The Blackshirts head to Seattle, Wash., this weekend to take on Washington.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Head to Pacific Northwest this Weekend

By NU Athletic Communications

Record: 2-0
Rankings: Coaches-8; AP-8
Last Game: def. Idaho, 38-17
Coach: Bo Pelini
Career/NU Record:
22-8/3rd year
vs. UW: first meeting

Game 3:  Nebraska at Washington
Sept. 18, 2010 | Husky Stadium
Seattle, Wash. | 2:30 p.m.

Game Information
Television: ABC

Husker Sports Network

Series Record: Tied, 3-3-1
Capacity: 72,500
Surface: Fieldturf

Rankings:  Not ranked
Last Game:  def. Syracuse, 41-20
Coach: Steve Sarkisian
Career/UW Record:
6-8/2nd year
vs. NU: first meeting

The Matchup
Nebraska takes to the road for the first time in 2010, traveling to Seattle, Wash., to meet the Washington Huskies in a Big 12-Pac-10 showdown. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. PDT (2:30 CT) at UW's Husky Stadium and the game will be carried to a regional audience on ABC-HD. Those markets not receiving the game on ABC will be able to see the contest on ESPN2.

The Cornhuskers will head to the Pacific Northwest with a 2-0 record after a 38-17 victory over Idaho last Saturday in Lincoln. The win gave NU a 2-0 record for a sixth straight season, but, Nebraska will be looking for just its third 3-0 start since 2004. Nebraska enters the Washington game ranked eighth in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.

Washington enters Saturday's game with a 1-1 record after a 41-20 victory over Syracuse on Saturday evening in Seattle. The win allowed UW to even its record after a 23-17 road loss at BYU to open the 2010 season.

The Series
Saturday's game will mark the eighth meeting between Nebraska and Washington and the first since 1998. The all-time series is tied 3-3-1, with Nebraska winning each of the previous two meetings in 1997 and 1998. With Nebraska ranked eighth in this week's Associated Press Poll, this marks the fifth straight meeting between the two schools with at least one of the teams ranked in the top eight nationally. In fact, in all four meetings in the 1990s, both teams were ranked 12th or higher.  Washington will return to Lincoln next year on Sept. 17.

The Coaches
Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, '90) owns a 22-8 record in his third season. Pelini has guided NU to nine or more wins in each of his first two seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich in accomplishing that feat. Pelini is the first coach in Big 12 history to guide his team to at least a share of division titles in each of his first two seasons.

Washington:  Steve Sarkisian (BYU, '97) is in his second season as the Huskies' head coach and owns a 6-8 record at Washington. Sarkisian was an assistant at USC for seven seasons before taking over the Washington program.

Nebraska Football
Nebraska is 829-341-40 all-time, one of just eight schools with 800 all-time victories  Nebraska has won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997).  The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships.  Nebraska's 46 all-time bowl appearances rank fifth nationally.  Since 1970, Nebraska has 395 wins, 26 more than any other school.  Nebraska's 98 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation.  The Huskers have had 107 All-Americans in school history.

Noting Game 2...Nebraska 38, Idaho 17
*-Nebraska improved to 2-0, marking the sixth straight year Nebraska has started 2-0. The Huskers improved to 22-1 all-time against WAC opponents, including 21 straight victories.  The win was also NU's 500th all-time home victory.

*-Nebraska redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez rushed 14 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns. The 157 rushing yards tied for the fifth-most ever by a Nebraska freshman. It also tied for the 10th-most by a Nebraska quarterback. Martinez opened the year with 127 rushing yards against Western Kentucky.

*-Martinez's back-to-back 100-yard rushing games are the first for a Nebraska quarterback since Jammal Lord rushed for more than 100 yards against in back-to-back 2003 games against Missouri (111) and Texas A&M (109).

*-Martinez had a 67-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, marking the longest run by a Nebraska quarterback since Eric Crouch had a 70-yard run at Colorado in 2001. It was also the longest run by any Husker since Cory Ross had an 86-yard touchdown run against Missouri in 2004.

*-Senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. rushed for 107 yards on nine carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Helu's 58-yard run was his longest since his career-long 63-yarder last season against Oklahoma. Helu's 107 yards pushed his career total to 2,295 yards, moving him to No. 18 on NU's career rushing list. Helu Jr. passed Bobby Reynolds, Doug DuBose and Jeff Kinney on the career chart. Helu Jr. posted his eighth career 100-yard rushing game.

*-Sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead rushed for 77 yards on nine carries. Burkhead has 134 yards on just 14 carries through two games. He also caught three passes for 41 yards to give him five receptions for 88 yards on the season.

*-Nebraska rushed for 360 yards, after opening the year with 289 rushing yards against Western Kentucky. It was NU's highest rushing total since amassing 413 yards in a 2007 season-opening win over Nevada. The back-to-back 250-plus yard rushing games marked the first time NU has topped 250 yards on the ground in consecutive games since opening 2006 with 252 rushing yards against Louisiana Tech and 261 against Nicholls State.

*-With both Martinez and Helu Jr. topping 100 yards rushing, it marked the first time since Oct. 7, 2006 at Iowa State that Nebraska had a pair of 100-yard rushers. Both Brandon Jackson and Cody Glenn topped 100 yards on the ground in that game. The Idaho contest marked the 66th time in school history NU has had two 100-yard rushers in a game.

*-Nebraska had four scoring plays of 40 yards or more, all coming in the second quarter. The last time Nebraska had four scoring plays of 40 yards or more came at Oklahoma on Nov. 2, 1996. Nebraska had scoring passes of 41 and 51 yards in that game, along with an 83-yard interception return and an 85-yard kickoff return.

*-Senior place-kicker Alex Henery had eight points in the game, making him the fifth Husker to top 300 career points. Henery now has 304 career points.

*-Nebraska intercepted two passes for a touchdown in the second quarter, tying the school record for interception returns in a game. The game marked the sixth time in school history NU had returned two interceptions for a touchdown in a game, and the first since a win over Wake Forest in 2005. It marked the first time in school history NU had two interception returns for a touchdown in a quarter or a half. In the Wake Forest win in 2005, Nebraska did score a pair of defensive touchdowns in the first quarter, scoring on an interception return and a fumble return.

*-Nebraska senior safety DeJon Gomes' 40-yard interception return for a touchdown was his first career INT return for a score. Gomes' 40-yard return tied his previous long of 40 yards at Missouri last season. Gomes has had a hand in nine turnovers in Nebraska's past 12 games, including a fumble caused in the opener against Western Kentucky.

*-Nebraska senior safety Rickey Thenarse had a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown, his third career interception and his first career interception for a touchdown.

*-Nebraska intercepted five passes, marking the fourth time in the past seven games Nebraska had at least three interceptions in a game. Nebraska also had five interceptions last season against Oklahoma.

*-Senior receiver Niles Paul caught four passes for 31 yards, moving him into 10th place on the Nebraska career receptions list at 73. Paul also moved within 19 yards of the top 10 on the Nebraska career receiving yardage list.

*-Nebraska recorded seven sacks for 80 yards lost, its most sacks since recording nine for 52 yards against Texas in the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game.

Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini
Bo Pelini is in his third season as Nebraska's head coach and owns a 22-8 record with the Huskers. Pelini has helped Nebraska to at least a share of the Big 12 North title in each of his first two seasons, becoming the first coach in the history of the Big 12 to win at least a share of a division title in each of his first two seasons.

Pelini took charge of the Huskers after a highly successful five-year run as a collegiate defensive coordinator, including orchestrating NU's defensive efforts in 2003. Pelini picked up his first college head coaching victory as NU's interim coach in the 2003 Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.

Following his one season at Nebraska, Pelini served as the co-defensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 2004, helping the Sooners to the Big 12 title and BCS title game. He then followed with three seasons as the defensive coordinator at LSU. With the Tigers, Pelini led three consecutive defenses to No. 3 national rankings in total defense. He culminated his time in Baton Rouge by helping the Tigers to the 2007 national championship.

In addition to his five seasons at the collegiate level, Pelini coached in the NFL for nine seasons serving three years each with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. Pelini was a team captain and four-year letterman as a safety at Ohio State from 1987 to 1990.

Pelini Stacks up Well with Peers
In guiding Nebraska to a 22-8 record in his first three seasons, Pelini put himself in some impressive company.

  • Pelini is the fourth Nebraska head coach to win nine games in each of his first two seasons with the Cornhuskers. The others to reach that win plateau were Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich.
  • Pelini's nine victories in 2008 tied for the most among 18 coaches in their first season at their respective school. Among first-time head coaches, Pelini's victory total was the best in the nation. Pelini's 19 victories in his first two seasons are second among the hiring class of 2008.
  • Pelini was just the eighth BCS Conference (since 1998) first-time head coach to post nine or more victories in his first season. He was just the second first-year head coach in that span to win nine games after inheriting a team with a losing record the previous year.

Pelini Continues Defensive Accomplishments at Nebraska
Pelini has led an amazing defensive turnaround at Nebraska. The 2008 Nebraska defense was one of the nation's most improved units. In his first season, Pelini helped Nebraska finish second in the Big 12 in total defense, a year after the Huskers were 100th or worse in nearly every defensive category. Last fall, Nebraska was dominant on defense and its improvement was just as impressive. The Huskers led the nation in total defense and had the nation's best scoring defensive improvement (18.1 ppg).

With Pelini's previous track record, the success of his Nebraska defenses is no surprise.

  • Pelini led the 2003 Blackshirts to impressive numbers. NU had a school-record 47 takeaways, including a Big 12-record 32 interceptions, and finished second nationally in scoring defense, first in pass efficiency defense and 11th in total defense.
  • Pelini guided LSU defenses to No. 3 national finishes in total defense each of his three seasons in Baton Rouge.
  • In 96 games as a collegiate coach, Pelini's defenses have posted 10 shutouts, held the opposition to seven points or less 33 times and to 20 points or less 63 times.
  • Pelini-led defenses have 200 total takeaways, including two top-three national rankings.

Staff returns intact for Third Straight Season
Nebraska was long known for coaching staff continuity under Hall of Fame Coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne. Third-year Head Coach Bo Pelini appears to embrace that same philosophy. NU is in its third straight season with its staff intact in 2010, as all nine full-time assistants enter at least their third season on the Husker sideline.

Nebraska is one of only nine schools nationally to have the same full-time coaching staff for at least the past three years, including only Baylor and Texas in the Big 12. Prior to last season, Nebraska had not had its full coaching staff remain the same from one season to the next since 2001 to 2002 when Frank Solich's staff was unchanged.

Pelini's staff had extensive ties to Nebraska and the Big 12 prior to the 2008 season. Every member of the Husker coaching staff had prior experience in the Big 12 before joining forces for the Huskers.

Scouting the Washington Huskies
Washington returned 18 starters from its 2009 team that went 5-7 overall, including a 4-5 Pac-10 mark. After a 0-12 season in 2008, the five wins last fall marked the biggest turnaround in terms of victories in the nation. The 2010 Huskies are off to a 1-1 start with a road loss to BYU and a home victory over Syracuse.

Heisman Trophy candidate Jake Locker leads the Huskies in his fourth season as the UW starting quarterback. A Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist in 2009, Locker led the Pac-10 Conference with 3,188 yards of total offense last year. The Ferndale, Wash., native had 2,800 passing yards, the third-best single-season total in school history. After amassing 5,300 career passing yards through three seasons, Locker announced in December that he would be returning for his senior year. In 2010, he is completing 60 percent of his passes (42-of-70) for 555 yards and five touchdowns. Additionally, Locker has not thrown an interception and has only been sacked once this year. He had 21 touchdowns and 11 picks in 2009. Junior wide receiver Jermaine Kearse had caught four of Locker's five touchdown passes this season, while sophomore running back Chris Polk is averaging a solid 104.5 rushing yards per game.

Defensively, senior honorable-mention All-Pac-10 linebacker Mason Foster has 24 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and a sack. Senior safety Nate Williams also has two tackles-for-loss and ranks second on the team with 19 total stops.

Washington has given up 372 yards per game this year, including 408 total yards in the season-opening loss at BYU. The 2009 Huskie defense allowed 27 points per game, but ended the season on a strong note by shutting out Washington State and holding No. 19 California to 10 points in Washington's last two wins.

Series History
The Nebraska-Washington series dates back to a 6-6 tie in Lincoln on Oct. 17, 1925. Since then, each team has won three games, including Husker victories in the past two meetings (1997 and 1998). The 1997 contest in Seattle was one of the marquee games of the college football season, as No. 7 Nebraska upset No. 2 Washington, 27-14. The following year in Lincoln, the No. 2 Huskers ran past the No. 9 Huskies, 55-7.

Nebraska is 2-1-0 in Seattle. In addition to the 1997 upset, the Huskers lost a 10-6 battle on Nov. 25, 1926 before a 17-7 win on Sept. 16, 1967. Washington's other two series wins came in back-to-back seasons in 1991 and 1992.

Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian
Steve Sarkisian is in his second season as Washington's head coach, following five years at USC, including the final two as offensive coordinator/assistant head coach. After a winless 2008 campaign, Sarkisian led the Huskies to a 5-7 record in his first season, the biggest improvement in the nation in 2009.  Sarkisian's inaugural season was highlighted by home upsets over No. 3 USC and No. 19 California.

A native of Torrance, Calif., Sarkisian began his coaching career at El Camino Junior College before joining USC for a three-year run as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach (2001-03). Following one season as quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders, Sarkisian returned to the Trojans.

Sarkisian was the starting quarterback at BYU in 1995 and 1996, earning WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors as a senior. Ironically, the Cougars' only loss of the 1996 season came at Washington. Sarkisian and the Huskies met his alma mater in the 2010 season opener, falling 23-17 at BYU on Sept. 4.

Huskers Set for Battle with Pac-10
Nebraska's trip to Seattle to meet Washington is the Huskers' fifth trip to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Huskies and its third since 1992. It also marks Nebraska's 20th game against a Pac-10 opponent since 1990, with Nebraska owning a 13-6 mark in those game. Nebraska posted a 33-0 shutout against Arizona in the Holiday Bowl in its most recent meeting with the Pac-10, but has dropped its past two regular-season games against the league, losing to USC in both 2006 and 2007.

  • Nebraska is 34-20-3 all-time against Pac-10 opponents.
  • Since 1990, Nebraska has faced every Pac-10 school except Stanford and Oregon.
  • The Washington game will mark Nebraska's 36th meeting with a Pac-10 opponent since 1970. The Huskers have been ranked in the top 20 in each of those 36 matchups, including 28 times in the top 10 and 16 times in the top five. NU enters Saturday's matchup at Washington with a No. 8 national ranking according to the Associated Press.
  • In addition to Washington's return trip to Lincoln next fall, NU is scheduled to face UCLA in 2012 and 2013.

Martinez Makes Impressive Debut in First Two Starts
Nebraska redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez has quickly made a name for himself in his first two starts with the Huskers. Against Western Kentucky on Sept. 4, Martinez became the first redshirt or true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for Nebraska, and his performance in the first two games has shown why he earned the nod in a tight three-quarterback battle for the starting job.

Martinez has accounted for 263 total offensive yards in each of the first two games, including the top two rushing games in school history by a freshman quarterback. He has also been efficient in the air, completing 21-of-32 passes.

Here are a few of the highlights Martinez has put together in guiding an explosive Nebraska offense:

  • Martinez has rushed for 284 yards on 21 carries through two games, an average of 13.5 yards per tote. Martinez has six rushes of at least 20 yards, including touchdown runs of 67, 46, 43 and 20 yards.
  • Martinez had 127 rushing yards in the opener, the most ever by a Nebraska freshman quarterback. He topped that total with 157 yards on 14 carries against Idaho. The 157 rushing yards tie for the 10th-most ever by a Nebraska quarterback and tie for the fifth-most ever by a Nebraska freshman.
  • Martinez's 127 rushing yards against Western Kentucky were the most by an NU quarterback in an opener since Tommie Frazier's 130-yard effort against West Virginia in 1994.
  • The 127 rushing yards in the opener marked the first 100-yard rushing day by a Nebraska quarterback since Jammal Lord had 109 yards against Texas A&M in 2003. Martinez's back-to-back 100-yard games marks the first time a quarterback has topped the century mark on the ground in consecutive games since Lord in 2003 (MU, A&M).
  • The last time a Husker quarterback ran for more yards than Martinez's opening two games was Lord's 234-yard effort against Texas on Nov. 2, 2002--a span of 94 games.
  • Martinez was the first NU freshman QB to top 100 yards since redshirt freshman Eric Crouch rushed for 108 yards at Kansas State in 1998. Martinez's 157 yards against Idaho are the most by any Nebraska freshman since DeAngelo Evans rushed for 168 yards at Kansas State in 1996.. 
  • The three rushing touchdowns by Martinez were the most by a freshman in a season opener, and marked the second straight season an NU player has rushed for three touchdowns in the season opener. Roy Helu Jr. scored three rushing touchdowns against Florida Atlantic last season.
  • The 67-yard touchdown run against Idaho was the longest run by a Nebraska quarterback since Eric Crouch had a 70-yard run at Colorado in 2001. It was also the longest run by any NU player since Cory Ross had an 86-yard touchdown run against Missouri in 2004.
  • His average of 142.0 rushing yards per game ranks third in the Big 12 and seventh nationally. His 13.5 yards per carry is tops among any player in the top 50 nationally in rushing. Martinez is tops nationally among freshmen in rushing and second nationally among quarterbacks.

Husker Freshmen Quarterbacks to Rush for 100 Yards




Opponent, Year


Taylor Martinez


vs. Idaho, 2010


Taylor Martinez


vs. Western Kentucky, 2010


Eric Crouch


vs. Texas, 1998


Eric Crouch


at Kansas, 1988

Top 10 Freshman Rushing Totals in NU History




Opponent, Year


Calvin Jones


at Kansas, 1991


Ahman Green


vs. Washington State, 1995


Ahman Green


vs. Iowa State, 1995


DeAngelo Evans


vs. Kansas State, 1996


Monte Anthony


at Colorado, 1974


Taylor Martinez


vs. Idaho, 2010


Lawrence Phillips


at UCLA, 1993


DeAngelo Evans


vs. Texas, 1996


David Horne


at Texas A&M, 2002


Taylor Martinez


vs. Western Kentucky, 2010


Damon Benning


vs. Texas Tech, 1993

Points at a Premium vs. Huskers
The 2010 Husker defense has lofty goals, and has a tough act to follow after an impressive 2009 effort. The 2009 NU defense finished first nationally in scoring defense at 10.4 points per game. Nebraska held seven foes to single digits and eight teams to 10 or fewer points, with both totals leading the nation. Nebraska posted two shutouts for the first time since 2003. This season, Nebraska has allowed 27 points in two games (13.5 ppg).

  • Nebraska's 10.4 points per game allowed last season were the fewest since the 1984 Nebraska defense also led the nation by allowing just 9.5 points per game. NU had not allowed fewer than 15 points per game since 2003.
  • NU allowed just 25 trips into the red zone by its opponents, the second-fewest red-zone chances in the nation. Only 11 of those drives ended in touchdowns and Nebraska's 64 percent rank in red zone defense was the nation's best. Nebraska allowed six red-zone drives in two games in 2010.
  • The Huskers had a streak of 11 straight quarters without allowing an offensive touchdown in 2009 and allowed only 10 offensive touchdowns in eight Big 12 games.
  • Nebraska allowed a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Western Kentucky, ending a streak of nine straight quarters without allowing a touchdown. It also ended a streak of 13 straight quarters of not allowing a touchdown at Memorial Stadium.
  • Nebraska held 13 of 14 opponents to 20 or fewer points last season. To put that accomplishment in perspective, NU held just six opponents to less than 20 points in 2007 and 2008 combined.
  • By holding Western Kentucky to 10 points and Idaho to 17, the Blackshirts have limited each of their last 10 opponents to 20 or fewer points. The Huskers' streak of 10 straight games holding the opposition to 20 points or less is the nation's best by six games, and only four teams have held at least four straight opponents to 20 or fewer points. 

No Free Passes
Nebraska led the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2009 and returned eight defensive backs with starting experience this fall, making the Husker secondary one of the most highly regarded in the nation. Through two games, the Huskers have shown the same ability and caused major problems for opposing quarterbacks.

  • A year ago, NU allowed just seven passing touchdowns (second-fewest nationally), intercepted 20 passes (tied  for seventh) and opponents' 47.8 completion percentage was the fourth-best in the nation. This season, Nebraska has picked off six passes, including five against Idaho, and have allowed just a 54.1 percent completion percentage and a pair of passing touchdowns.
  • Ten of NU's 14 opponents completed 50 percent or less of their pass attempts, and five opponents had less than 150 yards passing. NU's 2010 opponents are averaging 169.5 yards per game and Western Kentucky had just 120 passing yards.
  • Nebraska allowed an average of 178.9 yards per game through the air in 2009, NU's best pass defense since allowing 177.8 yards per game in 2003. 
  • The Huskers' five-interception effort against Idaho represented the fourth time in the past seven games Nebraska has intercepted at least three passes. That streak began with five interceptions in a 10-3 victory against Oklahoma last fall in Lincoln.
  • Nebraska returned two interceptions for touchdowns against Idaho, tying a school record that had been accomplished five other times. Both of the pick-six scores came in the second quarter marking the first time NU has ever returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the same quarter.

Stay Out of Our End Zone
The 2009 defense made the end zone foreign territory for most opponents and the 2010 Blackshirts are looking to be just as stingy. Nebraska has allowed three touchdowns in the first two games, but none in the first half. In fact, Idaho's field goal on the final play of the first half marked the only first-half points NU has allowed in 2010.

  • Nebraska allowed only 16 touchdowns in 2009, the fewest of any team in FBS history with a 14-game schedule.
  • The 16 touchdowns allowed in 2009 tied for the fifth-lowest total among all FBS teams over the last decade (2000 to 2009). To account for an unbalanced schedule, NU's average of 1.14 touchdowns allowed per game ranked third.
  • Six times in 2009 NU did not allow an offensive touchdown. The other five Big 12 North teams combined for a total of five games without allowing an offensive touchdown.
  • Over the last 17 games, Nebraska has allowed only 20 offensive touchdowns. Of those 20 touchdowns, five came after Nebraska turnovers and five drives measured less than 45 yards.

Blackshirts Boast Amazing Improvements over Past Two Seasons
Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini, defensive coordinator Carl Pelini and a strong defensive staff have led one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college football in recent years. Nebraska was one of the nation's most improved defenses in 2008, finishing second in the Big 12 in total defense just one season after ranking last in the Big 12 and 112th nationally in total defense. As impressive as the progress was in 2008, the Blackshirts made even larger strides as a unit in 2009.

  • Two seasons after ranking 116th nationally in scoring defense (37.9 ppg), NU led the nation in that category at 10.4 points per game. NU allowed 28.5 points per game in 2008 and its 18.1 ppg improvement last fall easily led the nation. Nebraska's 79-spot move from 80th nationally in total defense in 2008 to first in 2009 was also the nation's best. This season Nebraska is allowing 13.5 ppg through two contests.
  • In two seasons, Nebraska's sack total has increased from 13 to 35 to 44 in 2009. Through two games this season, NU has eight sacks, including a seven-sack effort against Idaho. Nebraska is fifth nationally in sacks per game.
  • Against the run, NU cut its per-game average nearly in half in 2008, then shaved another 23 yards per game off its average allowed in 2009. The Huskers are allowing 119.5 rushing ypg in 2010.
  • Nebraska improved 48 places (55th to 7th) in total defense in 2009, improving from 349.9 yards per game to 272.0 yards per game and the 77.9-yard improvement was the sixth-best in the nation.
  • Nebraska led the nation in pass efficiency defense and finished 18th in passing yards allowed per game, an improvement of 71 places--the fourth-best in the nation.

Crick Looking for Another Award-Winning Season
Junior defensive tackle Jared Crick emerged as a standout performer last fall and is poised for big things in 2010. The 6-6, 285-pound Crick has been named the preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was a first-team preseason All-America choice by numerous outlets.

Crick has opened 2010 in impressive fashion, helping the Nebraska defense set the tone in a pair of comfortable victories. Crick has 12 tackles through two games, good for third on the team. He broke out against Idaho with 2.5 sacks for 30 yards and four tackles for losses, totaling 32 yards. Crick is the team leader in both of those categories and also paces the defense with a pair of quarterback hurries. Crick pushed his career sack total to 12, just two shy of the Nebraska career top 10.

In 2009, Crick pushed Ndamukong Suh for team statistical leads in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss all season. Crick finished with 73 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries. Crick had one of the most prolific defensive days in school history with a record-setting performance at Baylor.

  • Crick had a school-record five sacks for 24 yards in the game. His five sacks were the most in a single game by any player in the nation in 2009, just ahead of Suh's 4.5 sacks against Texas.
  • Crick had seven tackles for loss, tying the NU school record also held by Jim Skow (1985 vs. Missouri) and Suh (2009 vs. Texas). The seven TFLs by Crick and Suh were three more than any other Big 12 player in 2009.
  • Crick earned Big 12 and national defensive player-of-the-week honors for his performance, before going on to first-team All-Big 12 honors. Crick's 5.2 tackles per game ranked second only to Suh among Big 12 defensive interior linemen.

Prince Leads a Royal Nebraska Secondary
Like Crick, senior cornerback Prince Amukamara earned his share of honors last fall and found his name on many preseason All-America teams. A first-tem All-Big 12 pick in 2009, Amukamara is the cornerstone of a deep and veteran Nebraska secondary.

In the season's first two games, Amukamara has shown why he earned the preseason hype. He has made 10 tackles in two games, while posting a team-leading three pass breakups. Amukamara had a pair of breakups in the win over Idaho, marking his fifth game in the past two seasons with multiple pass breakups. His first PBU against the Vandals deflected into the air and was intercepted by P.J. Smith--the first of five NU picks in the game.

The 6-1, 205-pounder has 17 career pass breakups and is poised to make a move into the career top 10 on that list. While Amukamara has yet to register an interception, his lockdown abilities have helped Nebraska pick off opposing passers six times in two games.

Huskers Showing Explosive Ability in Every Phase of Game
Nebraska has posted a pair of decisive victories to open the 2010 season. In the process, Nebraska has shown the ability to light up the scoreboard from anywhere on the field.

Quarterback Taylor Martinez has been the headliner in an offense that has flashed tremendous big-play ability and finds itself averaging 8.6 yards per play through two contests. That is just one of several impressive numbers posted by Nebraska in the first two games.

  • Nebraska has reached the end zone 12 times through two games. The average length of those 12 touchdown plays has been 1.1 yards, with six of those plays covering at least 33 yards.
  • Including a pair of interception return touchdowns, Nebraska had four scoring plays of 40 yards or more against Idaho, with each of those long scores coming in the second quarter. The four 40+-yard scores marked the first time Nebraska had four touchdowns of at least 40 yards since Nov. 2, 1996 at Oklahoma when NU also had four.
  • Through two games Nebraska has 16 offensive plays from scrimmage of at least 20 yards. Last season, Nebraska posted 53 scrimmage plays of 20 yards or more in 14 games.

Backs Making Most of Touches
Nebraska quarterbacks and I-backs made the most of their offensive touches in the first two games. The explosive Nebraska offense has had just 58 and 59 snaps, respectively, in the first two games, but plenty of players have taken advantage of their opportunities to post impressive numbers.

Nebraska churned out 289 rushing yards on just 33 attempts against Western Kentucky, an average of 8.8 yards per tote, its best since the 2004 opener against Western Illinois when NU averaged 9.3 yards per rush. Nebraska didn't miss a beat against Idaho, again averaging 8.8 yards per attempt with 360 yards on 41 rushing attempts.

  • Martinez averaged 18.1 yards on seven rushing attempts vs. WKU, including touchdown runs of 46, 19 and 15 yards. He averaged 11.2 yards per pop on 14 attempts against Idaho, including runs of 67, 34, 25 and 20 yards.
  • Sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead has 19 touches in two games, but has accumulated 222 yards, an average of  11.7 yards per touch. Burkhead is averaging 9.6 yards on his 14 rushing attempts and 17.6 yards on five pass receptions. Six of his 19 touches have covered at least 20 yards.
  • Senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. has also made the most of 14 rushing attempts in two games. Helu Jr. is averaging 9.7 yards per carry, including a 58-yard touchdown run against Idaho.

Nebraska Churning out Impressive Rushing Numbers
Nebraska finds itself back among the Big 12 and national leaders in rushing offense early in the season. Through two games, NU is averaging 324.5 rushing yards per game to rank first in the Big 12 and third nationally in rushing.  The Huskers opened the season with 289 rushing yards against Western Kentucky, before backing that up with 360 yards on the ground against Idaho.

  • The first two games of 2010 marked the first time Nebraska posted back-to-back 250-yard rushing games since the first two games of the 2006 season.
  • NU's 360 rushing yards against Idaho were its most since 413 rushing yards in the 2007 opener against Nevada.
  • The two rushing efforts this season are both among NU's top seven rushing totals since the start of 2004.
  • Both Martinez and Helu topped the century mark against Idaho, marking the first time since 2006 (Iowa State) NU had a pair of 100-yard rushers. It was the 66th time in school history NU had two players rush for 100 yards.

Helu Jr. Climbing Nebraska Rushing Charts
Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr. emerged as one of the Big 12's top backs in 2008, and battled through injuries to surpass 1,000 rushing yards last year as a junior. Helu's effort in 2009 earned him second-team All-Big 12 honors and the 6-0, 220-pounder could be poised for big things in 2010. Helu is part of an impressive stable of Nebraska running backs that also includes sophomores Rex Burkhead and Dontrayevous Robinson.

Helu posted four 100-yard rushing games last season, and had his eighth career 100-yard game against Idaho with 107 yards on nine carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run.

Helu's best games seemed to come against top competition, as he surpassed the century mark against both Virginia Tech and Oklahoma in 2009, including a career-high 169 yards against the Hokies. Helu's 81.9 yards per game in 2009 ranked fourth in the Big 12, and his 1,147 rushing yards were the 16th-most in NU history.

  • Helu has 2,295 career rushing yards, and moved into the top 20 on the Nebraska career rushing list against Idaho, passing All-Americans Bobby Reynolds and Jeff Kinney, along with Doug DuBose. Helu Jr. is just 404 yards from the career top 10, and if he were to post a second 1,000-yard rushing season in 2010, he would finish fourth on the NU career list. Helu is also bidding to be the first Husker to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Calvin Jones in 1992 and 1993.
  • Helu has shined against top competition and in road environments. Helu has three 100-yard rushing games in NU's last seven contests against ranked opponents and has averaged 6.2 yards per carry. In eight road games since the beginning of the 2008 campaign, Helu has rushed for 811 yards on 133 carries, 6.1 yards per tote.
  • Helu had a Big 12-best 12 runs of 20+ yards in 2009, and 21 rushes of at least 20 yards over his past 19 games.
  • Helu had three of the nine 150-yard rushing games by Big 12 players in 2009, and four of the top 13 rushing efforts in the league last season.

Seniors Paul and McNeill Headline Receiving Corps
Nebraska returned a pair of senior receiving targets who have made an impact in the passing game over the past three seasons.

Wide receiver Niles Paul led NU's receiving corps in 2009, catching 40 passes for 796 yards and four touchdowns. Paul's receiving yardage total was the fifth-best total in school history and his 19.9 yards per catch led the Big 12 Conference. His per-catch average also ranked third in school history among players with at least 20 receptions and top among players with 40 catches in a season.

  • Paul tied the NU school record in 2009 with four 100-yard receiving games, including three in Big 12 play and against Arizona in the Holiday Bowl. His 154 yards on four catches at Kansas represented the sixth-best receiving day in NU history, while his 143 yards vs. Iowa State ranked ninth.
  • Paul earned Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP honors by accounting for 237 all-purpose yards, including 123 receiving yards. He had a career-long 74-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter to cap the scoring in a 33-0 rout.
  • Paul had 11 catches of at least 20 yards, with nine of those covering 35 yards or more. His 38.5 yards per catch at Kansas was the second-best single-game effort in the Big 12 in 2009.
  • Paul ranked second in the Big 12 in both kickoff return and punt return average in 2009, and his 121.2 all-purpose yards per game ranked ninth in the Big 12.
  • Paul became the first Husker since Dana Brinson (1986) to lead Nebraska in receiving, kickoff return yards, punt return yards and all-purpose yards. The only other Huskers in history to lead the Huskers in all four categories in the same season are: Johnny Rodgers (1970, 1971, 1972), Pat Fischer (1958) and Dick Hutton (1946). The only other Husker in history to lead NU in four offense/special teams yardage categories in the same season was Frank Solich (1964 - all-purpose, KOR, PR, rushing).

Paul's start to 2010 has shown that he could be poised for even bigger numbers as a senior. Paul accounted for 158 all-purpose yards against Western Kentucky, including five receptions for 92 yards and a 33-yard TD grab. He had two catches of at least 20 yards against the Hilltoppers, then led NU with four catches against Idaho. Paul has had at least four catches in five of his past seven games dating back to last season.

Paul moved into the top 10 on the Nebraska career receptions list against Idaho, and at 73 career catches, he is poised to become just the sixth player in school history with 100 career catches. Paul's 1,139 career receiving yards are 12th in NU history, and he is less than 500 yards from moving to fourth.

The 6-4, 235-pound McNeill has been a fixture in a deep group of NU tight ends the past two seasons. McNeill was second on the team with 28 catches for 259 yards last season. He also tied with Paul for the team lead with four touchdown catches. McNeill has shifted to receiver where he teams with Paul and junior Brandon Kinnie to give Nebraska one of the Big 12's biggest and most physical receiving corps.

  • In 2008, McNeill set a season position record with 32 receptions, while his six touchdown receptions were just one shy of the position record.
  • McNeill has 63 career catches to rank 18th on the Nebraska career list. McNeill should shatter the Nebraska career tight ends reception record of 65 by Matt Herian from 2002 to 2006. McNeill is 257 yards from becoming the 19th Husker and fourth NU tight end to reach 1,000 career receiving yards.

Kinnie also has made huge strides in the offseason, and opened the year with career bests of six receptions and 59 yards against Western Kentucky, before adding three catches against Idaho.

Henery Kicking Way Into Nebraska Record Book
Alex Henery is poised to make an assault on the NU record book, while challenging Big 12 and NCAA records. The senior from Omaha also emerged as one of the conference's top punters last season. Henery was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award last season and should be a leading contender for the award in 2010.

Henery connected on a school-record 24-of-28 field goals in 2009, including three games with at least four field goals. He hit 5-of-5 field goals at Virginia Tech, the second-highest field goal total in school history, trailing only Dale Klein's school-record seven field goals in 1985. He also supplied all the scoring by hitting 4-of-4 field goals in a 13-12 loss to Texas in the Big 12 title game, and finished the year with a perfect 4-of-4 effort against Arizona in the Holiday Bowl.

  • Henery has six career games with four or more field goals, an accomplishment that has already tied an NCAA record. He has 11 multiple-FG games in his career.
  • Henery's 24 field goals in 2009 shattered the school record, and he has made 51 field goals in 58 career attempts, making him the most accurate kicker in school history. His 51 field goals are just six field goals from the school record, held by 11-year NFL veteran Kris Brown.
  • Henery was the second-most accurate returning field goal kicker in the nation. He is also the most accurate kicker in NU history on extra points, hitting 151-of-152 in his career, a 99.3 percent accuracy rate. He has made 74 straight PATs, including perfect PAT seasons as a freshman and junior.
  • Among Henery's seven career missed field goals, just two have come from less than 50 yards. In fact, Henery had a streak of 25 straight made field goals from inside 50 yards. Henery has also made 13 career field goals from 44 yards or longer.
  • Henery became the fifth Nebraska player with at least 300 career points against Idaho. His eight points against the Vandals pushed his career total to 304 points.
  •  Henery has scored 110 points each of the past two seasons, eighth on the single-season list. His two 110-point seasons trail only Kris Brown (116 in 1997) for season scoring by a kicker. A third 100-point season this fall would move Henery to the top of Nebraska's career scoring list. Henery is third nationally in scoring among active players.
  • Henery averaged 41.4 yards in his first season as Nebraska's starting punter, making him one of only three players nationally to rank in the top 50 in both field goals and punting average. Henery led the Big 12 with 30 punts downed inside the 20, including an impressive eight inside the three-yard line. He is averaging 36.0 yards on five punts in the first two games, with three of those downed inside the 20.

Injury Bug Hits Huskers During Fall Camp
Nebraska endured more than its share of injuries during fall camp, with two returning starters sidelined for the entire season and two others out indefinitely.

  • Senior offensive lineman Mike Smith suffered a leg injury during the first week of fall camp that will sideline the Las Vegas native for the season. Smith has been Nebraska's starting left tackle each of the past two seasons, collecting 26 career starts-tied for the second-most among returning Huskers. Smith was set to play a key role on the line this fall, with the ability to possibly serve as a key backup at tackle, guard or even center.
  • Sophomore linebacker Sean Fisher also suffered a season-ending leg injury during fall camp. Fisher started six games as a redshirt freshman last fall, and was expected to be among the Huskers' top candidates at linebacker for the 2010 campaign.
  • Sophomore linebacker Will Compton joined Fisher on the sidelines when he suffered a foot injury in practice on Sept. 2, just two days before the opener. Compton is out indefinitely.
  • Senior tight end Dreu Young underwent back surgery in late August and is out for an extended period of time. Young also battled back issues during his junior campaign.
  • Junior reserve cornerback Anthony Blue suffered his second knee injury in the past 2 1/2 years during fall camp and will be sidelined for the year. Blue was expected to be among Nebraska's top reserves at corner, and was also one of the Huskers' top special teams perfomers last season.

Lofty Rankings
Nebraska finished the 2009 season with its highest post-season ranking (No. 14 in both polls) since the 2001 season. The Huskers also started the 2010 season in its best poll position in several seasons.

  • The Huskers were No. 8 in the preseason Associated Press Poll and were ranked ninth in the first USA Today Coaches Poll. The rankings represent NU's highest starting position since opening at No. 4 in the AP poll in 2001.
  • Nebraska's No. 8 preseason ranking was the first time in the top 10 at any point since being ranked 10th by the AP in October of 2003 following a 5-0 start to the season. Nebraska moved to sixth in the AP poll and seventh in the coaches poll after the opener and is eighth in both of this week's polls. The No. 6 AP ranking marked NU's highest since entering the 2002 Rose Bowl against Miami ranked fourth in the nation.

Huskers Carrying Late-Season Momentum into 2010
Nebraska entered 2010 with a surge of momentum after playing outstanding football late in the 2009 season. 

  • Nebraska won six of its final seven games last fall, as it also did to finish the 2008 campaign. The 6-1 second-half records the past two seasons are the school's best seven-game finishes since 1999. Nebraska is one of only 12 teams in the FBS to open 2010 having won at least six of its final seven games last season.
  • Nebraska will be looking for its ninth win in its past 10 games overall at Washington. The Huskers have had just one other 9-1 record in a 10-game stretch since the start of the 2002 season (spanning 2005 and 2006 season).

The Huskers are looking to improve their first-half record over the past two seasons. NU opened with a 3-0 record in 2008, but dropped three straight, before its strong finish. Last fall, NU was 4-3 at the midway point of the season before its late-season surge. Pelini-coached Nebraska teams are 12-6 in games played before Halloween and 10-2 in games on or after Nov. 1, with the only losses against teams ranked in the top four nationally.

Nebraska hoping to Continue Fourth-Quarter Excellence
Nebraska has been among the nation's best fourth-quarter teams each of the past two seasons. In 2008, NU ranked second nationally in fourth-quarter points scored (155) and fourth-quarter point differential (+103).

The 2009 season was no different as NU outscored the opposition 96-32, with the 32 points allowed tying Alabama for the lowest in the nation. The 64-point differential in the fourth quarter was the fourth-best nationally.

  • The fourth-quarter highlight in 2009 was at No. 24 Missouri. NU trailed 12-0 entering the fourth quarter, before scoring 27 unanswered points. The rally from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit tied a school record, and the 27 points were the most by NU in any quarter since the 2004 season opener, and the most in the fourth quarter since 2001.
  • Nebraska allowed nine Big 12 opponents just 23 fourth-quarter points and held eight foes without a fourth-quarter point.
  • Nebraska outscored its opponents 154-55 in the second half in 2009. The 55 second-half points were the fewest allowed by any team in the nation. Only two opponents scored more than seven points in the second half in 2009 (Baylor-10, Colorado-13), and NU allowed only five offensive TDs in the second half.
  • Under Bo Pelini, Nebraska is 21-2 when leading at any point in the fourth quarter. The lone losses were one-point setbacks against Virginia Tech and Texas in 2009.

This season, Nebraska has allowed 14 fourth-quarter points, while scoring 14 of its own. While its fourth-quarter dominance has not been as impressive, NU has yet to allow a first-half touchdown.

Huskers Look to Build on Success Against Ranked Teams
Nebraska closed the 2009 season with a 33-0 victory over No. 22 Arizona in the Holiday Bowl--its third win of the year against a ranked opponent. The Huskers were 3-2 against ranked teams last season, defeating No. 24 Missouri, 27-12, and 20th-ranked Oklahoma, 10-3. Nebraska also suffered a pair of one-point setbacks, losing at No. 13 Virginia Tech, 16-15, and to No. 3 Texas, 13-12, in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Nebraska's three victories over ranked teams in 2009 were its most since posting four wins over ranked foes during a 12-1 campaign in 1999.

NCAA Record Sellout Streak
One of the most remarkable streaks in collegiate sports reached another milestone on Sept. 26, 2009, against Louisiana-Lafayette when Nebraska celebrated the 300th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium. A stadium record crowd of 86,304 fans were on hand for the historic event, and the streak is now at 306 games and is expected to reach 311 by season's end. The sellout streak dates back to Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney's first year in 1962 (vs. Missouri on Nov. 3). Notre Dame is second in all-time consecutive sellouts with 215, 91 fewer than Nebraska.

NU Owns Dominant Advantage at Memorial Stadium
Nebraska has rewarded the loyalty of its fans with incredible success at Memorial Stadium through the years.

  • Nebraska has won at least six home games in 19 of the past 23 seasons. Nebraska is 131-18 at home in the last 22 seasons (since 1989).
  • During Nebraska's run of success at home in the past 25 years, NU has had three home winning streaks of 20 or more games, and overall has posted 40 unbeaten and untied home seasons.
  • The Huskers are 500-137-20 (.776, 657 games, 121 years) in Lincoln, and 375-114-13 (.759, 502 games, 88 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923). Nebraska has had 41 straight winning home seasons.

Nebraska Cracks Top 10 in Average Home Attendance
Nebraska ranked 10th nationally and second among Big 12 schools in average attendance in 2009. Nebraska averaged a school-record 85,888 fans for seven home games, including a school-record 86,304 fans against Louisiana-Lafayette. Five Big 12 teams ranked in the top 30 nationally in attendance, led by fourth-ranked Texas (101,175 fans per game).

Nebraska Set for Move to Big Ten in 2011
June 11, 2010 was a historic day for the University of Nebraska, as NU was admitted to the Big Ten Conference as the 12th member of the nation's oldest conference. The Cornhuskers will begin play in the Big Ten in 2011-12.

The Huskers have a long history of meeting Big Ten opponents on the gridiron, compiling an 81-68-10 all-time record against the league's other 11 members. Nebraska most recently met a Big Ten opponent in a 32-28 victory over Michigan in the 2005 Alamo Bowl. NU's last regular-season matchup with a Big Ten opponent was a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003 with Penn State. The schools split the two games, each winning at home.

The Big Ten Conference announced its divisional alignment on Sept. 1. The Huskers will compete in a football division with Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern. The other division is comprised of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Nebraska's first Big Ten game will be at Wisconsin on Oct. 1, 2011, with its first Big Ten home game against Ohio State on Oct. 8, 2011.

Huskers Compete in Final Season in Big 12 Conference
With Nebraska's move to the Big Ten on the horizon, 2010 will mark Nebraska's final season of action in the Big 12. The conference has been NU's home since 1996 and the Huskers have had their share of football success in the league. Nebraska has played in the Big 12 Championship Game five times, including the 2009 title game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Nebraska has captured Big 12 titles in 1997 and 1999.

  • Nebraska's five Big 12 Championship Game appearances are tied for second among all Big 12 schools along with Texas, trailing only Oklahoma's seven Big 12 Championship Game appearances.
  • Nebraska has squared off against three conference foes more than 100 times, including 116 meetings with Kansas, 104 with Iowa State and 103 with Missouri.
  • Nebraska and Kansas will meet for the 105th consecutive season in 2010, which is currently the nation's longest uninterrupted streak. Overall, the 116 meetings are the third most of any series in the country.
  • Nebraska will play its final Big 12 Conference game against Colorado on Friday, Nov. 26. The 2010 season will mark the 15th straight year the Big 12 North schools have met on the day after Thanksgiving and the 21st straight year Nebraska has played on that date, meeting Oklahoma six consecutive years from 1990 to 1995.

Seeing Double
The 2010 Nebraska roster includes three sets of twins and five total sets of brothers. Courtney and Steven Osborne of Garland, Texas, signed with the Huskers in 2008 and enter their third season in the program-Courtney as a safety and Steven at wide receiver. Colin and Conor McDermott walked on to Nebraska from Omaha Creighton Prep high school and will both be sophomore defensive ends this fall. Jake and Spencer Long also hail from Omaha (Elkhorn High School) and are in their second season in the program. Jake lines up at tight end, while Spencer is an offensive lineman.

In addition to the three sets of twins, Nebraska also has two other sets of brothers on the roster-Ben and Jake Cotton and Andrew and Matt Holt. The Cottons are the sons of Nebraska associate head coach Barney Cotton, and senior defensive back Adam Watson is the son of offensive coordinator Shawn Watson. In addition, walk-on freshman offensive lineman Mark Pelini is the nephew of Bo and Carl Pelini.

Nebraska Football-A Family Affair
The Cotton family is one of just several father-son combinations who have played for Nebraska represented on the 2010 Cornhusker roster. Barney lettered at Nebraska in 1976-78, while Ben is a sophomore tight end and Jake is a freshman defensive lineman.

Other current Nebraska players whose fathers also played at NU include DB Joey Felici (Tony, 1980-82), LB Sean Fisher (Todd, 1983), DE Andy Gdowski (Tom, 1980-82), WR KC Hyland (John, 1970-72), DB Brent Moravec (Mark, 1980-82), DE Jay Martin (Bob, 1973-75), C Cole Pensick (Dan, 1977-79), LB Colby Starkebaum (John, 1972-74) and DT Baker Steinkuhler (Dean, 1981-83).

NFL Has Large Influence on Nebraska Roster
Several players also have family connections with the National Football League. Barney Cotton logged four seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Cardinals from 1979 to 1982. Other players whose fathers played in the NFL include CB Anthony Blue (Anthony, Sr., Seattle, 1987), QB Zac Lee (Bob, Minnesota, Atlanta, L.A. Rams, 1969-80), Jay Martin (Bob, N.Y. Jets, San Francisco, 1976-79), Baker Steinkuhler (Dean, Houston, 1984-91), DB Anthony West (Robert, Kansas City, San Francisco, 1972-74) and IB Lester Ward (Lester, Sr., Dallas).

Huskers Prominent on National Football League Rosters
Nebraska has a long-standing tradition of placing large numbers of players in the NFL. Nebraska has 26 players on 2010 NFL opening-day rosters and two other players on practice squads. The Huskers are represented on the rosters of 19 NFL teams. Nearly 40 former Huskers were in NFL training camps.

Nebraska owns one of the most impressive histories of any school in producing NFL-caliber players. Since the start of Big 12 play in 1996, Nebraska has led all Big 12 schools with 65 players selected in the NFL Draft. No other conference school has had more than 57 players chosen in that period. The Huskers have been especially impressive on defense, with 43 players chosen since 1997. No other Big 12 school has had more than 30.

Three Huskers were selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, marking the 41st consecutive season at least three Nebraska players were taken in the draft.

Nebraska football has long been one of the nation's most successful programs on the field. Success in the classroom is also a cornerstone of the Nebraska football program.

Nebraska had 22 players named to the 2009 academic All-Big 12 team, including 15 first-team selections, and seven second-team honorees. Nebraska's 22 honorees were the second-highest total in the Big 12 Conference. The group was highlighted by defensive back Austin Cassidy and linebacker Sean Fisher, who were each nominated with a 4.0 grade-point average. Fisher has a perfect cumulative grade-point average, while Cassidy earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in the two previous semesters. Fisher and Cassidy were two of just three student-athletes in the Big 12 Conference nominated with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

Seniors Todd Peterson and Tyler Wortman were selected as second-team ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in 2008. The selection of Peterson and Wortman gave NU a nation-leading total of 98 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in football. Nebraska  also leads the nation in academic All-Americans with 277 academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports entering the 2010-11 academic year.

Nebraska's 23-player senior class includes six players who will play the 2010 season as graduate students. Among those, defensive end Tyrone Fahie graduated in December of 2009 in just 3 ½ years, while offensive lineman D.J. Jones, quarterback Zac Lee and defensive back Anthony West picked up their degrees in May. Tight end Mike McNeill and offensive lineman Mike Smith joined the group in summer commencement exercises.

  • Another nine seniors are expected to complete their degree work in the fall, giving the Huskers 15 graduates in time for the bowl game. All but one member of the senior class are expected to complete their degrees by the end of the 2011 spring semester.
  • Among Bo Pelini's first three senior classes, 52 of 57 players are on track to earn their degree by next August.

Nebraska athletic teams continue to pace the Big 12 Conference in the classroom, leading the Big 12 in the exhausted eligibility graduation rate for the seventh consecutive year with an impressive 94 percent rate.

Nebraska continues to set the pace in the Big 12 in terms of Exhausted Eligibility graduation rates. The exhausted eligibility rate surveys the graduation rate of scholarship student-athletes in 10 incoming freshman classes who complete their eligibility at the university. Nebraska's exhausted eligibility rate has improved 22 percentage points since the inception of the rate in 1991-92.


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