The main storyline in this year’s meeting of Big 12 North teams is the reversal of traditional roles in this matchup. The 8-0 Jayhawks enter the game as one of five unbeaten teams in the nation and carrying a No. 8 ranking the BCS Standings.
Saturday’s game at KU’s Memorial Stadium will mark just the seventh time
The game against the Jayhawks is
The Jayhawks faced an intimidating task at Kyle Field last weekend against Texas A&M, but came out on top with a 19-11 victory over the Aggies. Sophomore quarterback Todd Reesing has been the brighest spot for the Jayhawks by leading KU to a 8-0 start. After attempting just 24 passes as a freshman in 2006, Reesing has passed for 1,985 yards in 2007 while connecting on 150-of-253 attempts. He’s a dual-threat quarterback, also rushing for 193 yards this season. His average of 272.3 total offense yards per game ranks 25th in the nation. Behind
In the Jayhawk backfield, senior running back Brandon McAnderson leads the team with nine touchdowns on the ground and 86.0 rushing yards per contest while sophomore running back Jake Sharp is averaging 77.1 yards per game with six touchdowns to rank second on the squad. McAnderson carried the ball five times for 19 yards and a touchdown in KU’s 39-32 overtime loss against the Huskers last season. Sharp returned one kickoff for 14 yards against
Senior wide receiver Marcus Henry is one of the best in the Big 12, with 32 catches on the year for 585 yards and three touchdowns. Along with Henry, Derek Fine has 30 catches and is one of five Jayhawks with at least three receiving touchdowns this season.
Senior placekicker Scott Webb was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week Oct. 22, following
Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino
Sixth-year head coach Mark Mangino is making a strong case for Big 12 and national Coach of the Year in 2007. After a 6-6 campaign in 2006, Mangino has rallied the Jayhawks to one of its best starts in school history this season.
With a 33-35 record as the
Mangino, a graduate of
Nebraska-Kansas Series...114th Meeting
The NU-KU series is tied for third-longest in NCAA Division 1A history, trailing only Minnesota-Wisconsin (117) and Kansas-Missouri (116).
►The series is continuous since 1906 (101 games), making it the longest current continuous series in I-A and an NCAA record (surpassing the 95 games by Kansas-Oklahoma, 1903-97).
►In the last match-up in
►During NU’s 36-game win streak from 1968 to 2004, KU played the Huskers within one touchdown only five times.
►Kansas head coach Mark Mangino is 1-4 against
►Nebraska has not lost back-to-back games in
►Nebraska’s 2005 loss at
►The Huskers have three players from the state of Kansas–senior linebacker Lance Brandenburgh (
►Kansas had offensive games of 428 and 511 total yards in the 2005 and 2006 contests against
►This Saturday will mark the first time
In a matchup of two of college football’s storied programs,
The crowd of 85,968 fans–the largest ever to see a
The Huskers forged a 17-3 lead early in the second half on the second Sam Keller to Nate Swift touchdown pass of the day. After hooking up on a 24-yard scoring strike just before halftime, Keller hit Swift on a 23-yarder on third down to give NU a two-touchdown lead with 12:32 remaining in the third. The two scoring strikes were the first touchdowns of the day after the offenses managed only an exchange of field goals in the first 29 minutes.
The Longhorns cut the lead to 17-15 with 12:23 left on the first of Charles’ TD runs, but the two-point conversion failed, leaving NU in the lead.
Junior quarterback Joe Ganz subbed for the injured Keller and connected with Maurice Purify on a four-yard touchdown pass. A successful two-point pass to Swift cut the lead to 28-25. However,
Noting Game Nine...
►Texas’ three-point victory marked the fifth time in the past seven meetings between the two schools that the outcome has been decided by four points or less.
►Junior wide receiver Nate Swift caught six passes for 112 yards, including a pair of touchdown catches. The two touchdown receptions give Swift 12 career touchdown catches, incuding three this season. Swift’s 12 career touchdown catches place him in a tie for sixth on the NU career list.
►The 100-yard receiving day was the fourth of Swift’s career and his first since his freshman season in 2005.
►Swift’s six catches moved him into third place on the
►Junior running back Marlon Lucky rushed 24 times for 111 yards, his fourth 100-yard game of 2007 and the seventh of his Husker career. With his 111 yards, Lucky moved his season rushing total to 832 and his career rushing total to 1,689.
►Lucky’s 33-yard run in the second quarter was the second-longest rush by NU this season, bettered only by Lucky’s 41-yard TD run against
►Lucky caught six passes for 41 yards, pushing his season receptions total to 55, tying Johnny Rodgers’ school-record set in 1972. Lucky has 89 career receptions, good for fifth place on the Husker career list.
►Senior wide receiver Frantz Hardy caught a 56-yard pass on the second play of the second half, giving him five career receptions of 50 yards or more, including two this season.
►Nebraska forced a fourth quarter turnover by
►Redshirt freshman place-kicker Alex Henery connected on a 31-yard field goal early in the second quarter to improve to a perfect 6-of-6 on field goal attempts this season. Henery is also 26-of-26 on extra-point attempts.
►Freshman offensive tackle Jaivorio Burkes played in his first career game and made his first career start. The start by Burkes marks the third straight season that
►Senior fullback Andy Sand caught two passes for 16 yards. Sand entered the game with just one reception for 15 yards in his career.
►Senior safety Ben Eisenhart collected a career-high six tackles, bettering his five tackles earlier this season against
►Junior punter Dan Titchener averaged 42.6 yards on eight punts, and had four punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
►Texas running back Jamaal Charles had 290 yards rushing against the Huskers, the most recorded by an individual against
►The 114 meetings between the two schools makes NU-Kansas the third-longest series in Division I-A, trailing only Minnesota-Wisconsin (117th meeting on Nov. 17) and KU-Missouri (116th meeting on Nov. 24).
►Saturday’s game marks the 102nd straight year the two schools have met, making the NU-KU series the longest continuous series in the country. The schools have met every season since 1906.
Huskers Face Second Straight Ranked Opponent
►The consecutive road games against nationally ranked opponents marks a first since 2000, when NU faced back-to-back road games against No. 3 Oklahoma (Oct. 28) and 16th-ranked
►The last time Nebraska played road games in consecutive weeks against ranked teams was in 1982, when Nebraska lost 27-24 at No. 8 Penn State (Sept. 25), before picking up a 41-7 victory at 20th-ranked Auburn (Oct. 2).
Huskers Look to Upend Nationally Ranked Jayhawks
Late-Season Matchups with Unbeatens are Rare for Huskers
►The last time
►Nebraska last defeated an unbeaten team after Nov. 1 with a 62-24 victory over
►NU’s last November regular-season win against an unbeaten team came on Nov. 11, 1978, when the Huskers knocked off No. 1 and unbeaten Oklahoma, 17-14, in Lincoln. The last time NU won a road game against an unbeaten team in November was the 35-31 1971 win at
►In recent years, NU has two late-October wins over unbeaten and second-ranked teams–a 20-10 win over 7-0 Oklahoma on Oct. 27, 2001, and a 24-7 win over 7-0
Huskers Look to Find Success in
►The Huskers have scored 40 or more points in 26 of the last 38 meetings, while holding
►The Huskers hold a 46-7-1 all-time edge in the series in
Husker Offense Looks for Success Against Strong Jayhawk Defense
The Huskers finished 2006 ranked 14th nationally and third in the Big 12 in total offense at 414.6 yards per game. Those numbers represented a 94.3-yard improvement over the 2005 season, when the Husker offense clicked late in the year. The 2005 Huskers finished the season 96th nationally in total offense at 320.3 yards per game.
The Huskers' offensive gain was largely attributed to a much-improved running attack. In 2005,
NU also made strong improvements in scoring offense going from 67th nationally in 2005 to 17th in 2006 at 30.6 points per contest. The Huskers also made a 31-spot jump in passing offense, improving from 54th in 2005 to 23rd in 2006.
Husker Offense Continuing to Find Success in Red Zone
The 2007 Husker offense is showing the same ability to convert scoring opportunities into points. Through nine games,
NU also had nine long plays against
Lucky Producing Record-Setting Receiving Numbers for NU Offense
In recent weeks, Lucky has distinguished himself as a receiver in the
Lucky made six catches at
►The 55 receptions by Lucky are the most by any running back in the nation. In fact, Lucky ranks 35th nationally and sixth in the Big 12 Conference in receptions per game at 6.1 per game. Lucky is the only running back in the country ranked in the top 100 in receptions per game.
►Lucky has recorded the top two games in terms of receptions by a
►The 13 and 11 reception games rank No. 2 and No. 3 on the single-game receptions chart for any player in school history. Only Dennis Richnafsky’s 14 receptions against
►Lucky has at least three receptions in 12 of the past 15 games dating back to last season and has had four or more catches in seven of the past eight games.
►Lucky has 89 career receptions, fifth on the Husker career list, four behind Matt Davison who is in third place on the career list. Lucky has set a new standard for career catches by a Husker running back, passing Jeff Kinney's total of 82 career catches.
►Lucky has a team-high 429 receiving yards in 2007, and needs five yards to set a new NU running back record for receiving yards in a season. Jeff Kinney currently holds that mark with 433 yards on 41 catches in 1969. Lucky has 815 career receiving yards, just 49 yards shy of the Husker running back career record (864, Kinney, 1969-71).
Ground Game Also Keyed by Lucky
Marlon Lucky had a career day in the opener against
In the process of running wild through the Wolf Pack defense, Lucky ran his way into the Husker record books.
►His 233 rushing yards shattered his previous career high of 156 yards on 10 carries last season against
►Lucky became the 15th Husker player to rush for more than 200 yards in a game (33 games overall). Lucky’s 233 yards marked the 12th-best rushing day in school history, and was just one yard from the single-game top 10.
►The previous time a Husker topped 200 rushing yards was quarterback Jammal Lord who ran for 234 yards against Texas on Nov. 2, 2002. Lucky’s 233-yard day was the first 200-yard effort by a
►Lucky became the 56th Husker to rush for 1,000 career yards against
►Lucky has 832 rushing yards in 2007 and needs needs 168 yards to record the 28th, 1,000-yard rushing season in school history.
►Lucky produced his fourth 100-yard rushing day of the season with 111 yards on 24 carries against
►Lucky has 1,261 all-purpose yards in 2007, six yards shy of his 14-game total in 2006. Lucky averages 140.1 all-purpose yards per game to rank fifth in the Big 12 and 37th nationally. He needs 214 all-purpose yards to post the top all-purpose yardage season by a Husker since Ahman Green racked up 1,982 all-purpose yards in 1997.
►Lucky’s 266 all-purpose yards against
Freshman I-Backs Providing Complement to Lucky
While Marlon Lucky has handled the bulk of
►The 6-2, 235-pound Castille carried 20 times for 102 yards against the Cowboys, giving the Huskers one of five 100-yard rushing games this season (4 by Lucky). Castille added 60 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against Texas A&M. Castille has produced 296 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 64 carries.
►Helu has not seen as much action as Castille, but figures into the offensive plans for the remainder of the year. The
Nunn Closing Fast on Receiving Records
Leading the way is senior Terrence Nunn, who has his sights on the
Nunn did see his pursuit of one record end at
Nunn had one of his finest games as a Husker against
Swift Also on Record-Setting Receiving Pace
Junior Nate Swift is not far behind Nunn in terms of production. The two players joined the
Swift has 29 receptions for 408 yards and three touchdowns this season. His receptions total gives him 96 career catches, third on the NU chart. Swift is also close to moving into third place on the career receiving yardage list, trailing Matt Davison by just 33 yards entering Saturday’s game at
Swift set a
The two touchdown catches at
Other Receivers Also Making Their Mark for Huskers
In addition to the record-setting numbers of Terrence Nunn and Nate Swift,
Senior Maurice Purify had an outstanding first season at
Purify ranks second on the team with 33 catches for 412 yards in eight games. Against
Senior Frantz Hardy does not possess the same volume of catches, but boasts two of the most explosive receiving games in NU history. His 152 receiving yards against
Junior Todd Peterson and senior Dan Erickson also had extensive game experience entering 2007. Peterson has 10 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns this season, while Erickson has five receptions.
Keller Posts Impressive Offensive Numbers in Husker Attack
Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan turned the reins of the 2007 offense over to senior Sam Keller. Keller and junior Joe Ganz entered fall camp listed jointly atop the depth chart, but Keller owned a slight edge during the fall to earn the starting nod. Keller is in his second year in the
Keller suffered a shoulder injury late in the game against
Keller has been solid at the helm of the Husker offense. He threw for 389 yards against then-top-ranked USC, then put up a school-record 438 yards against
The 6-4, 230-pound Keller opened his NU career with 191 passing yards against
Among Keller’s notable accomplishments through the first nine games are...
►Keller has thrown for 2,422 yards, good for third on the
►Keller has completed 63.08 percent of his pass attempts, a completion rate that would break the
►Keller has 205 pass completions, 32 completions shy of the NU season record of 237 set by Zac Taylor in 2005.
►Keller ranks 31st nationally in total offense at 260.4 yards per game.
McKeon Making Way up Nebraska Tackles List
McKeon’s 56 tackles this season have pushed his career tackles total to 223, good for 17th place on the
A high school safety, McKeon has also recorded five career interceptions, including one earlier this season in
Ruud Continues to Show Knack for Big Plays
The interceptions in two straight games gave Ruud five career interceptions, including three that he has returned for touchdowns (also 2005 vs.
The 93-yard interception return against
In addition to his interception stats, Ruud has also consistently been around ball-carriers during his career. The
Ruud is in his third season as a starter for the defense. He lined up at WILL linebacker the past two seasons before moving to the SAM linebacker spot in 2007. Ruud ranks sixth on the team with 42 tackles, including a season-high 14 stops against
Ruud’s 42 tackles have pushed his career tackles total to 204. Against
A year ago,
Henery, Other Walk-ons Playing Large Role for 2007 Huskers
While Adi Kunalic has paced the Husker kickoff game, redshirt fresman place-kicker Alex Henery has handled the place-kicking chores in fine fashion. Henery is a perfect 6-of-6 on field goals this season and has connected on all 26 of his extra-point attempts. Henery leads the team in scoring with 44 points this season.
Henery is part of an impressive output by
Peterson is one of 21 former walk-ons who have been placed on scholarship by Head Coach Bill Callahan since he took over the
NCAA-Record 288 Consecutive Home Sellouts
The fan support at Memorial Stadium has led to a dominant home advantage for the Huskers. NU has won at least six home games in 18 of the past 21 seasons (updated including 2007) and is 163-21 at home since 1981.
The Huskers have won 43 football conference championships overall, including eight under Coach Bob Devaney and 13 under Coach Tom Osborne.
Huskers Among Leaders in AP National Titles
Notre Dame leads the nation by winning eight Associated Press national titles since 1936, with
Callahan's Huskers Continue to Perform in Classroom
Todd was a first-team selection as a junior. In addition to his academic All-America honors, Todd also received the 2007 Walter Byers Award, the highest honor bestowed on a student-athlete by the NCAA.
The selection of Todd as a second-team academic All-American gave the Husker football program 93 all-time CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, a nation-leading total. The Husker athletic program as a whole also leads the nation with 252 academic All-America selections across all teams and all sports.
Big 12 Leader in First-Team Academic All-Conference Selections
A Big 12-leading 15
Eighteen Seniors on Track to Graduate by December
J.B. Phillips will be in good company by bowl season. A remarkable number of 23 seniors are on track to earn their undergraduate degrees by the completion of the fall semester.
Among Callahan’s first three senior classes, 53 of 64 student-athletes have graduated with several others very near completion of their degrees.
Husker Freshmen off to Strong Start in the Classroom
The Husker football program had 18 incoming freshmen take courses in the 2007 summer session. Those newcomers quickly made the transition to the college classroom, completing a combined 102 credit hours with an average GPA of 3.720.
The current exhausted eligibility rate includes members of incoming classes from 1990-91 through 1999-2000. During that time, 424 of 453
Huskers Fare Well in Graduation Success Rate Report
The Husker football program also scored well in the recent Graduation Success Rate scores that were released by the NCAA. NU ranked second in the Big 12 Conference in GSR at 83 percent, just one percentage point behind league leader Baylor. Among teams ranked in the AP Top 25 of Sept. 30,
NU Leads in Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll
In addition to leading the league in first-team academic All-Big 12 picks,
The Husker football program was one of 34 schools from across the nation honored this spring by the American Football Coaches Association with the 2007 Academic Achievement Award.
The 34 schools that were honored achieved a graduation rate of 70 percent or better for the 2000-01 incoming freshman class. This year marked the seventh straight year
Peterson Receives Brook Berringer Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Criteria for the Brook Berringer Memorial Scholarship includes the following: Must be a football student-athlete; must be involved in community service along with high ideals, excellent character and integrity.
A native of
Peterson is majoring in nutrition, exercise and health science and carries a 3.726 cumulative grade-point average. He is a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection.
Christensen Honored with Jake Young Memorial Scholarship
A native of
In addition to his on-field talents, Christensen is a standout performer in the classroom, carrying a 3.651 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in construction management. He was a 2006 first-team academic All-Big 12 pick and a CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-District VII selection. Christensen has also been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll each of his first six semesters on campus.
The Jake Young Memorial Scholarship was made possible by generous donations from friends and family, Husker fans across the nation and by a generous donation from Lynn and Dana Roper. The Roper’s were Young’s
Misc. 2007 Game-by-Game Notes
►Nebraska’s victory was its 22nd straight win in a season opener, continuing a nation-best streak in season openers.
►Nebraska’s 413 rushing yards marked the most by a
►The 96 offensive plays by
►Nebraska ran the football 70 times against
►The crowd of 32,483 was the smallest at a
►The game was
►USC was just the second non-conference to win in
►The nine-point deficit overcome by Nebraska tied the fourth-largest fourth-quarter comeback in school history, and was the largest at Memorial Stadium since overcoming a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit against Colorado in 1966 (trailed 19-7 before winning 21-19). Of the five-largest comebacks in school history, two have happened under Bill Callahan (also 10-point deficit against
►Nebraska had two players surpass 100 receiving yards in a game for the first time in school history with Sean Hill’s 129 yards and Maurice Purify’s 122-yard effort.
►Keller’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Hill in the third quarter marked the longest reception by a
►Nebraska’s victory was its 32nd win in its past 33 conference openers. NU has also won its past 30 league home openers, including all 12 since the start of the Big 12 Conference.
►Junior fullback Thomas Lawson caught two touchdown passes, marking the first time in school history a fullback has recorded two touchdown receptions in a game. He joined Cory Ross (Oct. 1, 2005 vs.
►Senior linebacker Bo Ruud’s 93-yard return was the third-longest interception return in school history, bettered only by 95-yard returns by Bill Kosch against Texas A&M in 1971 and Willie Greenlaw against
►Nebraska held the football for 20:48, marking its lowest time of possession since holding the ball for just 19:33 in a 51-25 win at
►Nebraska’s loss ended the Huskers’ eight-game win streak against Big 12 North opponents and was the Huskers’ third consecutive setback against
►The 35-point loss was the largest to
►OSU’s 38 points in the first half were four points shy of the Nebraska opponent record for most points in a first half (Colorado, 42, 2001). The 38 points are the most allowed by
►Texas A&M’s win marked the Aggies’ third in 13 tries against the Huskers and just their second in eight games at Memorial Stadium. The Texas A&M victory also snapped a four-game Husker win streak in the series.
Osborne Named Interim Athletic Director
Chancellor Harvey Perlman announced on Tuesday, Oct. 16, that Tom Osborne had agreed to serve as
Since Osborne left his post as 3rd district Congressman following a gubernatorial bid in 2006, he has been a senior lecturer in the UNL College of Business Administration, teaching leadership and business ethics.
Osborne agreed to serve, on an open-ended arrangement, until Perlman finds a permanent athletic director. Osborne replaced Steve Pederson who was asked to leave the post by Perlman on Monday, Oct. 15.
“I’ve spent the majority of my life working with the Athletic Department at the university and I want to do what I can at this point to continue in the pursuit of excellence that has been previously established,” Osborne said.
Osborne took over duties immediately and will also finish the semester teaching his two classes.
Chancellor Perlman said he is pleased that Osborne agreed to provide leadership and that the university will benefit from Osborne’s vast experience.
“I am very pleased that Tom Osborne has agreed to help bring some leadership and direction to our Athletic program. Tom is committed to making the entire program successful. He brings the right experience, an understanding of
1997 National Championship Team Enjoys Reunion in
More than 90 members of
The players then were back on the Memorial Stadium field as a team for the first time in a decade, going through a tunnel walk just before the 2007 Huskers took the field. The 1997 Huskers were led onto the field by Osborne and five of his assistant coaches who were on hand for the weekend.