NU Kicks Off 118th Season of Football Against Nevada

By NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska opens the season against Nevada at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska opens the season against Nevada at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Nebraska is set to begin its 118th season of college football on Saturday afternoon when the Huskers entertain Nevada in a 2:36 p.m. contest at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised to a regional audience on ABC, and will be played in front of the 283rd consecutive sellout in Lincoln.


The Huskers are coming off a 9-5 season in 2006, when NU returned to the Big 12 Championship Game and saw four of its losses come against top-10 opponents. After finishing just outside of the final 2006 polls, the Huskers find themselves ranked in the top 25 in both major preseason polls. Nebraska checks in at No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, and the Huskers are listed 20th in the Associated Press rankings.


The game against Nevada marks the opening of Bill Callahan’s fourth season at the helm of the Huskers. Callahan welcomes back 13 returning starters from last season’s Big 12 North champs, including tested veteran units in the offensive line and the receiving corps on offense and senior-laden linebacking and defensive back groups on the other side of the ball. Nebraska was picked second in the Big 12 North Division behind Missouri in the league’s preseason media poll, but several publications have tabbed the Huskers as the favorite to repeat in the division.


Nevada marks the first of eight 2007 Nebraska opponents who participated in a bowl game last season. The Wolf Pack finished with an 8-5 record in 2006, and narrowly lost to Miami in the MPC Computers Bowl. Nevada finished in third place in the Western Athletic Conference and returns 14 starters for the 2007 campaign.


Saturday’s game will mark the first-ever meeting between Nebraska and Nevada on the gridiron. It will mark the second consecutive year the Huskers have opened the season against a WAC opponent, following last year’s 49-10 season-opening victory over Louisiana Tech. Nebraska has been victorious in its last 21 season openers, the longest such streak in the nation.

Game One: Nebraska vs. Nevada

  • Saturday, Sept. 1, 2:36 p.m.
  • Lincoln, Neb. (Memorial Stadium/Tom Osborne Field)
  • Surface: FieldTurf
  • Capacity: 81,067
  • Rankings: NU (AP-20; Coaches-19); Nevada, Not Ranked
  • Series Record: First meeting
  • Special Event: Alumni Band Day
  • Television: ABC Regional - Dan Fouts–Play-by-Play; Tim Brant–Analyst; Todd Harris–Sideline
  • Radio: Husker Sports Network - Jim Rose—Play-by-Play; Adrian Fiala—Color; Matt Davison-Color; Sean Callahan—Sideline; Lane Grindle-Sideline; (Free Live Audio); SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 126 

Matchup with Nevada Opens Rugged 2007 Schedule

A year after taking on four top-10 foes, Nebraska will once again face one of the nation’s toughest schedules in 2007. Among Nebraska's 12 regular-season contests, eight will be against teams that participated in a bowl game following last season, beginning with Saturday’s game against Nevada (MPC Computers). The non-league slate also includes games against 2006 Bowl Championship Series participants Wake Forest (Orange Bowl) and USC (Rose).


In league play, Nebraska will take on five 2006 bowl teams including home games against Oklahoma State (Independence), Texas A&M (Holiday) and Kansas State (Texas). On the road, Nebraska will face a pair of bowl teams during trips to Missouri (Sun) and Texas (Alamo). The Huskers' home schedule figures to be among the nation's best. Highlighted by a visit from preseason No. 1 USC on Sept. 15, the Huskers will face five 2006 bowl teams in Lincoln, one of just 13 schools to face five or more bowl teams on their home field this fall, including just two Big 12 schools.


Bowl Opponents at Home in 2007


6–LSU, Michigan

5–Nebraska, Texas, Clemson, Rutgers, Penn State, UCLA, Washington, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi



NU Boasts 21-Game Winning Streak in Season Openers

Nebraska will attempt to extend the nation’s longest winning streak in season openers on Saturday against Nevada. The Huskers have been on the winning end in their last 21 season openers, dating back to a 17-13 loss to Florida State in 1985.


The Huskers’ 21-game win streak in season openers is four better than the 17 straight opening wins by both Kansas State and Florida. The Huskers have won each of their last 21 season openers by 10 or more points, and own an 86-26-5 all-time record in season openers.


Nebraska has scored 40 or more points in a season opener 14 of the past 21 seasons. In that same period, the Huskers have limited the opposition to 14 points or less 14 times. Last season Nebraska dominated Louisiana Tech, 49-10, on opening day in Lincoln.


Since 1973, NU is 29-4-1 in season openers, including 24-2 at Memorial Stadium, with losses only to Florida State (1985) and Washington State (1977). In all-time home openers NU is 95-17-5, including 67-14-3 at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are 31-2 in their last 33 home openers.


Five of Nebraska’s 21 consecutive victories in season openers have come against current members of the WAC, including two each against Utah State and Louisiana Tech and one against San Jose State.



Huskers Hope to Feature Another Balanced Offense

Nebraska featured one of the nation’s most diverse offensive attacks in 2006, and hopes to produce similar results this fall. The Huskers were much-improved in nearly every offensive area last year, and were one of only three teams in the country to rank in the top 25 in all four major offensive statistical categories (Louisville, Oregon).


The Huskers finished 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, Nebraska finished last in the Big 12 and 110th nationally at 96.0 rushing yards per game. A year ago, Nebraska finished 23rd nationally in rushing offense at 170.5 yards per game, an improvement of 74.5 yards per contest.

Nebraska 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. The Huskers ranked fifth nationally in time of possession in 2006, were in the top 20 in third-down conversions and had more total offensive attempts than any other team in the country.



Nebraska Offensive Numbers

2005 (Rank)  2006 (Rank)   Gain
Rushing   96.0 ypg (110th) 170.5 ypg (23rd) 74.5 ypg
Passing     224.3 ypg (54th)   244.1 ypg (23rd) 19.8 ypg
Total   320.3 ypg (96th) 414.6 ypg (14th) 94.3 ypg
Scoring    24.7 ppg (67th)  30.6 ppg (17th)  5.9 ppg



Keller to Direct Husker Offensive Attack

Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday, Aug. 20 that senior Sam Keller will open the season as Nebraska’s starting quarterback. 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 Nebraska program. A year ago, the 6-4, 230-pound Keller sat out as a redshirt after transferring from Arizona State in August. Keller directed the NU scout team offense and was the Huskers’ Scout Team MVP. Prior to coming to Lincoln, Keller had a standout career at Arizona State, throwing for 3,018 yards and 26 touchdowns, including more than 2,100 yards in eight games in 2005.


Keller is the latest quarterback who will have the opportunity to flourish in Callahan’s West Coast Offense. A year ago, senior Zac Taylor re-wrote the Nebraska record book and was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Of course, Callahan also enjoyed successful quarterback play in the NFL, as Rich Gannon was named the 2002 NFL MVP, while guiding the Raiders to the Super Bowl in Callahan’s first season as head coach.


Scouting the Nevada Wolf Pack

The Nevada Wolf Pack enter Memorial Stadium this weekend in the season opener for both teams. Nevada comes into the game looking to continue its recent success on the gridiron as the Wolf Pack has won at least eight games and finished the season with a bowl berth each of the past two years.

In 2006, Nevada posted an 8-5 record including a narrow, one-point loss to Miami in the MPC Computers Bowl. The defeat sent the Wolf Pack into the offseason with two straight losses, as Nevada ended the regular season with a 38-7 loss to Fiesta Bowl champ Boise State. Before the losses, Nevada had won five straight games after opening the year with a 3-3 mark.


The Wolf Pack look to continue their recent strong play on offense and special teams. Last year, Nevada finished 24th nationally with 170 rushing yards per game while also ranking 20th in the nation in scoring offense at 30.1 points per game. Nevada’s strong special teams play also contributed to its second straight bowl berth as the Wolf Pack finished ninth nationally in punt returns at 13.6 yards per return and 14th in kickoff returns at 23.7 yards per return.


Nevada hopes to see several newcomers make a big push on offense in 2007 while helping replace its veteran backfield from last season. Departed quarterback Jeff Rowe, who ranked 31st nationally in passing efficiency (139.96) with more than 1,900 passing yards and 17 touchdowns against eight interceptions, was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2007 NFL Draft, while running back Robert Hubbard finished last season 38th nationally in rushing with 83.0 yards per game and six touchdowns. Luke Lippincott looks to take on a greater rushing load this fall after posting nearly 500 rushing yards last year and recording a team-high nine rushing touchdowns.


Defensively, the Wolf Pack will be without senior linebacker Ezra Butler for Saturday’s game against the Huskers. Butler, a first-team all-league performer who led the team with 71 tackles last season and is on the 2007 Lombardi Watch list, was suspended from the first contest of the year for a violation of team rules. Without Butler, Nevada will still have two returning starting linebackers in Jeremy Engstrom and Joshua Mauga. The Wolf Pack also returns starters at cornerback (Paul Pratt) and safety (Jonathon Amaya) as well as at nose guard (Matt Hines) and end Erics Clark.


On special teams, kicker Brett Jaekle, punter Zacary Whited and kick returner Dwayne Sanders are back after a solid 2006 campaign, but the Wolf Pack must replace the game-changing ability of punt returner De’Angelo Wilson, who averaged 14.3 yards per return to rank ninth nationally last year.



Nevada Head Coach Chris Ault

Wolf Pack head coach Chris Ault (Nevada, 1968) is in his 23rd season as a head coach and has compiled an impressive resume. Inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame at age 55 in 2002, Ault holds a 185-78-1 career record. His win total ranks fifth among active Division I coaches while his .707 career winning percentage ranks 15th. Overall, Ault has won eight conference championships and helped his team earn 10 postseason berths with four bowl appearances at the Division I-A level.

Ault is in his third stint as head coach at his alma mater. He previously coached the Wolf Pack from 1976 to 1992 and again in 1994 and 1995. Ault, a six-time conference coach of the year, then came back to the sideline in 2004 and has helped Nevada to a 24-14 record in his most recent tenure. Nevada won nine games in 2005 and eight in 2006, earning back-to-back bowl berths for the first time in more than a decade.



Nebraska-Nevada Series...First Meeting

Nebraska and Nevada will be meeting for the first time in program history when the teams face off in the 2007 season opener. NU last played a team from the Western Athletic Conference in the 2006 season opener against Louisiana Tech, a contest the Huskers easily won, 49-10.


Nebraska-Nevada Statistical Comparison (2006 final statistics)

Nebraska (0-0, 0-0 Big 12)                Nevada (0-0, 0-0 WAC)

Category  Avg. Big 12 Natl. Avg.  WAC Natl.
Rushing Offense  170.5  6th 23rd 170.2 4th 24th
Passing Offense 244.1 4th 23rd       187.4 6th 74th
Total Offense 414.6 3rd  14th 357.5 4th  46th
Scoring Offense 30.6 4th 17th  30.1 4th 20th
Rushing Defense   116.6 5th 37th 128.5 2nd 52nd
Pass Defense 215.3  6th 79th 196.9 2nd 52nd
Pass Efficiency Defense 117.4 2nd 35th 121.9 2nd  48th
Total Defense 331.9 5th 56th 325.5 2nd 48th
Scoring Defense 18.3 2nd  24th 19.2 2nd 30th
Net Punting 37.2 4th 24th 32.3 7th 103rd
Punt Returns 8.2 7th 69th 13.6 2nd  9th
Kickoff Returns 17.4  10th 112th 23.7 1st 14th
Turnover Margin 0.00 6th  t-58th 0.92 1st  7th
Sacks 2.3 7th  46th  2.9 1st  15th
Tackles For Loss 6.3  5th 41st 5.9 1st 52nd
Sacks Allowed 2.1 7th 68th 2.2 7th 69th

bold indicates top-25 national ranking



2007 Huskers Hope to Again Find Fast Offensive Starts

Nebraska had great success early in games in 2006, outscoring the opposition 117-45 in the first quarter, allowing only touchdowns by Oklahoma (2), USC, Texas A&M, Colorado and Auburn and a field goal by Texas.


A large part of the first quarter success came as a result of Nebraska’s first drive of the game. The Huskers scored on their first possession eight times, including four straight games from Troy to Kansas State. Nebraska also scored touchdowns on its opening drives against Nicholls State, Colorado and Auburn, and kicked a field goal on its initial drive at Oklahoma State. Nebraska kicked a field goal on its second drive of the day against Missouri, and scored a touchdown on its second drive at Texas A&M.


In games against Troy, Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State, Nebraska lost the coin toss each week and the opposition deferred, giving the football to the Huskers. Nebraska responded by driving for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead in each of the four games. Nebraska had ball-control drives to open the game against Troy (10 plays, 73 yards, 5:47), Iowa State (10 plays, 80 yards, 5:27), Kansas State (9 plays, 80 yards, 3:54) and Auburn (15 plays, 80 yards, 7:23) while striking quickly against Kansas (2 plays, 80 yards, :50).


Nebraska scored first in 12 of 14 games last season. The Big 12 Championship Game loss to Oklahoma marked the only time Nebraska did not score a point in the first quarter.



Imposing Offensive Line to Set Tone for Husker Offense        

The 2007 Huskers open the year with their most veteran offensive front in several seasons. The unit has six players with extensive starting experience, and combined with an influx of talented young players the offensive line could evoke memories of past great NU units. Center Brett Byford, guards Mike Huff, Andy Christensen and Matt Slauson, along with tackles Lydon Murtha and Carl Nicks made a combined 48 starts last season and form the nucleus of the group. In addition to game experience, the NU offensive line has another main feature--size. The six aforementioned players check in at an average of 6-4 1/2 and 312 pounds. That figure does not include several other large reserve linemen, including senior Victory Haines (6-7, 290), and redshirt freshmen D.J. Jones (6-5, 310) and Keith Williams (6-5, 310).



Record-Setting Receiving Corps Back for More in  2007

Nebraska's switch to a balanced offensive attack three seasons ago has allowed Husker passers and receivers to re-write the Nebraska record book. Last season, quarterback Zac Taylor was the beneficiary of the Husker offense, becoming Nebraska's career leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Senior Sam Keller will attempt to push Taylor’s season records this fall.


NU receivers have also put their names in a prominent position in the record book. The entire corps of wideouts returns along with three of four tight ends who saw extensive action last season.


Leading the way are senior Terrence Nunn and junior Nate Swift. Both players have played a prominent role in the Nebraska passing attack in Coach Bill Callahan’s offense. Nunn enters his senior season with his sights on the Nebraska career receptions record, while Swift has two seasons remaining to place his name among the Huskers’ all-time leading receivers.


A Houston native, Nunn has joined Johnny Rodgers as the only Huskers to record two 40-reception seasons in a career after Nunn posted 43 and 42 catches, respectively, the past two seasons. Nunn's career receptions total of 101 ranks second only to Rodgers on the Husker charts, 42 catches behind the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner. Nunn has also caught a pass in 27 straight games, 11 games behind Rodgers' record 38-game streak. In addition to his receptions total, Nunn ranks third in school history in receiving yardage at 1,273 yards, less than 200 yards behind Matt Davison, who ranks second.


Swift set a Nebraska freshman record with 45 receptions in 2005, the third-best receptions total in school history regardless of class. His 641 receiving yards that season ranked fifth on the season charts. He enters 2007 with 67 career catches, good for a tie for ninth on the NU list and just 26 catches out of third place behind Rodgers and Nunn. His 1,015 career receiving yards also make him one of just 13 Huskers with 1,000 career receiving yards.


Senior Maurice Purify had an outstanding first season at Nebraska, catching 34 passes for a team-leading 630 yards. Purify also led the team with seven receiving touchdowns and averaged 18.5 yards per catch. Purify's 630 receiving yards marked the sixth-best season total in school history, while his seven touchdowns tied for fifth place on the season charts.


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 Maine in his Nebraska debut in 2005 rank as the fifth-best single-game total in school history. Last season, Hardy had three catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas, the No. 4 game on the single-season receiving yards list.



Husker Offense Hopes to Make Most of Return to Old Clock Rules

Nebraska and the rest of the college football world will once again face a change in the clock rules this fall. This year, the change is actually a return to the clock rules that were in place until the close of the 2005 season. While the changes last fall were much-publicized, Nebraska handled the clock changes as well as anyone in college football and figures to have little difficulty adapting to the return to the old rules this fall.


In 2006, Nebraska ranked first nationally in total offensive snaps with 965 plays, 83 more than its opponents who had 882 plays in 14 games. The Huskers also ranked fifth nationally in time of possession at 32:41 per game and held the ball for 33 minutes or longer nine times.



Ruud, McKeon Climbing Nebraska Career Tackles List

The Nebraska Blackshirt defense will be anchored by a veteran linebacking corps. The leaders of that unit are a pair of two-year starters in Corey McKeon and Bo Ruud. Both McKeon and Ruud figure to move well up the Nebraska career tackle list this fall.


McKeon enters his senior season with 167 career tackles, including 30 tackles for loss and eight sacks. McKeon registered a NU linebacker record 22 tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2005 and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors. Last season, he finished third on the team with 69 tackles and had eight tackles for loss. His career tackle total places him 43rd at Nebraska. McKeon is 53 tackles from the top 20 on the tackle list and 81 stops from the No. 10 spot on the list. His 30 tackles for loss are just 7.5 stops outside  the career top 10 on that list.


Ruud has similar numbers to McKeon after two seasons as NU's starting WILL linebacker. The Lincoln native finished 2006 with 65 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, while also intercepting two passes and recovering a pair of fumbles to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors. Ruud enters his senior year with 162 total tackles and needs 58 tackles as a senior to join his father, Tom, and brother, Barrett, in the top 20 on the NU tackle list. Barrett is the Huskers' all-time leader with 432 tackles.



Three Seniors Chosen as 2007 Captains                                 

A trio of Husker seniors were elected by their teammates as captains for 2007. Center Brett Byford, linebacker Bo Ruud and cornerback Zack Bowman join the prestigious list of those who have served as captains at Nebraska.


Byford started the final 13 games of the 2006 season, anchoring the Husker offensive line. He is a candidate for all-conference honors this fall and is on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top center. Byford is the first ever Nebraska captain from the state of Alabama.


The 6-2, 200-pound Bowman is Nebraska’s first captain from the state of Alaska. Bowman missed the entire 2006 season with a knee injury and suffered a second knee injury during fall camp. Bowman returned to practice in late August and is expected to be back on the playing field early in the season.


Bo Ruud continues a long family history of serving as Husker captains. He joins his brother, Barrett, who served as a captain in 2004, making the Ruud’s the seventh brother combination to serve as Husker captains. In addition, Bo’s father, Tom, was a Husker captain in 1974, making the Tom Ruud and his two sons the only father-son combinations to serve as captains. Bo’s great grandfather, Clarence Swanson, was also a Nebraska captain.



NCAA Record 282 Consecutive Home Sellouts

Nebraska boasts an incredible NCAA-record 282 consecutive sellouts at Memorial Stadium entering the 2007 season. 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 190, 92 fewer than Nebraska. The Huskers are 248-34 during the 282 sellouts.  The mark includes a 39-22 record against ranked teams. Nebraska is 5-0 in the five milestone sellouts during that period (50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th sellouts), including a 24-7 win over No. 2 Colorado on Oct. 29, 1994 (No. 200) and a 44-13 victory over Utah State on Sept. 7, 2002 (No. 250).


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 20 seasons and is 160-18 at home since 1981. Nine of the losses in the span have come against teams that finished in the top eight of the final AP poll. Nebraska's sellout streak will reach 289 by season's end.



Nebraska Owns Dominant Edge at Memorial Stadium

Nebraska has rewarded the loyality of its fans with incredible success at Memorial Stadium through the years. Nebraska finished 6-1 at home in 2006, and has won at least six home games in 18 of the past 20 seasons. Nebraska is 116-11 at home in the last 18 seasons (since 1989), including a pair of losses against teams that went on to win the national championship–Colorado in 1990 and Washington in 1991.


Since 1986, only seven schools have left Memorial Stadium with a victory. During Nebraska’s run of success at home in the past 25 years, Nebraska has had three home winning streaks of 20 or more games. Nebraska had a school-record 47-game home winning streak from 1991 to 1998, a 26-game home streak from 1998 to 2002 and a 21-game win streak in the early 1980s.


Nebraska has not been shut out at home since a 12-0 loss to Kansas State in 1968 (248 games), and has posted 40 unbeaten and untied home seasons. The Huskers are 483-130-20 (.779, 633 games, 117 years) in Lincoln, 358-107-13 (.763, 478 games, 84 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923).



NU Looks to Continue Success vs. Big 12 North

Nebraska earned a trip to the Big 12 Championship Game in 2006 due largely to its play within the conference’s North Division. The Huskers posted a perfect 5-0 mark within the division and dating back to 2005, NU has won seven straight games against North foes.

The seven-game win streak is Nebraska’s longest divisional winning streak since NU won nine straight from 1998 to 2000. The Huskers won their final North game in 1998, all five in 1999 and the first three in 2000.


Including 2006, in each of the four seasons Nebraska has represented the North in the Big 12 title game (also 1996, 1997, 1999), the Huskers have posted a 5-0 record in divisional games. In 2006, Nebraska was the first North Division team to complete divisional play undefeated since 2003.


Conference Crowns

Nebraska enters 2007 with the goal of returning to the Big 12 title game for the second straight season and the fifth time overall. The game will be played on Dec. 1 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Nebraska’s Big 12 titles in 1997 and 1999 both came in the Alamodome.


Nebraska made its first appearance in the contest since 1999 last fall. The Huskers played in three of the first four Big 12 title games. Nebraska is one of three teams to capture two or more Big 12 titles in the first 11 years of the conference, joining Oklahoma with four and Texas with two. Kansas State, Texas A&M and Colorado each captured one Big 12 crown. Oklahoma leads the way with five Big 12 title game appearances, followed by Nebraska, Colorado and Texas with four each.


The Huskers have won 43 football conference championships overall, including eight under Coach Bob Devaney and 13 under Coach Tom Osborne. Oklahoma has won 36 conference championships to rank second behind NU among league schools.



Huskers Among Leaders in AP National Titles

Notre Dame leads the nation by winning eight Associated Press national titles since 1936, with Oklahoma (7), Alabama (6), Miami (5), USC (5), Nebraska (4) and Minnesota (4) next in line. While the Huskers were awarded the national title by the coaches in 1997, NU finished second to Michigan in the AP poll.


In 1970, Nebraska was awarded the AP national title, but not the coaches (Texas was first, Ohio State second and NU third) as the final poll was released before the bowl games were played. In the coaches poll (since 1950), Nebraska is tied for fourth with Miami and Texas with four titles, behind Alabama and Oklahoma with six apiece, and USC with five.


When Nebraska and USC meet on the field on Sept. 15, it will mark a meeting between the two schools with at least a share of five national titles since 1970.



Callahan's Huskers Continue to Perform in Classroom

Nebraska has continued its tradition of excellence in the classroom under Head Coach Bill Callahan. In 2006, senior Dane Todd was selected as a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. Todd completed his career with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in biological sciences.

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 90 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 Nebraska football players were named first-team academic All-Big 12 in 2006. Overall, 22 Huskers received either first- or second-team recognition by the Big 12. Dane Todd was one of five Huskers who were named first-team academic All-Big 12 for the third time in their careers. Also named to the first team for the third time were 2006 seniors  Kurt Mann, Brandon Rigoni and Andrew Shanle, along with tight end J.B. Phillips. A 2007 senior on the field, Phillips earned his undergraduate degree in 3 1/2 years, finishing last December. He plans to complete his master’s degree in marketing by May of 2008.


23 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.   



Nebraska Leads Big 12 in Exhausted Eligibility Graduation Rates

The University of Nebraska is the Big 12 leader in exhausted eligibility graduation rates for the fourth consecutive year. Nebraska boasts an impressive 94 percent rate, a percentage point higher than last year’s mark of 93 percent. 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 increased from 87 to 94 percent in the past six years and has improved 22 percentage points since the inception of the rate in 1991-92.


The current exhausted eligibility rate includes members of incoming classes from 1990-91 through 1999-2000. During that time, 424 of 453 Nebraska scholarship student-athletes who completed their eligibility earned their undergraduate degree.


Nebraska’s 94 percent rate is three points higher than Baylor, which was second in the conference at 91 percent. The national average for exhausted eligibility is 85 percent for Division I schools.


NU Leads in Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll

In addition to leading the league in first-team academic All-Big 12 picks, Nebraska also paced the field in Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll selections.


During the fall 2006 semester, Nebraska placed 39 players on the Big 12 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll, including six student-athletes who had perfect 4.0 grade-point averages for the semester. During the spring, 35 Huskers were named to the honor roll, with six players recording 4.0 GPAs for the spring semester. The honor roll recognizes all student-athletes who earned a 3.0 grade-point average or better in the previous semester.



Nebraska Honored by AFCA for Grad Rate

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 Nebraska has received the honor and the 11th time since 1994 Nebraska has been recognized.



















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