has verbal commitments from two-sport star Bubba Starling (football and baseball) and fellow QB recruit Jamal Turner. Starling will likely be a high draft pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft, so there is a chance that he won't ever play at Nebraska.
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October 30th, 2010
Helu was magical against Mizzou

This game was all about Roy Helu. The senior from Danville, CA set a school record with 28 carries for 307 yards and three touchdowns, breaking Calvin Jones’ mark of 294 yards rushing in a single game. Helu also set a school record with 124 yards rushing in the 1st quarter alone.

From a fan’s standpoint, the crowd noise was excellent today, especially for Missouri’s 1st & Goal from inside the 1-yard line. Terrence Moore was firing up the crowd who responded well. The stadium was as loud as I can remember for some time now. I guess that’s what you get when the entire conference and game referees seem to be against you. In Bo's postgame remarks he said that was the loudest and wildest crowd he's experienced at Nebraska.

Nebraska played a lot of younger guys and backups on defense today. Ciante Evans took the place of Alfonzo Dennard when Dennard went down with an injury and for the most part, played well. Austin Cassidy and Courtney Osborne played at safety, keeping Rickey Thenarse on the sidelines.
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October 17th, 2010
Texas didn't need extra time for this one

This game had it all. Dropped passes, penalties, fumbles, poor and missed tackles, offensive and defensive line struggles, and a couple questionable calls by the referees. Okay, so that’s not a list that Nebraska fans like to see, especially when it happens during what could be NU's final game against Texas for some time.

Texas brought into the game an effective game plan, one that took away Taylor Martinez's big play ability and neutralized our zone read option offense. Forced to pass in order to move the ball, NU suffered seven dropped passes, including three that would likely have been touchdowns. On the offensive side of the ball, the Longhorns caught Nebraska off guard by running their quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, quite a bit. In fact, Gilbert ended the game with 11 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Nebraska as a team rushed for only 125 yards on 44 attempts, a 2.8 yard average. Martinez was held to 21 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Really the only highlight in the game from the Huskers perspective was Eric Hagg’s 95-yard pooch punt return for a touchdown.
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October 11th, 2010
Just another game?

In Monday's press conference, Bo Pelini tried to explain to the media how this week wasn't any different than any other game week. It's just another game. Meanwhile, Mack Brown lavished the Huskers with so much praise you'd think he was about to face the 1995 Nebraska team. It's obvious that both coaches have taken and passed Media 101.

You can throw out the records in this matchup. Texas coming off two straight losses with two weeks to prepare should scare Husker fans. Add to that the fact the Longhorns have never lost three games in a row with Mack Brown at the helm and can find motivation in being an underdog. Don't let the 9 point spread fool you, this has the makings of a tough game for Nebraska. Perhaps the toughest one that remains on our schedule. Husker Faithful would be pleasantly surprised if this game becomes a blowout in NU's favor.

The UNL athletic department uncharacteristcally singled out an opponent during the offseason when they produced the Red Out Around The World video. I doubt if any Husker fan hasn't see this by now, but if you haven't, or if you like hearing Stewart Bradley's voice, click on the link.
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October 8th, 2010
T-Magic steals the show again

After one game off and a bye week, Taylor Martinez and the Husker offense was back at it, piling up huge yards and a lot of points on an opponent. This time the victim was a familiar face, the Kansas State Wildcats. Previously undefeated, KSU was thought by many to challenge Nebraska for the Big 12 North crown in the Huskers final season in the conference. Nebraska all but ended any hopes of a Wildcat trip to Dallas with their convincing 48-13 victory.

For the second time this season, the Blackshirts derailed a Heisman Trophy campaign. First it was Jake Locker, quarterback of Washington, and now Kansas State's running back Daniel Thomas, whose candidacy failed to launch, thanks to a non-porous Husker defense.

The scary thing about this Husker team is there's a lot of upside left. Taylor Martinez, for all the magical runs, can still do better at reading defenses and definitely at throwing the ball. Defensively, mistakes continue to be made, as Bo will point out, but the effort is there and you can't argue with the results. Being 5-0 with a lot of upside is a good thing for Husker fans.

Speaking about upside, how about Lavonte David? For a guy who is in his first season in the Pelini defensive scheme, David has proved to be a quick learner.
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September 26th, 2010
South Dakota State game photos & commentary

In his post-game comments, Bo Pelini said South Dakota State outplayed and outhit Nebraska and that he was embarassed by the Huskers' 17-3 win. Bo added that Nebraska was outcoached too.

On Taylor Martinez, Bo said he didn't play very good tonight and he knows that. Bo added that Taylor is still the NU starting QB.

On the defense, Pelini said he thought the line played well, but the linebackers didn't play well, even though Lavonte David had 19 tackles for the game.

On the bright side, the Huskers picked a good game to not show up. Against a better team down the road, a night like this will get you a loss. Instead, NU is 4-0 with a bye week before conference games start a week from Thursday in Manhattan.

There's no need to panic, Husker Nation. Let's just chalk this up to having a letdown after a big road win against a team that is hard to get fired up for. Even the crowd wasn't into the game. The noise level on several key 3rd and 4th down attempts by SDSU was half of what it could be.
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September 24th, 2010
Dividing the season into threes: Part three

By Guest Columnist Tyler Hughes

Any avid football fan has their favorite stats to go to when explaining what went wrong with a game or postulating what must happen to earn a win. Coaches have their favorites, too. Bo and his "scoring defense" statistic; coachspeak is all that matters in the "W", etc. With the advent of the blogosphere this has been taken to a whole other level. I’ve run across a couple of websites I felt I needed an actuarial designation to understand. For our beloved team, I think the metric that matters most is 3rd down conversions.

Third down conversions matter for so many reasons:

--The longer the offense stays on the field, the more our defense can rest.
--The best defense is a good offense.
--Time of possession historically results in better winning percentages.
--Momentum earned by imposing your will upon the other team.
--Frustrating the team that is behind by keeping their offense off the field and their defense on the field.

Historically, some of the best Husker football teams were the ones that pounded the rock and sustained long drives.
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September 23rd, 2010
Win two free tickets to the Omaha Nighthawks game on October 2nd

Here's your chance to win two free tickets to the Omaha Nighthawks vs Sacramento on October 2nd at Rosenblatt Stadium. First, watch this video...

Second, continue reading to learn who you'll get to see play. The Nighthawks roster includes former Huskers Jay Moore and Ahman Green, in addition to , Donovan Raiola (younger brother of Dominic), Jeff Garcia (former 49ers QB), and Maurice Clarett (former Ohio State RB). Sacramento's team features former Husker Cory Ross, UNO grad and former Oakland Raider Chris Cooper, and Daunte Culpepper (former NFL QB and Central Florida star). The Nighthawks kick off their season this Friday at Rosenblatt Stadium. Here is their complete schedule.

Finally, leave a comment in the box below describing why you think Nebraskans love football so much and why the Nighthawks are already getting such great support. Best comment wins the tickets and picks them up at will call. The contest runs from today through Monday, September 27th. A winner will be chosen on Tuesday and notified via email.
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September 20th, 2010
NU @ Seattle - Game Photos, Videos & More

Video of the pre-game flyover by two military fighter jets.

The Huskers come out of the tunnel prior to facing the Washington Huskies.

Late in the game, after many Husky fans had already left, Husker fans took over the noise-making with Go Big Red chants.

Post-game, Husker players thank the fans and Bo Pelini waves to the Big Red crowd on his way into the tunnel.

Check out our game photos at our Facebook gallery or our Picasa gallery below.

Several things stuck out on this road trip. First, the number of red clad fans wandering around downtown Seattle on Friday. Not sure what the final tally was on Husker fans attending the game, but I'd peg it somewhere between 25k-35k.
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September 11th, 2010
Huskers vs Idaho post-game notes

Let's start off with the Tunnel Walk video.

Can you feel it?

One note about the Tunnel Walk...Tyrone Fahie was the lone Husker player to carry out the American flag, along with members of the Lincoln Police and Fire Departments. Fahie (pronounced FOY) is a 28-year old senior defensive end from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who spent six years on active duty in the military, including two tours in Iraq. Remember him during senior day.

Now on to the game. First half good. Second half not so good. In a nutshell, that's how the day went for Nebraska. The Blackshirts intercepted Nathan Enderle five times, but the Huskers turned the ball over four times themselves. In addition, NU had 123 yards in penalties. Turnovers and penalties will kill a good team once conference play begins, and possibly before. This is something the Huskers need to fix fast, with trips to Washington and Kansas State on either end of a second spring game against South Dakota State.

The second quarter is when the defense really showed up, as DeJon Gomes and Rickey Thenarse both had interceptions returned for touchdowns on back-to-back possessions.
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September 5th, 2010
How about T-Mar-lowe?

Here it is...the 2010 Husker Tunnel Walk video:

Taylor Martinez is getting all the press and rightly so after his impressive performance on Saturday against Western Kentucky. The first ever freshman to start a season-opening game for the Huskers, T-Magic had three touchdowns on the ground and didn't commit a turnover. Seven carries for 127 yards to boot. He sure didn't play like it was his first ever collegiate action.

Besides Taylor, one other Husker caught our eye...Tim Marlowe. The sophomore wide receiver out of Bo Pelini's hometown was used as both a kickoff returner as well as a receiver. Marlowe had two kickoff returns for 69 yards as well as a nice end around run for 13 yards.

It was good to see Rickey Thenarse back out on the field. The senior safety missed most of last year with a knee injury.

Roy Helu and Zac Lee didn't see much playing time, especially Lee who came in for the Huskers final offensive possession that led to a touchdown by Austin Jones.
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September 3rd, 2010
Husker Faithful's 2010 Season Predictions

Well Husker fans, the 2010 season is upon us. All the talk of the past week has been about the starting quarterback and NU's tough Big Ten conference schedule the next two seasons. Now it's time to focus on the task at hand, finishing the unfinished...winning a Big 12 Championship. Before the Huskers take their Big 12 Farewell Tour, Husker Faithful presents their season predictions. Without further adieu, here's a look at each opponent on the 2010 schedule as well as a few other thoughts.

Western Kentucky -
Nickname: Hilltoppers
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Conference: Sun Belt (2009 was their first year in the conference)
2009 Results: 0-12 (0-8 in conference)
Bowl Game: None
Head Coach: Willie Taggart
Key Non-Conference Road Games in 2009: Tennessee (lost 63-7)

Summary: Willie Taggart, formerly Stanford's running backs coach and a WKU alum, takes over as head coach for David Elson, who won two games in his final two seasons with the Hilltoppers. Taggart's claim to fame is that he was Tommie Frazier's backup at Bradenton Manatee High School. The 2009 season was particularly difficult for Western Kentucky, having the distinction alongside Eastern Michigan of being the only two teams to finish winless on the year.
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August 30th, 2010
The Bo Pelini Show - August 29, 2010

Twenty-ten's first edition of The Nebraska Coaches Show is now in the books. The voice of the Huskers, Greg Sharpe, went through many of the players with Coach Pelini to get his comments. Here are some notes from this part of the show:

On Jared Crick being named preseason Big 12 player of the year on defense - I don't know about player of the year. Cracks me up you can pick a player of the year before you even play a snap. Hopefully he can follow up what he did last year.

Pierre Allen has had as good of a camp as anybody, poised to have a big year for us.

Cameron Meredith - Good football player, played well for us last year, gonna be a force for us, I'm looking forward to watching him play this year.

Baker Steinkuhler - One of three or four guys competing for that spot next to Crick. Terrence Moore is going to rotate in there with Baker. Thaddeus Randle and Chase Rome are also in the mix.

Josh Williams will get a lot more playing time this year.

Jason Ankrah - He has some ability, trying to figure out some things on the mental aspect of it, has a chance to be pretty good.

Thaddeus Randle has a chance to be a really good football player for us.

Will Compton - Will needs to pick it up, needs to be a big part of what our football team is doing on the defensive side of the ball, he needs to step in and fill the shoes of Phil Dillard and with Sean Fisher going down I think he's hopefully ready to do that.

Eric Martin - Very talented, people can see he can be a physical football player, needs to mature as a football player, has a ways to go yet.

Eric Hagg - Really stepped it up, versatile, smart, plays a number of different spots for us.

Gomes - Can play a bunch of different spots.
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August 27th, 2010
Lincoln Berean Church Husker Tailgate

Check out the photos we took at tonight's Husker tailgate held at Lincoln Berean Church. About a dozen current players were on hand to sign autographs. Several thousand fans attended the event.

Husker tailgate photos

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August 26th, 2010
Carl loves bocce ball

Carl Pelini was the speaker at today's Walk-On Club luncheon at Lincoln Station in the Haymarket. He spoke extensively, without notes, about the importance of the walk-on program at Nebraska. Carl also talked about the culture at Nebraska and how this was the hardest thing to change when they got here in 2008. This is something you hear Bo talk about all the time as well.

He said they recruit nationally because it's a numbers game. If 1 in 400 high school players are good enough to make it in D-1, then you have to go to Houston, which has a population of 6 million. Nebraska has 1.7 million. They will continue to recruit nationally because they increase their odds of getting good players if the pool is larger.

He said he's blown away at the number of walk-ons who become major contributors at Nebraska. In fact, they did a study over a 10-year period that showed between walk-ons and scholarship players there was essentially no difference in those who became all-conference, All-Americans, and NFL players. It was evenly split.
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August 25th, 2010
October is the key in 2010

In August, the anticipation builds. With September, the season finally arrives in the form of three scrimmages and one semi-interesting non-conference game. But the meat of the schedule is in October and November, when a 4-0 team becomes 8-0 and a national title contender or 6-2 with a #20 ranking.

Unfortunately for the Huskers, the last two Octobers haven't been kind, with the Big Red batting .500 (two wins, two losses) in each. In 2009, Nebraska lost back-to-back home games to unranked Texas Tech and Iowa State. There can't be a letdown like that this season. The 2010 edition of October presents one of the tougher stretches NU has seen in awhile.

It begins with a road trip to Manhattan, Kansas, in what could be the final meeting between the Huskers and Wildcats. A Thursday night, nationally televised game no less, K-State backers will be sure to wish us well as we depart for the Big Ten. In his first season back at the helm, Bill Snyder led KSU to a second place finish in the Big 12 North, overachieving by most accounts.
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August 17th, 2010
Part Two of Tyler Hughes breaking down the Husker season

In the second of three installments, Tyler Hughes takes a look at the Husker season in thirds. If you missed Part One, click on the link to read.

Wanna know my one request from the staff this year? Eliminate seeing three micro-seasons within the 2010 campaign. In each of the first two years of the Pelini administration, we’ve seen three separate and very different micro-seasons: the non-conference schedule, October, and the final stretch.

The non-conference season involves vanilla offenses, defensive success and bloated win-loss records. I "get" it that we need to be simple rather than multiple when it comes to these first four games. However, what I request is player development and a firm decision on who we are as a team: offense and defense. Then I want to see a commitment from the coaching staff to stick to that identity (barring injuries) for the rest of the season. Let’s establish the run and stick with it, or let’s be multiple and develop it so we’re ready for the serious contenders in October.

October during the past two years has been perplexing.
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August 11th, 2010
An extra year vs the loss of a great...

Much has been made of Bo Pelini's comments that his defense would be "five times better" in 2010 than they were last season, despite losing Suh, Phil Dill, the Assassin and Matty O'Hanlon. That got us thinking...can an extra year in the Pelini defensive scheme overcome the loss of one of the greatest interior defensive linemen at Nebraska, not to mention the aforementioned contributors?

Here are the facts...The Blackshirts finished the 2008 season (Pelini's first as head coach) ranked as the #84 total defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). In 2009, NU ranked second in the nation behind only BCS national champion Alabama. More importantly to Bo, the Blackshirts were the #1 scoring defense in 2009. Pelini would rather give up yards than points. Statistically, it will be tough for the NU defense to improve on the 2009 season. From a knowledge and understanding viewpoint, it is entirely possible (and highly probable) that the defense will improve.

The Huskers return eight starters on defense along with another half-dozen who saw significant playing time in 2009. Safety is one of the only question marks on defense.
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August 9th, 2010
Ty Hughes on rating the Huskers three dimensions

As media days conclude practice resumes from summer break and the hype begins its meteoric rise. At times like these I find it helpful to concentrate on the simple things that make a football season a successful one. I don’t really care how much muscle mass Niles has added to his frame (I’d rather he use the muscle mass between his ears more often). I’m not that impressed by hearing how Zac Lee and Brandon Kinnie “click” now or who is the best boxer on the team.

What I am more concerned about is the three basic segments of the team: offense, defense, and special teams. One could argue that allocating these segments into equal thirds is unfair so I’ll give the offense 34% while the defense and specials teams will have to settle for 33% each. Regardless, I find dividing the team into thirds helpful in evaluating how successful the season will be.

I’ll argue that the third I’m most confident in is special teams. John Papuchis and staff have fielded solid teams that cover punt and kickoffs solidly as evidenced by special teams ranking within the league the past two years.
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July 26th, 2010
The (unofficial) Cliffs Notes version of Nebraska & Big 12 Media Days

In a nutshell, here's what went down at today's Big 12 Media Days featuring Bo Pelini and Nebraska.

Pelini made it clear that he wouldn't answer any Big Ten-related questions. Any questions?

Bo also was asked about the Red Out Around The World video that referenced "Beat Texas" at the end. Pelini said he was on vacation when it came out and he thought it was a mistake upon hearing about it.

Pelini said Zac Lee is 100% and that the quarterback battle will come right down to the last practice of the fall.

Running back recruit Braylon Heard will likely miss fall camp due to academic qualification issues. Pelini said some things are still up in the air regarding Heard.

Niles Paul revealed the offense has been wearing red bracelets around with the word "Finish" on one side and "0:01" on the other. Obviously in reference to the Big 12 title game from a year ago and NU's offensive struggles in that game.

Surprisingly, Bo was not asked about his defense or the loss of Ndamukong Suh once by the reporters on hand.
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July 23rd, 2010
Photos of the new FieldTurf outdoor practice field

Here are a few photos showing the installation of the new FieldTurf for the Huskers outdoor practice field. FieldTurf photos
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July 5th, 2010
Have you heard about the CornFinger? Cody Butler explains...

Husker Faithful caught up with one of the creators of The Original CornFinger, Cody Butler, for an interview. What started out as an idea, a hand gesture, has quickly become much more. Most of us probably think of ethanol when we hear "corn-based products," but Cody and the CornFinger crew is out to change that by creating a variety of products made with corn. Read on to learn more about Cody and CornFinger...

Cody, you grew up in Nebraska, so what is your earliest memory of the Nebraska Cornhuskers?

For my 4th birthday, October 5, 1985 my dad took me to the Nebraska vs New Mexico game. I was in awe the entire time as we sat in the North Stadium. Back then it was a pretty significant expense for my dad and even as a child I could recognize just how much he sacrificed to get me to that first game; I knew we didn’t have a lot of money. When we left, I told him that I was going to play for the Huskers one day.

Who is your favorite Husker football player of all-time?

Brook Berringer is by far my all time favorite.
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June 30th, 2010
The Crick & Prince Show

Jared Crick and Prince Amukamara. Both players had exceptional 2009 seasons, but they were overshadowed by Heisman Trophy candidate and all-everything defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Crick from his defensive tackle position and Amukamara at the cornerback position are receiving all kinds of preseason hype. Both players have made national award watch lists, Crick for the Outland and Nagurski awards and Amukamara for the Nagurski. The Outland is awarded to the college football's top interior lineman, while the Nagurski goes to the nation's best defensive player. The aforementioned Ndamukong Suh won both for his performance during the 2009 season, becoming the only Husker to win the Nagurski and the eighth different NU player to win the Outland. Now that Suh is gone to the NFL's Detroit Lions, will 2010 be the Crick and Prince show? Check out NFL Odds here.

History may help Crick in his Outland chase. Nebraska's Outland Trophy winners have come in bunches. Larry Jacobson and Rich Glover won the award in back-to-back years (1971 & 1972). Dave Rimington won it twice (1981 & 1982) and Dean Steinkuhler followed it up with a Husker three-peat, winning the Outland in 1983.
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June 16th, 2010
Nebraska trashing is en vogue - Take that as a compliment

From the Texas-controlled media trying to frame Nebraska for blowing up college football to Boone Pickens blasting NU, Husker haters are out in full force. That can only mean one thing...Osborne and Perlman made a great decision for the future of our fine institution. As usual, Nebraska takes the high road and conducts their business with integrity and honesty.

Oklahoma State sugardaddy, T. Boone Pickens, remarked earlier this week that "Nebraska has wanted to leave since the Big Six, and that's 1940. That's 70 years ago. What's Nebraska got to offer? They've got (only) 700,000 households." Here is the complete interview with the billionaire tycoon:

Missouri's governor, Jay Nixon, said the Big 12 will be better off without Colorado and Nebraska. Okay, so in fairness to governator-lite he was referring to the level of basketball played in the Big 12.
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June 14th, 2010
Texas and Houston Nutt

Remember when Steve Pederson fired Frank Solich and went on his 40 day search for a new head coach. Remember that Houston Nutt was Pederson's 2nd/3rd/4th choice and that we actually sent a plane down to Arkansas to pick him up and bring him back. The only problem for Steve was that Houston had no intention of getting on that plane. He was merely parlaying Pederson and Nebraska into a salary increase with the Razorbacks. Pederson got played and we ended up with Bill Callahan.

Well folks, that's what Texas just did. If you ask us, they never intended to join the Pac-10. It made no sense from their point of view. Why would a team that literally had complete control of a conference move west to a conference where they would be one of several big dogs, instead of THE BIG DOG? Yet in order to get what they wanted (more money and more power) they needed to play somebody. In this case, it was two somebodies. Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-10 and Dan Beebe, commissioner of the Big 12 would fill the roles.

Thanks to a couple of in-house reporters, namely Chip Brown of Orangebloods and Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman, the University of Texas was able to "Wag The Dog." These two reporters served as the propaganda machine of the Longhorns, whether they knew it or not.
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June 11th, 2010
It's official...Nebraska to the Big Ten

After weeks of rumors and insider reports, the Omaha World-Herald is reporting that Nebraska will announce it is leaving for the Big Ten at a 5:00 CST press conference today.

Nebraska to Texas: "It's not you. It's me."

Texas to Nebraska: "Nobody puts Bevo in the corner."

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June 9th, 2010
Nebraska to the Big Ten looking likely

All that stands in the way of Nebraska going to the Big Ten appears to be a Board of Regents conference call today and possibly Congress down the road. Assuming Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletic Director Tom Osborne make a good case (increased academic reputation, increased revenue, escaping the chokehold of Texas on the Big 12), Friday appears to be D-Day for the Huskers.

Friday coincides with the toothless ultimatum issued to the Huskers by the Big 12 (read: Texas) asking Nebraska to make a commitment one way or the other. Be careful what you ask for Texas.

At this point, it should be assumed that the interest is mutual between Nebraska and the Big Ten. An offer would be extended to Nebraska by the Big Ten once the school has all its ducks in a row. The Big Ten certainly isn't going to extend an offer without knowing if Nebraska will accept.

Reports are surfacing now that the Big 12 is looking at Air Force and BYU as possible replacements should Nebraska and/or Missouri leave the conference. It's safe to say the Big 12 would take a giant leap back towards the old Southwestern Conference with a move like that.
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June 2nd, 2010
Another commitment and more Husker news

Nebraska picked up verbal commitment #9 for the 2011 class today. Mansfield, Texas defensive back Tevin Mitchel is the latest addition. The 6'0" and 175 pound Mitchel is rated 4-stars by Rivals but only two by Scout. (I never did like Scout's rating system.) The Huskers also garnered a commitment from Fort Scott Community College wide receiver Stanley Jean-Baptiste Baptiste. SJB is a 6'3" 212 pounder that is not rated by either Rivals or Scout at this time. He is planning to enroll in July so he won't be considered part of the 2011 class at this point.

Of the 9 commits, four are rated 4-stars by both Rivals and Scout.

The Big 12 meetings are underway in Kansas City. Other than Commissioner Dan Beebe playing an emperor with no clothes, nothing big to report on as of yet. Wait, Tom Osborne just said that "We like the Big 12. We're not looking to leave. We're not mad at anybody." But who hasn't read the Nick Saban book "How To Say It And Not Mean It?"

Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman believes the north is rising, but OU-Texas is still #1.
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May 26th, 2010
NU's pre-season rankings

Nebraska continues to get a lot of run as a top team heading into the 2010 season. Here are all the pre-season college football polls we could find. Let us know if we missed any.

Craig James of ESPN puts Nebraska at #2 pre-season, no doubt impressed by what he saw in person at the Holiday Bowl.

Jesse Palmer of ESPN has NU at #4 pre-season. Palmer was also in the booth for the Huskers bowl game against Arizona.

VegasInsider.com also has the Huskers at #4.

Scout.com has NU at #5 pre-season.

Phil Steele ranks Nebraska at #5 pre-season.

Athlon Sports has the Huskers as their #7 pre-season team, noting even if the defense isn't as good as last year, the offense has to be better.

ESPN College Football Live has the Big Red at pre-season #9.

Rivals.com ranks the Huskers at #7.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN ranks the Big Red at #8 going into 2010.

NationalChamps.net and The Mercury News both have NU at #9.

Bleacher Report believes the Big Red deserve a #10 ranking.

College Football Cafeteria compiles a composite ranking of #10 for Nebraska.

Dennis Dodd says NU deserves a Top 10 pre-season ranking, but fails to elaborate.
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May 12th, 2010
Conference realignment from a Husker perspective

Unless you're living sans radio, TV, newspaper subscription, and internet hookup, you're well aware of all the conference realignment talk. The latest report/rumor had Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Rutgers being invited to join the Big Ten, but all sides are mum.

The Big Ten has long wanted to add the Fighting Irish to its stable, but Notre Dame officials can't quit the addiction of having their own TV contract. Notre Dame's president Jack Swarbrick has said his school will remain independent unless "seismic" changes take place in the college football landscape. Could it be the Big Ten is merely trying to create the appearance of seismic changes in order to corral a Notre Dame? Is that the Big Ten's ultimate goal, only to add one team, making theirs a 12-team conference?

The idea of a 16-team conference with four divisions seems clunky at best. Unless teams scrap a game or two of their non-conference schedules, one would think only 7-8 conference games could fit on the schedule annually. Currently, in the Big 12, Nebraska faces teams like Texas and Oklahoma for a home-and-away series in alternating two-year time periods.
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April 21st, 2010
Suh: From Portland to Nebraska to the NFL

It's doubtful that any Husker athlete has ever received more ink than Ndamukong Suh. The soon-to-be top NFL draft pick and multi-millionaire is coming off one of the most dominating seasons of any player in recent memory. After collecting nearly all the major defensive awards in 2009, Suh became the first defensive player since Warren Sapp to garner serious consideration for the Heisman Trophy.

Most Husker football fans know at least part of Ndamukong's story; how he became a football player when he outgrew soccer, etc. But what's truly amazing are the circumstances that led Suh to Nebraska and to where he is today. What follows is a brief timeline of events.

Michael Suh, Ndamukong's father, is from the West African nation of Cameroon. His mother, Bernadette, is from Jamaica. They both end up in Portland, Oregon, get married, and have four children. Their only son they name Ndamukong, after his paternal great-grandfather, a name that means "House of Spears." Flash forward 15 years.

In December 2002, Bill Byrne steps down as Nebraska's athletic director to take the same position at Texas A&M University.
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April 18th, 2010
Spring Game thoughts

Nearly 78,000 Husker fans packed Memorial Stadium on Saturday to soak up the sun, get their spring football fix, and watch this guy named Taylor Martinez. We've all heard about this quarterback phenom nicknamed "T-Magic" and "T-Mart," but few of us have actually seen him in action, until Saturday. Just going off the results on the field, Martinez looks like he'll give Zac Lee a run for his money this fall. From a skills standpoint, T-Mart has what you want. His elusiveness and speed reminds this Husker fan a little bit of Eric Crouch. He throws a good ball, has pretty good accuracy, and doesn't shy away from contact. That said, it's tough to judge his knowledge of the playbook in a limited scrimmage. This could be the factor that keeps him from dazzling red-clad fans next year. Only time will tell.

The other main QB in the hunt for the starting job (besides Zac Lee who was out for the spring) is Cody Green. Cody struggled last season at times, especially in throwing the ball on shorter timing routes.
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April 16th, 2010
Former Huskers in town for Spring Game festivities

Here's a partial list of former Huskers expected to be in town this weekend for Spring Game festivities:

Damon Benning
Correll Buckhalter
Aaron Graham
Ahman Green
Dejaun Groce
Jay Foreman
Clester Johnson
Keith Jones
Jerry Murtaugh
Danny Noonan
Carlos Polk
Jerrel Pippens
Brenden Stai
Patrick Tyrance
Tony Veland
Joe Walker
Fabian Washington
Steve Warren
Jamel Williams

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April 14th, 2010
Our prediction for the Huskers' defensive MVP in 2010

Ndamukong Suh was the unquestioned MVP of the Blackshirts in 2009. While no one likely approaches Suh's level of dominance, there is one player who might be just as valuable to the defense in 2010. Here's a clue…his name isn't Jared Crick, Pierre Allen, or Prince Amukamara.

No doubt you've heard at least something about the "Peso" defense by now. That's the name the Pelini brothers gave to their new base defensive scheme. Traditionally, football teams had a 4-3 defensive alignment, with four down linemen, three linebackers, and four defensive backs. Then teams experimented with a 3-4, which featured only three defensive linemen plus one hybrid linebacker/defensive end. With the popularity of the spread offense, it's become imperative that defenses match offensive speed on the field. What the Peso does is create a 4-2-5 alignment, where the fifth defensive back can play both linebacker and defensive back. Normally when teams employ a fifth defensive back, that back is the nickel back. Under the Pelini's new system, this will essentially be the "Peso" back. So what are the qualities that make a good "Peso" back? The prototype is around 6'2" and 215 pounds, is big enough to help in run support, yet fast enough to cover receivers and backs in passing situations.
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April 12th, 2010
Husker legacies

There have been a lot of football families that have come through Nebraska. The Ruud's, Steinkuhler's, and Makovicka's quickly come to mind. Fathers and sons, brothers, cousins and nephews, many of them walk-ons, have contributed to the success of Husker football over the years. Here's a look at the current players who've had a relative precede them as a Husker football team member.

Ben Cotton & Jake Cotton - sons of offensive line coach Barney Cotton, who played for NU from 1975-1978

Andy Gdowski - son of former Husker defensive tackle Tom Gdowski and a distant relative of former QB Gerry Gdowski (1986-1989)

KC Hyland - son of John Hyland who was a defensive end for the Huskers that lettered three years (1970-1972)

Micah Kreikemeier - son of Keith Kreikemeier, who was a walk-on at Nebraska from 1981-1985

Tyler Legate - cousin of former Husker fullback Billy Legate who played from 1995-1998

Niles Paul - nephew of former Husker great Ahman Green

Cole Pensick - son of Dan Pensick, who was a defensive tackle for Nebraska from 1977-1979

Baker Steinkuhler - a member of one of the great Husker families mentioned above, son of Dean, brother of Ty

LaTravis Washington - cousin of former Husker defensive back and current NFL player Fabian Washington

Brion Carnes - cousin of former Husker great Tommie Frazier

Joey Felici - this walk-on is the son of former Husker defensive end Tony Felici

It's possible we've missed someone, so let us know if we did and we'll add it to the list.
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April 10th, 2010
Are you working hard enough?

This sign hangs in the Husker football lockerroom. I can't wait for October 16th.

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April 8th, 2010
Little known facts about current Husker football players

If you ever find yourself on the game show Jeopardy and there is a category called "Husker Football - 2010" the following tidbits may help you win thousands of dollars. If this actually does happen, don't forget about Husker Faithful's 10% commission. Without further nonsense, here are some lesser known facts about players on the 2010 Husker football team:

Currently, there are three sets of identical twins on the team: Steven & Courtney Osborne, Colin and Conor McDermott, and Jake and Spencer Long.

Quite a few players on the team (besides the twins) share a birthday with a teammate. They are:

Mike McNeill and Tyler Legate - March 7th
Jeremy Wallace and Tyler Evans - March 28th
Joe Broekemeier and Keith Williams - April 8th
Kyler Reed and Bronson Marsh - April 14th
Joseph Camarata and Kody Spano - April 25th
Prince Amukamara and Collins Okafor - June 6th
Rex Burkhead, Thomas Grove and Corey Cooper - July 2nd
Alex Henery and Austin Jones - August 18th
Jared Crick and Andrew Green - August 21st
Donovan Vestal and Mike Hays - August 22nd
Alfonzo Dennard and KC Hyland - September 9th
Eric Hagg and Taylor Martinez - September 15th
Ciante Evans and Kevin Thomsen - October 14th

Sophomore offensive lineman Seung Hoon Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea, before he moved to Lincoln in the 8th grade.

Tyrone Fahie (pronounced FOY) will be 28 years old shortly after the 2010 season begins.
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April 7th, 2010
Top 10 non-conference teams Nebraska should play in football

With the recent comments of Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema and his desire to schedule a home-and-home series with either Notre Dame or Nebraska, it got us thinking about what non-conference team's we'd like to see NU play in the future. Here's our Top 10:

#10 Auburn - Former Iowa State head coach, Gene Chizik, made a good decision when he returned to Auburn, where he was defensive coordinator from 2002-2004. Iowa State hasn't had a coach win more games than he lost since Earle Bruce in the 1970's. But enough about Big 12 mediocrity. Auburn, in case you didn't know, is located in Auburn, Alabama. Makes sense, I guess. The Tiger football program has produced the likes of Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas (more famous as a baseball player), and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams. School traditions surrounding football include the "Tiger Walk" ("the most copied tradition in all of college football," according to their A.D.) and "War Eagle." The all-time series at 3-1 favors Nebraska, but Auburn won the last meeting in the 2007 Cotton Bowl. Prior to that, the teams met twice in the 1980's and once in 1964.
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April 5th, 2010
Taylor Martinez: Unknown Quantity

An unknown quantity is "a factor in a given situation whose bearing and importance is not apparent," and "a variable whose values are solutions of an equation." No Nebraska football player better defines the term right now than redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez. If there was a college football statistic for articles written about a player in relation to their actual playing time, Martinez would be the leader in the clubhouse. Since he hasn't yet played a down of college football, he's not allowed to talk to the media. This has given Taylor Martinez a sort of sasquatch-like persona. We've all heard how talented this guy is, but few have actually witnessed "Taylor Magic" in person. As a result, there are two questions on Husker fans’ minds: "Will he be the variable whose talents are the solution to Nebraska's offensive woes?" And, "just who is this Taylor Martinez?"

Prior to coming to Lincoln, Taylor Martinez played for three different high school football teams in four years. He spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Norco High School in Norco, California, where he played free safety before an injury forced him to miss his sophomore year.
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April 3rd, 2010
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Husker Faithful is now on Facebook and Twitter. Our Facebook page is up and running, while the Twitter account is still in its infancy. Be patient on that one.

We'd love to hear from you. Let us know what you'd like to see and/or hear about regarding the Huskers.

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March 29th, 2010
Time for a bad practice yet?

Four practices into spring drills and Bo Pelini has nothing but good things to say about his team's effort thus far. Pelini said his guys are way ahead of where they were a year ago in terms of athleticism as well. But a tried and true old coaches' trick looms on the horizon...the "bad practice."

When all is good and right in the world of college football practices, the coach drops the bombshell...practice stunk today. Just when all the players thought they had it down. Just when heads were starting to get a little bigger from all the pats on the back. That's when the "bad practice" rears its ugly head. All good coaches use this technique. Bo Pelini is no exception.

The only question is the timing of the usage of this device. Will it be used during spring drills or saved for fall camp? Four positive practices in a row is stretching that rubber band pretty far. How much longer before it snaps back?

As others have described, Pelini seems much more at ease this spring than in past years, no doubt because the program made a big leap again last year.
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March 28th, 2010
An updated look at the 2010 pre-season college football polls

Nebraska continues to get a lot of run as a top team heading into the 2010 season. Here is a composite listing of all the pre-season college football polls we could find. Let us know if we missed any.

Craig James of ESPN puts Nebraska at #2 pre-season, no doubt impressed by what he saw in person at the Holiday Bowl.

Jesse Palmer of ESPN has NU at #4 pre-season. Palmer was also in the booth for the Huskers bowl game against Arizona.

Scout.com has NU at #5 pre-season.

ESPN College Football Live has the Big Red at pre-season #9.

Rivals.com ranks the Huskers at #7.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN ranks the Big Red at #8 going into 2010.

NationalChamps.net and The Mercury News both have NU at #9.

Bleacher Report believes the Big Red deserve a #10 ranking.

College Football Cafeteria compiles a composite ranking of #10 for Nebraska.

Dennis Dodd says NU deserves a Top 10 pre-season ranking, but fails to elaborate. Thanks Dennis.

About.com has the Big Red at #13, as does Teddy Greenstein of CollegeFootballNews.com.

Sports Illustrated takes a more cautious approach, ranking the Huskers at #15 in their 2010 pre-season poll.

College Football Saturday has NU #16 in their pre-season poll.

Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com ranks NU at #23.
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March 20th, 2010
Spring has sprung, so what to watch?

The Husker football team begins spring football drills on March 24th and they run until the April 17th Spring Game. In between are 15 practices that will hopefully provide a glimpse of what we can expect for 2010. Here's a look at what Husker Faithful will be watching this spring and beyond, beginning with the offense.

The good news is that NU returns virtually all of its offensive production from the 2009 season. The bad news is that NU was downright offensive with the ball at times last season. Due to a number of factors, including key injuries, the Huskers ranked 11th in conference for total offense. Once healthy and rested, the Big Red put together their best effort of the season in the Holiday Bowl against a good Arizona defense. We learned in the aftermath of the bowl game that QB Zac Lee had a torn ligament in his throwing arm, which required off-season surgery and will keep him out of spring drills. Lee's injury occurred during the Arkansas State game early in the season, so it's hard to know how much the offense was scaled back as a result.
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March 14th, 2010
New for 2010! The Crossbones T-Shirt

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March 10th, 2010
Husker men pull off Big 12 tourney stunner

Few people outside the Husker men's basketball locker room thought they had a chance to knock off #5 Missouri in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament. But they did just that. After a 75-60 thorough beating of the Tigers, the Huskers season looks a little less disappointing. NU was led by guard Brandon Richardson, who scored 19 points and stemmed a furious Mizzou rally late in the game with a key four-point play. Richardson was 5-5 from the line, most of which occurred in the game's final minutes. He also added seven rebounds. Senior Ryan Anderson contributed 16 points and nine rebounds. Anderson was six of eight from the field and 2-2 from behind the three point line. As a team, NU shot 56% from the floor, 57% from 3-point range, and 86% from the line. By far their best overall game in Big 12 play this season. The Huskers held Missouri to 34% shooting from the field and they outrebounded the Tigers 33-21.

NU plays the #4 seed Texas A&M tomorrow at 2pm. The Huskers tested the Aggies in their Big 12 season opener despite poor shooting, ultimately losing 64-53.
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March 6th, 2010
What if Suh slides to #3 in the draft?

Rumors are swirling that the St. Louis Rams will use their #1 pick in the NFL draft on Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford. If this were to play out, then Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh would fall to Detroit at the #2 spot or Tampa Bay at the #3 position.

While having Suh go #1 overall would bring even more good vibes to the Husker football program, going to either Detroit or Tampa Bay might be a better fit for Big Suh. The Lions just picked up former NU defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch as a free agent and Tampa Bay has been the home of linebacker Barrett Ruud since he left Lincoln. Adding Suh to either Detroit or Tampa Bay improves those defenses overnight.

The Lions are building a young team and adding talent at key positions. The last few years has seen Detroit focus on the offensive side of the ball, drafting Matthew Stafford at QB and Calvin Johnson at wide receiver. Their front office is now looking to shore up the other side of the ball. Having already signed KVB, could Suh become the second former Husker defensive lineman to play for the Lions?

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March 4th, 2010
Suh vs McCoy - Part II

While not on par with the Hatfield's and McCoy's, former Nebraska defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, has had his own battles with some McCoys of late. First, it was Colt McCoy in the Big 12 Championship. Four-and-a-half sacks later and it's easy to say Suh won this battle while his team lost the war. The current skirmish with Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy is a bit more friendly, mainly because it's not face-to-face. Suh and OU's McCoy are projected as the top two picks in the 2010 NFL Draft, although the exact order depends on who you ask.

Scout Inc.'s Top 32 has McCoy ahead of Suh, but only by a hair. Scouts feel McCoy has a "more polished pass-rush ability" but they qualify their position by saying "both will have an immediate impact on the interior in the NFL." CBSSports.com has Suh ranked as their #1 prospect, with Tennessee's Eric Berry and OU's McCoy rounding out the top three positions. ESPN's Todd McShay ranks McCoy over Suh, while the original "draft expert" Mel Kiper still likes Suh as the #1 overall pick.
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February 12th, 2010
Not all is quiet on the Midwestern front

With the hype surrounding signing day finally in the rearview mirror, it's time to catch up on Husker-related news.

First, the NU women's basketball team came from behind at Kansas to remain unbeaten with a 22-0 record. Probable All-American Kelsey Griffin continues to set the tone for the lady Huskers. With a #3 ranking, Connie Yori has the team in rarefied air, already eclipsing the program's previous highest national ranking. Barring any key injuries, the women appear set to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament this season. They've handled the limelight and pressure well so far thanks to their upperclass leadership. Let's hope they keep it up.

NU does have another basketball team, unfortunately, the men haven't fared nearly as well. The Huskers are 1-8 in Big 12 play so far this season, and 13-11 overall. With a road game at Texas next, it doesn’t get any easier for NU. If only Doc Sadler could poach Kelsey Griffin from Connie Yori's grip maybe the Husker men would have someone to shoot a game-winner. All due respect to Doc (I think he's a heckuva nice guy and working really hard), how many times do we have to watch the Husker men drop a game in the final minutes? In their last game against Baylor, NU's bench outscored the starters by a wide margin.
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February 2nd, 2010
Signing Day is here: NU's 2010 recruiting class breakdown

Nebraska’s 2010 football recruiting class is just about in the books, with 21 future Huskers signing on the dotted line today. Similar to the NU football season, the Huskers recruiting class gained momentum going into the close with the signing of four star prospects Corey Cooper and Brion Carnes to close out the class. Even though Owamagbe Odighizuwa, a five star defensive end from Portland, decided to go to UCLA, the Big Red finished strong.

Here’s how the class breaks down:

Offense - 10 players signed

Quarterbacks – 1 (Brion Carnes)
Offensive Lineman – 3 (Andrew Rodriguez, Mike Moudy, and Jermarcus Hardrick)
Running Backs – 2 (Braylon Heard and Kenny Bell)
Wide Receivers – 1 (Quincy Enunwa)
Tight Ends – 1 (Chase Harper)
Athletes – 2 (Tyler Evans and Bronson Marsh*)

* = Marsh is set to greyshirt, meaning he can’t be coached for a semester

Defense - 11 players signed

Defensive Ends – 4 (Donovan Vestal, Tobi Okuyemi, Walker Ashburn, and Jake Cotton)
Defensive Backs – 4 (Corey Cooper, Harvey Jackson, Joshua Mitchell, and Ciante Evans)
Defensive Tackles – 2 (Chase Rome and Jay Guy)
Linebackers – 1 (Lavonte David)

NU signed three junior college players in this class (Jermarcus Hardrick, Lavonte David, and Chase Harper).
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January 14th, 2010
Early 2010 pre-season polls

Sports Illustrated is out with their early 2010 pre-season college football poll. Cutting to the chase, they have Nebraska pegged at the #15 spot. Curious considering most other polls we've seen have the Huskers closer to the Top 10. What's surprising is that SI thinks Texas is worthy of the #4 position. The loss of Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley, and Sergio Kindle evidently doesn't phase Texas, according to this writer. Really? If Garrett Gilbert comes to Lincoln next season and walks away a winner, then I'll believe the hype. Texas probably deserves an 11-20 ranking rather than a Top 5.

Also curious, is Oklahoma at the #13 position. Let me be the first to predict that Oklahoma has another down year next season. Landry Jones doesn't strike me as anywhere near the quarterback that Sam Bradford was before he got hurt.

No other Big 12 teams made the SI Top 25. Oklahoma State would have been the next closest, but losing QB Zac Robinson leaves a big void the Cowboys must fill. The Cornhuskers visit Stillwater on October 23rd, a week after their game with Texas.

In other Husker related news, Ndamukong Suh was officially presented with the Outland Trophy tonight in Omaha.
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January 12th, 2010
The coaching carousel goes round and round

Pete Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks two days ago. Now, Lane Kiffin has been hired to replace Carroll. Kiffin spent just over one year as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, a job which was preceded by a fairly typical stint (just over a year) with the Oakland Raiders. Rumors are swirling that Texas defensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting, Will Muschamp, is the leading candidate to replace Kiffin at Tennessee. Muschamp just completed his second season with the Longhorns and was previously the defensive coordinator at Auburn. Texas losing a DC of his caliber is a good thing for Cornhusker fans. No doubt this isn't the end of Coaching Carousel 2010.
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January 12th, 2010
Suh to the Eagles?

The St. Louis Rams hold the key to the 2010 NFL draft. With the #1 pick, the Rams have the biggest bargaining chip available. St. Louis needs a quarterback, but drafting a QB with the #1 overall pick is a hit or miss proposition. JaMarcus Russell, Alex Smith, David Carr, and Tim Couch are recent #1 overall QB picks who have yet to pan out. Mixed in with those less-than-stellar careers are players like Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, and Michael Vick, all of whom were taken #1 in their respective drafts. Luckily for the Rams, the Philadelphia Eagles have three very capable quarterbacks who, for the right price, they'd be willing to trade to get into the #1 spot. Why the Eagles? They need an interior defensive lineman. Enter Ndamukong Suh, the most dominant player at his position to come through the college ranks in some time. The former Husker, fresh off a Heisman-like season, is a clear #1 overall draft pick for the right team. But the best player in a draft doesn't always go first. Teams choose players based on need and St.
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January 9th, 2010
The latest from the college football world

Texas Tech is set to name Tommy Tuberville as its next head coach, replacing the recently fired Mike Leach. Tuberville's lasting coaching gig was at Auburn, where he went 5-7 in his last season before resigning. Prior to the 2008 season, Tommy's tenure with the Tigers was much more successful. While Nebraska doesn't play Texas Tech in either of the next two seasons, it will be interesting to see what an established coach can do with the Red Raiders. By the sounds of it, Tuberville plans to keep most of Leach's staff members as his own assistants.

Out on the Left Coast, Pete Carroll couldn't leave well-enough alone. The USC head coach is returning to the NFL ranks as coach of the Seattle Seahawks after a less-than-stellar 2009 season with the Trojans. Carroll's prior stint in the NFL was viewed by some as a bust, but few can argue that his time at Southern Cal was anything but a success. USC was much like Texas before Mack Brown, a program sitting on top of a hotbed of high school football talent, but whom underachived on the field.
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January 7th, 2010
Root for Texas...seriously?

Tonight's BCS Championship game features #1 Alabama, fresh off a convincing SEC title game win over Florida, against the Texas Longhorns who are a month removed from allegedly beating Nebraska. I was at the Big 12 Championship and I'm still not sure. After thinking long and hard about this game, and trying to figure out who to root for and who will win, here are my thoughts.

In Texas' favor:

1) Narrowly beating Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game and having to listen to pundits for the last month talk about how good Alabama is and how badly they will destroy McCoy and the Longhorns. Eerily reminiscent of the last time Texas played in the Rose Bowl against a USC team that no one thought could be beat. Granted this installment of UT doesn't have VY at QB. It's hard to underestimate the impact of being the underdog in a game where the two teams are so evenly matched on paper.

2) The Heisman jinx...recent history has proven that Heisman Trophy winners and/or their teams don't fare well in the national championship game, especially when playing against a Heisman vote getter.
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December 31st, 2009
Husker defense stakes claim as one of the best

The 33-0 trouncing of Arizona in the Holiday Bowl capped what will go down in Husker lore as one of the most dominating defensive seasons on record. The Blackshirts will likely finish the year ranked as the #1 scoring defense in the country, a pretty impressive feat in Bo Pelini's second season as head coach. Limiting a Wildcats team, who was an overtime loss to Oregon away from winning the Pac 10, to 109 total yards and six first downs, cements Pelini as one of the brightest defensive minds in college football. Surprisingly, the Huskers shutout of Arizona was the school's first in a bowl game. After the game, a defiant Bo Pelini said "Nebraska's back and we're here to stay."

Perhaps a bigger storyline than the play of the defense (we've come to expect that, right?) was the Huskers' offensive production, accounting for all of NU's 33 points. Rex Burkhead and Zac Lee carried the load for the offense, with Niles Paul adding perhaps his best game of the season. Paul hauled in a 74-yard touchdown pass from Lee in the third quarter and racked up decent yardage in the return game.
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December 25th, 2009
A review of Husker Faithful's 2009 pre-season predictions

Sitting here on Christmas Day, stuck in Lincoln thanks to copious amounts of snow, it’s time to review our preseason predictions. Without checking, I’m confident I didn’t predict losing to Iowa State in Lincoln, nor did I predict a win over Oklahoma. Of course, that was before Sam Bradford was taken out of the equation. Without further qualifications, let’s see how we did. The original paragraph is italicized and our updated commentary is in bold.

Who steps up on the defensive line to replace Ty Steinkuhler? Without a formidable defensive tackle playing next to Ndamukong Suh, opponents will be able to double the big man and put the kibosh on Suh's hopes for a great senior season. Well Jared Crick answered the bell in a big way. The sophomore proved to be a “formidable defensive tackle” and helped create havoc for opposing offensive linemen throughout the 2009 season. The comment about Suh being double-teamed is laughable now. As we saw in the Big 12 Championship game, it doesn’t really matter how many people you put in Suh’s face, if he wants to “rag doll” the quarterback, he’s going to.
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December 17th, 2009
Wildcats, Going Incognito, Turner Gill, Big 10 Expansion, and Texas Football

Beware the Wildcats of Arizona: Still basking in the glow of Ndamukong Suh's Heisman Trophy push and his overall trophy haul, Husker fans better not overlook Arizona as an opponent in the Holiday Bowl. Under Mike Stoops, the U of A has posted back-to-back eight win seasons and was an overtime loss to Oregon away from a berth in the Rose Bowl. Stoops is known for his defense, as is apparently every other college football coach from Youngstown, Ohio. The last time the Wildcats were this good on both sides of the ball was 1998, when then head coach Dick Tomey led his team to a 12-1 season that culminated with a win over the Huskers in the very same Holiday Bowl. Coach Stoops is in his sixth season in Tucson, but until the 2008 season he was largely considered to be on borrowed time. Eight wins last year led to the Las Vegas Bowl, the program's first since 1998, and seems to have resurrected Mike's coaching career. This game is sure to be a defensive battle, like the Huskers other big games this season.
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December 13th, 2009
Heisman wrap up

True to form, Heisman voters stuck with the an offensive guy on the top ranked team, awarding the 75th annual trophy to Alabama running back Mark Ingram. The Heisman has always been an offensive MVP award given out to the best player on the best team. No homework needed. Just scan the rankings for the #1 team and choose between that team's quarterback or running back. There's your Heisman winner.

Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh finished in fourth place, behind Toby Gerhart and Colt McCoy, but ahead of Tim Tebow. Husker fans know that Suh was the best player in college football this season and his coach made the point after the ceremony. If only he could have caught a few touchdown passes during the year, maybe more voters would have seen the light.

While Suh didn't place as high as we would have liked, he can take pride in knowing that he almost single-handedly took the Heisman away from Colt McCoy. If McCoy would have had a three touchdown game against the Huskers in the Big 12 Championship, odds are good that he would have taken home the trophy.

Suh represented the Huskers about as well as anyone could have Saturday night in New York.
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December 11th, 2009
Heisman 101

According to the Heisman website, the trophy is presented annually to the “most outstanding college football player in the United States.” Nowhere does it say the trophy should be presented to the "best offensive player" or the "best player on the best team" by default. The trophy should not be presented as a lifetime achievement award as the Heisman is given out annually to that season’s best player.

It should be possible for a defensive player to win the Heisman, yet only Charles Woodson of Michigan has crossed the chasm to claim the award. Woodson also returned kicks, punts, and played a little wide receiver. But why is the bar so much higher for a defensive guy to get recognition as the most outstanding college football player? You don’t see a running back having to play safety in order to warrant an invite to New York. Quarterbacks don’t have to return punts to be a Heisman finalist. Nowhere does it say the Heisman is an offensive MVP award, so why has a true defensive player never won?

Saturday night Ndamukong Suh attempts to do the unthinkable.
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December 10th, 2009
Walter Camp Player of the Year Award goes to...

Colt McCoy. Yep, McCoy beat out Ndamukong Suh as the Player of the Year in college football. Makes you wonder what these voters are watching. McCoy wasn't even the best player on the field in the Big 12 Championship, let alone the best in the country. Chalk this up to the "lifetime achievement award" contingent of voters, those who want to reward Colt for his entire body of work rather than recognize he didn't play well in big games. Making matters worse, McCoy is a repeat winner of the award, again begging the question "what were these voters watching?"
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December 7th, 2009
Suh has made the Heisman Trophy finalists

Ndamukong Suh did the unthinkable. He cracked the Heisman Trophy (a.k.a. the offensive MVP) finalists list. Suh will be in New York City for the trophy presentation along with Mark Ingram of Alabama, Toby Gerhart of Stanford, Tim Tebow of Florida, and unbelievably, Colt McCoy of Texas. The Heisman Trophy will be presented this Saturday night.
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December 7th, 2009
Big 12 Championship Game reaction

Everything's bigger in Texas, including the game clock. Here's the question to answer. If Texas was ahead 12-10 and Nebraska was in position for a game-winning field goal and Zac Lee rolled out, oblivious to the game clock like Colt McCoy, and Lee's pass touched down with one second left, then the clock ticked to zero and the Longhorn players were celebrating like they always do, and 70% of the fans were going wild, would the referees put that one second back on the clock? Would the refs have given Nebraska another shot to take down Texas and keep a Big 12 team out of the BCS national championship game? The answer is I don't think they would have. And that my friends is the problem I have with how the game ended for the Huskers.

Texas very narrowly avoided an ESPN special "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Colt McCoy (and/or Mack Brown) For Losing To Nebraska." McCoy looked like a freshman quarterback with his clock management skills and Mack Brown isn't a very good coach without Vince Young on the field.
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November 28th, 2009
Colorado game reaction and looking ahead

Nebraska did what they needed to do to get a win in Boulder. Beyond that, there's plenty of room for improvement in what Bo Pelini called possibly the worst effort of the season.

Other than special teams play, led by Niles Paul's punt return for a touchdown and Alex Henery's continued punting prowess, NU didn't dominate the game like we expected. Colorado was able to move the ball against our defense to the tune of 403 yards. The Huskers struggled offensively at times again, racking up only 217 total yards and going 3 for 10 in third down conversions.

Rex Burkhead led the Huskers in rushing with 100 yards on 18 carries. Roy Helu didn't see much action in the second half but finished with 58 yards on 14 carries.

Defensively, the Blackshirts allowed too many big plays to the Buffaloes, including a 56-yard touchdown pass to end the game. Granted that score only mattered if you had money on the game. Earlier, the Buffs gouged the Huskers for a 58-yard pass completion. This is worrisome for Husker fans heading into the Texas game whose offense lives for the big play.
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November 22nd, 2009
Reaction from the Kansas State game

So the Huskers climb back atop the Big 12 North, where we feel they rightly belong. Colorado looms next Friday. Nothing would be more disappointing than relishing the Big 12 North crown a bit too much and laying an egg in Boulder. NU needs to keep their focus as the Buffs should have beaten Okie State in Stillwater a few days ago and seem to be playing erractically as ever.

Hats off to Larry Asante who made a big play when it was needed, keeping the Wildcats out of the end zone by causing a fumble inside the Nebraska 5-yard line.

Nice to see Rex Burkhead back in action. Nothing against Dontrayveous Robinson, who in time will be a good back, but Burkhead brings a complimentary style to Roy Helu's slash and burn.

If Ndamukong Suh wasn't on the team, it would be hard to argue against Alex Henery being the team MVP. Time and time again, Alex does something amazing. This time it was pinning K-State inside their own five yard line twice, and without the help of another NU player.
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November 14th, 2009
What trap game?

So much for overlooking the Jayhawks. Nebraska showed up to play today, with the offense picking up the defense for a change. The Blackshirts didn't perform at the same level as the previous week because KU quarterback Todd Reesing proved hard to contain. But it was the Huskers offensive performance behind Roy Helu and Niles Paul that won this one for the Big Red.

Helu finished the game with 28 carries for 156 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Roy also recovered a fumble in the end zone to cap Nebraska's first offensive drive of the game. Niles Paul had four receptions for 154 yards and a big kickoff return late in the fourth quarter to set up the go ahead score. Paul also caught a two-point conversion pass from Zac Lee.

Suh, Crick, and the boys up front were fairly quiet against Kansas and didn't dominate the offensive line as I expected. Their game plan appeared to be more about containment of Reesing than getting to the quarterback. Dejon Gomes had the play of the game defensively, causing a KU receiver Kerry Meier to fumble the ball just shy of the end zone.
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November 13th, 2009
KU game preview

With the Oklahoma win still fresh and a potential Big 12 North championship on the line against K-State the following week, Saturday's matchup against Kansas is the definition of a trap game. So-called trap games occur after a huge win or before a big game. Nebraska’s road trip to Lawrence falls into both categories. Making matters worse, the Jayhawks are reeling after four straight losses in conference play. It’s safe to say that Mark Mangino will have his team ready to play.

The Huskers should manhandle the KU offensive line and get repeated hits on QB Todd Reesing. Don’t be surprised to see KU’s backup quarterback come into the game. A porous offensive line and a QB with a groin problem equal a big day for Suh, Crick, & Company. While two years removed, the 77 points that KU put on the Huskers in '07 will provide extra motivation for guys like Suh, Dillard, Asante, and Turner.

Even though Bo isn't saying, Zac Lee will be the starter. He did nothing last week against Oklahoma to cost him his right to start against the Jayhawks.
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November 8th, 2009
Upon further review: Oklahoma

Ndamukong Suh showed Saturday night that he is the best defensive tackle in college football. Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy was in the same conversation as being the best at their position, but a review of the stats shows Suh with a big separation.

Suh has 53 total tackles, 47 for a loss, 5 sacks, one INT, one forced fumble, three blocked kicks, and eight pass breakups. McCoy on the other hand has 22 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, one pass breakup, nine QB hurries, and one forced fumble.

If numbers aren't good enough for you, consider that Suh can catch passes out of the backfield and dunk a basketball too. And did I mention he bench presses 470 pounds?

I have a suggestion for our offensive woes. When we get into Alex Henery's field goal range, why not just kick the dang ball and take our three points. That would have been good enough to beat Iowa State at least. In all seriousness though, unless we get an offensive "identity" it will be hard to recruit good players on that side of the ball.
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November 8th, 2009
Finally, the win we've been waiting for

Who cares that Sam Bradford wasn't in the game. Any Nebraska win over Oklahoma is a good one. What started off like most Husker games this season, with a bunch of penalties, ended with Matt O'Hanlon recording his third interception of the game. On the preceding play, O'Hanlon dropped what would have been a game-ending INT with 36 seconds left and Husker fans had visions of Texas in 2006. But it wasn't the Sooners night. That distinction belonged to the Blackshirts, who held OU out of the end zone for the first time since 1998.

Opposite of the Iowa State game, the stat line would imply the Huskers had no chance. OU produced more first downs (23 vs NU's 7), more total yards (325 vs 180), more offensive plays (89 vs 57), and fewer penalties (9 vs 11). But as the Husker faithful know, numbers can lie. Turnovers again would determine this game and fortunately the Huskers were on the right side of this one (5 vs 1). In addition to Matt O'Hanlon's three picks, Phillip Dillard came up with a huge INT with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter, but perhaps the play that set the tone for the Husker D was Prince Amukamara's INT in the first quarter.
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November 5th, 2009
Oklahoma Preview by Ryan Blase

Well, time to weigh in again. This time, I will be short and concise.

Last time, we talked about the game versus ISU. The offense showed up, but forgot to hold on to the ball. What a devastating loss. I cannot think of a time in my days of watching Nebraska football when a lesser team has beaten Nebraska in Lincoln when it did absolutely nothing to deserve it.

Anyway, moving on.

Oklahoma Keys

1. No turnovers.

If Nebraska turns the ball over, this game is over.

2. Minimize penalties.

Nebraska needs to play nearly mistake free in terms of penalties. Can't afford to give up any yards.

3. Surprise Oklahoma.

Nebraska needs to try a trick play or two. Nebraska fans have been waiting this season for some sort of trick play and we have not seen one yet (only one that comes to mind was a reverse to Niles Paul against one of the Sun Belt teams). How about a halfback pass? A flea-flicker? Hook and lateral (or ladder as I have heard it referred to before)? Anything?

For Nebraska to win this Saturday night, they need to play mistake free on both sides of the ball and hope Oklahoma makes mistakes of their own while also forcing OU in to some turnovers.
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October 31st, 2009
Crick for Heisman?

Jared Crick performed in Heisman-like fashion today against Baylor, racking up 12 tackles, 4 sacks, and a pass knockdown. Ndamukong Suh made his presence known, largely by taking on a double-team, but it was the Cozad sophomore who may have to begin campaigning for The Trophy.

Cody Green started his first collegiate game and performed pretty well in the first half. The second half left a lot to be desired. His pick-six got the Bears to within 10 points of the Huskers and gave Baylor the momentum for much of the second half. Thankfully, the Blackshirts turned in another good performance. Not great, but good. Green completed a pretty pass to Niles Paul and showed what he can do with his feet as well. Unfortunately, in the second half, Cody went back to telegraphing passes a bit too much at times. I like his toughness running the ball and his pocket presence better than Zac Lee. Who starts next week's game? I'm sure Bo will tell us...as the Huskers take their first offensive snap against Oklahoma.

Today's game started off about as well as any Husker fan could hope for, with Eric Martin blocking the Bears first punt of the game.
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October 24th, 2009
Reaction to the Iowa State game

9 points for Iowa State.
8 turnovers for Nebraska.
7 points for the Huskers.

You won't find too many games throughout college football history where a team has more turnovers than points when they have seven points on the board. Yet the Huskers managed to follow-up their lackluster performance last week against Texas Tech with an even more disappointing result against the Cyclones. Tough to pin this loss on Shawn Watson or Zac Lee. Eight turnovers, including four inside the opponent's red zone (inside the 6-yard line to be exact) won't cut it no matter how good your team is. And therein lies the problem...the Huskers aren't as good as we thought.

The offensive woes continued today. The only play that worked well was the one which drew back-to-back pass interference calls against ISU. Other than that, it was a case of dropped and tipped passes and more fumbles by one team than I can recall in a long time. Roy Helu fumbled on the Huskers' first play from scrimmage. What a fitting start, after all. Niles Paul inexplicably dropped the ball as he was heading into the end zone.
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October 21st, 2009
Iowa State Preview by Ryan Blase

Greetings Husker fans. Time to check in again and offer a preview of the upcoming game with the Iowa State Cyclones.

First, let us have a review of the Missouri game preview. My keys to winning the game were:

1. Run the football. Nebraska did not commit to this at all. Not until their last drive of the 4th quarter where it looked to me that maybe Missouri had their spirits broken at this point. However, we never would have known as Nebraska continually went away from the running game.

2. Pressure Blaine Gabbert. No comments needed here. Job well done by Nebraska's front four.

3. Win the special teams battle. Nebraska did their best to lose this one handily. The long snapping, the bad punts, the muffed punts, and the list goes on. Nebraska should be thanking their defense and a couple lucky bounces of the ball for saving the day.

All in all, this game was puzzling. The offense did not bother to show up until the 4th quarter and the special teams looked like they had never been a unit prior to kickoff.
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October 18th, 2009
Roller-coaster season continues

First, it's a disappointing loss at Virginia Tech on a last second touchdown. Then the fourth quarter comeback at Missouri. Now the unbelievable letdown at home against an unranked Texas Tech team. We're officially on an amusement park ride, but it's not very amusing for Husker fans.

The Huskers are notorious for starting slowly. This has been a recurring problem over the last 4-5 seasons and something I thought would have gone away with the coaching changes. Not so. After allowing the Red Raiders to convert a 3rd and very long (twice), NU gave up a quick touchdown. What the Huskers needed in response was a grinding 10+ play drive that took up 5-10 minutes. Instead they handed Tech seven more points.

With NU driving for a potential tying score in the first quarter, Zac Lee’s backward pass to Niles Paul fell incomplete…only it was a backward pass and therefore a fumble. It seemed only the Texas Tech players knew about this rule because every Husker offensive player quit when the ball hit the ground. How a slow defensive lineman can return the ball 82 yards for a touchdown is beyond me.
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October 15th, 2009
A blog from HuskerFaithful's Mom

We got the win!!! With the weather conditions, it was hard for both teams to get anything done. There were more penalties than I remember in any other game. For a time, I wasn't sure that the Huskers could get it together on offense. Zac Lee didn't seem to be with it, some passes not on target, and the errant long snaps, etc. Again, the weather played a huge role in what happened, dropped passes, fumbled punt returns, etc. The defense was on top of their game and I'm thinking, maybe now it's time to hand out those blackshirts. In Ryan's blog before the game, he said the three keys were (1) run, run, run the ball--more touches for Rex Burkhead and Roy Helu, (2) pressure Blaine Gabbert and (3) win the special teams battle. I love to see Rex Burkhead run with the ball but we didn't see enough of him. Gabbert was pressured and it seemed like Suh was always in his face and some of the other defensive players, as well. Our defense is awesome. Our special teams struggled, but hey, the score at the end is what counts.
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October 6th, 2009
Missouri Preview by Ryan Blase

Greetings Husker fans. The last time I wrote was a preview of the Virginia Tech game. I offered some things that I thought were important keys to a Nebraska victory. Nebraska accomplished nearly all of those keys but came away from Blacksburg with a loss. Sometimes the best team on the field does not always win. The thing that hurt Nebraska the most was their own mistakes. The failed kickoff coverage to open the game, the long run in the first half setting up a VT field goal, the inability to score TD's in the red zone, and the death blow, 81-yard pass reception in the final minute. However, Nebraska was the better team and set the tempo of the entire game. This experience hurt the players, coaches, and rabid fans, but the lessons learned from this game will pay dividends as the Huskers continue to go on the road this year. This brings us to the next road match-up this Thursday evening at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri. What are the keys to victory? Once again, these are only my opinion. 1.
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September 26th, 2009
The 300th consecutive sellout game

55-0. A statement was made. The Huskers will not be feeling sorry for themselves after their tough loss a week ago at Virginia Tech. Speaking of the Hokies, their dismantling of the Miami Hurricanes will propel them into the Top 10. Interestingly enough, Miami plays Oklahoma next and coming off a bad loss it will be interesting to see how Miami responds. Can they hand the Sooners their second loss of the season?

Back to the home team, NU turned in an all around dominating effort and a full team effort. Cody Green and Rex Burkhead saw plenty of action, as did many other true freshmen and those second, third, and fourth on the depth chart. Nebraska needed a game like this before Big 12 play begins October 8th at Mizzou.

Still, Nebraska had six penalties and they burned several more timeouts to prevent the play clock from expiring. This team has a long ways to go in terms of reaching their true potential, especially on offense. We're no where near as efficient as last season. That will hopefully come with time.

You have to like what you've seen from the defense thus far.
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September 19th, 2009
It came down to a single play, and not the one you think

Nebraska loses a heartbreaker on the road to a higher ranked Virginia Tech team 16-15. Several plays stick out. The long pass down the sidelines that got Virginia Tech into scoring position late in the fourth quarter. Tyrod Taylor's seemingly endless time in the pocket before finding a receiver in the end zone with under a minute left in the game. But the play that swung the game for me was the Nebraska touchdown that wasn't. Menelik Holt's catch in the end zone should have been reviewed by the officials but wasn't. He possessed the ball and got one foot down in bounds. That is a catch. The ball came out when he hit the ground. That doesn't negate the catch according to how I understand the rules. Of course, they change the rules annually, so I may be behind the times. Regardless, the game hinged on this one play. A touchdown would have put the Huskers up by nine points with five minutes remaining and all but put the game out of reach for the Hokies.

Nevermind the Holt should-have-been-a touchdown.
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September 18th, 2009
Virginia Tech Preview (by Ryan Blase)

Greetings Husker fans. It is time for the competition of the season to ratchet up a few notches. Tomorrow the Cornhuskers will face a talented Virginia Tech ball club in Blacksburg, Virginia. It should be a close game and a good "measuring stick" (although I hate this term) game for Nebraska to gauge how much they have improved under second-year coach Bo Pelini.

What are the keys to victory in Blacksburg? Here are some things that I believe will be pertinent to a Husker victory. I am not claiming to be a great sports analyst and most of these should be rather obvious, but I still believe they are the key to success.

1. Special teams play / Turnovers / Don't get yourself in an early hole.

These three go hand-in-hand as last year the blocked punt for a safety and a costly interception deep in Husker territory gave Virginia Tech a 9-0 lead in Lincoln. This type of start can crush a team (the only start worse than this was against Oklahoma). Nebraska did a great job in battling last year in Lincoln but the 9-0 lead which Nebraska inflicted on itself was too much to overcome.

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September 8th, 2009
The new polls are out - Huskers move up

The AP College Football Poll was released earlier this morning and the Huskers moved up two spots from the preseason poll to #22. NU fared even better in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, moving up four spots to #18.

Other notable rankings and changes include:
-Oklahoma drops from #3 in the AP to #13 after losing to BYU. OU dropped 11 spots in the USA Today poll to #14.
-Iowa fell from the AP Top 25 and deservedly so. They needed a miracle finish at home to beat Northern Iowa on back-to-back field goal blocks to end the game.
-Future NU opponents earning AP ranks include: OU (#13), Virginia Tech (#14), Kansas (#24), and Missouri (#25).
-Ohio State only fell two spots after eeking out a home win against football power Navy. I wonder if this weekend's game against USC (#3) had anything to do with the Luckeyes not falling further.

Nebraska's road trip to Virginia Tech looms in 11 days. A Top 20 matchup seems all but assured considering NU plays Arkansas State and the Hokies tackle Marshall this weekend.
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September 6th, 2009
Reaction to the Florida Atlantic game

Not bad for a season opener. Limiting any opponent to only three points takes a full game effort. Florida Atlantic moved the ball well at times, but the Blackshirts tightened up when they needed to and caused three turnovers during the game.

Baker Steinkuhler's name was called often enough to know that he will be a force in the middle of the defensive line this year. Suh had his share of action, although he wasn't given the opportunity to carry the ball to the dismay of the Husker Faithful.

Roy Helu averaged nearly 10 yards a carry. Rex Burkhead and Cody Green, both true freshman saw decent playing time and notched their first collegiate touchdowns. Zac Lee led the offense effectively, going 15 for 22 in the passing department. Several of those incompletions were drops by the receivers too.

The stadium changes are impressive. The giant Husker Vision screen above the north end zone is now full high def. There are four smaller screens in each corner, where there were only two last season. The ribbon board going across the east and west balconies is pretty cool, especially when they show a player's eyes after they make a play.
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August 19th, 2009
SI's take on the Huskers

The latest Sports Illustrated arrived in the mail a few days ago, their annual College Football Preview edition. Here's how they predict the Big 12 conference. Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska are in a three-way tie atop the North Division at 5-3. Due to tiebreakers, Kansas wins the North and is projected to play Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. SI tabs the Huskers at 8-4 overall with a berth in the Holiday Bowl against California.

In addition, SI writers Stewart Mandel and Mark Beech (whoever he is) rank the Top 120 Division 1 teams. NU gets no love with a #34 preseason ranking. Big 12 schools ahead of the Huskers are Missouri (#31), Texas Tech (#26), Kansas (#23), Oklahoma State (#7), Oklahoma (#3), and Texas (#2).

Virginia Tech (#5) is the only non-conference team on the schedule that is ranked ahead of Nebraska. Since you were wondering, Florida Atlantic is ranked #93, Louisiana-Lafayette comes in at #116, and Arkansas State is #92.

Ndamukong Suh does get mentioned in the Players to Watch section of the Big 12 page. However, he doesn't make SI's preseason All-American list, losing out to Terrence Cody of Alabama and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma at the DT position.

In other, non-SI, related news, the Huskers are predicted to win the North by the Sports Network (whoever they are).
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August 9th, 2009
HF's 2009 season preview

Looking over the 2009 Husker football schedule two things jump out. First, how weak our home schedule is this year. Oklahoma and Texas Tech are the only opponents that can be considered good home games. Second, how tough our road schedule is shaping up to be. Trips to Virginia Tech, Missouri, Baylor, Kansas and Colorado will all be a challenge.

Several things I'll be watching this year besides the quarterback situation:

Who steps up on the defensive line to replace Ty Steinkuhler? Without a formidable defensive tackle playing next to Ndamukong Suh, opponents will be able to double the big man and put the kibosh on Suh's hopes for a great senior season.

It all starts up front on defense. Without a consistent pass rush, opponents will be able to pick apart our secondary. By the way, this is another area to watch. Who will be the back seven on this installment of the Blackshirts? And what about the rush ends? The Huskers have a lot of question marks going into the season.

On the offensive side of the ball, the line should be able to hold its own.
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June 7th, 2009
Recruiting off to a great start

With the 2010 recruiting season well underway, the Huskers have already reeled in four Rivals 4-stars, including the most recent verbal commitment, quarterback Tyler Gabbert. OL Andrew Rodriguez, DB Anterio Sloan, and WR Keeston Terry are the other 4-stars committed to the Big Red. Mike Moudy, and offensive lineman from Castle Rock, Colorado is the only 3-star recruit in NU's 2010 class so far.

Tyler Gabbert is the younger brother of Blaine Gabbert, who was committed to Nebraska before Bill Callahan was fired. The Ballwin, Missouri recruit is ranked as the 14th best pro-style QB in the country.

Keeston Terry is also a Missouri product, hailing from Blue Springs. The 6'2" wide receiver is ranked as the 35th best in the country. Nebraska beat out Missouri and Kansas for the commitments of both Terry and Gabbert.

Andrew Rodriquez is the lone Nebraska native in the 2010 class to date. The 6'6" 300 pounder from Aurora is ranked as the 12th best offensive tackle.

Anterio Sloan is the 16th ranked defensive back in the country. The West Helena, Arkansas product turned down offers from Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Hawaii, among other schools.

The fifth and last known verbal commitment of the 2010 class is 3-star recruit Mike Moudy, an offensive lineman from Castle Rock, Colorado.
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April 10th, 2009
Husker practice report, Good Friday

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Husker football practice today.

Several observations from practice...

#1 - I was amazed at how short Ron Brown's shorts were. Not quite Dennis Rodman short, but definitely of the high school gym teacher Bike short vintage. Old school if you like. But enough about fashion.

#2 - If Zac Lee is 6'2" then I'm nine feet tall. Easily the shortest of our quarterbacks, Lee is also the fastest. My concern is his ability to throw the ball over the defensive line. I'm sure they said the same thing about KU's Todd Reesing though. Zac has good arm strength and knows the offense better than the other Husker QB's, so he'll be the starter.

#3 - Cody Green and Latravis Washington are both big quarterbacks. Washington is a converted linebacker with a rifle for an arm. Green, the freshman phenom also has good arm strength and good mobility. We're probably seeing the future of Husker football in Green. I'd like to see both Green and Washington get some playing time this season.

#4 - Roy Helu was out of practice again, although he was milling around.
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February 7th, 2009
Average Joe?

Apparently, Joe Ganz isn't as good of a quarterback as Nathan Brown of Central Arkansas, Cullen Harper of Clemson, or Drew Willy of Buffalo. These three were invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis, but one Joe Ganz was not.

How many of you were impressed with Cullen Harper in the Gator Bowl? The guy looked like he had 25 pound weights around his ankles. His decision-making skills looked more like a sophomore than a senior. So what about him other than his size reeks of pro prospect? You got me.

While most Husker fans probably didn't expect Joe to be playing on Sunday, it's quite odd that he isn't even given a chance. Is it his height, his arm strength, or accuracy? It's certainly not his leadership skills or being the ultimate team player or his toughness.

One thing I know is that when Joe Ganz returns to Memorial Stadium and is introduced on gameday, he'll get one great standing ovation. Husker fans know what he meant to this program, even if the NFL scouts think he's just an average Joe.
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February 4th, 2009
Nebraska's 2009 football recruiting class breakdown

With Nebraska’s 2009 recruiting class in the books, we take a look at just how Bo Pelini & Co. put this group of players together. Where they came from, what the emphasis was regarding position, etc. The Huskers signed 20 recruits in the '09 class. (There are 21 official members of the 2009 class but Antonio Bell enrolled at semester and was originally counted as part of last year's class.)

First up, we take a look at geography. Nebraska made a heavy push into Texas this recruiting season, signing eight players from the Lone Star state, including much-heralded/hyped quarterback Cody Green. More on him later. NU also garnered six recruits from California but only two from the Good Life state. Other states Nebraska plucked a recruit from include Maryland, Kansas, North Dakota, and Colorado.

Sports Illustrated had an interesting article recently that highlighted Nebraska’s spread approach to recruiting, hitting all four corners of the U.S. They do this out of necessity. Compare the Huskers to Southern Cal or Virginia Tech, whom recruit “in house” almost entirely. Here is a link to the article if you’re interested: SI recruiting.

By position, the Huskers recruited more offensive players (10) than defensive (9), not counting Taylor Martinez, who is listed as an Athlete.
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January 31st, 2009
In case you missed it

The Huskers have pulled their scholarship offer to Shawn Bodtmann of Scranton, Pennslyvania less than a week to go until signing day. Bodtmann's high school coach isn't too happy about it, since Shawn had been committed to NU since the Spring Game.

Nebraska has 20 known commitment to the 2009 recruiting class. National letter of intent signing day is Wednesday. Of the 20, eight are from the state of Texas, five are from California, and only two are from Nebraska. According to Rivals.com, NU has no five star recruits, five 4-stars, with the remainder being 3-star recruits. But do stars really mean anything? Marlon Lucky was a 5-star and probably didn't live up to the hype as much as we all would have wanted. Roy Helu was a 3-star and definitely exceeded our expectations this season.

Speaking of hype, by all accounts, Cody Green is for real. Just ask the coaches. The quarterback commitment out of Dayton, TX enrolled at semester break so he's in Lincoln, working out and getting used to the attention deserving of a Husker QB. With no clear starter for next season, don't count out Green seeing playing time.
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January 18th, 2009
In case you missed it...recent Husker football news

Marlon Lucky shined for the East, helping to beat the West 24-19 in the Shrine Game with 68 yards on seven carries, including a touchdown. Lucky was named offensive MVP for the game and was the leading rusher for the game. Marlon wants to play in the NFL and he really needed a strong performance after his final season at Nebraska was disappointing, largely due to recurring injuries. Lucky was second on the team this season in rushing, finishing behind phenom Roy Helu, Jr. For more on Lucky's performance and his future, check out these Omaha World Herald and the Lincoln Journal Star articles.

Several former Huskers are still alive in the NFL playoffs and find themselves one win away from the Super Bowl. Arizona Cardinals cornerback Ralph Brown is profiled in this Lincoln Journal Star article. Brown's Cardinals face former Husker Correll Buckhalter and the Philadelphia Eagles in today's earlier playoff game.

Baltimore Ravens punter, Sam Koch, is featured in this Lincoln Journal Star article. Koch's Ravens face the Pittsburgh Steelers today on the road with the winner moving onto the Super Bowl.
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January 2nd, 2009
Gator Bowl review

And the legend of Bo grows just a little more. When the chips were down, the Blackshirts came up big. In the waning minutes of the Gator Bowl, Clemson stood at the Nebraska 10 yard line with four chances to win the game. Eric Hagg came up big on the first two plays, batting down a pass and sacking the Clemson QB for a big loss. Matt O’Hanlon saved Tyler Wortman on the third down play, knocking the ball out of C.J. Spiller’s hands and preventing a would-be game-winning touchdown. Fourth down, with the game in the balance, Pelini’s boys put enough pressure on Clemson’s QB to force an incomplete pass. An unlikely cast of characters brought the game home for the Huskers, securing a nine-win season in Bo’s first year as head coach. He was brought in to tighten up the defense and when it mattered most the Blackshirts responded with their best defensive performance of the year. Nebraska sure made it interesting, settling for a field goal when a touchdown would have given the Huskers a nine-point lead with minutes to play.

Perhaps the biggest play of the game (and there were many) came early, when Ndamukong Suh blocked a Clemson field goal attempt in the first quarter.
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December 29th, 2008
Clemson preview

The most interesting matchup of the Gator Bowl will be Nebraska's offense against Clemson's defense. The Tigers have been stingy on defense this season, giving up fewer than 17 points and less than 300 yards per game. Nationally, the Tigers rank 15th in total defense and 10th in scoring defense. With that said, Clemson plays in the ACC and their defense doesn't face high-powered Big 12 offenses on a weekly basis.

Clemson defensive end Ricky Sapp, who leads the team with 10 tackles for loss, is out of the bowl game with a partially torn right ACL. His absence is a big blow to the Tiger defense, but the Tigers have plenty of other playmakers to pick up the slack.

Going against the Clemson defense will be the nation's 12th ranked total offense of the Huskers. Nebraska and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson do it by eating up clock. NU ranks second in the country in time of possession at 34 minutes a game. The Cornhuskers rank 14th in the nation in passing offense and average 36 points per game, including at least 40 points in each of their last three games.
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December 21st, 2008
Husker holidays

Alex Henery is getting autograph and photo requests at Wal-Mart now, thanks to his game-winning field goal against Colorado. Not only that, but 2,000 people have requested to be his friend on Facebook. Ahh, the life of a kicker.

Bo Pelini is the 11th highest paid coach...in the Big 12 Conference. That's right, the 11th highest paid. Bill Snyder, who hasn't coached a game in over three years, will make more money. First time head coach Paul Rhoads (who?) who took over for Gene Chizik at Iowa State will make more than Bo next season. Long gone are the days of being paid for performance. Now, just by merely accepting the job, you're paid as if you've already won a few national titles.

The Gator Bowl is now 11 days away. Bo gave his team several days off heading into Christmas. The players will meet back in Lincoln on Christmas night and leave for Jacksonville in the next day or two.

After watching the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship game last night, it occurred to me that Nebraska should end the season ranked #2 in the country.
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December 14th, 2008
Team awards given out

Joe Ganz was named Team MVP, one of four team captains, and winner of the Tom Novak Trophy. Ty Steinkuhler, Nate Swift, and Zach Potter were also named captains.

Ndamukong Suh and Matt Slauson were awarded the lifters of the year. Suh was also named Defensive MVP. On offense, Nate Swift took home the Offensive MVP award and the Guy Chamberlain Award, while Alex Henery won the Special Teams and Walk-On MVP honors.

For more on the team awards banquet, check out coverage by Nebraska State Paper, Grand Island Independent, and WOWT.com.

Nebraska also secured the commitment today of yet another Texas high schooler. Andrew Green is a defensive back commit from San Antonio, Texas. Green becomes the 21st verbal commitment for the Huskers and the 9th from the state of Texas. NU's 2009 recruiting class also features five commits from the state of California. Andrew Green is rated a 3-star commit by Rivals.com.

In non-Nebraska news, Auburn chose Gene Chizik as their next head football coach. Evidently, the turnaround job Chizik has done at Iowa State (who are 5-19 under Gene) was more impressive than Turner Gill's MAC Champion Buffalo Bulls effort.
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December 12th, 2008
Husker Faithful's Best Photos of the 2008 Season

Each year for the last three, Husker Faithful has taken photos at all Husker home games, and occasionally, even a road game or two. For the first time this year, we have assembled our favorite photos from this season in one easy to view blog entry. To view a larger version of the photo, simply click on it. There are more game photos on our Links page. Without further delay, here are our favorite photos presented in chonological order:

#1 - Matt Slauson signs an autograph during the Spring Game festivities.

#2 - The opening kickoff of the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska comes against Western Michigan.

#3 - The offense takes a breather against Western Michigan.

#4 - Marlon Lucky has a football halo in this photo from the New Mexico State game.

#5 - Rickey Thenarse celebrates the Huskers win over Kansas.

#6 - Senior Day saw the Husker seniors get their own Tunnel Walk, walking out arm-in-arm.

#7 - Red balloons are released after NU scores their first TD against Colorado.

To view more game photos from this year or past years, go to the Links page.
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December 10th, 2008
My favorite Husker writers

Since I have very little pride and a low self-esteem, here are my favorite Husker bloggers and sports writers that you may or may not be familiar with. Sorry, no Steve Sipple's or Tom Shatel's on this list.

1) Big Red Network - Actually a group of guys that seems to grow by the week. Look out Lincoln Journal. If you're looking for daily musings about Husker athletics, you might start here. If you're looking for totally random, factual and potentially entertaining posts, stick with Husker Faithful. On a serious note, these guys have their stuff together. Darren and Jason have done a great job building their site. Their apparel could use some work though. Of course, they probably think the same thing about my apparel.

2) Corn Nation - This is kind of like helping out the New York Yankees. These guys have won so many awards for their insightful writing and witty prose, they surely don't need my endorsement. Corn Nation is one of the pioneers, one of the originals. They were blogging when I was asking "what's a blog?" Check 'em out and you'll see why they are award-winners.

3) Nebraska State Paper - Okay, so he's not a blogger, but there's a guy who writes for this paper named Samuel McKewon and he's top notch.
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December 7th, 2008
Help elect Barrett Ruud to the Pro Bowl

Help elect Barrett Ruud and other former Huskers to the 2009 Pro Bowl. Click on the link to vote: NFL Pro Bowl Ballot.

Besides Barrett, other former Huskers on the ballot include Kris Brown, Josh Brown, Carl Nicks, Mike Brown, Stewart Bradley, Fabian Washington, Sam Koch, Dominic Raoila, Adam Carriker, Kris Kelsay, and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Vote as often as you like.

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December 7th, 2008
The latest in Huskerland

NU offensive coordinator Shawn Watson has been approached about the head coaching position at New Mexico. Only Shawn Watson knows what's best for Shawn Watson, but you'd have to think he could do better than this, given a couple more years at the helm of NU's offense. If the Huskers are truly on the road back, the offense stands to gain a lot of exposure over the next couple of seasons. Wouldn't Watson benefit as a result? One would think better opportunities would open up as a result. Wats has already been a head coach at Southern Illinois, which to most college football fans is parallel with a New Mexico head coaching job. Why not wait for a major conference job opening instead? Again, only Watson knows what's best. Most Husker fans would like to see him stay, if only to maintain the continuity on the offensive side of the ball.

NU receivers coach Ted Gilmore is another Husker assistant coach rumored to be a candidate for head coaching positions. Wyoming was first and now New Mexico State. Gilmore has never been a head coach, so a NMSU would be a typical stop for a first-time head man.

Hats off to Turner Gill for what he accomplished at Buffalo, winning the MAC Championship in only his third season at the helm of the Bulls.
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December 3rd, 2008
A review of Husker Faithful's pre-season predictions

A Review of Husker Faithful's 2008 Pre-Season Predictions (new commentary in bold)

Lost Wages is out with their over/under for Nebraska wins this season and it’s seven. But what does Vegas know? Here’s how I see the season playing out for the Big Red.

Western Michigan - Win. This one could be closer than people think. It's the first game under a new head coach and a new full-time offensive coordinator. The Huskers won't be in mid-season form for the first game. Final score prediction: 42-21. Actual score: 47-24. I give myself a big pat on the back for starting off the season so well.

San Jose State - Win. C'mon, it's frickin' San Jose State. Aren't they better known for having a good women's water polo team? Enough said. Final score prediction: 48-14. Actual score: 35-12. Fairly close on the final score prediction here as well. Several kudos to me.

New Mexico State - Win. The Huskers should be hitting their stride by game three, just in time for the first big test of the season. Incidentally, it isn't this week's opponent. In case you're ever on Jeopardy, New Mexico State University hails from Las Cruces, known around the world as home of the Whole Enchilada Fiesta.
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November 29th, 2008
The Alex Henery Bailout Package

We're all tired of hearing about the financial bailout that’s going on, but here's one that Husker fans will appreciate. Alex Henery, one of the smallest players on the team, came up the biggest at a crucial moment to beat Colorado. Facing a 4th & 25 from the Buffalo 40-yard line, with an offense that hadn't been stellar in the second half, Bo Pelini found himself in a bit of a pickle. So he pulled Alex over and asked him if he could make it and the sophomore kicker said yes. This isn't some 32-yard field goal to win the game and all the pressure associated with it. We're talking a 57-yard, down by one point, Nebraska's eighth win resting on your foot, school-record-to-be, field goal. And it would have been good from 58 yards, maybe 59, but not 60.

This bailout put together by Mr. Henery (not Paulson) instantly saved Bo Pelini, Joe Ganz, and Mike McNeill. Pelini, for calling the fake field goal just before halftime, when Nebraska had finally dug itself out of a hole against the Buffs.
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November 28th, 2008
Honoring the seniors today

For 21 seniors, today's game against Colorado will mark the last time they put on the scarlet and cream to take the field at Memorial Stadium.

Headliners from the graduating class of Huskers include Joe Ganz, Nate Swift, Todd Peterson, Marlon Lucky, and Matt Slauson on offense and Ty Steinkuhler, Zach Potter, Armando Murillo, and Tyler Wortman on the defensive side.

Lucky, Swift, and Peterson have all registered 100 receptions while Huskers, putting them each in the Top 5 all-time at Nebraska.

The rest of the graduating seniors are as follows: Shukree Barfield, Justin Baumgartner, Beau Davis, Mike Huff, Thomas Lawson, Lydon Murtha, T.J. O'Leary, Clayton Sievers, Hunter Teafatiller, Dan Titchener, Jake Wesch, and Kenny Wilson.

A win today over Colorado would put NU at 8-4 on the regular season, with a good shot at a New Year's Day bowl game. Not bad for a first year head coach. Hats off to the seniors for their leadership in 2008. You will be missed. Especially you, Joe the Quarterback.

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November 15th, 2008
Numbers don't lie

Total Yards: Nebraska 610, Kansas State 247
1st Downs: Nebraska 29, Kansas State 13
Time of Possession: Nebraska 36:35, Kansas State 23:25

Joe Ganz himself accounted for 365 total yards as the Huskers rolled Kansas State 56-28 in Manhattan. There will be no joy in Aggieville tonight.

To be honest, I expected more out of Ron Prince. For a coach on his way out the door, there didn't seem to be much fight in this bunch past the first half. Where were all the trick plays? What about pulling out all the stops? What do you have to lose that you haven't already? Instead, the Wildcats played a pretty normal game, attempting to go head-to-head against a superior Nebraska team. And what's with Josh Freeman quitting in the second half? If you ask me, he was tired of getting pounded by the Blackshirts and didn't feel like jeopardizing his NFL career. Josh is coming out early for the draft.

Funny how a big win can change things. On Nebraska's first series, Ganz threw an interception which K-State ran back for a touchdown. Shades of Oklahoma...hardly.
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November 11th, 2008
Lose one Blackshirt, gain many?

Cody Glenn has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. No details yet and most likely there won't be anything other than rumors about it. Too bad because this kid has been one of the bright spots on the team this year. Third-leading tackler on the team and probably the quickest LB we have. He will be missed. Tough to go out like that as a senior, if in fact, he is suspended for the remainder of the regular season.

On a much more positive note, there were Blackshirts sighted at practice today. Big news for Husker Faithful because sales of Blackshirts related items dropped off a cliff this year. Now Bo Pelini has blessed the Blackshirts as part of Husker football again. Get your Blackshirts apparel on our T-Shirts link above.

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November 9th, 2008
Looking like an 8-4 regular season

First off, a great win for the Huskers on Saturday. I don't know if it counts as a signature win, but as far as Bo is concerned, this win feels just as good.

Hats off to Shawn Watson and the offensive staff for putting Marlon Lucky in at quarterback and for the innovative (for Nebraska) playcalling. Lucky's jump pass to Mike McNeil couldn't have worked out better. I'm sure Husker fans would like to see more of that set. With Joe Ganz split out at wide receiver, there are a lot of different plays that can be run out of that formation.

Hats off to the coaches for continuing to give Roy Helu, Jr. more playing time. This kid is the future of the Nebraska running backs and the future looks bright. After racking up 157 yards on only 16 carries last week against Oklahoma, Helu added 115 yards and two touchdowns Saturday against Kansas. There’s just something about his running style that makes him hard to bring down on first contact. That, and he often avoids first contact altogether.

How about Ndamukong Suh as a receiver? Nebraska’s version of William “The Refrigerator” Perry has soft hands it turns out.
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November 5th, 2008
So what's it like being a Nebraska football player

Ever wanted to know what a Nebraska football player's itinerary looked like around a football weekend?

Here's the team's agenda for the upcoming Kansas game:

Thursday, November 6, 2008
10:30pm - Curfew

Friday, November 7, 2008
2:30-3:00pm - Special Teams Meeting
3:00-4:15pm - Offense/Defense Position Meetings
4:20-4:40pm - Special Teams Walk-Thru
4:40-5:05pm - Offense/Defense Walk-Thru
6:00pm - Team Dinner - 3rd Floor West Stadium
(Wear Issued Gear: Sweats, Shirt and Shoes)
*No earrings or hats during team travel
6:45pm - Bus Departs for Movie Theater
7:05pm - Movie – "Pride and Glory" (Aud. #1)
9:30pm - Depart for Team Hotel
9:45pm - Arrive Hotel (Put Bags Away)
*Players Cannot Leave Hotel*
9:50pm - Offense/Defense Meetings: Offense (Lincoln Room); Defense (Capital Room)
10:20pm - Team Meeting (Lincoln Room)
10:35pm - Snack (Omaha Room)
10:50pm - Room Check

Saturday, November 8, 2008
8:30am - Wake Up
9:00am - Chapel (Lincoln Room)/ Mass (Capital Room)
9:37am - Pre-Game Meal
10:42am - Team Meeting
10:52am - Buses Depart for Stadium
11:07am - Taping Begins—Travel Squad
*Follow Pregame Timeline*
1:37pm - Kickoff—Beat Kansas!

Sunday, November 9, 2008
10:00am - Mandatory Treatment for all who played
(All Injuries must be reported at this time)
11:00am - Check-in Begins for Life Skills Conference (Non-Lift Guys)
11:30am - 2:45pm - Life Skills Conference (Lunch Provided)
12:45pm - Lift Group #1
1:45pm - Lift Group #2
3:00pm - Shakeout
3:45pm - Team Meeting
4:00pm - Unity Council Meeting

I doubt very many of us are held to such rigorous routines (military personnel excluded).
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November 2nd, 2008
Anybody get the number of that runaway truck?

Nebraska needed to play an error-free game in order to have a shot at beating the Sooners. Three turnovers by the Husker offense within their first five offensive plays pretty much sealed the game. OU scored 21 points as a result of the turnovers and NU found themselves down 35 points six minutes into the game. Games against Colorado in 2001 and Missouri in 2007 & 2008 come quickly to mind as comparable in terms of sloppy play. The Huskers never gave themselves a chance. The only bright spot was our game ended early enough to be able to watch a great finish between Texas and Texas Tech.

This was one of those games where as a fan you're in total disbelief. Most of us have probably never had an out-of-body experience, but tonight I felt like I was watching someone else play Oklahoma. It wasn't my Nebraska team, that's for sure. The Huskers took Murphy's Law to another level with their first quarter performance. I'm not sure we could have beat anyone on our schedule with the game we played tonight.
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November 1st, 2008
Rickey Thenarse

For those who didn't catch ESPN's story on NU safety Rickey Thenarse, which aired this morning on College Gameday, here's a link to the video.
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October 27th, 2008
The Nebraska Football Show

In what should be called The Bo Pelini Show, the man himself had the following to say about the Huskers' win over the Baylor Bears.

In his opening comments, Bo said the team's play was sloppy and inconsistent. Baylor's first touchdown was due to poor tackling and execution, while their second touchdown was his own fault.

Bo casually pointed out that yes indeed Nebraska's punt did hit off the foot of a Baylor player, which somehow eluded the replay officials.

Bo said that Prince Amukamara played well in relief of Eric Hagg. Pelini was surprised that Baylor's QB got up after Pierre Allen's sack, noting he could hear the hit from the sideline.

Marlon Lucky's one-handed grab on a 3rd & 3 was a BIG play according to Bo.

Bo referred to Cody Glenn's 15-yard face mask penalty as an "interesting call" by the referees. Pelini mentioned that "we're our own worst enemy" often times.

Bo said Baylor's second quarter touchdown drive "really bothered me."

Evidently, Bo is trying to get Marvin Sanders to switch his vote from Barack Obama to John McCain. No political commentary from the peanut gallery this time.

On Nate Swift: he's a complete football player.

Finally, Bo said "by no means did we play our best football."

These were some of the highlights from the Bo Pelini...I mean The Nebraska Football Show.
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October 26th, 2008
We'll take it

It wasn't the prettiest game to watch and it's still hard to accept that Baylor might have a decent football team, but a win is a win.

In the first quarter, the defense looked discombobulated. I've never seen the defensive play calls take so long to come in. Couple that with Baylor running a hurry-up offense during much of this time and it's easy to see why Husker defensive players were scrambling around to get into position as the ball was snapped. Carl Pelini got into the ear of linebacker's coach Mike Ekeler on Robert Griffin's 47 yard TD run near the end of the first quarter. Several Husker defensive players will still looking to the sidelines for the play call when the ball was snapped. That's first week stuff. We're in the second half of the season now. Our defense, coaches and players, should be much quicker in getting the call in and being in position. Baylor went away from the hurry-up during the second half and I'm not sure why.

Hats off to Marlon Lucky who played, if not his best game, definitely one of his best games as a Husker.
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October 24th, 2008
Funny video featuring Brandon Rigoni and Mark Manning

No, not Mark May, unfortunately. Mark Manning is the Husker wrestling coach. Brandon Rigoni, the former Husker challenged him to try to stop him from scoring on five consecutive attempts. Evidently, this goes back to some playful trash talking between the two. (Manning is wearing the #24 Blackshirt.)

Check out who all's there: Tom Osborne, Doc Sadler, Bo Pelini, Husker athletes from various sports. Here's the video: Rigoni vs Manning

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October 24th, 2008
Can you feel it?

Can you feel the difference a year and a new head coach makes? If not, check your pulse because it's real.

Through five games last season, the Huskers were 5-1, with their only loss coming at the hands of a very good USC team. But it was game six, a road trip to Columbia, Missouri, where the wheels came off. The 41-6 loss was so devastating that the Huskers didn't show any signs of life until the Texas game three weeks later. The loss in Lawrence all but sealed the deal. Okay, enough about last year.

The point is this...a big loss to Missouri again this year seems to have set about a change in direction for the Huskers. Only this time, Nebraska is heading up, not down.

First, it was the Texas Tech game and coming within one touchdown and extra point of pulling off the biggest road win for NU since 1997 at Washington.

Next, it was doing to Iowa State what Nebraska teams of old did...flat out beat a team on both sides of the ball. The offense looked good, minus the first series.
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October 13th, 2008
Big Red Roundtable - Mid Season Edition

How do you see the Huskers finishing the 2008 season? Final win loss/record?

With six games remaining in the season, and on the heels of a great road performance in Lubbock, I believe the Huskers will go 4-2 to finish out the season at 7-5. If Nebraska drastically cuts down on penalties and tightens up their defense, I can see 5-1 down the stretch.

I think we'd all agree that OU doesn't look like a Husker victory. The two other games that give me pause are Kansas and Colorado. KU hasn't impressed me much this season though. Amazing what a weak schedule will do for a team's confidence (and win-loss record). The Jayhawks are a good team, and better than the Huskers right now, but NU's performance at Texas Tech gives me hope.

Colorado is the team that's hard to figure out. They are real up and down, playing good one week and not so good the next. Like the Kansas game, the Huskers will have revenge on their minds after last season's disappointing loss at Boulder. This should be a good one.
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October 11th, 2008
Oh so close

We've all had this sickening feeling before. There were plenty of games under former Husker coach Bill Callahan that would qualify. The 2005 home loss to Texas Tech in which we had the game won until LeKevin Smith fumbled his interception. The 2006 home loss to Texas which saw Terrence Nunn fumble a third and short play that would have all but sealed the game for NU. But today's ending was the cruelest of cruel. Who wasn't predicting a Husker win when Texas Tech's overtime extra point was blocked? After the way Nebraska fought back all game, through penalties and stopping Tech's offense multiple times, who wasn't thinking the college football gods were about to smile on the Huskers?

Predicted to lose by "a lot" according to most college football "experts," the Huskers came out determined to make up for last week's disappointing loss to Missouri. The offense moved the ball with relative ease against a Texas Tech defense. The offensive line looked much better (minus the penalties again). The Nebraska defense improved from a week ago, but they're still not where they need to be.
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October 5th, 2008
One Husker fan's perspective

By Ryan Blase

As an avid Husker fan, I am sure that I feel the same as most Husker fans after the game tonight against the University of Missouri. Nebraska fans feel that there is no way that the tables should be turned and Nebraska be on the losing end of a blowout, especially to Missouri. However, the fact of the matter is that Missouri and Kansas have pulled ahead of Nebraska amidst all the turmoil caused by Steve Pederson and Bill Callahan.

To be brutally honest, this Nebraska team is not very talented. I am not trying to bash players specifically, but the talent is not there. Missouri had more talent than Nebraska at every position on the field. But what makes matters worse is the fact that this team is so psychologically damaged from the debacle over the last 4 years. Bo and his staff have the monumental task in front of them of reshaping a team's attitude and getting it through their heads how to win again. Make no mistake, this team really doesn't know what it takes to win.
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September 28th, 2008
Disappointment sets in

Disappointment sums up how Husker fans feel today. An opportunity to beat a name team slipped through the cracks last night as Nebraska fell to Virginia Tech 35-30. The game came down to the final seconds as the Huskers scrambled their way back into it. Nate Swift’s 88-yard punt return for a touchdown energized the crowd and the team, but stopping Tyrod Taylor and the Hokies offense wasn’t as easy as Husker fans expected. Todd Peterson’s touchdown catch with 1:32 on the clock gave the fans hope, but a failed onside kick ended any thoughts of victory.

Looking at the stats of the game, Virginia Tech outplayed the Huskers. More first downs, more total yards and time of possession, but what really sticks out is zero turnovers for the Hokies. Nebraska had a fumble and interception as well as yielding an early safety. Once again, NU could not establish a running game, with only 55 yards on the ground for the Big Red. Third down efficiency was another problem for the Husker offense, converting only two of 11 times. One bright spot was the Huskers’ defensive stops in the second and third quarters, limiting Virginia Tech to field goals on four scoring drives.

Still, this Virginia Tech team was beatable and should have been beaten by Nebraska.
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September 19th, 2008
What have we learned after three games?

Three games into the 2008 college football season, and Nebraska Cornhuskers fans aren’t quite sure what to make of their team just yet.

Bo Pelini has definitely energized the defense and made the unit more aggressive, but many were expecting bigger improvements given the opponents NU has faced. What was thought to be a weakness going into the season (the defensive line) has proven to be a strength, and what was expected to be a strength (the offensive line) hasn’t been.

In fact, the Nebraska running game has been underwhelming through the first three games. So where do the Huskers go from here?

Looking down the schedule, a case can be made where Nebraska wins six of its remaining nine games, including home victories over Virginia Tech and Kansas. A 9-3 season would be well-received in Husker Nation, and Bo Pelini would retain his status as a state icon. But a case can also be made for NU winning only four of the nine games (Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State, and Colorado), resulting in a 7-5 record.

The Huskers’ ABC prime-time matchup with Virginia Tech a week from Saturday is a crucial game for the Big Red.
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September 14th, 2008
Back in Black(shirts)?

This is what Husker fans expected during the first two games of the season, but we'll take it as of game number three. Just in time for the tough part of the schedule to begin, the Nebraska defense put together it's best showing yet. Pelini's crew held New Mexico State scoreless for much of the game. Thanks to some generous officiating (if you're an Aggie fan), New Mexico State was finally able to penetrate the end zone. Still, a much better effort and performance than we saw last week.

So did the defense earn their Blackshirts with their effort? Only time will tell. I think they're getting back on the right track, but they might not be there just yet. We're all hoping that there is significant improvement on both sides of the ball between now and the Virginia Tech game, otherwise the Huskers could be in for a long season. After the Hokies, NU faces Mizzou and Texas Tech in back-to-back games. Ideally, the Big Red will be sitting at 4-0 when the Tigers come to town and will be able to give Chase Daniel some Chad May treatment.
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September 11th, 2008
Non-conference schedule additions

I forget who our athletic director is, but someone should tell him he's doing a great job, especially in scheduling future opponents. Today, we learned the Miami Hurricanes will play the Huskers in 2014 and 2015, first in Lincoln and then in Miami. Earlier this week we were told Fresno State would be added to the schedule in 2011, 2014, and 2016. Add these teams to Tennessee, UCLA, Washington, and the upcoming Virginia Tech home-and-home, and we have ourselves some interesting matchups for Nebraska football fans to fawn over. But we still haven't scheduled the one series that I would like to see...the Alabama Crimson Tide. Or the other one I would like to see...The Ohio State Buckeyes. My third choice would be the Michigan Wolverines at the Big House? Wait a minute, what about the LSU Tigers in a sort of homecoming for Bo? I'd throw out Notre Dame and Penn State as ideas, but we've played these teams in the last decade, so that probably won't happen again anytime soon. One final idea...the Pitt Panthers. Why them you say? It would be our opportunity to thank Steve Pederson for leading us to Bo Pelini and to shut up ESPN's Mark May once and for all.
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September 9th, 2008
Exclusive interview with former Husker Mike Minter

Every Husker football fan knows the name Mike Minter. Most of you know he was a four-year letterwinner and one of the best defensive backs Nebraska has ever seen. An All-Big 12 selection and team captain in 1996, Minter was also part of two Husker national championship teams (’94 & ’95) and a 2nd round draft pick of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Mike played 10 years in the NFL, all with Carolina, and was a defensive captain in each of his final five seasons. When he retired, he was the team’s all-time leader in tackles (953), starts (141), consecutive starts (94), interceptions returned for a touchdown (4), and fumble recoveries (9). What you may not know is how much time and money Minter has given to off-the-field endeavors like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, United Way, The Ruckus House, Special Olympics, Athletes in Action, Habitat for Humanity, and Pacific Pals. And we haven’t even touched on his business ventures. In other words, his bio easily takes up a full page, but what's most impressive is how humble Mike remains.

Mike has authored a book entitled Driven by Purpose…The Power of a Dream, which he says isn’t a “rags to riches story” but rather how “doing the right thing and trusting God” got him to where he is now.
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September 6th, 2008
Huskers turn it on late to beat SJSU 35-12

For three quarters, the 291st consecutive home sellout didn’t look to be going too well. Enter Niles Paul. The sophomore wide receiver from Omaha North gave the Huskers the spark they needed when he returned a fourth quarter kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. Until that point, Nebraska was leading San Jose State 14-12 with 12:17 left in the game. After Paul’s return, NU’s defense picked it up with a quick three and out, while Roy Helu added his first collegiate touchdown several plays later. Helu scored on a 14-yard run, making the score 28-12 with just over nine minutes left. Marlon Lucky added the final score of the game with a touchdown run, ending the Spartans upset bid.

Prior to the Paul touchdown, the Huskers looked terrible. Let’s be honest. Both offensively and defensively, Bo Pelini’s team seemed to take a step backward rather than forward. NU racked up 12 penalties accounting for 103 yards versus San Jose State’s seven penalties for 47 yards. Nebraska had a fumble and an interception, matching the Spartan’s two turnovers on the day. The Huskers managed only 315 yards of total offense, with 99 yards coming on the ground.
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August 31st, 2008
First game in the books

Not bad for a first game under a new head coach. A win is a win. I'm sure Texas A&M and Michigan would gladly trade us their home losses right now. Now, I'm saying it wasn't bad for a first game based on the belief that a team does improve the most from the first to the second game. If either San Jose State or New Mexico State are able to put up this many points or prevent us from running the ball, that's not good. The Huskers need to improve. They know that. Overall, I'd give them an A for effort, but a C for effectiveness.

From an offensive standpoint, the Huskers are about 65-70% in terms of where they need to be. The Big Red accounted for only 138 yards on the ground, carrying the ball 31 times. That's not good enough when you have a distinct size advantage compared to the opponent's defensive line. Part of the trouble in running the ball was due to the Bronco defense crowding the box. The other part was due to less than stellar play from the offensive line, who in their defense is working through some injury issues.
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August 28th, 2008
The latest from Huskerland

This is no mirage folks. The first game is actually here. The Huskers will take to the field against Western Michigan in roughly 60 hours. In case you missed it, here are a few recent news tidbits.

Bo Pelini was on the Jim Rome Show today. You can listen to the interview here. A quick summary...Rome asked Bo about withholding the Blackshirts until they are earned. Bo said that was the plan. Bo also said the program was divided when he got there and he's worked hard to amend that. Rome was very complimentary of Bo and the interview ended with the following exchange. Bo - "Hey Jim, when are you bringing the Jungle back to Lincoln?" Rome - "Whenever you want Bo."

Lydon Murtha was held out of practice Wednesday, but is listed as "probable" for Saturday's game. Murtha is listed as the #1 right tackle after being on the left side last season.

Ricky Henry did not make the two-deep and barring injuries to the offensive line will most likely be redshirted this season. Bo Pelini said he is ready to play now, but with the depth they currently have on the line, it makes more sense to wait a year on Ricky.

Pelini announced captains for the first game.
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August 26th, 2008
New depth chart is out

With fall camp in the rearview, focus turns to Western Michigan. Today, the Husker coaches released the depth chart. A few thoughts...

First, the defensive line contains no surprises. Zach Potter and Barry Turner will start at the end positions. Ndamukong Suh and Ty Steinkuhler will be the horses in the middle. No surprises at the linebacker position, except for who is backing up starters Cody Glenn, Phillip Dillard, and Tyler Wortman. True freshmen Will Compton and Sean Fisher are listed at the #2 positions behind Dillard and Wortman respectively. Sophomore Blake Lawrence backs up Cody Glenn.

Anthony West gets the starting nod ahead of Prince Amukamara at the right corner spot. Major Culbert is listed as the #2 strong safety behind Larry Asante, although I expect to see a lot of Culbert this season. Rickey Thenarse is finally a starter at free safety and Armando Murillo is the #1 left corner, ahead of Eric Hagg.

On offense, the I-back position is a little interesting. Marlon Lucky, Roy Helu and Quentin Castille are all listed as #1 running backs. I'll be curious to watch the number of carries each back gets this season.
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August 22nd, 2008
The other side of the coin

A month ago, we published our predictions for the 2008 Husker football season. Some of you feel eight or nine wins is too optimistic, and you may be right. So now we take a look at what could go wrong for Bo Pelini and the Huskers in 2008. Consider this a devil's advocate type of post.

Let's face it, the Huskers don't have the depth of the great NU teams of the mid-90's. Until Pelini & Co. get depth approaching that level, any key injuries could throw a wrench into the gears. The most important cog in the offensive engine is quarterback Joe Ganz. Losing Ganz to any serious injury would be detrimental to the team's chances of hitting the eight or nine win mark. Not that Patrick Witt or Zac Lee aren't good quarterbacks, but they don't have anywhere near the experience that Ganz does. Joe knows the offense forwards and back, having held the clipboard and worn the sideline visor for nearly four years. So what are the odds of Ganz going down? It depends on how much zone read running plays Shawn Watson calls for Joe.
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August 19th, 2008
1st Annual Husker Hog Ride set for September 20th

The motorcycle ride begins at the Harley Davidson dealership in Omaha and ends outside Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. Registration for the free leave poker run begins at 9am and runs through Noon. Families and kids are welcome.

Join former Huskers Jared Tomich, Grant Wistrom, Jason Peter, Christian Peter, Jamel Williams, Matt Verzal, Chris Dishman, Tommie Frazier, and Damon Benning at the Post Run Party. The party follows the poker run and goes from 1pm to 10pm.

Learn more at the official website: HuskerHogRide.net.

Register online here

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August 17th, 2008
Husker Fan Day

Some observations from Memorial Stadium today. First off, it was hot down on the field. Kind of felt bad for the players who were seated out in the sun. The offensive lineman had it made in the shade as they were seated in the South endzone up against the fence. The defensive linemen were in the southeast corner of the field, but were still in the sun. The assistant coaches were lined up going north-south in the middle of the field. Bo Pelini was clearly the big draw today. The line for the Huskers head coach went out of the stadium...with 45 minutes left. I was able to get close enough to get a few photos of Bo (see all photos here) and just in time to see a fan put a LSU Tiger hat in front of him. Bo replied that this is the only other hat he'd consider signing, which got a chuckle out of the crowd around him. Must be nice being head coach. Bo was the only member of the team and staff that had a tent awning over him.

Also saw Khiry Cooper seated with the wide receivers.
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August 17th, 2008
Only two weeks left

Fall camp has reached the mid-point. Sunday, the Husker football team will host their Fan Day at Memorial Stadium starting at 2pm CST. HuskerFaithful.com will attend and photos will be posted on this site Sunday afternoon. So, we have two weeks until the first game. Two more weeks of anticipation, of what might be. Then Husker fans get to find out for real how good the 2008 team will be.

Several good articles in the papers today. First, the Journal Star's Husker Extra takes a deeper look at the Blackshirts tradition. Tom Osborne, on the first day of fall camp spoke about the Blackshirts tradition at Nebraska. Surprisingly (or not), a lot of the defensive players didn't know the history. Osborne showed video clips of how the Blackshirts should play and what mentality was needed to be a Blackshirt. I'm guessing the Peter brothers made several appearances in the video clips. Maybe a Wistrom sighting or two.

Steve Sipple of the Journal Star also takes a look at the daily battle of schemes between Shawn Watson and Bo Pelini. The result...making the offense and the defense both better.
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August 14th, 2008
An exclusive interview with Jason Peter

Former Husker All-American Jason Peter’s new book Hero of the Underground: My Journey Down to Heroin and Back was released in July 2008 to rave reviews. The book is a raw look at his life in football and how he coped once his career came to an end. It’s a must-read for Husker football fans and people struggling with drug addiction. Jason was kind enough to answer some questions for HuskerFaithful.com.

HF: Would you say Hero of the Underground is more about a football player who nearly lost everything or a drug addict who pulled his life out of a nosedive?

JP: I would say a football player that thought he lost everything. I identified myself through football so when Jason Peter the football player no longer existed, Jason Peter the person was gone as well. Such a huge part of my struggle in life was finding a purpose, trying to find something else that I could be great at. The thought of failing or not having success in a particular field was enough to keep me from trying altogether.

HF: What are the main things you want the reader to take away from your book?

JP: First of all, I hope the book gives the reader a better understanding of addiction.
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July 23rd, 2008
Husker Faithful's 2008 Season Predictions

Lost Wages is out with their over/under for Nebraska wins this season and it’s seven. But what does Vegas know? Here’s how I see the season playing out for the Big Red.

Western Michigan - Win. This one could be closer than people think. It's the first game under a new head coach and a new full-time offensive coordinator. The Huskers won't be in mid-season form for the first game. Final score prediction: 42-21.

San Jose State - Win. C'mon, it's fricking San Jose State. Aren't they better known for having a good women's water polo team? Enough said. Final score prediction: 48-14.

New Mexico State - Win. The Huskers should be hitting their stride by game three, just in time for the first big test of the season. Incidentally, it isn't this week's opponent. In case you're ever on Jeopardy, New Mexico State University hails from Las Cruces, known around the world as home of the Whole Enchilada Fiesta. Final score prediction: 52-17.

Virginia Tech - Win. Finally, a marquee non-conference game against someone other than Southern Cal.
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July 17th, 2008
Preseason Polls/Huskers Impressive So Far In 2008

Can you feel it? The newsflow is picking up. Husker Faithful is knocking out posts on his blog again. Football season must be near. A month from now, the Huskers will be on the practice field, led by their high hat bill wearing head coach. A month-and-a-half and the Bo Pelini era officially gets underway against some directional school I can't remember right now. Oh yeah...Western Michigan.

Is it just me or are most preseason polls merely a reflection of how the previous season ended? Take the Big 12 media poll just released. These 51 magnanimous writers, pundits, and intelligentcia of Big 12 cities went out on a limb and unanimously picked Missouri to win the North. Food for thought...these same media members picked the Cornhuskers to win the North last season. Following the Tigers were the Kansas Jayhawks and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Beyond that, who cares, right? While I can understand Missouri as their top pick (17 returning starters, including QB Chase Daniel), there is no way Kansas has a repeat of last season. In 2007, the Jayhawks skated by on a relatively easy schedule, not having to play either Oklahoma or Texas.
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July 14th, 2008
Really? Nebraska had a good decade in the 90's?

In my daily check of Husker news, I ran across this article from RealFootball365.com. The title of the article is "Overlooked Nebraska might have been true '90s dynasty." Evidently, the rest of the college football world (Husker fans excluded) is still transfixed with the Fun & Gun offenses of Florida, Miami, and Florida State circa the 1990's. Now we Nebraskans tend to be a little more down to earth and grounded than other folks. Some people are all about the sizzle, while we prefer the steak. So it's not surprising to me that there are college football fans who refuse to acknowledge Nebraska's pure dominance in the 1990's. No team, let me repeat, NO TEAM came close to Nebraska during the decade. Playing at a championship level from 1993 to 1997 (half of the decade), winning three titles in four tries...I'd say that's a pretty good run. But you've got to be kidding me that there are people that think Florida, Miami, or even Florida State had a better decade? As the author notes in his article, Florida State was able to beat up a weak football conference.
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July 9th, 2008
Time to buy the Huskers

Warren Buffett is arguably the greatest investor of all-time. His philosophy is simple: 1) buy low and sell high, and 2) be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. With the stock market suffering through the summer doldrums, it occurred to me that sports fans and investors have some things in common. Investors in general like stocks the most when the market is at a high and they don’t want anything to do with them when the market is in the dumps. Sports fans have basically the same attitude toward their team, liking them the most when their team is experiencing success and the least when their team is struggling. Granted, this analogy doesn't factor in the most loyal fans (and Nebraska has plenty) who never get off the bandwagon. But you get the point.

The guys over at BigRedNetwork (who are much more prolific writers than me) asked an interesting question, "Have you peaked as a Husker fan?" Personally, the answer is no way. That's tantamount to saying my best days in life are behind me.
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June 5th, 2008
A new book forthcoming from Jason Peter

Thought I'd pass along the following email I received from the publisher of a new book called Hero of the Underground, a memoir by former University of Nebraska Cornhuskers star Jason Peter.

You’ll probably remember Jason Peter as a ferocious defensive lineman for Tom Osborne’s Cornhuskers; he played on three national champion teams (1994, 1995, and 1997), and in his senior year was team captain and a first team All American. His older brother Christian Peter also starred for the team, and the two played side by side in 1995. Jason went on to be a first round NFL draft pick by the Carolina Panthers, where he played for four years before injuries forced him to retire.

You may not know about his life after retirement. As a professional, coming back from one serious injury after another, Jason developed an addiction to painkillers. After his retirement, that addiction led to others, spiraling from crack all the way down to heroin—a journey that took him to the darkest haunts of New York and Los Angeles , as well as through numerous rehabilitation facilities.
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May 27th, 2008
One month down...

We're just over a month into the most depressing time of the year for a Husker football fan, the so-called "off-season." How are you all doing? I don't know about you but I need college football. The NBA doesn't cut it. Major League Baseball doesn't get exciting until the post-season, which happens to coincide with college football season. Men's college lacrosse was on TV over the weekend. That must be an East Coast thing because I don't get it. I guess we've got the Husker baseball team to root on. They need us right now, after picking a poor time to go into the tank. Hopefully, they rally in the regional and can find a way to Omaha. But the bottom line is that Husker football season is still three months away and newsflow is pretty slow about right now.

An avid visitor to the site, Dylan emailed me this link today in which former Husker Trev Alberts gives his take on the upcoming season. It's worth a watch if you have a minute and a half of your day to spare.

Sorry, no Bo Pelini sightings recently.
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April 22nd, 2008
Bo knows goodwill

One of Husker Faithful's loyal readers, Bret, shared a story with me about Bo Pelini which needs to be told to the masses (all seven of you who read my blog). Bret and a friend of his came into Lincoln this past Friday from Colorado for the Spring Game. Bret's father would have normally accompanied him on the trip, but some last minute health problems prevented him from coming. Bret and his buddy hit the Haymarket area for some eats and drinks and happened to stop into Barry's. Upon entering, they noticed none other than Bo Pelini and a few of his assistant coaches sitting at a table. Bret and his friend approached Bo and chatted with him for a moment. Bret describes Bo as follows: "I have to tell everyone, he is one of the most stand-up, kindest guys I've met in a very long time." Near the end of their conversation, Bret realized that his father was missing out on something pretty special here. So Bret asked Bo if he would mind saying a few words to his ill father in South Dakota.
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April 20th, 2008
Another Spring Game is in the books

Click here to see our photos from Saturday's Spring Game.

I called it correctly. The first offensive play of the game was indeed an option to the short side of the field. Too bad it was the white offense running the play instead of Joey Ganz and the Red offense. The option was blown up by Tyler Wortman of the Red team defense, thus robbing the crowd of a chance to give offensive coordinator Shawn Watson a standing ovation. Way to go Tyler.

The highlight of the day for me was seeing all the former Husker players down on the sidelines. There must have been at least 50 ex-Huskers, including Broderick Thomas, Fabian Washington, DeJuan Groce, Steve Taylor, DeMorrio Williams, Ahman Green, and Richie Incognito.

As for the action on the field, what can you say, it was a scrimmage after all. A little sloppy at times. Roy Helu, Jr. looked good. Quentin Castille had the run of the day when he bulled over my man Rickey Thenarse. Rickey is one of the team's biggest hitters on defense and Castille ran him over.
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April 18th, 2008
And the first offensive play of the Spring Game is...

I'll go ahead and predict the first play from scrimmage in the 2008 Spring Game will be an option to the short side of the field. Nothing says Nebraska football is back like the old bread and butter. Somewhere in a skybox, Tom Osborne will crack a sly smile. Shawn Watson will endear himself to Husker fans, who will forget he had anything to do with Bill Callahan. Sold out Memorial Stadium will cheer with delight, just like they cheered with delight four years ago when Joe Dailey heaved the ball downfield on the first play of the Callahan era. Dailey's pass of course fell incomplete, which proved to be quite prophetic for the next four years. This time it will be different. Seemingly all of Husker Nation (was that a Steve Pederson invention?) is behind Bo Pelini and the new staff. Those that aren't, will be soon.
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April 15th, 2008
Bo vs The Daily Nebraskan

Student newspapers...what can you say, mini-me journalistas hoping to catch a big break, I guess. Or at least to rock the boat and drum up some news. Anyway, the Daily Nebraskan editorial board decided to stir the pot just a bit by attacking first year head football coach, Bo Pelini, for his lack of team discipline in this article.

The editorial accuses Pelini of going easy on several players (with the exception of Andy Christensen) for recent run-ins with the law. One such player is Josh Williams, the Denton, Texas defensive end recruit who isn't even a Husker yet. Williams allegedly punched a man in the face and stole $900 from him. Not a good way to begin your college football career if you ask me. Bo hasn't said much about this situation, presumably because he's letting the justice system handle it. Evidently, that's not good enough for the DN. Guilty until proven innocent seems to be their message. The editorial also mentions Major Culbert and Patrick Witt. So that's three players and one recruit over a two year time period and out of about 150 players overall.
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March 31st, 2008
The personal side of Husker football

We as Husker football fans often place an inordinate amount of emphasis on how our team does in a particular season. Wins and losses, championships, All-Americans, are all important, don't get me wrong, but behind each red face mask on the white helmet there is a story. Several players have been highlighted in the news recently. Here they are in capsulized form.

Menelik Holt: Meno is the class clown off the field and all business on it. He gets his jovial ways from his mother, Mary. Only Mary is not with us anymore. She passed away from cancer in October 2006. One of the final acts Meno's mom did before dying was to introduce Meno's dad to him. Holt talks to his dad every day now and often travels to Denver to see him. Mary's legacy lives on through her son, the comedian wide receiver for the Huskers known as Meno.

Rickey Thenarse: Rickey missed last Friday's spring practice session after returning to Los Angeles to deal with the death of a brother, his second brother lost to gun violence in recent months.
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March 24th, 2008
Questions heading into spring practice

Spring football practice begins Wednesday and runs four weeks, culminating in the annual Red-White Spring Game on April 19th. Here are several questions the Husker Faithful have going into the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska.

Will the offense look any different with Shawn Watson at the controls?
Absolutely. Husker fans were treated to Watson's play-calling in the first half of the Texas A&M game last season, before Bill Callahan took back the reins. Let's face it, Callahan was predictable much of the time in his play-calling. When Watson was given control, we saw a reverse run by Franz Hardy and an overall better mix of plays. Husker fans should expect more of the same, with a renewed focus on the running game. Good news if your name ends with Lucky, Castille, or Glenn. Whereas, the run game under Bill Callahan consisted of dump passes to Lucky in the flats, expect to see a more bruising run game with the new coaching staff. Roy Helu, Marcus Mendoza, and Lucky will be relied upon for their speed, while Quentin Castille and Cody Glenn will provide the thunder.
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February 20th, 2008
2008 will be a tough season for the Huskers

Never fear Husker fans, Bo Pelini is here. Superman he might not be, but some Big Red fans will expect Bo to get their Huskers back to the top faster than a speeding bullet anyway. Sorry to break it to you, but 2008 won't be the year that Nebraska breaks through and here's why. The Huskers face five teams who will most likely begin the year ranked in the Top 25, including four who ended the 2007 season ranked in the Top 10.

Let's face it, we're not playing the schedule we played in 2003. The 2003 season saw the Big Red face only two ranked opponents all season, #24 Oklahoma State in the first game of the year and #16 Texas in Austin later in the year. The 2008 season has the Huskers playing the following teams as ranked in the season ending polls: #4 Missouri, #7 Kansas, #8 Oklahoma, #9 Virginia Tech, and #22 Texas Tech. That's five opponents who will most likely begin the 2008 campaign ranked in the Top 25. That's four teams on the Huskers schedule that finished the 2007 season in the Top 10.

Lucky for NU fans, we do play three of these opponents at home (Virginia Tech, Missouri, and Kansas).
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February 13th, 2008
Bo Pelini: A Man of the People

So here we are, relatively fresh into the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska, and already our new coach is off to a better start than the previous one. One constant criticism of Bill Callahan was his reclusiveness. His side of the story no doubt would be that he was constantly refining his offensive gameplan, watching film, and trying to translate that into wins on the field. His lack of public appearances would probably have been smoothed out by better performance and faster success on the field, but we all know how that turned out. I can't recall ever hearing anyone say they saw Bill at the downtown Starbucks. I can't recall anyone saying they ever saw him anywhere, except for that one basketball game he attended shortly after he was hired.

Fast forward to the present. Bo Pelini has a sweet gig right now. He's the blessed choice of Tom Osborne, who most Husker fans would agree has the best interests in mind for the school he put so much into. Pelini was counseled to restore the walk-on program, keep up public appearances, and to sum it up, do exactly the opposite of what Bill Callahan did during his tenure from a PR standpoint.
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February 5th, 2008
Nebraska's 2008 football recruiting class bios

***Updated as of Thursday, February 7th

Meet the 2008 Nebraska football recruiting class, broken down by position. A list of known walk-ons follow. One note, Mason Wald is expected to become the 28th commitment to the class. He has yet to sign a letter of intent, but is expected to do so on Thursday.

Quarterbacks (1)
Kody Spano is a 6'2" 202 pound dual threat quarterback from Stephenville, Texas. Kody and his family took an official visit to Lincoln in early January and he committed days later. Shawn Watson was the lead recruiter on Kody, who is ranked as the #9 dual threat QB by Rivals.com and the #47 player in the Texas Top 100. He is rated a 3-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Also in the running for Kody's services were Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tulsa, and Georgia Tech.

Running Backs (3)
Collins Okafor is a 6'1" 210 pound running back out of Omaha Westside High School. Ranked by Rivals as the #4 player in the state of Nebraska and the #27 running back in the country, Okafor is one of those players that Nebraska needed to keep in-state.
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February 3rd, 2008
Huskers in today's Super Bowl

Here's a look at former Huskers who are on the rosters of New England and New York.

New England Patriots

#71 Russ Hochstein plays both guard and center for the Patriots and is in his sixth year as a pro. The Hartington, Nebraska native was acquired as a free agent in 2002 by New England and has already earned two Super Bowl rings from his 2003 and 2004 seasons with the Patriots. He was with the Huskers from 1997-2000.

#90 Le Kevin Smith is in his second year as a pro. The former Husker defensive lineman was drafted by New England in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft. Smith hails from Macon, Georgia and was a Husker from 2001 to 2005.

New York Giants

#47 Andrew Shanle played on the practice squad for the Giants and was called into duty for the Super Bowl in recent weeks. Shanle had been substitute teaching at Lefler Middle School in Lincoln prior to getting a call from his agent in early December. Shanle is a St. Edward, Nebraska native, and brother of Scott Shanle who is now with the New Orleans Saints.
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February 1st, 2008
Two recruits join the '08 class

Lester Ward, a 6'3" 200 pound runnning back from Brenham, Texas, has verbally committed to be a Husker. Ward had been committed to playing football for Baylor, but as we all know, Baylor doesn't have a football team. Once Lester confirmed this news, he began looking elsewhere. The big back was recruited by UCLA, Miami, and Missouri, among other lesser schools. Ward is rated a 2-star recruit by Rivals and Scout, whatever that's worth. To date, the Huskers have nine of their 23 recruits coming to Lincoln via the state of Texas, which as we all know, tends to produce some good football players. Tim McGraw's son in the movie Friday Night Lights comes quickly to mind, although I can't remember his name.

Also joining the 2008 Husker recruiting class is Alfonzo Dennard, a cornerback from Rochelle, Georgia. The 5'10" 185 pound prospect was committed to North Carolina, but as we all know, North Carolina is a basketball school and basketball schools are never good at football, unless you count this year which was just weird. Dennard is one of a growing number of recruits targeted from SEC country by Nebraska's new coaching staff.

Speaking of SEC country targets, Khiry Cooper, a 6'2" 175 pound wide receiver out of Shreveport, Louisiana, is making his way to Lincoln this weekend for an official visit according to HuskersIllustrated.com.
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January 25th, 2008
Big recruiting weekend for the Huskers

As many as 12 recruits will be in Lincoln this weekend for visits. Among these are several current verbal commitments, including Baker Steinkuhler, Kyler Reed, and Ricky Henry. Of the remaining nine recruits, two are from the state of Louisiana, two from Alabama, two from Texas, and one each from Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio. The following is a list of known visitors this weekend:

--Antonio Bell, WR, Daytona Beach, FL - Committed
--LaRon Bryd, WR, Boutte, LA
--Ricky Henry, OL, Wahpeton, ND - Committed
--Jordan Makovicka, DB, Brainard, NE
--Courtney Osborne, WR, Garland, TX - Committed
--Steven Osborne, WR, Garland, TX - Committed
--Kyler Reed, LB, Overland Park, KS - Committed
--Justin Rogers, RB, Birmingham, AL
--Kenny Stafford, WR, Columbus, OH
--Baker Steinkuhler, OL, Lincoln, NE - Committed
--Prentiss Waggner, DB, Clinton, LA
--Mason Wald, DB, Birmingham, AL

In other recruiting news, Eddie Brown is the latest decommitment from the Huskers 2008 class. The funny thing...he was only a commit for two days. Evidently, the defensive tackle recruit from Waller, Texas preferred Texas A&M over the Huskers. So long Eddie Brown, we hardly knew ye.

National letter of intent signing day is February 6th.
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January 17th, 2008
Do you know Bo Pelini?

See if you can guess the answers to the following questions about Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini.

1) What brand of coffee does Bo drink, Starbucks or McDonalds?

2) Who is Bo Pelini's neighbor?

3) Who was seen a few weeks back pumping gas for Bo Pelini?

4) What are Bo's thoughts about next season?

5) Does Bo enjoy doing the coach's show?

And now for the answers...

1) Bo was spotted inside the downtown Starbucks recently by a reliable eye witness. Take that McDonalds. Buy Starbucks stock based on this information alone. Once word gets out, the stock will take off, unless we are in recession. Then wait six months before buying.

2) Bo Pelini's neighbor is none other than Kevin Cosgrove. I wonder how long before Coz comes over, rings the doorbell, and asks Mary Pat Pelini if Bo can come out and play defense in the backyard with him.

3) A few weeks back, Tom Osborne was seen pumping gas while Pelini sat in the passenger's seat of their Tahoe. The two were on a recruiting visit up in Omaha. How many of you can say T.O.
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January 8th, 2008
The Bo Pelini Show

So all is well in Huskerland. The Bo Pelini show at LSU is over and we've got ourselves a head coach. He's completely focused on Nebraska football now, albeit, with a mild hangover from celebrating on Bourbon Street last night. Yes, Bo Pelini accomplished what he came back to (did he ever leave?) LSU to accomplish...win a national championship. Add that to the Super Bowl ring he has and Husker fans should be happy to have a coach as accomplished as Bo. Now the real work begins. Solidifying the 2008 recruiting class is priority number one with signing day a month away. Expect to see a lot of news on this front over the next couple of weeks. No doubt there will be some positive surprises as well as some late defections. But that happens at all schools, not just to Nebraska.

The Lincoln Journal Star has tallied all the on-air comments about Bo Pelini from last night's Fox broadcast of the BCS championship. Read them here. Bo's post-game comments can be read on the LJS blog as well, right here.

Husker fans had to be wondering early on whether allowing Bo to coach LSU's defense was a good move, as Ohio State racked up a quick 10 points.
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December 11th, 2007
Comings and goings

So Trev Alberts won't be here, neither will Dave Kennedy nor Randy Jordan. But Jeff Jamrog may be returning.

Trev Alberts briefly entertained the idea of assuming a role in the NU athletic department, most likely associate AD for football, the spot vacated by Tim Cassidy. Alberts noted that his family is fairly entrenched in the Atlanta area and the timing just isn't right for a move back to Nebraska. Trev had been seen around the North Stadium offices for about a week after Callahan was told to go home by Tom Osborne.

NU's strength and conditioning coach, Dave Kennedy, has also left the program. Kennedy came onboard in 2004 with the Callahan hiring and had taken flack for a variety of issues, including the play of the defensive line this season. Kennedy was a Nebraska graduate and worked in the Husker strength department for seven years in the 1980's before stints at Ohio State and Pittsburgh.

Randy Jordan will not be on Bo Pelini's staff after all. As the running backs coach under Bill Callahan, Jordan was thought to have had a chance to make the jump to the new staff, if for no other reason than his relationship with Marlon Lucky.
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December 7th, 2007
An Olde English Husker Tale

I received the following in an email today. I do not know the origins of the email or it's author, but thought it was definitely worth passing on.

And it came to pass in the land of Lincoln , in the kingdom of Husker Nation, that a man named Pederson arose to rule the realm of Athletics. He was of the Kingdom, from the city of North Platte , and was a follower of the Huskers of Corn.

But he was not a wise man, forsaking the ways of the Husker Nation, sending the leader Solich into the wilderness, and turning away the warriors of old who wore the tunics of black into battle in ages past, even removing their portraits and pictures.

And in the place of Solich, he selected from the land of La-La a strange man, once known as leading a failed army known as Raiders to defeat after defeat in the grand Coliseum of the Land of Oaks , a city by the bay of San Francisco , a wicked city of Sodomites and practitioners of perversion.
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December 3rd, 2007
Time for another Big Red Roundtable

Whenever big news strikes, you can count on the Husker bloggers to weigh in. Here's the latest installment of the Big Red Roundtable for your reading pleasure. Other bloggers' links will be added to the end of this as they become available.

1. The 2007 season finished with a disappointing 5-7 record. Very few people expected this. What went wrong?

At the risk of offending PETA for continuing to beat a dead horse, I'll just sum it up this way. Callahan preferred loyalty over employment. By keeping Cosgrove on his staff, Callahan showed friendship is thicker than a paycheck. Defensive issues were the major cause of the downfall this season, but that's only part of the equation as to why the Bill Callahan experiment came to an end. Rather than write a novella, I'll just leave it at that. Next question!

2. Bo Pelini takes over as head coach. Good move or bad?

Not just a good move, but a great move. The defensive background and intensity that Pelini brings to the Nebraska program is exactly what the Dr. (Tom) ordered. We all remember how successful Bo was in turning around the defense in 2003 and now he has the chance to do the same with the entire team.
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December 3rd, 2007
Bo should coach in the BCS title game

Bo Pelini should coach his LSU defensive unit in the BCS Championship Game if Tom Osborne gives his blessing. Here are the reasons why. 1) Exposure for the University of Nebraska. Talk about a great platform to announce to the world that Bo Pelini will be the new head coach at Nebraska. Think about the all the pre-game interviews and media members focusing on this "distraction" for LSU. In the meantime, Nebraska will get a decent amount of airtime, behind only LSU and Ohio State. This is great exposure for NU's recruiting efforts. High school players, especially defensive oriented recruits, will no doubt take notice of LSU's defense and know that to be a part of it they now have to look at Nebraska. 2) With Nebraska not going bowling this season and with the dead period of recruiting, preparing for this bowl game will not interfere that much with his duties as head coach of Nebraska. Coaches are not permitted to contact recruits beginning on December 17th until January 1st. This is referred to as the dead period of recruiting.
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December 2nd, 2007
Notes from the Bo Pelini press conference

Sean Callahan of HuskersIllustrated.com reported on 10/11 News prior to the press conference that signs are pointing to Barney Cotton, Ron Brown, Marvin Sanders, and Carl Pelini as possible members of the new staff. Current offensive coordinator Shawn Watson is believed to have a good chance to remain onboard at Nebraska as well.

Tom Osborne's comments:

Osborne said you don't have to follow me around anymore. You can follow Bo instead.

Osborne pleased and gratified with the number of coaches that were interested in coming to Nebraska.

Defense was greatest concern for Osborne. Leadership issues were important. Playing hard is essential. Some understanding of Nebraska. What's unique, what isn't.

Nebraska's defensive ranks show Bo's ability: the 2002 defense was ranked 55th, 2003 (under Pelini) ranked 11th, 2004 ranked 56th.

Bo has outstanding defensive credentials. At the top or very near the top of defensive categories the past several years.

Players and coaches here in 2003 said Bo was able to get players to play with tenacity.

Osborne took a shot at Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star when he said Sip called Bo "charismatic" - said Sip never used words that big before.

Bo is the only Division I coach to go undefeated in the last four years.

Bo Pelini's comments:

Wife Mary Pat, my best friend in the world. Eight year old son Patrick probably freaked out about losing all the purple stuff.

Nebraska is a special place.

Look forward to going out and recruiting the best players in the state of Nebraska.

Nebraska football and what it means to the state.
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December 2nd, 2007
Bo Pelini to be introduced at 4:00 press conference on Sunday

Interim athletic director Tom Osborne will officially announce Bo Pelini as the next head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers at a 4:00pm press conference today. Pelini is in Lincoln and will be meeting with the team prior to the press conference.
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December 2nd, 2007
Is there life after college football season?

For anyone who watched the end of the SEC Championship game last night, it wasn't hard to tell that Bo Pelini was coaching his last game for LSU. Pelini had tears in his eyes as he hugged his players after LSU defeated Tennessee for the SEC Championship. The Tigers defensive coordinator was also given a water dousing and presented with the game ball by his defensive unit. According to one player, Pelini told his players that Nebraska was a dream job for him and that he was inclined to take the position. And this was in his pre-game speech. Look for a press conference either Sunday or Monday to finalize the Pelini hiring by Nebraska.

I made this comment to a friend last night but it's funny how often the announcers of a game will jinx a team or player. Immediately after CBS announcer Verne Lundquist proclaimed how Tennessee hadn't committed a turnover or penalty all game, Volunteers QB Erik Ainge threw an interception that LSU ran back for a touchdown. That score proved to be the difference in the SEC title game.

This wild college football season hasn't slowed down one bit.
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November 30th, 2007
Pelini is the guy...according to ESPN.com

Tom Osborne says he hasn't officially offered the Nebraska head coaching job to anyone. Bo Pelini says he doesn't know where NU stands regarding their head coaching search. It's all semantics, folks. Husker Nation will know who their next coach is as soon as the SEC championship game is a day old. Barring a last minute change of heart, it appears that Tom Osborne has decided Bo Pelini is the right man to right the ship. According to ESPN.com, the announcement may come as soon as Monday that Pelini is the next head coach of Nebraska. From what I've gathered, most of the big money boosters want Bo and most of the fans want Bo. But ultimately, Tom is the decider.

Here are some videos to get you in the mood: 2003 Season Highlights and 2003 Alamo Bowl.

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November 29th, 2007
A decision by this weekend

Can this coaching search end quick enough? No. In a sign of just how ridiculous this has become, ESPN.com had two separate reports yesterday that contradicted one another. One report said the candidate pool had been whittled down to Turner or Bo, while the other said Bo didn't impress Osborne in his interview, but Jim Grobe did. What's a Husker fan to make of all this nonsense? The way I see it, there are two possible scenarios.

1) Bo Pelini is the guy and Osborne is waiting until after the SEC championship game to announce him as the new coach. There's nothing stopping Osborne from hiring Gill right now, except for scenario two.

2) Osborne wants to interview Paul Johnson after Navy's game with Army this weekend or another candidate we don't know about. In that case, obviously the job search is still open and no decision has been made, just as Osborne has told the press.

I believe these are the only two plausible scenarios right now. Either he's waiting to interview another candidate or he's waiting until a certain conference championship game is played.
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November 27th, 2007
Another candidate emerges

Another candidate has emerged in the Nebraska head coaching search. Brian Kelly, currently in his first season at Cincinnati, is apparently set to interview with Tom Osborne on Wednesday.

Tom Osborne did say he wanted to speak to four or five prospects before making a decision. So here is where we stand in order of interviews conducted:

1) Bo Pelini
2) Turner Gill
3) Jim Grobe
4) Brian Kelly (although he's denying it)
5) ???

No word yet on whether Navy coach Paul Johnson, whose team is gearing up for rival Army this weekend, will be included in the mix. Johnson isn't commenting on any coaching vacancies until after the Army game anyway. So unless he flew in a private plane from Annapolis to Atlanta or Lincoln, a PJ interview would be difficult to detect. I believe one of the perks of being the Navy head coach is that you have an F-18 at your disposal. Great for those under-the-radar trips. Someone alert Duncan Aviation to be on the lookout for Navy jets landing in Lincoln.

Here's my take on the coaching search. I'm afraid that if we hire a Jim Grobe or Brian Kelly, that Husker Nation will take a wait-and-see attitude again with them like we did with Callahan.
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November 27th, 2007
No news is good news if you want Bo for coach

The team meeting today produced little in the way of news regarding the ongoing search for a new head coach. Tom Osborne did tell the players that a coach could be named by this weekend, leading me to believe that once the SEC championship game is over, T.O. will have something to say. Of course, Osborne hasn't offered the job to anyone. Evidently, we're still in the discovery/interview process right now. Bo Pelini, Turner Gill and Jim Grobe are known to have interviewed already. Might there be a fourth or fifth candidate who has yet to interview? Brian Kelly's name has been mentioned over and over, but still nothing to report with him.
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November 26th, 2007
Another update

So there is a team meeting tomorrow at 4:00pm. Players received text messages today telling them of this meeting. Basically, they were given 24 hours notice. Sounds a little fishy to me. The NU sports information office is trying to pass this meeting off as a typical after-the-season get-together in which the team votes on its MVP and such. But you would have to think these kinds of meetings are scheduled a little more in advance than one day. I would bet that this meeting is to notify the players, whom Osborne told would know first, of their next head coach. The speed with which everything has happened over the past couple of days leads me to believe this will be coming to an end very soon.
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November 26th, 2007
The latest on the coaching search

Tom Osborne has promised that the players will be the first to find out who their new coach is. According to an NU player, there is a team meeting tomorrow at 4pm. He couldn't say whether or not it was related to a new coach being named, but how many team meetings occur after the season is officially over? Not many. I'll step out on a limb and say it has to do with a new coach being named. Will we, the Husker Faithful, know who it is by tomorrow night? Stay tuned.

A plane owned by NU booster Howard Hawks left Omaha this morning for Atlanta. Here are some of the flight details. No idea who was on the flight. Heck, maybe Howard just wanted to mess with reporters a little bit. Read more about this flight here and in this Omaha World Herald article. The OWH is reporting that a new coach could be announced as early as Wednesday of this week. It's unclear how soon Bo Pelini would be able to take the job, if he is offered it, because of LSU playing in the SEC championship game and bowl game.

An NU booster's private plane left Lincoln on Sunday with Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Interim Athletic Director Tom Osborne onboard.
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November 25th, 2007
The next head coach at Nebraska is...

So we know this much so far. A private plane left Lincoln this afternoon en route to Baton Rouge and it presumably has something to do with a Bo Pelini interview. The plane is owned by a big donor to the University. I guess that dispels all those rumors about Pelini being seen in Lincoln several weeks ago. Not that we ever believed them anyway. This plane is then scheduled to fly on to Atlanta, where the search firm assisting Osborne is located. If you want to know more, check out this flight tracker for the Atlanta portion of the trip. And here is an article about this flight.

And now word has come out that Tom Osborne has been given permission to talk to Turner Gill about the Nebraska job opening. I still think Bo gets the job though.

A few other notes from the day's news. My favorite quote of recent memory comes from Lou Bozak of Omaha in this Omaha World Herald article. The 58-year old Husker fan summed the Bill Callahan era up this way: "If Bob Devaney were alive today, he'd roll over in his grave.” That reminds me of the old riddle that ends with the question of where to bury the survivors.

Aaron Taylor, the 1997 Outland Trophy winner and former Husker, said whatever Osborne's choice, it will be the right one.
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November 24th, 2007
Osborne press conference notes

Tom Osborne announced the firing of Bill Callahan in a press conference Saturday morning. Osborne said as a former coach this was a role that he really didn't like, sitting in judgment of other people. Osborne said he didn't want to make a change, he wanted as much continuity as possible, and he wanted Callahan to succeed, but under the circumstances, change was needed. Here are some of his other comments from the press conference:

Osborne said a couple weeks ago, the coaches wanted some benchmarks as to what was expected of them in order to keep their jobs. If they won eight games, for sure they'd be back. If they won three out of the last four and were competitive then a case could be made. Two out of four would be pretty tough to make that case. And a losing season would make it impossible.

--being competitive is just as important as win-loss record
--systemic issues when you have good players that aren't producing
--there was just something missing, something not working
--T.O. met with Callahan first, then each assistant individually, each assistant is guaranteed a salary for the next year (13 months), Osborne asked them to help with recruiting
--Osborne seemed to get emotional when talking about his own coaching experience and the move afoot to have him fired after his fourth year if he wouldn't have won his bowl game
--over the next few days, he'll talk to 4 to 5 people regarding the job, he'd like to get the new coach hired soon for recruiting purposes
--NU went 42 years without a losing season, had two in the last four years
--it had gotten to the point where a decision had to be made
--I like Bill Callahan, think he's a professional
--I wasn't going to tell BC who to let go, he was the head coach and it was his decision
--qualities in next head coach: integrity, word is good, knows football, has good work ethic, can motivate, get players to play hard
--talked to Bill McCartney recently: he said that NU has lost it's identity, used to be a team that people hated to play, not anymore
--have to play with intensity and sometimes you didn't see that
--some mobility as quarterback is important in an offense and Joe Ganz added that element
--didn't get to know Callahan very well, our paths weren't crossing very much, no animosity towards each other, still don't know him very well and that bothers me
--Callahan was very cordial during the meeting this morning, which took 5 minutes, although T.O.
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November 24th, 2007
The Bill Callahan era at Nebraska has ended

The Bill Callahan era at Nebraska has come to an end this morning, according to ESPN. The sports network is citing sources close to Callahan in saying he was fired following a meeting with Tom Osborne. Callahan briefly met with offensive coordinator Shawn Watson after his meeting with Osborne, then Callahan was seen leaving the Hawks Center. Watson is now meeting with the assistant coaches. A press conference has been scheduled for 9:30am this morning in which Osborne will no doubt officially announce the firing of Bill Callahan.

Defensive coaches Bill Busch and Kevin Cosgrove have left the NU program as well, according to channel 10-11 in Lincoln.

In four seasons under Bill Callahan, the Cornhuskers suffered through two losing seasons, the only losing seasons for NU since 1961. Callahan's record at Nebraska over his four years was 27-22. The Huskers failed to make a bowl game during two of his four years.

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November 11th, 2007
Better late than never

Wow! I didn't expect that at all. Seventy-three points? After last week's loss at Kansas, the team's fifth in a row, how could anyone predict this outcome? What a day for Joey Ganz! A school record seven touchdown passes and 510 yards. Not only that, but he completed 75% of his passing attempts. That's unheard of. You really have to be proud of a guy like Ganz for stepping up when it's his opportunity to shine. And guess who was the first player on the sidelines to congratulate Ganz after every touchdown...Sam Keller. One class act congratulating another one.

There's so many great storylines from this game, in addition to Ganz. Frantz Hardy had three touchdown catches. The senior wide receiver has been pretty quiet this season, but Hardy showed his speed on TD catches of 36 and 39 yards. Cortney Grixby's 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was the Huskers' first since 1998. I knew it hadn't happened under Callahan, but we're talking about Solich's first year. Nice to see the special teams break one. Grix sparked the team and the fans with that one.
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November 8th, 2007
Parallels between Oklahoma and Nebraska

When legendary Oklahoma Sooner head coach Barry Switzer stepped down in 1988, the Sooners hired his long-time assistant coach, Gary Gibbs. For the sake of comparison, Gibbs was to Oklahoma what _______ was to Nebraska. If you guessed Frank Solich, give yourself two gold stars. Both Gibbs and Solich were groomed under their respective program's legendary coaches before taking over the reigns. Each man coached their alma mater for six seasons. Gibbs posted a 44-23-2 record during his time, while Solich was ousted by an egomaniac AD after leading the Huskers to a 58-19 record. OU then handed over the car keys to Howard Schnellenberger, who lasted one year. Thank goodness for Nebraska fans, there is no comparison here. Instead, the Huskers skipped right on to the next "OU like" head coach. Bill Callahan, it turns out, is a lot like John Blake, a good recruiter but a poor in-game adjustments guy. Blake presided over the worst stretch is Sooner football history, producing a 12-22 record in three years. Ironically, Callahan will be remembered as presiding over the worst four years in modern Husker football when it's all said and done.
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November 6th, 2007
The next coach at Nebraska

I'll support whoever is hired as the next Nebraska head football coach. I like Bo Pelini because his players respect him and play hard for him. Then again, is Nebraska the type of program that should be run by someone without any head coaching experience? On the flip side, Bo is about as hot of a commodity as there is amongst coordinators right now. It's only a matter of time before he gets his shot. Will it be at Nebraska or somewhere else? Is Turner Gill ready to step into a job like Nebraska coming from a job like Buffalo? Should he not take a mid-major job first to get more experience? Is two years as a head coach enough time to prove yourself or do his ties to Nebraska automatically put him in contention. Paul Johnson has displayed the ability to work with different offensive styles, a pass offense at Hawaii, a run offense at Navy. He's been successful at every stop of his career. But is he the right guy for Nebraska? What about Jim Grobe, Jim Leavitt, Greg Schiano, Gary Patterson, and all the others mentioned as possible candidates? How important is having a coach come in here who has Nebraska ties? Judging by our poll question results, winning is more important than having a Nebraska pedigree.
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October 22nd, 2007
Callahan's comments today

Bill Callahan unleashed a doozy at today's weekly Big 12 Conference call. Here's the question and partial answer:

Question: What kind of adjustments could you have made?

Callahan: Oh, I think it's probably too technical for you...I don't want to get into coachspeak.

Let's be honest, every coach has an ego. Bill Callahan's is right up there with the biggest in all of sports.

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October 19th, 2007
The latest

Tom Osborne once again said no staff changes would be made until the end of the season and even then there might not be any made. Osborne spoke in Omaha this morning at a well-attended Big Red Breakfast gathering. Osborne will no doubt give Callahan and his staff a fair assessment. If somehow the Huskers were to finish the season on a strong note, it wouldn't surprise me to see the same staff on the sidelines next year. But it's fair to say that each game will be treated as a job interview from here on out for Callahan and his staff. My question remains...are we past the point of no return with this staff? There seems to be a lynch mob mentality out there right now and I'm not sure that Callahan can overcome all the negativity and win fans back, even if they finish the season on a strong note. Nebraskans seem to have less patience with an outsider, especially one who was hired by Steve Pederson. Now, if Osborne gives Callahan his ringing endorsement at the end of the season, that will bring some fans back into the fold, but not all.
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October 18th, 2007

Has anyone else noticed you see this at the bottom of your TV screen a lot more these days? BREAKING NEWS! Dow Jones Industrials up for second day in a row. BREAKING NEWS! President Bush going mountain biking. Is it just me, or have we dumbed down the whole concept of what is news and what isn't? So with that in mind, Husker Faithful is joining the ranks of the news sensationalizers to bring you this breaking news story.

Did you hear that so and so will be the next head coach? Or did you hear that so and so will be the new AD once Osborne steps down? Seriously, I thought he just took the job TWO DAYS ago. It was during his press confernence TWO DAYS ago that Osborne said he wouldn't make any staff changes until AFTER the season is over. But who am I to discount the products put out by the rumor mill. Instead, Husker Faithful will keep a running list of everyone under the sun who has been rumored to be the "next" head football coach at Nebraska.

1) Bo Pelini - Wouldn't Husker Nation be thrilled?
2) Joe Glenn - He's not leaving Wyoming.
3) Paul Johnson - Navy runs the option.
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October 16th, 2007
Big Red Roundtable - Back To The Future Edition

1. Steve Pederson is out as athletic director. Did you see it coming? Good move or bad move?

Something had to be done and getting rid of Pederson was the logical first step. I'm not in favor of firing coaches in the middle of a season. It's too disruptive. This was a great move on Harvey Perlman's part and it probably had a little something to do with self-preservation. Do I, a) sink along with the SS Pederson, or do I, b) jump on the Osborne life raft? Good choice Harvey.

2. Tom Osborne has returned as Pederson's interim replacement. Good move/bad move? What should Osborne's priorities be, and what does Osborne need to do?

Osborne is the best candidate for the job. Period. I don't think another person exists who has the respect, integrity, and knowledge of the program that Tom has. Osborne's first step was to say there won't be any coaching changes coming from his office before the season is over. Next, he will have to reach out to all of the donors who were turned off by Pederson. Re-establishing contact and opening communication channels with former players should follow as well.
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October 16th, 2007
Bill Callahan speaks

For the first time since the firing of Steve Pederson became official, Husker football coach Bill Callahan spoke to the media.

Callahan said the players are concerned about their coaches future as well as a lot of other things. Callahan also said that they will continue to move forward as long as he and his staff are in charge. Texas A&M is the focus right now. The coaching staff is trying to help the players through this tough time, acknowledging that what has transpired is a "huge distraction." Callahan said it's important to "close ranks" and "focus in" on the next game. He said it is a great opportunity for this team to go out and prove themselves again. Callahan said he is by nature "optimistic."

Callahan said the he feels responsible for Pederson's firing because ultimately the direction of the program rests with the head coach.

As far as recruiting goes, Callahan said they are doing everything they can to keep their current class together. He said that anytime you struggle, you will lose some players in a class and gain others.

"Very difficult" and "very tough" was how Callahan described his feelings about the decision to fire Pederson.
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October 15th, 2007

Steve Pederson may have invisioned being the white knight that would ride in and save his alma mater from mediocrity, but instead he helped expedite the NU football program to new lows. He made his own bed though by over-promising and under-delivering. When you announce that Nebraska football isn't going to settle for 9-3 or 10-3 seasons, you're setting the bar impossibly high. Bill Callahan will be the next to feel the weight of these impossible expectations in the form of being let go. It's just a matter of when.

In all fairness to Steve, he did some good things for the program. The North endzone addition and the new facilities were badly needed. Without his, I won't call it vision, but rather persistence, these improvements wouldn't have been made. Now Nebraska again has one of the best facilities in the college football world. But Steve burned about as many bridges as he crossed while riding his horse around the athletic department. Numerous personnel from the AD's office have left since Pederson arrived, with the last to go being the well-connected Paul Meyers.
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October 15th, 2007
The emperor has no clothes

Harvey Perlman, in a moment of clarity, chose self-preservation and canned Steve Pederson this afternoon. How this will affect the play on the field is unknown, but at least one of the most polarizing figures in college athletics won't be plying his trade at NU anymore. Perlman said, "I refuse to let this athletic department gravitate towards mediocrity" in an apparent reference to something Pederson once said. I have my sources checking past press releases to see if we can determine what Pederson's exact words were. (Okay, so he didn't actually say that, but I couldn't pass up the chance.) Husker fans wanted to see more fire out of the team, but they're probably just as happy with seeing this kind of fire. It's time to let the healing begin. Who wants to make a bet that Tom Osborne will be the new AD? Or maybe Dave Rimington or Barry Alvarez?

During Harvey Perlman's press conference today the UNL chancellor said no interim AD has been named at this point. Perlman also said that he has not decided on a permanent AD.
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October 15th, 2007
Rumors are flying today

Rumors were swirling this morning that there would be a news conference at noon today to discuss changes at the athletic department and/or football team. Even the friendly guy at Hy-Vee knew about this supposed press conference. Turns out there isn't one and judging from the comments of at least one NU regent, nothing is in the works either. Of course, Donald Rumsfeld's job was safe the day before the 2006 elections and not so safe the day after. So this could be a case of Baghdad Bob striking again. You remember him, right? He was the Information Minister of Iraq when it was still ruled by Saddam. His claim to fame is reporting that the Iraqi defenses are holding up just fine as U.S. tanks are rolling into the city behind him. Anyway, you get the point. Honestly, I wouldn't expect to see any changes until after the season is over with one exception...I could see Stevey Pedey being shown the door in the next couple of weeks.

There will no doubt be more rumors throughout the remainder of the season, especially if the games play out the way a majority of Husker fans think they will.
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October 14th, 2007

Saturday's game against Oklahoma State wasn't the first time I left a Husker game at halftime and didn't come back. The 38-0 score at the midway point wasn't all that unusual either. The only difference, and it's kind of a big one, is that I've NEVER seen a Nebraska team embarrassed so badly at home. Few of you reading this have. But the word “embarrassing” aptly describes this season so far. The loss to USC, the wins over Ball State and Iowa State, and the loss at Missouri, all qualify. And now this. The first team in Nebraska’s 118-year history to allow four 40 point games in one season. Most lopsided home loss for NU since 1958. Oklahoma State’s first win in Lincoln since 1960. OSU racked up the most yards they ever have against Nebraska (551) even though they reined in their offense during the second half. Oklahoma State was up 17-0 before Nebraska picked up a first down. I could go on, but that salt in the wounds is really starting to burn.

One of the few bright spots during the game for me was Rickey Thenarse's hit on the Oklahoma State punt returner.
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October 11th, 2007
Enough already

Bill Callahan's Rube Goldberg offense and Kevin Cosgrove's Waterloo defense have the Husker Faithful near wits end. Our head ball coach says he wants to run the ball more. Well, run the ball more. You're the one calling the plays. Call more running plays if you want to run the ball more. I've got an idea, when it's 3rd & 2, how about running instead of passing? If you ask me, that's a brilliant idea. Not quite up there with the invention of the light bulb, but darn close.

Defensively, how many times have we faced a spread offense and we still have no idea how to stop it. ("We" meaning Cosgrove, because I would never accuse my readership of not knowing how to stop the spread.) "We" will get another chance this Saturday as the Huskers face Oklahoma State. Remember them? Nebraska staked an early lead by (you'll never guess) running the ball, before dribbling it off their foot in the second half. NU hasn't needed a win this big since the Colorado game in 2005.
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September 24th, 2007
Big Red Roundtable - Emergency Edition

The Husker blog party has convened an Emergency Roundtable meeting of the minds to discuss the state of the union that is Nebraska football. Read Husker Faithful's comments below, followed by links to other Husker football blog sites.

1) Assess the Huskers performance this season. What is going well, and what has surprised you?

Thank God for Sam Keller and the passing game. Without it, we'd be looking like Notre Dame, except with one win. The kicking game has been a pleasant surprise. Adi Kunalic continues to do well on kickoffs. Alex Henery has done a good job with the placekicking. One question though, when was the last time we had a punt return or kickoff return for a touchdown? I honestly can't remember. Other than the Blackshirts struggles, the biggest surprise for me has been the lack of intensity on that side of the ball. Other than Rickey Thenarse, Phillip Dillard and Steve Octavien, I can't think of anyone playing with a chip on their shoulder. What happened to Suh and Turner? Where's Corey McKeon hiding on the field? We haven't heard much from Corey either verbally or physically this season.
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September 21st, 2007
Greatest college football dynasties of all-time

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at college football dynasties in today's Personal Journal section of the paper. If you have a subscription to the online journal, click here to view the article. If not, here is a summary.

USC has finished in the top four each year since 2002, winning a share of two national championships and producing three Heisman Trophy winners. They are the current dynasty in college football. The WSJ compared the current Trojan dynasty to the following programs: Alabama 1961-65; Nebraska 1993-97; Miami 1987-91; and Oklahoma 1953-57.

Factors involved in the rankings include: average AP poll ranking, win-loss record, average point differential, and number of 1st and 2nd round NFL draft picks.

Here is how the WSJ ranks the Top 5 college football dynasties since 1950:

5) Alabama 1961 to 1965 - The Crimson Tide won three national titles and had a 49-5 overall record, winning their games by an average of 17.5 points.
4) USC 2002 to 2006 - A work in progress.
3) Nebraska 1993-97 - "Almost unstoppable." Give me a break. They WERE unstoppable.
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