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Courtesy: NU Media Relations
          Release: 10/11/2010
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Unbeaten Huskers Host Texas Saturday Afternoon

 

Game 6: Nebraska vs. Texas
Oct. 16, 2010 | Memorial Stadium
Lincoln, Neb. | 2:30 p.m

 

Huskers
Record: 5-0, 1-0

Rankings:
Coaches-4; AP-5

Last Game:
def. Kansas State, 48-13

Coach: Bo Pelini

Career/NU Record:
25-8/3rd year

vs. UT: 0-1

Game Information
Television: ABC-HD
(Sean McDonough, Matt Millen, Quint Kessenich)

Radio: Husker Sports Network
(Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Lane Grindle)
Sirius Channel 125, XM 241

Series Record: Texas leads, 9-4

Capacity: 81,091 (308th consecutive sellout)

Surface: Fieldturf

Special Events: 1970 National Championship Team Reunion

Longhorns
Record: 3-2, 1-1

Rankings:
Coaches, AP-R

Last Game:
lost to Oklahoma, 28-20

Coach: Mack Brown

Career/UT Record:
217-103-1/27th season
131-29/13th season

vs. NU: 7-1

The Matchup
Nebraska returns to Lincoln for its Big 12 home opener taking on Texas in a rematch of the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game. The matchup of two of college football's heavyweights will be televised regionally on ABC, with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. (CDT). Other parts of the country will be able to see the game on ESPN-HD.

The Huskers head into the contest with a 5-0 record and a 1-0 conference mark after a 48-13 dismantling of Kansas State last Thursday evening in Manhattan. Nebraska rolled up 451 rushing yards for its highest rushing total in nine seasons, and quarterback Taylor Martinez continued the explosive start to his career with four rushing touchdowns. The victory helped Nebraska move up to No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and fifth in the Associated Press poll, Nebraska's highest ranking since the end of the 2001 season.

Texas heads to Lincoln with a 3-2 overall mark and a 1-1 record in Big 12 Conference play. The Longhorns opened the year with three straight wins, but suffered back-to-back losses to UCLA and Oklahoma before taking a week off this past weekend. The consecutive losses led to the 'Horns falling out of the national rankings for the first time since 2000.

The Series
Texas owns a 9-4 all-time edge in the series between the two schools, including an 8-1 advantage since the formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. Texas has won all three meetings in Lincoln since 1998, with the three victories by a total of nine points. In fact, six of UT's eight wins over Nebraska since 1996 have been by four or fewer points.

The Coaches
Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, '90) owns a 25-8 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.

Texas: Mack Brown (Florida State, '74) is in his 13th season as the Texas coach and his 27th season overall as a collegiate head coach. Brown has a 131-29 record with the Longhorns, including the 2005 national championship and a pair of Big 12 crowns. Brown has guided Texas to a 7-1 record against Nebraska.

Nebraska Football
Nebraska is 832-341-40 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 398 wins, 25 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 5...Nebraska 48, Kansas State 13
*-Nebraska improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2003. The win was also Nebraska's sixth straight over Kansas State, and Nebraska improved to 6-0 in Thursday night ESPN games.

*-Nebraska won its sixth straight road game, NU's longest road winning streak since winning 10 straight road games from 1996 to 1998. NU has also won six straight road games in the Big 12 Conference, all by at least eight points. That streak is the longest for NU since an eight-game streak in 1996 and 1997.

*-Nebraska allowed just 13 points, marking the 13th straight Nebraska opponent to score 21 or fewer points, the longest streak in the nation.

*-Nebraska redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez carried the ball 15 times for 241 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run to open the scoring in the first quarter, a 35-yard TD run in the second quarter, an 80-yard TD in the third quarter and a 41-yarder in the fourth quarter. The 80-yard run was his second 80-yard TD run in the past three games.

*-The 241 rushing yards by Martinez were the eighth-most in school history and the 34th 200-yard rushing game in NU history. He set a single-game rushing record for a Nebraska quarterback, bettering Jammal Lord's 234 yards against Texas in 2002. The 200-yard rushing day was the first by an NU player since Marlon Lucky had 233 yards against Nevada in 2007, and it is the most yards by any Husker since Calvin Jones' school-record 294 yards at Kansas in 1991 as a redshirt freshman. Martinez owns four of the top 12 rushing efforts by a Nebraska freshman, including the top four among freshmen quarterbacks.

*-Martinez's four-TD game marked the first time NU has had a player rush for four touchdowns since true freshman David Horne rushed for four touchdowns at Texas A&M in 2002.

*-Martinez also completed 5-of-7 passes for 128 yards, and a 79-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kyler Reed. The Martinez to Reed connection was Nebraska's longest pass play since Jammal Lord connected with Matt Herian for an 80-yard touchdown pass against Colorado in 2002. It was the ninth-longest pass play in school history.

*-Martinez accounted for a Nebraska freshman record 369 yards of total offense. His total offense mark surpassed Calvin Jones' 294 total offensive yards at Kansas in 1991. The 369 yards of total offense ranks in a tie for 11th in school history. Martinez has had at least 263 yards of total offense in four of five games this season.

*-Senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. rushed for 110 yards on eight carries, marking his third 100-yard rushing game this season and the 10th of his career. Helu Jr. increased his career rushing total to 2,574 yards and moved up three spots to 11th on the NU career rushing list. Helu's 68-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was a career-long rush.

*-Nebraska rushed for 451 yards as a team, its first 400-yard rushing game since putting up 413 against Nevada in 2007, and the most since posting 641 yards at Baylor in 2001. It marked NU's first 400-yard rushing game in conference play since 2001.

*-Nebraska senior Mike McNeill pushed his career receptions total to 67, setting an NU tight end record, surpassing the previous record of 65 by Matt Herian from 2002 to 2006. Although McNeill is lining up at receiver this season, he spent his first three seasons as a tight end and accumulated 61 of his career receptions at that position.

*-Nebraska junior linebacker Lavonte David finished with 16 tackles, marking his third double-figure tackle game of the season.

*-Nebraska senior safety DeJon Gomes had a career-high 12 tackles, including a TFL and also forced a fumble.

*-Nebraska had four scoring drives of five plays or less and has 17 scoring drives of five plays or less this season.

*-Nebraska did not allow a K-State player to account for 300 yards of total offense, marking the 22nd straight game NU has not allowed an opposing player to reach 300 yards of total offense.

*-Nebraska allowed just 135 passing yards, the fourth time in five games the Husker defense has allowed 135 or fewer passing yards. NU also intercepted a pass for the ninth straight game.

Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini
Bo Pelini is in his third season as Nebraska's head coach and owns a 25-8 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 25-8 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 99 games as a collegiate coach, Pelini's defenses have posted 10 shutouts, held the opposition to seven points or less 34 times and to 20 points or less 65 times.

*- Pelini-led defenses have 205 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 Texas
Texas began the year with a top-five preseason ranking and started 3-0 following a road win at Texas Tech. But the Longhorns have lost their last two games, being upset by unranked UCLA at home on Sept. 25 and losing the Red River Rivalry to No. 8 Oklahoma, 28-20, two weeks ago. With the back-to-back losses, Texas fell out of the top 25 for the first time since 2000, ending a streak of 162 consecutive weeks in the rankings. The Longhorns were off last weekend.

After losing only once in both the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Texas has already suffered its most losses since a 10-3 campaign in 2007. The Longhorns are looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 1999 on Saturday.

Texas boasts one of the nation's top defenses, as the Longhorns rank in the top 10 nationally in sacks, tackles for loss and total defense, while ranking 11th against the pass and 23rd against the run. But UT is only 40th in scoring defense, allowing an average of 20.0 points per game.

Part of the reason for that number has been turnovers. The Longhorns have turned the ball over 12 times while forcing only seven turnovers. Offensively, Texas does not rank in the top 50 in either rushing or passing offense, and the Longhorns rank 74th in total offense and 79th in scoring offense.

Series History
Texas leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 9-4. The Longhorns have won five straight in the series and own an 8-1 advantage over the Huskers since the inception of the Big 12 Conference. The five-game losing streak to Texas marks Nebraska's longest losing streak against any opponent since losing six straight to Oklahoma from 1972 to 1977. It is also the fourth-longest losing streak against a conference opponent in Nebraska history. The Longhorns have won four straight in Lincoln, owning a 4-1 all-time advantage at Memorial Stadium, including a 3-0 mark as conference opponents.

Despite Texas' success in the series, the games have generally been close. The teams have met nine times as conference opponents with an average score of 23-19 in favor of the Longhorns. Six of those nine games have been decided by four points or less, with Texas winning every time.

In the three most recent meetings, Texas has come from behind in the fourth quarter to pull out a victory. In 2006, No. 5 Texas forced a late fumble and kicked a 22-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining to beat the Huskers, 22-20, in Lincoln. The next season, unranked Nebraska led 17th-ranked Texas by eight early in the fourth quarter, only to see Jamaal Charles break off touchdown runs of 25, 86 and 40 yards in a nine-minute span to rally for a 28-25 win. Then in last year's Big 12 Championship Game, No. 22 Nebraska took a two-point lead with 1:44 remaining, only to see No. 3 Texas kick a game-winning field goal as time expired.

Texas Head Coach Mack Brown
Mack Brown owns the best winning percentage of any coach in Texas history and is only the second Longhorn coach ever to win 100 games at the school. A two-time national coach of the year, Brown has guided UT to nine consecutive 10-win seasons, the longest active streak in the country, and the second-longest streak in NCAA history.

The 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year, Brown owns a 131-29 record at Texas. He has won at least nine games in each of his first 12 seasons at the school. Overall, Brown has produced 14 consecutive nine-win seasons as a head coach, dating back to a pair of 10-win campaigns in his final two seasons at North Carolina in 1996 and 1997.

Brown spent 10 seasons at UNC, posting a 69-46-1 record. He also coached Tulane to an 11-23 record in three seasons as head coach from 1985 to 1987.

Nebraska and Texas Share Long History of Success
Texas and Nebraska rank second and fourth, respectively, in all-time victories and are two of just eight schools to record at least 800 wins in program history. The two schools have combined for nine national championships, 71 conference championships and 95 bowl appearances. Since the start of Big 12 play in 1996, the schools have combined for five league titles and 10 Big 12 Championship appearances.

Amazing Series History
Arguably no series in college football has had more drama in recent years than the Nebraska-Texas matchups. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996, the teams have met nine times, six times in the regular season and three Big 12 Championship games. Texas holds an 8-1 edge in those contests, but they have not come easy. Texas' average margin of victory in those wins has been just 6.4 points, and six of the victories have come by a combined margin of 17 points.

*-Two of Texas' past three victories have come on field goals with less than 25 seconds remaining. In 2006, Texas defeated Nebraska 22-20 on a field goal with 23 seconds left.  In last year's Big 12 Championship Game, the Longhorns connected on a field goal as time expired for a 13-12 victory.

Huskers Look to Extend Big 12 Win Streak
Following a 48-13 win at Kansas State last Thursday, Nebraska has won six straight Big 12 regular-seaon games dating back to last October, when NU lost to Iowa State in Lincoln. The six-game winning streak is the longest in the Big 12 and marks only the fourth time that Nebraska has won more than five straight Big 12 games since the formation of the conference in 1996.

The Huskers' last conference win streak of longer than six games came in the 2000 and 2001 seasons when they compiled an eight-game Big 12 winning streak. Nebraska won its final 2000 regular-season game and its first seven conference games of the 2001 campaign.

A victory would also give Nebraska a 2-0 Big 12 record for the first time since 2006 and just the second time in the last nine seasons.

Nebraska Attempting to Secure win in Conference Home Opener
Saturday's game will mark Nebraska's Big 12 home opener. The Huskers have won 30 of their past 32 conference home openers - including 12 of 14 in the Big 12 era - but Nebraska has lost its first conference home game in each of the past two seasons.

Nebraska won each of its first 12 Big 12 home openers before losing to Missouri in 2008. That loss snapped Nebraska's 30-game overall winning streak in conference home openers. A loss to Texas Tech in last year's Big 12 home opener marked the first time since the 1967 and 1968 seasons that NU lost its first conference home game in back-to-back seasons. The Huskers haven't lost their first league game at home in three straight seasons since losing three in a row from 1959 to 1961.

*-In the Big 12 era (1996 to present), Nebraska has been dominant in its first league game at home. The Huskers have nearly doubled their opponents' point total with a combined score of 457-255. The average score of Nebraska's first Big 12 home games has been 33-18.

*-Nebraska's victory at Kansas State was the 34th time in the last 36 years Nebraska has won its overall league opener, including a 13-2 record since the start of the Big 12. Nebraska is now 94-19-2 all-time in conference openers.                     

Huskers Hope to Stay Unbeaten Against Longhorns
Nebraska enters Saturday's matchup with a 5-0 record, marking the Huskers' first 5-0 start since 2003. Nebraska remains one of just 13 unbeaten teams in the country, including four Big 12 Conference schools. A victory over Texas on Saturday would give Nebraska its first 6-0 start since the Huskers won their first 11 games of the 2001 season.

*- Nebraska has won 11 of its last 12 games overall entering this weekend, with the only loss the one-point setback to Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game. Only Ohio State and Boise State are perfect over their past 12 games.

*- Nebraska's six-game overall win streak is the Huskers' second six-game winning streak under Head Coach Bo Pelini. Nebraska has not trailed at any point in its six-game win streak.

*- Nebraska will be looking for the 27th 6-0 start in school history, with 19 of those coming since 1962.

Nebraska Starting Games Strong
Led by a quick-strike offense, Nebraska has been accustomed to fast starts this season. The Huskers scored just 3:47 into their season opener against Western Kentucky. A week later against Idaho, Nebraska scored on its opening drive again, with a field goal 7:20 into the game. Then at Washington, Nebraska drove 48 yards in only two plays to take a 7-0 lead just 2:11 into the game. Nebraska did not score until the second quarter against South Dakota State, but put two touchdowns on the board in a span of just 3:45. At K-State, NU scored a touchdown on its first drive, less than nine minutes into the game.

*-The Huskers have scored on their opening possession in six of their last seven games. During the streak, the Huskers have scored four touchdowns (Arizona in 2009 and Western Kentucky, Washington and Kansas State in 2010) and two field goals (Texas in 2009 and Idaho in 2010).

*-The Huskers have been especially fast starters on the road, scoring in the first four minutes of the game five times in the past seven games away from Lincoln, in addition to the score less than nine minutes into the game at Kansas State.

*-Nebraska has outscored its opponents 38-7 in the first quarter in 2010. Overall, Nebraska has either led or been tied after the first quarter of play in 13 straight games (11 leads, two ties).

*-The quick scores have afforded Nebraska the luxury of playing with a lead. In fact, the 2010 Huskers have yet to trail, and have only found themselves in scoreless ties. Through five games, Nebraska has been tied at 0-0 for a total of 37:15, and led its opposition for a total of 262:45. When including last year's Holiday Bowl, Nebraska has had a lead for more than 321 of a possible 360 minutes, and has not trailed in those six games.

*-Forcing turnovers has also been a key part of the quick starts. In nine of the past 12 games, NU has forced a first-half turnover. These turnovers have resulted in seven touchdowns and two field goals.

Nebraska Churning out Impressive Rushing Numbers
Nebraska finds itself back among the Big 12 and national leaders in rushing offense. Nebraska is averaging 337.6 rushing yards per game to rank first in the Big 12 and second nationally in rushing.

The Huskers opened the season with 289 rushing yards against Western Kentucky, added 360 yards on the ground against Idaho and pounded Washington for 383 rushing yards. However, NU saved its most powerful running attack for Big 12 play, racking up 451 rushing yards at Kansas State-its most rushing yards in 109 games.

*-Before its back-to-back 300-yard rushing games in games 2 and 3, NU had not topped 300 rushing yards in consecutive games since late in the 2002 season. NU's five straight 200-yard rushing games to start the season marks the longest streak for the Huskers since posting six straight 200-yard rushing games during the 2002 season.

*-Nebraska's 451 rushing yards at Kansas State were its most since posting 641 rushing yards at Baylor in 2001. It also marked just the Huskers' second 400-yard rushing game in the past seven seasons (413 vs. Nevada, 2007).

*-In thrashing Washington and Kansas State away from Lincoln, Nebraska rushed for more than 300 yards in back-to-back road games for the first time since 2001 when NU topped 300 rushing yards in back-to-back games at Missouri and Baylor.

*-Nebraska has produced four of the top nine team rushing efforts since 2004 in the first five games of this season, including the first, third and fifth-best rushing efforts in that stretch.

*-Nebraska had three players crack the century mark in rushing yards at Washington, as Taylor Martinez, Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead all surpassed 100 yards. The game marked the fifth time in school history Nebraska has had three players reach 100 rushing yards in the same game, and the first time it has happened since four Husker runners topped 100 yards at Baylor in 2001.

*-Martinez and Helu Jr. also teamed up to produce double 100-yard rushing games against Idaho and Kansas State. The Idaho game marked the first time since 2006 (Iowa State) NU had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game. Nebraska has now had two players rush for 100 yards in the same game 68 times in school history. Nebraska already has had eight 100-yard rushing games this season after having just five each of the past two years and six in 2007.

   *-On the year, Nebraska is averaging a nation-leading 7.74 yards-per-carry, nearly a yard more than second-place  Michigan (6.81 ypc).

Huskers Showing Explosive Ability in all Phases
Nebraska has posted five decisive victories in 2010, and in the process 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 a nation-leading 8.30 yards per play. That is just one of several impressive numbers posted by Nebraska in the first five games.

*-Nebraska has reached the end zone 28 times in five games. The average length of those 28 touchdown plays has been 34.1 yards, with 15 of those plays covering at least 31 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.

*-Nebraska showed its lightning-quick scoring ability in a similar way at Washington. The Huskers opened the game with a two-play scoring drive, then scored three times in a span of less than seven minutes to open the second half, with each of those third-quarter scores covering at least 31 yards.

*-Nebraska's offensive display at Kansas State was also remarkable. The Huskers had five touchdowns cover at least 35 yards, including scores of 80, 79 and 68 yards. The 79-yard pass play from Taylor Martinez to Kyler Reed was NU's longest pass play in eight seasons. NU set a school record at KSU by averaging 11.3 yards per play.

*-Through five games, Nebraska has 33 offensive plays from scrimmage of at least 20 yards (21 rush, 12 pass). Last season, Nebraska posted 53 scrimmage plays of 20 yards or more in 14 games.

*-The Husker offense has found the end zone in five-or-fewer plays on 14 of its 25 touchdown drives,  including three one-play scoring drives, three more two-play scoring drives and four three-play touchdown drives. Twelve of the 25 drives have taken less than 2:00 off the clock, including eight touchdown drives using 1:00 or less.

*-Nebraska's average touchdown drive this season lasts 4.9 plays and covers 67.0 yards in 2:08. The Huskers are averaging 13.6 yards per play during their touchdown drives and a whopping 23.2 yards per play in the 14 touchdown drives of five-or-fewer plays.

*-Twenty-three of the 25 TD drives have taken less than four minutes. The Huskers' longest touchdown drive of the season came on their final scoring drive at Washington, when it took 5:57 and 11 plays to cover 80 yards. NU had a 5:09 scoring drive against South Dakota State.

Martinez Making Name for Himself on National Level
Nebraska redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez has quickly emerged as a leading candidate for National Freshman of the Year, and perhaps bigger honors with his impressive start to the 2010 season. Just five games into his career, Martinez has already made a prominent mark in the Nebraska record book and shown the poise and game-breaking ability that made him the choice in a tight three-quarterback battle for the starting job.

Martinez has already accounted for the top four rushing games in school history by a freshman quarterback and four of the top 12 rushing efforts by any NU frosh. He has also accounted for at least 215 yards of total offense each week, while completing 39-of-64 passes. He is coming off a performance at Kansas State that thrust him into the national conversation as a Heisman Trophy contender. Martinez set an NU quarterback record with 241 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 15 carries. He also set a Husker freshman total offense record with 369 yards.

The explosive effort at K-State was just the latest highlight in Martinez's highlight-filled 2010 campaign:

*-Martinez has rushed for 737 yards on 53 carries, an average of 10.8 yards per carry.  Martinez has 12 rushes of at least 20 yards, including touchdown runs of 67, 46, 43, 20, 80, 35, 80 and 41 yards. The 80-yard touchdown runs against Washington and Kansas State are the longest ever by a Nebraska freshman and the second-longest in school history by a Husker quarterback, trailing only Eric Crouch's school-record 95-yard TD run at Missouri in 2001. Martinez owns the three longest runs by an NU quarterback in the past nine seasons.

*-Martinez averages 147.4 rushing yards per game to rank fourth in the nation and first in the Big 12. He is second among quarterbacks, trailing only Michigan's Dennard Robinson (165.2 ypg). Martinez tops all freshmen nationally in rushing, nearly 30 yards better than San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman (118.8 ypg).

*-Martinez's 10.8 yards per rush is tops among players in the top 100 nationally in rushing, leading Cincinnati running back Isaiah Peed by nearly a yard (9.8 ypc). Martinez easily outdistances all quarterbacks, with Michigan's Robinson second at 8.33 yards per carry.

*-Martinez had 127 rushing yards in the opener, the most ever by a Nebraska freshman quarterback, but he has topped that three times since. He had 157 yards on 14 carries against Idaho, 137 yards at Washington, and an NU quarterback record 241 yards at Kansas State. The 241 rushing yards were the second-most ever by an NU freshman, while his 157 yards vs. Idaho were the sixth-most ever for a Husker frosh. The four 100+ outings this season are the top four rushing totals by an NU quarterback in the past eight seasons.

*-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 three straight 100-yard rushing games marks the first time a Nebraska quarterback has topped the century mark in three straight games since Eric Crouch in 2001. Prior to this season, no NU quarterback had topped the century mark on the ground since Jammal Lord in 2003.

*-Martinez has rushed for a nation-leading 12 touchdowns, including three each against Western Kentucky and Washington, and four against Kansas State. Martinez is tied for first nationally in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game. His 12 rushing touchdowns are the fourth-most ever by a Nebraska freshman, just two shy of the record.

*-Martinez's three rushing TDs vs. WKU were the most ever by an NU freshman in a season opener. It 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.

*-Martinez is the first player to have three games with three or more rushing touchdowns in a season since Eric Crouch had four games with at least three touchdowns in 2000. Martinez's effort at KSU also marked the most rushing TDs by a Husker since true freshman I-back David Horne had four rushing touchdowns at Texas A&M in 2002.

*-Martinez's two 80-yard rushes are the longest by any Nebraska player since Cory Ross had an 86-yard touchdown run against Missouri in 2004.

*-Martinez's 737 rushing yards already rank fourth on the Nebraska freshman season rushing chart, and tops among quarterbacks. Eric Crouch held the previous Nebraska freshman QB record with 459 yards in 1998. Martinez is 263 yards from the second 1,000-yard rushing season by a Nebraska freshman and the fourth 1,000-yard season by a Nebraska quarterback.

Husker Freshmen Quarterbacks to Rush for 100 Yards

Rk.

Player

Yards

Opponent, Year

1.

Taylor Martinez

241

at Kansas State, 2010

2.

Taylor Martinez

157

vs. Idaho, 2010

3.

Taylor Martinez

137

at Washington, 2010

4.

Taylor Martinez

127

vs. Western Kentucky, 2010

5.

Eric Crouch

108

vs. Texas, 1998

6.

Eric Crouch

108

at Kansas, 1998

Top 10 Freshman Single-Game Rushing Totals in NU History

Rk.

Player

Yards

Opponent, Year

1.

Calvin Jones

294

at Kansas, 1991

2.

Taylor Martinez

241

at Kansas State, 2010

3.

Ahman Green

176

vs. Washington State, 1995

4.

Ahman Green

176

vs. Iowa State, 1995

5.

DeAngelo Evans

168

vs. Kansas State, 1996

6.

Monte Anthony

157

at Colorado, 1974

 

Taylor Martinez

157

vs. Idaho, 2010

8.

Lawrence Phillips

137

at UCLA, 1993

 

Taylor Martinez

137

at Washington, 2010

10.

DeAngelo Evans

130

vs. Texas, 1996

11.

David Horne

128

at Texas A&M, 2002

12.

Taylor Martinez

127

vs. Western Kentucky, 2010

 

Damon Benning

127

vs. Texas Tech, 1993

Backs Making Most of Touches
Nebraska quarterbacks and I-backs made the most of their offensive touches this season. The explosive Nebraska offense has had just 58, 59, 65, 65 and 52 snaps, respectively, in the first five 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. At Washington, Nebraska totaled 383 yards on 54 carries, an average of 7.1 yards per carry. Those impressive totals were nothing compared to NU's 10.74 yards per rush against Kansas State, just shy of the school record of 10.82 yards per carry set in 1983.

*-Martinez has averaged more than 10 yards per rush in three of five games, including 18.1 yards on seven rushes vs. WKU, 11.2 yards per attempt on 14 carries against Idaho, and 16.1 yards on 15 carries at Kansas State. He leads the nation at 10.84 yards per carry.

*-Sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead has 58 touches this season, and has accumulated 458 yards, an average of 7.9 yards per touch. He is averaging 6.9 yards on his 52 rushing attempts and 16.2 yards on six pass receptions. Seven of his touches have covered at least 20 yards.

*-Senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. has also made the most of 51 rushing attempts, rolling up 415 yards. Helu Jr. is averaging 8.1 yards per carry. Helu has three touchdown runs of at least 58 yards this season and has seven rushes of 50 yards or more in his career. His 68-yard touchdown run at Kansas State was a career long, bettering his 65-yarder at Washington in September.

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 is 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 has topped 100 yards against Idaho, Washington and Kansas State in 2010, giving him 10 career 100-yard games. He is just the 15th player in NU history with at least 10 100-yard rushing games. Helu has scored at least one touchdown four of five games, and his 22 career rushing touchdowns make him one of 24 Nebraska players with at least 20 career rushing touchdowns.

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 2,574 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 now 11th on the career rushing list and just 125 yards from the career top 10. 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 10 road games since the beginning of the 2008 campaign, Helu has rushed for 1,031 yards on 151 carries, 6.8 yards per tote.

*-Helu had a Big 12-best 12 runs of 20+ yards in 2009, and 23 rushes of at least 20 yards over his past 22 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.

Points at a Premium vs. Huskers
After holding Kansas State to 13 points last Thursday, Nebraska has now held 13 consecutive opponents to 21 or fewer points. The Huskers' streak of allowing 21-or-fewer points leads the nation after Alabama gave up 35 points to South Carolina last Saturday. Nebraska has allowed an opponent to score 20 points only three times since the start of the 2009 season, the best total in the country.

Nebraska and West Virginia are the only two FBS teams to hold every opponent this season to 21-or-fewer points.

Streaks of Holding Opponents to 21 or Fewer Points
1. Nebraska - 13 games
2. West Virginia - 5 games
3. Ohio State - 4 games
    Florida State - 4 games

In terms of keeping points off the board the Husker defense 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, and held seven foes to single digits and eight teams to 10 or fewer points. Both of those totals led the nation. Nebraska posted two shutouts for the first time since 2003. This season, Nebraska has allowed 64 points in five games (12.8 ppg), and ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense.

*-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 has allowed 11 red-zone drives 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.

*-Only five Nebraska opponents have scored as many as 17 points since the start of the 2009 season.

*-Nebraska allowed just three points against South Dakota State. In the past two seasons, Nebraska has allowed 10 or fewer points in 10 games. In 10 home games over the past two seasons, Nebraska has held eight of 10 opponents to 10 points or less, including two of three in 2010.

No Free Passes
"This is the best pass defense in America."
--Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian after Nebraska held the Huskies to just four completions and 71 passing yards

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 five games, NU is again atop the pass efficiency defense chart. The Huskers also lead the nation in passing yards allowed per game, and have caused major problems for opposing passers, including highly rated prospects Nathan Enderle of Idaho and Jake Locker of Washington.

*- Nebraska opponents are completing 50.0 percent of their pass attempts, including a 4-of-20 effort by Washington's Jake Locker. The 50.0 percent completion rate is sixth nationally. Opponents have thrown for four touchdown passes in five games. Last season, NU opponents completed 47.8 percent of their passes (No. 4 in nation), and NU allowed just seven passing TDs (second-fewest nationally).

*-Nebraska has 11 interceptions this season, with at least one in each game. The 11 picks are tied for fourth nationally. Nebraska has intercepted a nation-leading 8.09 percent of opposing passes. Last season, Nebraska tied for seventh in the nation with 20 interceptions.

*-Ten of NU's 14 opponents in 2009 completed 50 percent or less of their pass attempts, and five opponents had less than 150 yards passing. NU's 2010 opponents are averaging 128.0 passing yards per game, including four with 135 yards or less. Washington threw for just 71 passing yards and South Dakota State had 95 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 was the second time in the past two seasons NU has picked off five passes (also Oklahoma, 2009). Nebraska has intercepted at least two passes in seven of its past 12 games. NU has had at least one INT in nine straight games.

*-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. Nebraska added an interception return for a touchdown at Washington. It is the first time Nebraska has had three INT returns for a touchdown in a season since 2005. The school record for interceptions for touchdowns is five set in both 1971 and 1995.

*-Nebraska has posted 198 return yards on its 11 interceptions, an average of 18.0 yards per return. The school record for most interception return yards in a season is 523 in 1970 on 30 interceptions.

Prince Leads a Royal Nebraska Secondary
In the season's first five games it has been hard to single out one player as the standout in the Nebraska. All six players who see the most extensive action have produced big plays and played a key role in the shutdown ability of the Cornhusker secondary.

Senior cornerback Prince Amukamara was the most recognizable name coming into the season after earning his share of honors last fall and putting his name on many preseason All-America teams. A first-tem All-Big 12 pick in 2009, Amukamara is regarded as the cornerstone of a deep and veteran Nebraska secondary.

In the season's first five games, Amukamara has shown why he earned the preseason hype, but ironically he is the only player among NU's top seven defensive backs who has not picked off a pass in 2010. Despite not picking off a pass, his lockdown ability has been a key part of Nebraska defenders recording 11 picks.

Amukamara has made 20 tackles, while posting a team-high six pass breakups. He has had two breakups each against Idaho and Kansas State and has six games 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 20 career pass breakups, which places him in a tie for 10th on the Husker career list.

Band of Blackshirt Thieves
Amukamara is the highest profile member of the Nebraska secondary, but opposing quarterbacks have found that the football is never safe with the Huskers' ball-hawking secondary crew.

*-Fellow cornerback Alfonzo Dennard gives Nebraska two of the nation's top cover corners. Dennard has three interceptions this season, including a 31-yard touchdown return for a score against Washington. He is tied for ninth nationally in interceptions, and also has 13 tackles and three pass breakups.

*-Senior safety DeJon Gomes has been a turnover machine during his Nebraska career. Gomes has had a hand in nine turnovers in the past 15 games, including five interceptions and five fumbles caused. Gomes has caused fumbles against Western Kentucky and Kansas State. He also picked off an Idaho pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. Gomes ranks second on the team with 42 tackles, including a career-high 12 stops at Kansas State.

*-Senior Eric Hagg is Nebraska's nickel back. Hagg has two interceptions this season, including Washington's first pass attempt of the game, that set up the Huskers' opening score. He also had two breakups against the Huskies and his three PBU this season are third on the team. Hagg earned Big 12 Co-Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors for his effort at Washington.

*-Senior safety Rickey Thenarse has returned in style from a season-ending knee injury in 2009. Thenarse had a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown against Idaho. He also ranks third on the team with 28 tackles and forced a fumble against Washington. He had a career-high 10 tackles against South Dakota State.

*-Sophomore safety P.J. Smith regularly enters the game when Nebraska moves to six defensive backs. Smith is tied for the team lead and ranks in the top 10 nationally with three interceptions. He also has 19 tackles.

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 and are continuing to dominate in 2010.

*-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 12.8 ppg.

*-In two seasons, Nebraska's sack total has increased from 13 to 35 to 44 in 2009. Through five games this season, NU has 11 sacks, including a seven-sack effort against Idaho.

*-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 147.0 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. The Huskers are allowing 275.0 yards per game this season to rank 12th nationally and have held four of five foes to less than 300 yards.

*-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. This season, Nebraska is leading the nation in both pass efficiency defense and passing yards allowed.

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 was 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 strong fashion, helping the Nebraska defense set the tone in five comfortable victories. Crick has 23 tackles through four games, good for fourth on the team. He broke out against Idaho with 2.5 sacks for 30 yards and four tackles for losses, totaling 32 yards. Crick ranks second on the team in sacks and his five tackles for loss leads the team. His five quarterback hurries is second on the team.

Crick has 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.

David Posting Impressive Tackle Totals
Nebraska junior linebacker Lavonte David arrived on the Nebraska campus just a few short months ago. But he has proven to be a quick learner and has moved into a leading role on the Nebraska defense. David has a team-high 60 tackles, and his 12.0 tackles per game leads the Big 12 and ranks in a tie for seventh nationally. David also ranks second on the team with five pass breakups and his four tackles for loss are tied for second on the team.

*-David had a team season-high 19 tackles in the Huskers' victory over South Dakota State. David's tackle total was the highest for a Nebraska player since Barrett Ruud totaled 19 tackles at Kansas State in 2004. Ruud, a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is Nebraska's all-time leading tackler.

*-The 19 tackles vs. SDSU were not only the best by a Husker in six seasons, but the total also ranked in a tie for the seventh-most tackles in school history.

*-David backed that up with 16 tackles at Kansas State, giving him the top two single-game tackle totals for the Huskers in the past six seasons. His effort at Kansas State also earned David Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors. His 35 tackles in back-to-back games are the best for a Husker since Ruud had 36 tackles in back-to-back games against Kansas State and Missouri in 2004.

Henery Kicking Way Into Nebraska Record Book
Alex Henery is poised to continue his assault on the NU record book this season, 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 12 multiple-FG games in his career, including two field goals at Kansas State last week.

*-Henery's 24 field goals in 2009 shattered the school record, and he has made 54 field goals in 61 career attempts, making him the most accurate kicker in school history. His 54 field goals are just three field goals from the school record, held by 11-year NFL veteran Kris Brown. Henery has a current streak of 12 straight made field goals.

*-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 167-of-168 in his career, a 99.4 percent accuracy rate. He has made 90 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. He currently has 329 points to rank third in school history. Henery needs 60 points to set a new career scoring record.

*- 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 44.4 yards on 18 punts this season, with seven of those downed inside the 20, and six of his kicks traveling at least 50 yards.

Seniors Paul and McNeill Headline Receiving Corps
Nebraska has a pair of senior receiving targets who have made a major impact in the passing game for each of 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 big 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 10 games dating back to last season.

Paul moved into the top 10 on the Nebraska career receptions list against Idaho, and at 75 career catches, he has an opportunity to become just the sixth player in school history with 100 career catches. Paul's 1,177 career receiving yards are 10th 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 67 career catches to rank in a tie for 14th on the Nebraska career list. McNeill's receptions total represents a Nebraska career tight ends reception record, bettering the 65 by Matt Herian from 2002 to 2006. McNeill is 144 yards from becoming the 19th Husker and fourth NU tight end to reach 1,000 career receiving yards. He snared his 11th career touchdown with a 24-yard grab at Washington, then had a career-long 64-yard reception against South Dakota State.

Kinnie also has made huge strides in the offseason, and opened the year with a career-high six receptions and 59 yards against Western Kentucky, before adding three catches against Idaho. He excelled against Washington with five receptions for a career-high 105 yards. He totaled 180 all-purpose yards, adding 75 yards on kickoff returns. Kinnie leads the team with 17 receptions for 205 yards.

Behind Paul, McNeill and Kinnie, Nebraska is averaging 16.0 yards per completion this season, a mark that ranks fourth in the country.

Road Warriors
Nebraska's 48-13 win at Kansas State marked the Huskers' sixth straight road victory. Each of the six wins in Nebraska's current road win streak have been by at least eight points. The winning streak is Nebraska's longest on the road since winning 10 straight road games from 1996 to 1998. The Huskers' last road loss was a 16-15 setback at Virginia Tech last season.

Nebraska has also won its last six Big 12 road games, NU's longest since winning its first eight league road games when the Big 12 was formed in 1996 and 1997.  Nebraska won 19 straight league road games from 1992 to 1997 (Big Eight and Big 12). The 4-0 record in Big 12 road games in 2009 was the first for Nebraska since 1997.

 *-Nebraska was one of just 13 teams nationally to own a perfect conference road record in 2009.

*-Nebraska is 7-2 on the road in Big 12 play under Bo Pelini, with both losses against top-10 teams.

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.

*-NU is ranked fifth in the Oct. 10 AP poll and fourth in the coaches poll, Nebraska's highest rankings since entering the 2002 Rose Bowl against Miami ranked fourth in the nation. NUhad been No. 6 in the AP poll three times this season, before moving to fifth this week. NU rose two spots to fourth in the coaches poll after its victory at Kansas State.

*-Nebraska received one first-place vote in the Sept. 19 USA Today Coaches Poll, the first time since 2001 that NU has received a first-place vote in either poll. This week, Nebraska received two first-place votes in the coaches poll.

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's win over Kansas State gave the Huskers their 11th win in its past 12 games dating back to last season. Nebraska's 11-1 mark is its best stretch at any point since winning 13 straight games, including its final two games of 2000 and first 11 of 2001. Only Boise State and Ohio State are perfect in the past 12 games.

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 15-6 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. The Huskers have dropped two games in each of the past two Octobers.

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.

*-NU 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 24-2 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 21 fourth-quarter points, while scoring 34 of its own.

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. Three upcoming Nebraska opponents-Texas, Oklahoma State and Missouri-are ranked in at least one of the major national polls this week.

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