Close Video
 
Buy Photo >
All-America linebacker Lavonte David leads the Blackshirts at Wisconsin.
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
          Release: 09/26/2011
Send this article to a friend Print RSS

Huskers Open Big Ten Play at Wisconsin

Game 5: Nebraska at Wisconsin
Oct. 1, 2011 | Camp Randall Stadium
Madison, Wis. | 7 p.m.

Game Information
Television: ABC
Brent Musburger, Play-by-Play Kirk Herbstreit, Analyst Erin Andrews, Sidelines

Radio/Internet:
Husker Sports Network
Greg Sharpe, Play-by-Play Matt Davison, Color Lane Grindle, Sidelines
Huskers.com
HSN free audio Live stats, blog, game-day information, photos
Satellite Radio Sirius Channel 93 (Nebraska)

Capacity: 80,321
Surface: FieldTurf
Series Record: Nebraska leads, 3-2
In Madison: Series tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: Wisconsin 21-20 in 1974

Huskers
Record: 4-0
Rankings: Coaches-8; AP-8
Last Game:  def. Wyoming, 38-14
Coach: Bo Pelini
Career/NU Record: 34-12/4th year
vs. WIS: first meeting

Badgers
Record: 4-0
Rankings: Coaches-7; AP-7
Last Game:  def. South Dakota, 59-10
Coach: Bret Bielema
Career/WIS Record: 53-16/6th year
vs. NU: first meeting

The Matchup
Nebraska makes a historic road trip this week traveling to Madison, Wis., to take on the Badgers in the Huskers' first-ever Big Ten Conference. The game will be televised nationally on ABC, with kickoff set for shortly after 7 p.m. CT. The game is just the fourth matchup of top-10 ranked teams in college football this season, as the Huskers enter the game ranked eighth in both the AP and coaches polls, while Wisconsin checks in at No. 7 in both polls.

Nebraska is 4-0 following a 38-14 victory over Wyoming in Laramie last Saturday. The Nebraska offense continued to show a powerful rushing attack, topping 300 yards on the ground for the second straight week, and the Huskers lead the Big Ten in rushing. The win also gave NU a 4-0 start and a perfect non-conference season for the second straight year.

Wisconsin has been among the nation's most impressive teams in starting 4-0 in 2011. The Badgers breezed through non-conference play winning by an average of 40 points per game. The Badger offense is one of the nation's most balanced units and has rolled up more than 530 yards per game. Defensively, Wisconsin is allowing just 8.5 points per contest to rank third in the nation in that category.

The Series
Nebraska and Wisconsin are meeting for the first time since the 1974 season and just the sixth time overall. Nebraska holds a 3-2 edge in the all-time series between the schools, and the teams have split the two previous meetings in Madison. Nebraska won both games of a home-and-home matchup in 1965 and 1966, before the teams split in 1973 and 1974 with the Badgers winning the most recent meeting, 21-20, in Madison in 1974.

The Coaches
Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, '90) owns a 34-12 record in his fourth season. Pelini has guided NU to nine or more wins in each of his first three seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich in accomplishing that feat. Pelini has guided Nebraska to a conference championship game the past two seasons and to at least a share of the Big 12 divisional crown his first three seasons as head coach.

Wisconsin: Bret Bielema (Iowa, '92) owns a 53-16 record in his sixth season as the Badgers head coach, giving him the fourth-best winning percentage in the country among active coaches. In 2010, he guided Wisconsin to a Big Ten championship, the school's first title since the 1999 season.

Nebraska Football
Nebraska is 841-345-40 all-time, one of just eight schools with 800 all-time victories w Nebraska has won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997). w The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships. w Nebraska's 47 all-time bowl appearances rank fifth nationally. w Since 1970, Nebraska has 407 wins, 25 more than any other school. w Nebraska's 99 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation. w The Huskers have had 107 All-Americans in school history.

Noting Game 4...Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14
*-Nebraska's victory gave the Huskers a 4-0 start for the second straight year and marked NU's second straight perfect non-conference season. Nebraska's win was also its ninth straight in the month of September. Nebraska improved to 6-0 all-time against Wyoming. Nebraska also posted its ninth win in its past 10 road games.

*-Nebraska scored 38 points, marking the fourth straight game to open the season with at least 30 points. The Huskers have opened the year with four 30-point games for the first time since 2008 and for only the second time since 1995.

*-Junior I-back Rex Burkhead rushed 15 times for a career-high 170 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 16-yard TD run in the third quarter. Burkhead's 45-yard touchdown was the second-longest run of his career, bettered only by a 52-yard run against Chattanooga. Burkhead produced his sixth career 100-yard rushing game and his two touchdowns give him seven rushing touchdowns this season. With his 170 yards, Burkhead moved up three spots to 30th on NU's career rushing list with 1,717 career yards.

*-Burkhead's 45-yard touchdown run marked Nebraska's fourth one-play scoring drive of the season. In addition, Nebraska has a kickoff return for a touchdown.

*-The Wyoming contest marked the third straight game Burkhead has had a pair of rushing touchdowns.

*-Nebraska rushed for a season-high 333 yards, improving to 14-0 in the past two seasons when rushing for at least 200 yards. Nebraska is 21-2 under Bo Pelini when rushing for at least 200 yards. Nebraska had 113 first-half rushing yards, before churning out 220 rushing yards in the second half. Last week, Nebraska had 217 second-half rushing yards against Washington.

*-Nebraska junior tight end Kyler Reed had a 44-yard reception in the third quarter, his second catch of the season covering better than 40 yards. Reed has six career receptions of at least 33 yards.

*-Nebraska had six offensive plays of 20 yards or more, giving the Huskers 23 plays of that length this season. Nebraska had two plays of longer than 40 yards, giving NU 11 plays of at least 40 yards.

*-Nebraska redshirt freshman receiver Kenny Bell caught an eight-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown.

*-True freshman I-back Braylon Heard ran for a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown.

*-Nebraska senior defensive tackle Jared Crick did not play, ending a streak of 31 consecutive starts.

*-Junior punter/place-kicker Brett Maher had a 61-yard punt in the first quarter, a season and career-long punt. Maher also had a 56-yard punt in the first quarter and has eight punts of 50 yards or longer this season. Maher missed a 50-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, his first career miss after making his first seven FG attempts. Maher did connect on a 20-yarder in the third quarter.

*-Sophomore defensive tackle Thad Randle had a three-yard sack in the second quarter, marking his first career sack. He finished the game with a career-high five tackles.

*-Redshirt freshman cornerback Corey Cooper made his first career start. Senior defensive tackle Terrence Moore made his second career start. Moore also started the Holiday Bowl against Washington.

*-Senior defensive back Lance Thorell had a two-yard tackle for loss in the second quarter marking his first career TFL. 

Scouting Wisconsin
Wisconsin puts its 4-0 record and an 11-game home winning streak on the line Saturday night in a battle of top-10 teams. The seventh-ranked Badgers have won 11 consecutive regular-season games. The Badgers have won each of their first four games by at least 34 points this season and have held each of their first four opponents to 17 points or less.

Offensively, senior quarterback Russell Wilson is the key to the explosive Badger attack. His play has helped Wisconsin rank sixth nationally in scoring offense, eighth in total offense and 13th in rushing. A transfer from North Carolina State, Wilson ranks among the Big Ten and national leaders in total offense at 311.0 yards per game. He also ranks second in passing efficiency and has thrown for 11 touchdowns and just one interception. Running backs Montee Ball and James White give the Badger running game an impressive one-two punch. The duo has combined to rush for 663 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Ball ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rushing at 90.0 yards per game and is fourth nationally in scoring at 15.0 points per contest. Wide receiver Nick Toon is Wilson's favorite target in the passing game, with 21 receptions for 353 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Defensively, UW ranks in the top 25 nationally in rush defense, total defense and scoring defense, including third nationally in scoring. The Badgers are allowing only 2.9 yards per rush, but have allowed opponents to complete 64.3 percent of their passes while throwing for 157.3 yards per game.

Series History
Saturday's meeting will be the sixth all-time matchup between the two schools and the first since a 1974 matchup in Madison.

Nebraska owns a 3-2 edge in the all-time series between the schools. The first meeting was an 18-0 Wisconsin win in a 1901 matchup in Milwaukee. Nebraska won the next three games by a combined margin of 88-19. In a home-and-home series in 1965 and 1966, Nebraska shut out the Badgers 37-0 in Lincoln and posted a 31-3 win in Madison. Current Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez was a linebacker on those Nebraska teams.

The teams met again in Lincoln in 1973, when second-ranked Nebraska escaped with a 20-16 win in Tom Osborne's first season as head coach. NU quarterback Dave Humm threw for 297 yards in the victory, setting a single-game school passing record that stood for 31 years. In the return game in Madison in 1974, the Badgers edged fourth-ranked Nebraska 21-20. Nebraska has been ranked in the top 10 in each of the past five meetings with Wisconsin, including its No. 8 ranking this season. This is the first time Wisconsin has been ranked entering a game against Nebraska.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema
Bret Bielema is in his sixth season as the head coach of the Badgers and owns a 53-16 record. His .768 winning percentage ranks fourth nationally among active FBS head coaches. Bielema is already third in Badger history for head coaching victories.

Bielema has guided the Badgers to nine or more victories in four of his first five seasons as the head man, including a 12-1 record in 2006 and an 11-2 mark last season when UW captured its first Big Ten title since 1999.

Prior to taking over as head coach, Bielema served as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator in 2004 and 2005, following two seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State. Bielema began his coaching career at Iowa as a graduate assistant in 1993 and 1994, then served as the Hawkeyes' linebackers coach from 1996 to 2001. Overall, Bielema has spent 16 of his 18 years as a coach in the Big Ten. Overall, Bielema was 2-2 against Nebraska as an assistant coach, 0-2 at Iowa in 1999 and 2000, and 2-0 at Kansas State in 2002 and 2003.

Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini
Bo Pelini is in his fourth season as Nebraska's head coach and owns a 34-12 record with the Huskers. Pelini helped Nebraska to at least a share of the Big 12 North title in each of his first three seasons, becoming the first coach in the history of that league to win at least a share of a division title in each of his first three years. Nebraska has posted its second straight 4-0 start in 2011.

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 34-12 record, Pelini has put himself in some impressive company.

*-Pelini is the fourth Nebraska head coach to win nine games in each of his first three seasons with the Cornhuskers. The others to reach that win plateau were Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich. Pelini has joined Solich as the only NU coaches with two 10-win seasons in their first three years.

*-Pelini, Solich and Texas' Mack Brown were the only coaches in Big 12 history (1996) to win nine or more games in each of their first three seasons.

*-Pelini's nine victories in 2008 tied for the most among 18 coaches in their first season at their respective schools. Among first-time head coaches, Pelini's victory total was the best in the nation. Pelini's 19 victories in his first two seasons were second among that group, and he has moved to the top of the 2008 hiring class with his 32 wins, three more than Navy's Ken Niumatalolo. (see page 11)

*-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. Only Pelini and Bill Stewart (former West Virginia coach) from the group won nine games each of the past three seasons.

Pelini Continues Defensive Accomplishments at Nebraska
At Nebraska, Pelini has continued his history of building championship defenses. Nebraska finished second in the Big 12 in total defense in 2008, a year after NU was 100th or worse in nearly every defensive category. In 2009, the Huskers led the nation in scoring defense and had the nation's best scoring defensive improvement (18.1 ppg). Last season Nebraska again ranked among the nation's best in several defensive categories.

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 112 games as a collegiate coach, Pelini's defenses have posted 10 shutouts, held the opposition to seven points or less 36 times and to 20 points or less 74 times.

*-Pelini-led defenses have 221 total takeaways, including two top-three national rankings.

Nebraska in Inaugural Season in Big Ten Conference
Nebraska officially became the 12th member of the Big Ten Conference on July 1, 2011, and Saturday it will begin its first season of Big Ten Conference play at Wisconsin. Nebraska will compete in the Legends Division, where it was widely regarded as the preseason favorite, while Wisconsin was the preseason Leaders Division favorite. The respective division winners will meet in the first Big Ten Football Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 3.

Nebraska has won football championships in four conferences during its 121 years of intercollegiate football, and also competed as an independent for several years. Overall, Nebraska has won 43 conference championships.

The major conferences for the Nebraska football program since the first season of play in 1890 include:

1890-1891: Independent

1892-1897: Western Inter-State Foot Ball Association

1898-1906, 1918-1920: Independent

1907-1917, 1921-1927: Missouri Valley Conference (12 conference titles)

1928-1947: Big Six Conference (9 conference titles)

1948-1959: Big Seven Conference

1960-1995: Big Eight Conference (20 conference titles)

1996-2010: Big 12 Conference (2 conference titles)

2011-: Big Ten Conference

Nebraska holds a 31-6 record against Big Ten opponents since 1970. The Huskers have won seven straight games in Lincoln against conference foes dating back to a 1981 loss to Penn State, an independent at that time.

*-Among Big Ten Conference opponents, Nebraska has faced Minnesota the most, taking on the Gophers 51 times. Minnesota holds a 29-20-2 edge in the all-time series, but Nebraska has won the past 14 meetings dating back to 1963.

*-Nebraska and Iowa have met 41 times in football, with the Huskers owning a 26-12-3 advantage. The two teams have met just six times since 1946, with NU winning five of those six meetings. Nebraska and Iowa will complete the regular season against each other through at least 2014, and will battle on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2011 and 2012. Nebraska has played on the day after Thanksgiving every year since 1990, facing either Oklahoma or Colorado.

*-Nebraska has faced the remaining six Big Ten foes on the 2011 schedule a total of 35 times, led by 13 meetings with Penn State.

*-Saturday's game at Wisconsin will mark the sixth all-time meeting with Wisconsin, with NU holding a 3-2 edge. The series is tied 1-1 in Madison.

Legends and Leaders
The Big Ten Conference is divided into two divisions for football competition-Legends and Leaders. Winners of the respective divisions will meet on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship.

Nebraska is in the Legends Division along with Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern. Nebraska will face each member of the Legends Division on an annual basis. The Leaders Division consists of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The Huskers will face Penn State every year in a protected cross-over game, while the other five opponents will rotate onto Nebraska's schedule.

In 2011 and 2012, Nebraska will face Ohio State and Wisconsin from the Leaders Division. Nebraska will take on Illinois and Purdue in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and does not face Indiana in the regular season in its first four years of Big Ten schedules.

The 2011 Schedule
Nebraska is facing arguably one of the nation's most difficult schedules in 2011 and one of the most demanding slates in school history. In addition to a competitive non-conference schedule, the Huskers will face an extremely challenging schedule in their first season of competition in the Big Ten Conference.

The 2011 schedule features nine games against teams that participated in a bowl game in 2010. Included in that group are BCS bowl teams Ohio State (Sugar) and Wisconsin (Rose). Other teams that appeared in a bowl game include Fresno State (Humanitarian), Washington (Holiday), Michigan State (Capital One), Northwestern (Ticket City), Penn State (Outback), Michigan (Gator) and Iowa (Insight).

Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State shared the Big Ten title in 2010, and each of those three schools won 11 regular-season games.

Nebraska's home schedule is arguably the most attractive in school history. In addition to the new flavor of Big Ten foes, six of the seven opponents coming to Memorial Stadium competed in a bowl game last fall.

Huskers Finish Non-Conference Perfection
Nebraska's 38-14 victory at Wyoming gave Nebraska a perfect 4-0 non-conference record and a ninth straight regular-season victory against non-conference opponents. The 2011 season marks Nebraska's second straight perfect non-conference season and fourth in the past 10 years.

This season marks the 30th straight winning non-conference season for Nebraska, dating back to a 2-2 non-league record in 1981. Since that season, Nebraska has lost zero (17 times) or one (13 times) non-conference game.

Nebraska also completed September unbeaten for the second straight year, and has won nine straight games in the month, dating back to a 2009 loss at Virginia Tech.

Big Ten Conference Opener
Nebraska embarks on its first-ever Big Ten Conference game on Saturday night in Madison. While this will be the Huskers' opener in a new conference, Nebraska has a history of success in conference openers through the years.

*-The Huskers have won 34 of their 36 conference-opening games since 1975. The only blemishes on that record were a 2002 loss at Iowa State and a 2008 loss to Missouri in Lincoln.

*-Nebraska won its conference opener in its final two years in the Big 12--both on the road. NU won 27-12 at Missouri in 2009, and defeated Kansas State 48-13 in 2010. Both games were played on Thursday night.

*-The Huskers are 94-19-2 all-time in conference openers, including a 9-5 against ranked teams in conference openers. Wisconsin is ranked seventh by the Associated Press entering Saturday's game.

*-Nebraska has also been successful in its first road game in conference play. Nebraska is 24-7 in conference road openers since 1980.

Huskers-Badgers to Square off in Top-10 Matchup
The Nebraska-Wisconsin matchup is one of the top early-season games in college football. The Huskers enter the game ranked No. 8 in both polls, while Wisconsin is just ahead at No. 7 in both polls. Wisconsin is the highest ranked team Nebraska has faced since taking on No. 3 Texas in the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game. Nebraska defeated Missouri in Lincoln last season in a game the Tigers also entered ranked No. 7 by the Associated Press, NU's first win against a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 2 Oklahoma in Lincoln in 2001.

*-Saturday night's game marks the first time Nebraska has played in a matchup of top-10 ranked teams since the 2002 Rose Bowl game (2001 season) when Nebraska lost 37-14 to top-ranked Miami. The Huskers were fourth by the AP entering that game and No. 2 in the BCS standings.

*-A win over Wisconsin would represent the highest ranked team Nebraska has defeated away from home since a win over No. 6 Tennessee in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl. Nebraska's most recent win over a top-10 team in the opponent's stadium was a 27-14 win at No. 2 Washington in 1997.

Huskers Strong on Road Under Pelini
Nebraska has been consistently solid on the road in Bo Pelini's four seasons as head coach. The Huskers' victory at Wyoming last Saturday improved Nebraska to 11-4 in road games under Pelini, including 4-1 records in both 2009 and 2010.

*-Nebraska's lone setbacks on opponent home fields the past two seasons were a 16-15 loss at No. 13 Virginia Tech in 2009, and a 9-6 loss at 18th-ranked Texas A&M in 2010.

*-The three-point loss at Texas A&M last season ended a streak of eight straight road victories for Nebraska, its longest since winning 10 straight from 1996 to 1998. NU has won nine of its last 10 road games.

Numerous Ties Link Nebraska and Wisconsin Programs
Besides the obvious color schemes and striking similarities between uniforms between Nebraska and Wisconsin, there are numerous other ties between the two Big Ten programs.

4Wisconsin Athletic Director and former head coach Barry Alvarez lettered at linebacker for Nebraska from 1965 to 1967, under Hall of Fame Head Coach Bob Devaney. In Alvarez's final two seasons as a player at Nebraska, the Huskers defeated Wisconsin in both 1965 and 1966.

*-Bo Pelini began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1991. Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema was a junior defensive lineman on that Hawkeye team.

*-Nebraska head football strength coach James Dobson is a graduate of Wisconsin (1996). He also served on Iowa's strength staff from 1999 to 2007, including three seasons while Bielema was on the Hawkeye coaching staff.

Husker Returnees Fill Preseason National Award Watch Lists
Nebraska features several players who ranked among the nation's top returning talent in 2011. Senior defensive tackle Jared Crick, senior linebacker Lavonte David and senior cornerback Alfonzo Dennard were all selected as preseason All-Americans by at least one media outlet. Including each member of that trio, a total of eight Huskers have combined for 23 selections to preseason watch lists for a major national award. Nebraska also boasts the returning production of several players who rank among the nation's best.

*- Jared Crick has 20.0 career sacks and 35 career tackles-for-loss. His 20.0 sacks rank third nationally among active players and are tops among interior defensive linemen. Crick's 35 TFLs also lead all interior defensive linemen nationally.

*- Lavonte David set a school record with 152 tackles in his first year as a Husker in 2010, and has opened 2011 with 32 tackles in three games. David's career average of 10.6 tackles per game ranks fourth nationally.

*- Sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez rushed for 965 yards last season, the second-highest total by a Husker freshman, regardless of position. Martinez's 2010 rushing total ranked second nationally among returning quarterbacks, trailing only Michigan's Denard Robinson.

*- Martinez and junior I-back Rex Burkhead combined to rush for 1,916 yards last season. That total ranked Martinez and Burkhead as the third-highest returning quarterback-running back rushing tandem in the country. After combining for 137 yards per game last season, the duo has combined for at least 200 rushing yards in each of the first four games, and is averaging 210.3 rushing yards per game through four contests.

Huskers Featuring One of Nation's Top Rushing Attacks
Nebraska led the Big 12 and ranked ninth nationally in rushing offense in 2010, averaging 247.6 yards per game. Nebraska's national rushing ranking was its highest since 2003 (7th) and the 247.6 yards per game were its best since averaging 268.7 yards on the ground in 2002. Nebraska did not finish higher than 23rd nationally in rushing between 2004 and 2009. The Huskers are again one of the nation's top running teams in 2011, averaging 272.5 yards per game. Nebraska leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth nationally in the category.

The Huskers have topped 200 yards on the ground in each of the first four games, including 309 rushing yards against Washington and 333 rushing yards at Wyoming. Nebraska is now 14-0 the past two seasons when rushing for 200 yards or more and 21-2 under Bo Pelini when hitting the 200-yard plateau.

The past two weeks, Nebraska has flexed its rushing muscle after halftime. The Huskers produced 217 yards on the ground in the second half against Washington and rolled up 220 second-half rushing yards at Wyoming.

The rushing numbers Nebraska has produced since the start of the 2010 season bring back memories of past Nebraska running attacks.

*- Nebraska's back-to-back 300-yard rushing games against Washington and Wyoming marks the second time NU has accomplished that in the past two seasons (also games 2 and 3 in 2010). Prior to that, NU had not topped 300 rushing yards in consecutive games since late in 2002. Nebraska has opened 2011 with four straight 200-yard rushing games, after beginning last year with five straight 200-yard rushing games.

*- Nebraska's 333 rushing yards at Wyoming were its seventh-most rushing yards since the start of 2004.

*- Last season, Nebraska posted 300 rushing yards in consecutive road games (Washington, Kansas State) for the first time since 2001. 

*- Nebraska has produced four 100-yard rushing games this season (Martinez, 2; Burkhead, 2).  A year ago, Nebraska had 12 100-yard rushing games, after having just 16 combined 100-yard rushing games the previous three seasons (2007-2009). The 12 100-yard games in 2010 were the most by NU since the 2001 team had 16 100-yard rushing outings in 13 games.

*- Nebraska has rushed for 1,090 yards through four games. In 2010, Nebraska rushed for 3,466 yards in 14 games, over 1,400 yards more than in 14 games in 2009. The 2010 season marked the first time NU rushed for 2,500 yards in a season since 2003.

Burkhead and Martinez Give NU One of Nation's Top Rushing Tandems
Entering the season, I-back Rex Burkhead and quarterback Taylor Martinez figured to provide Nebraska with one of the nation's top running tandems. The duo lived up to those expectations during the non-conference portion of the schedule.                  

Through four games, the duo has nearly identical rushing production. Martinez has rushed 63 times for 421 yards and seven touchdowns, for an average of 6.68 yards per carry. Martinez had 100-yard rushing games in each of the season's first two games. Burkhead has ran the ball 63 times for 420 yards and seven touchdowns, good for 6.67 yards per tote. He has topped 100 rushing yards in each of the past two games, including a career-high 170 yards at Wyoming.

Martinez ranks second in the Big Ten and 24th nationally in rushing yards per game, while Burkhead is third in the conference and 25th nationally in rushing. Nebraska is the only school with a pair of 400-yard rushers in 2011, and the only team with two runners in the top 25 nationally in that category.

Both Martinez and Burkhead topped 900 yards last season-Martinez with 965 yards and Burkhead with 951. Nebraska and Wisconsin were the one only teams nationally with a pair of returning 900-yard rushers from last season. Not only was a pair of returning 900-yard rushers a rare feat in college football this season, it is also nearly unheard of in the history of Nebraska football. The 2011 season marked only the third time in Husker history that Nebraska returned two 900-yard rushers from the previous season. The only other seasons where NU returned that production were in 1982 (Roger Craig and Mike Rozier) and 1992 (Derek Brown and Calvin Jones).

Burkhead and Martinez also ranked third among the nation's top returning running back-quarterback rushing tandems (behind Michigan's Vincent Smith and Denard Robinson and Oregon's LaMichael James and Darron Thomas).

FBS Teams Returning Multiple 900-Yard Rushers from 2010
1. Wisconsin (James White - 1,052; Montee Ball - 996)
2. Webraska (Taylor Martinez (QB) - 965; Rex Burkhead - 951)

FBS Top Returning Quarterback-Running Back Rushing Combination

1. Michigan, 2,303 yards (Denard Robinson - 1,702; Vincent Smith - 601)
2. Oregon, 2,217 yards (Darron Thomas - 486; LaMichael James - 1,731)
3. Nebraska, 1,916 yards (Taylor Martinez - 965;  Rex Burkhead - 951)

Husker Teams with Two Returning 900-Yard Rushers from Previous Season
» 2011 (Taylor Martinez & Rex Burkhead)
» 1992 (Derek Brown & Calvin Jones)
» 1982 (Roger Craig & Mike Rozier)

Martinez Produces Another Dynamic Opening Month
Nebraska sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez has been a prolific play-maker for the Nebraska offense since taking the reins of the offense at the start of the 2010 season. Martinez has produced another strong start in 2011, much like his redshirt freshman campaign.

Martinez rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns against Chattanooga, then had 166 yards and two touchdowns against Fresno State. Through four games, Martinez is averaging 105.3 rushing yards per game to rank second in the Big Ten and 24th nationally.

4Martinez is fourth in the Big Ten and 35th nationally in total offense at 267.0 yards per game. Martinez threw for 219 yards against Fresno State, the second-highest passing total of his career. In that game, he also posted his second career 200-passing, 100-yard rushing day, the only two such games in NU history.

4Martinez continues to show his big-play ability. He has six rushes of at least 20 yards in 2011, including four of at least 40 yards. He also has 11 passes covering at least 20 yards, including five plays of more than 40 yards.

Martinez's dual-threat ability has shown the brightest in the month of September, including two impressive efforts in season openers. Martinez rushed for three touchdowns in this year's opener against Chattanooga.

*- The Chattanooga contest marked the fourth time in Martinez's career he has rushed for at least three touchdowns, including season openers the past two years. Overall, he has six career multi-rushing TD games.

*- Martinez's had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games to start the year, and has seven 100-yard rushing games in 17 career games. Martinez's seven career 100-yard rushing games is already third among Nebraska quarterbacks, trailing only Eric Crouch (18) and Jammal Lord (8).

In eight September games as Nebraska's starter, Martinez has guided the Huskers to an 8-0 record, with the offense averaging 41.3 points per game. As a September passer, Martinez has completed 77-of-142 passes for 1,179 yards and six touchdowns, but his ground game has provided his biggest September statistics.

Martinez averages 113.9 rushing yards per game in September and has topped 100 rushing yards in five of eight games. He averages an impressive 7.9 yards per carry in September, including 14 rushes of 20 yards or more. Martinez also has 15 of his 19 career rushing touchdowns in September, including runs of 43 (twice), 46 (twice), 47, 67 and 80 yards. Martinez has three games in September with three rushing touchdowns.

Taylor Martinez in September

   

Passing

   

Rushing

   

Opponent

C-A-INT

Yds.

TD

Att.

Yds.

Avg.

TD

2010

             

Western Kentucky

9-15-0

136

0

7

127

18.1

3

Idaho

12-17-1

106

0

14

157

11.2

2

at Washington

7-11-0

150

1

19

137

7.2

3

South Dakota State

6-14-2

140

1

13

75

5.8

0

2011

             

Chattanooga

11-22-0

116

0

19

135

7.1

3

Fresno State

10-21-2

219

1

15

166

11.1

2

Washington

10-21-0

155

2

17

83

4.8

1

Wyoming

12-21-0

157

1

12

37

3.1

1

Totals

77-142-5

1,179

6

116

917

7.9

15

Burkhead a Workhorse in Rushing Attack

Junior I-back Rex Burkhead has been the focal point of the Nebraska rushing attack the past two weeks, topping 100 yards on the ground against both Washington and Wyoming. After a career-high 22 carries for 120 yards against Washington, Burkhead ran for a career-high 170 yards on just 15 carries at Wyoming. Burkhead has six career 100-yard rushing games and has found the end zone seven times this year, including two rushing touchdowns in each of the past three games.

Burkhead has also accurately earned a reputation as a tough, durable and powerful back.

*- On 63 carries in 2011, Burkhead has just three rushing yards lost and averages 6.7 yards per carry.

*- The Nebraska ground game has been at its best in the second half this season, in large part due to Burkhead. NU averages 152.0 yards rushing in the second half. Burkhead saw only limited second-half action in the opener against Chattanooga, but in the past three games he has averged 66.3 yards rushing in the second half. He also played a key role in clock-killing clinching drives against both Fresno State and Washington.

Burkhead continues to move up the Nebraska rushing chart. He has 1,717 career rushing yards to rank 30th on the Husker career rushing list.

Nebraska Lighting the Scoreboard Early in 2011
Nebraska is averaging 42.8 points per game to rank second in the Big Ten Conference and 13th nationally. The Huskers scored 40 points or more in each of the first three games, and have topped 30 points in the first four games.

*- The 2011 season marked the first time Nebraska opened the season with three straight games of 40-plus points since the 1995 season. Nebraska opened the year with four straight games of at least 40 points en route to a 12-0 record and second straight national championship.

*- This season marked only the fourth time in school history Nebraska scored 40 points or more in each of the first three games, also in 1995, 1989 and 1983. The 1983 team opened the year with five straight 40-plus point games, the 1995 had four and the 1989 team with three.

*- Nebraska had not topped 40 points in three straight games at any point in the season since 2008.

*- This year marks the first time since 2008 Nebraska has had 30 or more points in each of its first four games. Prior to 2008, NU had not accomplished that scoring feat since 1995.

NU Offense Continues to Show Home-Run Ability
Nebraska's 2010 offense featured a big-play element led by Taylor Martinez, and 2011 appears to be no different. NU is averaging 6.5 yards per play, including 23 offensive plays of at least 20 yards and 11 of more than 40 yards.

*- Martinez has four rushes of more than 40 yards, including a long of 57 yards against Fresno State and touchdowns of 43, 46 and 47 yards. He also had a 37-yard run against Fresno State. Martinez is averaging 6.7 yards per rush and 7.2 yards per play this season.

*- NU had three pass plays of more than 40 yards against Fresno State and added a 50-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage against Washington. Martinez averaged 21.9 yards on 10 completions against Fresno State and 15.5 yards on 10 completed passes against Washington. He is averaging 15.0 yards per completion through four games. Four Husker receivers are each averaging more than 17.0 yards per catch through four games.

Young Huskers Adding Explosive Element to NU Offense
The Nebraska offense is filled with youth this fall, as 11 players in the offensive two-deep depth chart saw their first action in the opener against Chattanooga. That young talent and ability has been very evident early in 2011.

*- Every yard and point in the Fresno State contest was accounted by a player that was a junior or younger, highlighted by explosive plays by Nebraska freshmen and sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez.

*- A trio of freshmen delivered at the skill positions against Fresno State. I-back/returner Ameer Abdullah  and receivers Jamal Turner and Kenny Bell combined for 336 all-purpose yards on 12 touches, a 28.0-yard average.

*- Abdullah had 231 all-purpose yards on eight touches, including a school-record 211 kickoff return yards on five returns. Abdullah had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, tying for the second-longest return in school history. The 211 return yards were eighth in Big Ten history. Abdullah added three returns for 129 yards, including a 66-yarder against Washington. His average of 42.5 yards per return ranks second nationally.

*- Abdullah and fellow true freshmen backs Aaron Green and Braylon Heard combined for 11 rushes for 74 yards against Washington and 15 rushes for 88 yards at Wyoming. Green also had a 25-yard touchdown reception against Washington.

*- Turner and Bell have become big-play threats in the NU passing game. The duo has combined for three receptions of better than 40 yards. Turner is tied for the team lead with eight catches and averages 17.4 yards per catch, while Bell averaged 24.2 yards on his five receptions.

Youth Served on Nebraska Offensive Line
Nebraska has a long tradition of annually putting one of the nation's top offensive lines on the field. The Huskers traditionally have also had an offensive line consisting primarily of upperclassmen. Last year, the Huskers started three seniors and a junior on the line for the majority of the season. That trend has changed in 2011, with a youth movement up front. In the first two games in 2011, Nebraska started a true freshman, redshirt freshman, and a pair of sophomores up front, along with a pair of seniors.

Highlighting the youth movement is true freshman Tyler Moore who has started at right tackle each of the first four weeks, marking a historic milestone in Nebraska history.

*- Moore, who enrolled in January, was the first true freshman offensive lineman to start a season opener in Nebraska history, and just the fourth freshman offensive lineman to earn a start in Nebraska's season opener, joining redshirt freshmen Jeremiah Sirles (2010 vs. Western Kentucky), Marcel Jones (2008 vs. Western Michigan) and Richie Incognito (2002 vs. Arizona State).

*- Moore is also just the fourth true freshman offensive lineman to start a game at Nebraska and the first since 2007. Previous true freshman starters on the offensive line include: Jaivorio Burkes (2 starts in 2007), Jacob Hickman (1 start in 2006) and Matt Slauson (3 starts in 2005).

*- Moore is only the 10th true freshman offensive lineman to appear in a game for the Huskers since freshmen regained eligibility in 1973, and just the sixth to appear in a season opener.

True Freshmen Offensive Linemen to Play at Nebraska (10)
Tyler Moore (2011), Andrew Rodriguez (2010), Jaivorio Burkes (2007), Jacob Hickman (2006), Matt Slauson (2005), Greg Austin (2003), Toniu Fonoti (1999), John Garrison (1999), Will Shields (1989), Jake Young (1986)

True Freshmen Offensive Linemen to Play in Season Opener (6)
Tyler Moore (2011), Andrew Rodriguez (2010), Tonui Fonoti (1999), John Garrison (1999), Will Shields (1989), Jake Young (1986)

True Freshmen Offensive Linemen to Start a Game (4)
Tyler Moore (2011), Jaivorio Burkes (2 games in 2007), Jacob Hickman (1 games in 2006), Matt Slauson (3 games in 2005)

Freshmen Offensive Linemen to Start Season Opener (4)
Tyler Moore (2011), Jeremiah Sirles (RFr., 2010), Marcel Jones (RFr., 2008), Richie Incognito (RFr., 2002)

*- The three underclassmen in Nebraska's starting offensive line were a rarity. The Chattanooga game marked the first time the Huskers started three underclassmen on the offensive line in any game since 2008, and the first time ever in a season opener.

Against Washington and Wyoming, Nebraska has had another rarity on the line. Junior walk-on Seung Hoon Choi has started the last two games at left guard, joining right guard Spencer Long and center Mike Caputo as original walk-on players who started on the line. The Washington game marked the first time since the first two games of 1988 that Nebraska had started three walk-ons on the offensive line.

Nebraska has employed a rotation of eight offensive linemen in each of the past two games.

David Poised to Build on Record-Setting 2010 Season
Linebacker Lavonte David arrived on the Nebraska campus just a few months before the 2010 season, but by the end of the year he had put his name in the Nebraska record book and in the minds of college football fans around the country. In 2011, the 6-1, 225-pound David is playing at an equally high level and is a strong candidate for national honors, including one of the leading contenders for the Butkus Award.

David set a Nebraska season record with 152 tackles in 2010, and his 10.9 tackles per game ranked 11th nationally and tops in the Big 12. His tackle total surpassed the previous school record of 149 tackles by Barrett Ruud in 2003. The 6-1, 220-pound David was also the first Blackshirt defender to record 100 tackles since Ruud in 2004.

David opened the 2011 season with a team-high nine tackles, including a tackle for loss in the win over Chattanooga, helping the Huskers limit the Mocs to just seven points and 230 total yards. He backed that up with 15 tackles against Fresno State for his ninth career double-figure tackle game, including four with at least 15 tackles. Against Washington, David added his first career interception to stop a Husky first-quarter scoring threat in the Nebraska red zone.

Through four games his 38 tackles leads the team and his 9.5 tackles per game is fourth in the Big Ten.

*- David had a career-high 19 tackles in the Huskers' victory over South Dakota State in 2010. His tackle total vs. SDSU was tied for the most in the Big 12, and was the highest for a Nebraska player since Ruud totaled 19 tackles at Kansas State in 2004. The tackle total tied for the seventh-most in a single game in Nebraska history.

*- David had 35 tackles in back-to-back games against South Dakota State and Kansas State, the best for a Husker since Ruud had 36 tackles in back-to-back games against Kansas State and Missouri in 2004. David made 17 tackles against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, giving him the top three tackle efforts of the past six seasons.

In addition to leading the team in tackles, David was second on the team in tackles for loss (15-60), sacks (6-50) and pass breakups (10), while ranking fourth in hurries (7). David was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year by every outlet that selected that honor. He was also a first-team All-Big 12 selection, while the Kansas City Star named him its conference defensive player of the year. David also received national accolades, including first-team All-America honors by Rivals.com and CBSSports.com, while the AP and SI.com named him to the second team.

Despite having the benefit of only two seasons in a Nebraska uniform, David is in position to rank among the top 10 career tackles in school history. David needs 58 tackles to crack the top 10, and just 30 to reach the top 20 on the career list. Demorrio Williams' 220 career tackles are the most by a Nebraska defender who played just two seasons as a Husker (2002-03), while David's 190 tackles are second in that group.

Crick Looking for Dominant 2011 Season for Blackshirts
Defensive tackle Jared Crick has been a fixture on Nebraska's defensive line and in opponent backfields for three seasons. The 6-6, 285-pound Crick has earned first-team all-conference honors each of the past two seasons, and is likely to be a strong candidate for numerous national honors this fall.

Crick sat out the Wyoming game with an injury, but is expected to return against Wisconsin. His absence ended a streak of 31 consecutive starts for the senior defensive tackle.

In addition to his All-Big 12 award in 2010, Crick was also a first-team All-America choice by Rivals.com, while earning second-team honors from the Associated Press and CBSSports.com. Crick was one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, and he was a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

Crick entered 2011 in position to cement his place as one of the top defenders in Nebraska history. He was a first-team All-American by nearly every preseason outlet and is among the favorites for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Crick opened the year with five tackles, including a pair of tackles for loss, against Chattanooga. He also broke up a pass that was intercepted and added a quarterback hurry. Against Washington, Crick had a season-high six tackles and recorded his first sack of the season and the 20th of his Nebraska career.

*- Crick has the opportunity to become Nebraska's first three-time, first-team all-conference selection since cornerback Ralph Brown achieved the rare honor in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Just 21 players in school history have been three-time all-conference picks, including only five since 1990.

*- Crick made 70 tackles last season to rank third on the team and first among linemen. He led all Big 12 defensive linemen with 5.0 tackles per game.

*- Crick had a team-high 9.5 sacks, including three games with two or more sacks. He also had 9.5 sacks in 2009. Crick's 20 career sacks is eighth in school history and he is His sack total ranks eighth in school history and he is third among active players in sacks. Crick is four sacks from cracking the top five in NU history and 9.5 sacks from Trev Alberts' school record of 29.5 career sacks.

*- Crick led the team with 17 tackles for loss (91 yards) in his junior season. His 35 career tackles for loss are three shy of the top 10 on the career chart, and Crick is nine tackles for loss from cracking the top five in school history.

*- In 2009, Crick pushed Ndamukong Suh for team statistical leads in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss. Crick finished with 73 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries. His 5.2 tackles per game were second behind Suh among Big 12 defensive linemen.

*- Crick had one of the most prolific defensive days in school history with a record-setting performance at Baylor in 2009. 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.

Blackshirts Look to Get Back to Stingy Scoring Defense
Nebraska was among the nation's top scoring defenses in both 2009 and 2010. The 2009 defense led the nation 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. In 2010, Nebraska again ranked in the top 10 nationally, holding opponents to 17.4 points per game to rank ninth.

Nebraska has given up more points in 2011, averaging 22.0 points per game allowed, but the Huskers combined numbers from 2009 to 2011 still rank among the nation's best. Including four games in 2011, Nebraska has allowed an average of 14.9 points per game in 32 games since the start of the 2009 season. That is the fourth-best scoring defense mark in the nation in that span, trailing only Alabama, Ohio State and TCU.

*- Nebraska's 10.4 points per game allowed in 2009 were the fewest since the 1984 defense led the nation by allowing just 9.5 points per game. NU had not allowed fewer than 15 points per game since 2003.

*- Before the last two seasons, Nebraska had not ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense in consecutive seasons since 1995 and 1996.

*- Nebraska held 13 of 14 opponents to 20 or fewer points in 2009. To put that accomplishment in perspective, NU held just six opponents to fewer than 20 points in 2007 and 2008 combined. Nebraska held 10 of 14 teams to 20 or fewer points in 2010, and only one opponent scored more than 24 points in regulation play.

*- Only 14 Nebraska opponents have scored as many as 17 points since the start of the 2009 season (32 games). In that stretch, Nebraska has allowed 10 or fewer points in 13 games.

No Passing Zone
Nebraska's defense has consistently been among the nation's best under Bo and Carl Pelini. That effort has been led by the Blackshirts' remarkable pass defense. Nebraska had a dominant secondary in 2010, marking the second straight season NU ranked among the nation's top pass defenses.

Nebraska finished third nationally in pass efficiency defense (96.29 rating) and fifth in passing yards allowed (153.6 ypg) in 2010. Nebraska allowed opposing passers to complete just 48.7 percent of passing attempts, a mark that ranked second nationally. Nebraska is currently 34th in the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2011.

The 2010 pass defense effort came a year after Nebraska led the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2009. Since the start of 2009, Nebraska has allowed 28 touchdown passes, while picking off 43 opponent passes. NU allowed just seven passing touchdowns in 2009 and 13 in 2010.

The Huskers have a 94.86 pass efficiency defensive rating since the start of 2009, second-best in the nation. In 32 games since the start of the 2009 season, NU has allowed just 172.5 passing yards per game, eighth-best in the nation.

Other notable accomplishments for Nebraska's pass defense include:

*- Nebraska opponents have completed less than 50 percent of their passes each of the past two seasons. Ten of 14 opponents in 2009 completed 50 percent or less of their pass attempts, and five opponents had less than 150 yards passing. In 2010, seven opponents threw for 135 yards or less, and NU also held seven opponents below a 50 percent completion rate.

*- Nebraska had 19 interceptions in 2010 to tie for 11th in the country. In 2009, Nebraska tied for seventh in the nation with 20 interceptions. Nebraska has four interceptions in 2011.

*- Nebraska's average of 153.6 yards per game allowed through the air in 2010 was its best pass defense average since allowing 131.0 yards per game in 1990.

*- The Blackshirts allowed 15 passing yards against Kansas in 2010, the fewest since allowing zero completions against Nicholls State in 2006. It was just the eighth time since 1990 that NU held an opponent to 50 or fewer passing yards. Kansas did not complete a pass after the first quarter (0-of-9).

Maher Impressive in Taking Over Kicking and Punting Duties
When you must replace the most accurate place-kicker in NCAA history there is obviously going to be some concern. However, junior place-kicker/punter Brett Maher has quickly put most of those concerns to rest with a near-perfect effort through four games. Maher replaced Alex Henery, Nebraska's starting place-kicker from 2007 to 2010, and starting punter the past two seasons. Henery is now with the Philadelphia Eagles.

A native of Kearney, Neb., Maher was a perfect 4-of-4 on field goals in the opener, including a 50-yarder into a strong wind on his first career attempt. He added field goals of 48, 34 and 21 yards later in the game and his four field goals tied for the third-most in school history and also tied the record for most field goals in a season opener. Maher added a 3-of-3 field-goal performance in the win over Washington. He narrowly missed a 50-yarder at Wyoming and is now 8-of-9 on the season. Maher is also perfect on 21 extra-point tries. Maher is tied for sixth nationally in field goals per game at 2.0 per contest and his 11.25 points per game places him 15th nationally.

Maher has been even more impressive in the punting department. He showed his strong leg in the opener, averaging 52.0 yards on his four punts, including downing two inside the Chattanooga 20-yard line. The 52.0-yard per punt average was the best by a Nebraska punter since the 2005 season. Against Fresno State, Maher averaged 50.8 yards on five punts, and again downed a pair of punts inside the 20.

Maher was the first Nebraska punter to average 50.0 yards per punt in consecutive games since Sam Koch accomplished the feat in the final two games of the 2005 season. Maher added a third 50.0-yard average, booming three punts for a 53.0-yard average at Wyoming. Maher's punting average of 49.0 yards per boot leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally. He has downed six punts inside the opponent 20 and has eight 50-plus-yard punts.

Maher was rewarded for his effort against Chattanooga by being named co-Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. The Huskers captured that award in consecutive weeks as freshman Ameer Abdullah received the weekly honor for his explosive return effort against Fresno State. Abdullah had five kickoff returns for a school-record 211 yards against the Bulldogs, including a 100-yard return for a touchdown. Through four games, Nebraska leads the nation in kickoff returns at 35.4 yards per return and ranks 21st nationally in punt returns.

Avoiding Yellow
Throughout the offseason, the coaching staff preached the importance of having fewer penalties and turnovers in 2011. Last season, NU set school records for most penalties and penalty yards and also led the nation in fumbles. Nebraska has been much improved in the penalty area and has had mixed results in the turnover area.

   *- Nebraska had just three penalties against both Chattanooga and Fresno State to open the season. Nebraska ranks 21st nationally in fewest penalties per game at 4.5 per contest, and has been peanlized a total of 166 yards in four games. In 2010, Nebraska had at least six penalties in 13 of 14 games and tallied at least 45 yards in penalties in all but one game. NU's season low last season was three penalties for 15 yards against Oklahoma, and Nebraska had a season-high of 16 penalties for 145 yards at Texas A&M.

   *- Nebraska has committed six turnovers in the first four games, and is at a net zero in the turnover margin. 

Nebraska Seeks Third Straight 10-Win Season
Nebraska has posted 10 wins in each of the past two seasons, giving the Huskers back-to-back double-digit victory seasons for the first time since 2000 (10-2) and 2001 (11-2). A third straight season with 10 or more victories in 2011 would mark the first time the Huskers have accomplished that since a three-year span from 1999 to 2001.

Nebraska is one of just nine schools in the nation with back-to-back 10 win seasons, including Wisconsin and Ohio State of the Big Ten, Alabama (SEC), Virginia Tech (ACC), Oregon and Utah (Pac-12) and TCU and Boise State (Mountain West).

*- 2010 marked the first time Nebraska posted 10 wins in  the regular season since the 2001 team won 11 regular-season games.
*-  Bo Pelini joined Frank Solich as the only NU coaches to post two 10-win seasons in their first three years.
*- The 2010 season was Nebraska's 25th all-time 10-win season in school history, including 23 since 1970.

Huskers in Elite Group with Three Straight Nine-Win Seasons
Nebraska secured its third straight nine-win season under third-year head coach Bo Pelini in 2010.

*-The three straight years of nine wins marks the first time NU has accomplished that since its NCAA record streak of 33 straight nine-win seasons from 1969 to 2001.

*-Nebraska is one 10 schools to with nine wins or more in each of the past three seasons, joining TCU, Oregon, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Utah and West Virginia. Nebraska has 45 nine-win seasons in school history.

NCAA Record Sellout Streak Continues
One of the most remarkable streaks in collegiate sports continues into the 2011 season. Nebraska has sold out every game at Memorial Stadium since November of 1962, and the streak stands at 314 games. With seven home games in 2011, the streak is likely to reach 318 by season's end. Nebraska celebrated the 300th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 26, 2009 against Louisiana-Lafayette, with a stadium record crowd of 86,304. Notre Dame is second in all-time consecutive sellouts with 222, 92 fewer than Nebraska.

Memorial Stadium Provides Huskers with Huge Home-Field Edge

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

» Nebraska has won at least six home games in 20 of the past 25 seasons. Nebraska is 138-19 at home in the last 23 seasons (since 1989). Nebraska finished 6-1 at home in 2010, its best record at Memorial Stadium since also going 6-1 in 2006. The Huskers are 3-0 at home this season.

» During Nebraska's run of success at home in the past 25 years, NU has had three home winning streaks of 20 or more games. Nebraska has posted 40 unbeaten and untied home seasons.

» The Huskers are 507-138-20 (.777, 665 games, 122 years) in Lincoln, and 382-115-13 (.762, 510 games, 89 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923). Nebraska has had 42 straight winning home seasons.

» Nebraska posted its 500th all-time home win against Idaho on Sept. 11, 2010. The 500th home victory put Nebraska in elite company. Only three other schools in college football history (Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee) reached the 500-win plateau at home before Nebraska.

Memorial Stadium Expansion in Progress
Fans arriving at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium this fall will see construction on the East side of the stadium. When complete for the 2013 season, the addition will push Nebraska's average attendance beyond 90,000. While adding more than 5,000 seats, including a combination of club seats, suites and general public seating, the addition will preserve the rich tradition and orginial architecture of Memorial Stadium. The East Stadium addition will also include dedicated restrooms and concessions areas. A new grand lobby, expanded concourse, and additional first-aid areas will also be added. No current East Stadium seats will be removed and no season ticket holders will be required to relocate their seats as part of this project.

The addition will also include dedicated areas on the ground floor for research, both for Athletics and UNL Research. Construction will resume in full force following the football season and will be completed in time for the 2013 season.

Huskers Open 2011 Season in Associated Press Top 10
Nebraska opened the 2011 season ranked 10th according to the Associated Press, while the Huskers checked in at No. 11 in the preseason coaches poll. Nebraska is currently eighth in both polls. A year ago, Nebraska began the year ranked eighth in the preseason Associated Press poll.  This marks the first time NU has opened in the top 10 in back-to-back years since 2001 and 2002. In fact, Nebraska opened in the top 10 each year from 1993 to 2002, and was also in the preseason top 10 each season from 1978 to 1990.

Last season, Nebraska ranked as high as fifth in the Associated Press poll, the Huskers highest ranking in the AP poll at any time since ranking fourth entering the 2002 Rose Bowl contest against Miami.

Nebraska Among Leaders in Associated Press 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), NU is tied for fourth with Miami and Texas with four titles, behind Alabama and Oklahoma with six apiece, and USC with five.

Conference Crowns
Nebraska has won 43 football conference championships in school history, and is making its debut in the Big Ten Conference this fall. The Huskers won 13 conference titles under Tom Osborne and eight under Bob Devaney.

During its 15-year history in the Big 12 Conference, Nebraska won league titles in 1997 and 1999, and also appeared in the Big 12 Championship Game in 1996, 2006, 2009 and 2010. Nebraska was one of just three teams to capture two or more Big 12 titles in the first 15 years of the league, joining Oklahoma and Texas. Nebraska's six Big 12 title game appearances were second only to Oklahoma's eight.

Back

Advertisement
Nebraska JV Club Add 2013-14
Game One Button
Husker Sports Marketing
First National Bank
Previous Next