No. 20 Nebraska (1-0) vs. Nicholls State (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 9 - 12:35 p.m.
Memorial Stadium (81,067) - Lincoln, Neb.
Tom Osborne Field - FieldTurf (2005)
Series: First Meeting
Radio: Pinnacle Sports Network (51 stations)
Sirius Satellite Radio: Channel 152
Lincoln - After opening the season with a 49-10 victory over Louisiana Tech, Nebraska stays at Memorial Stadium this Saturday afternoon to play host to Nicholls State. The matchup with the Colonels will mark the 277th consecutive sellout at the expanded stadium and kickoff is set for 12:35 p.m.
The victory over Louisiana Tech showcased Nebraska’s ability to feature a balanced offensive attack. The Huskers rushed for 252 yards and threw for 332 yards in the win, marking the first time in 10 seasons Nebraska has topped 250 yards both on the ground and through the air. Nebraska also distributed the ball extremely well on offense, as seven different Huskers reached the end zone, including four tight ends and three I-backs, and 10 different receivers caught passes.
Nicholls State was also successful in its season opener, recording a 35-0 shutout of Southern Arkansas last Thursday evening in Thibodaux, La. The Colonels’ wishbone attack churned out 195 yards on the ground, while the Nicholls defense limited Southern Arkansas to just 200 total yards. The Colonels have a history of success at the Division I-AA level, and were ranked 24th in the first I-AA poll of the season. A year ago, Nicholls State captured the Southland Conference championship, and lost in the first round of the I-AA playoffs.
A Husker victory would be its fifth straight overall, and mark Nebraska’s longest winning streak since opening the 2003 season with a 5-0 record.
Balanced Offense, Strong Defense Propel Huskers to Win in Season Opener
Fueled by a flurry of career firsts, a balanced offensive attack and a dominating performance by the Blackshirts, Nebraska rolled past Louisiana Tech, 49-10, in front of a Memorial Stadium record 85,181 fans. The victory marked Nebraska’s 21st consecutive season-opening win, the longest streak in the nation.
Offensively, NU threw for 332 yards and rushed for 252 more in amassing 584 total yards, the most in the Bill Callahan era. Seven different players scored a touchdown, including four Huskers who found the end zone for the first time in their career. Nebraska’s balanced attack allowed the Huskers to dominate time of possession, where NU enjoyed an advantage of better than 10 minutes.
Senior quarterback Zac Taylor tied a career high with three touchdown passes, with each touchdown toss to a different Husker tight end. Taylor finished the game 22-of-33 for 287 yards. Sophomore Cody Glenn paced the rushing attack, running for 88 yards on 13 carries while sophomore Marlon Lucky added 79 yards on 13 carries and scored his first career touchdown. Overall, the four Husker I-backs combined for 250 rushing yards on 44 carries.
The receiving corps was busy all afternoon as 10 different players caught at least one pass, highlighted by tight end Matt Herian. The fifth-year senior returned to the field for the first time since 2004, and made his presence known with three catches for 61 yards, and a 13-yard touchdown catch to open the day’s scoring.
Louisiana Tech wasted no time in responding, as the Bulldogs marched 80 yards on their ensuing drive, culminated by a 23-yard Danny Horwedel field goal to close the gap to 7-3. NU immediately answered the Bulldogs’ field goal with a 12-play, 74-yard drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown run by Lucky, the first of his career. Nebraska featured the power game on the drive, rushing eight straight times to cover the final 49 yards.
Tech cut the Huskers’ lead to 14-10 when quarterback Zac Champion found Johnathan Holland on a 39-yard touchdown strike. NU then perfectly executed its two-minute offense as the Huskers covered 78 yards in just 2:28 with Glenn rushing over the right side for a one-yard touchdown plunge that gave Nebraska a 21-10 halftime advantage. On the drive, Taylor was brilliant in directing the Husker offense, as he connected on 8-of-9 passes, and found six different receivers.
Nebraska carried its momentum into the second half as the Huskers marched for a touchdown on their opening drive. Taylor continued right where he left off, as he completed 4-of-4 passes on the drive and put the Huskers ahead 28-10 when he found junior tight end J.B. Phillips on a 6-yard touchdown pass.
Taylor’s third touchdown pass of the day, a six-yarder to tight end Josh Mueller put Nebraska up 35-10 with 12 minutes remaining. Nebraska added two additional touchdowns–an impressive 25-yard run by junior Brandon Jackson and a pass from Joe Ganz to Hunter Teafatiller to complete the scoring.
The Blackshirt defense held the Bulldogs off the scoreboard in the second half, and allowed just 13 first downs and 67 rushing yards, while forcing three turnovers.
Noting Game One...Nebraska 49, Louisiana Tech 10
Saturday’s attendance was 85,181, a Memorial Stadium record. The previous record was 78,268 against Texas on Nov. 2, 2002. The crowd was also the fifth-largest ever to see Nebraska play, trailing only games at Penn State (1982, 2002) and two appearances in the Rose Bowl (1941, 2002).
Nebraska’s 49-10 victory extended its season-opening win streak to 21 games, dating back to a 17-13 loss to Florida State in the 1985 season opener. The streak is the longest such streak in the nation.
Senior quarterback Zac Taylor completed 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. The 287 passing yards was the third-most of his career and his seventh career game with more than 200 yards. Taylor’s 287 passing yards also marked a Nebraska record for most passing yards in a season opener. The previous record was 218 yards by Joe Dailey against Western Illinois in 2004.
Taylor’s 287 passing yards moved him up three spots to seventh on the Nebraska career passing list. Taylor now has 2,940 career passing yards. In the game he moved past Scott Frost (2,677), Steve Taylor (2,815) and Jammal Lord (2,848).
The three touchdown passes tied Taylor’s career high, as he also threw three touchdown passes against Michigan in the Alamo Bowl. Saturday marked Taylor’s 10th straight game with at least one touchdown pass. Taylor has thrown for at least two touchdowns in nine of those 10 games.
Senior tight end Matt Herian caught a 13-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, his 11th career touchdown catch, three off the Nebraska tight end record. Herian finished the day with three receptions for 61 yards, and moved his career receiving yardage total to 1,154 yards, a tight end record. Herian passed Tracey Wistrom, who accumulated 1,150 yards from 1998 to 2001.
Nebraska had four tight ends catch touchdown passes, tying a Nebraska position record (also 1987 vs. Missouri). Nebraska tight ends did not have a receiving touchdown last season, and the previous touchdown reception by a tight end was by Herian in 2004 against Southern Miss (Sept. 11, game two).
Nebraska finished with 584 yards of total offense, its most since running up 595 yards against McNeese State in 2002. NU’s best effort last year was 497 yards against Colorado in the regular-season finale. The previous high under Bill Callahan was 581 yards against Western Illinois in 2004.
Nebraska finished with 252 rushing yards, its most on the ground since gaining 256 yards on the ground against Missouri in 2004. The Huskers’ top rushing effort in 2005 was 182 yards at Baylor. The rushing total is the fourth-best in Bill Callahan’s three seasons as head coach.
Nebraska posted its first game with at least 250 yards rushing and 250 yards passing since Nebraska threw for 273 yards and ran for 322 against Kansas in 1996.
Terrence Nunn moved into 11th place on the Nebraska career receptions list, as he led the Huskers with five catches for 54 yards. Nunn now has 64 career receptions, one behind Todd Brown (1980-82).
Defensive end Adam Carriker recorded a seven-yard sack on the game’s third play. The sack moved Carriker’s career total to 14.5 career sacks, a half-sack from the Nebraska career top 10.
NU Extends Run of Success in Season Openers
Nebraska extended the nation’s longest winning streak in season openers with its 49-10 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday. The Huskers have now been on the winning end in each of their last 21 season openers, dating back to a 17-13 loss to Florida State in 1985.
Louisiana Tech is the second team (also Utah State) to twice be a victim in Nebraska’s season-opening win streak. Nebraska also defeated the Bulldogs in the 1998 opener.
Saturday’s victory marked one of 14 times in the past 21 years Nebraska has scored 40 or more points in a season opener. In that same period, the Huskers have limited the opposition to 14 points or less 14 times.
The Huskers’ 21-game win streak in season openers is four better than the 17 straight season-opening wins by both Kansas State and Florida, who were both victorious on Saturday. The Huskers have won each of their last 21 season openers by 10 or more points, and own an 86-26-5 all-time record in season openers.
Since 1973, Nebraska is 29-4-1 in season openers, including 24-2 at Memorial Stadium, with losses only to Florida State (1985) and Washington State (1977). In all-time home openers Nebraska is now 95-17-5, including 67-14-3 at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are 31-2 in their last 33 home openers.
2006 Schedule to Provide Nebraska with Stern Test
Nicholls State is the second of eight 2006 Nebraska opponents that posted winning records a year ago. The Colonels finished 6-4 a year ago and captured the Soutland Conference title. Louisiana Tech was the first of seven Husker opponents that won seven or more games last season.
Nebraska faces the challenge of taking on both of last year’s national championship game participants with a Sept. 16 date at USC and an Oct. 21 game in Lincoln against defending national champion Texas. The Huskers are the only team in the country to face both of last year’s title game participants in the regular season.
In addition to both of last year’s Rose Bowl teams, Nebraska also faces Kansas (Fort Worth), Iowa State (Houston), Missouri (Independence) and Colorado (Champs Sports). Additionally, both Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State posted winning seasons in 2005.
Bigger Memorial Stadium to See 277th Consecutive Sellout on Saturday
Saturday’s game will mark the 277th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium, an ongoing NCAA record. The sellout streak dates back to Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney’s first year at Nebraska in 1962 (vs. Missouri on Nov. 3).
Nebraska’s 277 consecutive sellouts easily outdistance Notre Dame, which ranks second nationally with 183 consecutive sellouts. Nebraska has had remarkable success during the sellout streak, posting a 243-33 record during the 276 sellouts. The mark includes a 39-21 record against ranked teams. Nebraska is 5-0 in the five milestone sellouts during that period (50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th sellouts), including a 24-7 win over No. 2 Colorado on Oct. 29, 1994 (No. 200) and a 44-13 victory over Utah State on Sept. 7, 2002 (No. 250).
Although sellouts have become commonplace in Lincoln, there are a few more folks dressed in red packing Memorial Stadium this season. Capacity at Memorial Stadium is 81,067, with the addition of 6,500 new seats in the North Stadium. The Louisiana Tech game featured a stadium record crowd of 85,181, the fifth-largest crowd to see Nebraska play.
Nebraska had played before 10 crowds of more than 82,000 fans in school history entering the 2006 season, but are likely to have nine games this season with crowds in excess of 82,000.
Huskers Look for Win No. 800 in 117th Season of Storied Program
Nebraska is in its 117th season of college football in 2006, and is the fourth-winningest program in terms of victories. The Huskers own a 795-321-40 all-time record in 1,156 games (.705) in 117 years of football.
This season, Nebraska hopes to become just the fourth program in college football history to record 800 all-time victories. Texas picked up its 800th win in last season’s Rose Bowl, joining Michigan and Notre Dame in the exclusive club. The Huskers and Longhorns will meet on Oct. 21 in Lincoln in Nebraska’s eighth game of the season. The other two members of the 800-club, Michigan and Notre Dame will square off on Sept. 16 in South Bend, Ind.
Since the first season of Nebraska football in 1890, Husker teams have won 11 or more games 12 times, including seven times since 1993.
Nebraska has won 12 or more games seven times, including three seasons with 13 wins (1971, 1994, 1997).
Nebraska (702), Michigan (705), Alabama (728) and Notre Dame (736) were the only programs to win 700 games in the 1900s.
Nebraska–College Football’s Winningest Program Since 1970
The bulk of Nebraska’s football success has come since 1962 when Bob Devaney arrived from Wyoming and resurrected the Husker program. Devaney capped his career with consecutive national titles in 1970 and 1971, starting an unbelievable run of 10-plus victory seasons, conference and national championships.
In the past 37 seasons (including 2006), beginning with 1970, Nebraska has posted a remarkable 361 victories, an average of exactly 10 wins per season. The Huskers’ overall record in that time period is 361-80-5 for an .815 winning percentage in 446 games.
In that time span, Nebraska has easily established itself as the nation’s winningest program, posting 29 more victories than second-place Michigan, followed by Oklahoma (323), Ohio State (323) and Penn State (320).
Nebraska has won 10 games or more 24 times since 1962, including 21 times since 1970.
The Huskers have finished the regular season undefeated and untied seven times since 1965, and played in 13 national title games (for one of the two teams) and won the national title five times since 1970.
Nebraska was the first team in college football history to win 100 or more games in consecutive decades, ranking first in the 1980s (103-20, .837) and second in the 1990s (108-16-1, .868). Nebraska narrowly missed 100 victories in the 1970s with 98 wins, and posted a nation-leading 309 wins from 1970 to 1999.
Quarterback Taylor Off to Strong Start in 2006
Senior quarterback Zac Taylor excelled during fall camp and after an impressive opening-day performance against Louisiana Tech he appears to be poised for a strong year as Nebraska’s field general. Despite entering just his second year as a Husker, Taylor has numerous NU career passing records in his sights.
In the season opener, Taylor showed why he is a candidate for postseason honors in 2006. Among his notable accomplishments against Louisiana Tech were...
Taylor completed 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. The three touchdowns tied his career high, also against Michigan in the Alamo Bowl. Taylor’s 287 yards was the third-highest total of his Nebraska career and his seventh game with 200 or more yards passing.
After missing on his first five pass attempts, Taylor got in the groove. On Nebraska scoring drives to end the first half and start the second half, Taylor completed 12-of-13 passes for 161 yards, including 8-of-9 for 97 yards on the drive to close the first half. On those two drives, Taylor completed passes to seven different receivers and hit on 11 straight passes at one point. For the game, Taylor completed passes to nine different receivers, including eight with at least two receptions. 4 The 287-yard outing continued Taylor’s ascension up the Nebraska career passing chart. He now has 2,940 career passing yards and moved up three spots to seventh on the Nebraska career passing list.
If Taylor were to duplicate his 2005 passing yardage total, he would break the school career passing record of 5,035 yards set by Dave Humm from 1972 to 1974.
Taylor is also in position to challenge the Nebraska record for career touchdown passes, held by Tommie Frazier who had 43 scoring strikes from 1992 to 1995. Taylor threw 19 touchdown passes last season, the most by a Husker quarterback in 16 seasons and just one shy of the school record of 20 touchdown passes by Vince Ferragamo in 1976. Taylor added three in the 2006 opener to give him 22 career TD passes. He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 10 straight games.
Last season, Taylor shattered several Nebraska game and season passing records in his first season after transferring from Butler County Community College in Kansas. Among the top accomplishments for the 6-2, 210-pound Taylor in 2005 were:
Taylor's 2,653 passing yards established a Nebraska single-season record, shattering the previous single-season NU record of 2,074 yards by Dave Humm in 1972. Taylor's passing total marked just the fifth time in school history a quarterback had passed for more than 2,000 yards in a single season.
Taylor posted the top two single-game passing totals in school history with 431 yards against Iowa State and 392 yards at Colorado. All four individual 300-yard passing days in Nebraska history have come in Bill Callahan's two seasons as head coach.
Taylor threw for two or more touchdown passes in eight of the season’s final nine games, including a career-high three TD passes against Michigan in the Alamo Bowl.
Taylor set numerous other school records, including most pass attempts (55) and completions (36) in a game vs. Iowa State, and most pass attempts (430) and completions (237) in a season.
Huskers Open 2006 With Balanced and Explosive Offensive Attack
Nebraska’s 49-10 victory over Louisiana Tech featured one of the Huskers’ most impressive offensive outputs in recent seasons. The Huskers rolled up 584 yards of total offense, including 252 rushing yards and 332 yards through the air. Nebraska’s offense also produced an impressive 30 first downs–16 by rush and 14 through the air–and controlled the clock for 35:05. Nebraska was also impressive on third-down conversions, picking up 11-of-16 on the day.
The offensive performance stacked up well when compared to recent Husker offenses.
The 584 yards of total offense were the most by Nebraska in Bill Callahan’s three seasons as head coach and the most by Nebraska since a 595-yard output against McNeese State in 2002.
Nebraska’s rushing total was its most since 2004 against Missouri and the fourth-most rushing yards in Callahan’s tenure as head coach.
Nebraska topped 250 yards in both rushing and passing for the first time in a decade (Kansas, 1996).
Herian Leads Memorable Day for Nebraska Tight Ends
Senior tight end Matt Herian made a memorable return to the field on Saturday afternoon after missing all of last season with a broken leg. However, Herian’s fellow tight ends did not allow him to have all of the attention, as Saturday proved to be a record setting day for the Nebraska tight end position.
Herian caught three passes for 61 yards and a 13-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give Nebraska a 7-0 lead. Later in the game, Herian added a 31-yard reception, and on the play pushed his career receiving yardage total to 1,154 yards, a Nebraska tight end record, bettering the 1,150 yards by Tracey Wistrom from 1998 to 2001. Herian also climbed to third place on the Nebraska career chart for receptions by a tight end.
In the second half, three of Herian’s tight end teammates–juniors J.B. Phillips and Josh Mueller, and sophomore Hunter Teafatiller–also got into the end zone. Phillips and Mueller were each on the receiving end of a six-yard TD pass from Taylor, while Teafatiller capped the scoring with a 29-yard scoring reception from Joe Ganz.
The tight end outburst was quite notable...
The four tight ends combined for eight receptions for 108 yard and four touchdowns.
The four touchdowns tied a Nebraska single-game record for touchdowns by a tight end (also 4 at Missouri in 1987).
The game marked the first time in school history four different tight ends caught touchdown passes.
Nebraska tight ends did not have a TD catch in 2005. The previous touchdown catch by a Husker tight end was by Herian in the second game of the 2004 season against Southern Miss.
Receiving Tandem Looks for Another Big Season
Tight ends were not the only Huskers that enjoyed an outstanding start to the 2006 season. Quarterback Zac Taylor’s two favorite targets from the 2005 season showed they will again be fixtures in the 2006 gameplan. Junior wideout Terrence Nunn led Nebraska with five catches, while sophomore Nate Swift had three catches against Louisiana Tech.
A year ago, the duo combined for 88 receptions, 1,136 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. In the process, both Nunn and Swift finished in the top five on Nebraska's single-season receptions list. Both players are quickly moving up the career pass receptions list, with Nunn now just one reception from the top 10, and 29 catches from second on the list.
In 2005, Swift and Nunn were the most productive single-season pass catching duo in Nebraska history.
Swift did not catch a pass in the first three games of 2005, but exploded at the start of conference play. He had five receptions against Iowa State, then had consecutive nine-reception efforts against Missouri and Oklahoma. He finished the year with 45 receptions for 641 yards and seven touchdowns, all Husker freshman records. His 45 catches were the most by a player in 33 seasons and the third-most ever by a Husker.
Nunn caught at least one pass in all 12 games of his sophomore season in 2005, including nine games with three or more receptions. Like Swift, Nunn also caught seven touchdown passes from Taylor, including a pair of TD receptions in the Alamo Bowl. Overall, Nunn had 43 catches to tie for fourth on the NU single-season receptions list with former teammate Cory Ross.
The 2005 season marked the first time in school history Nebraska had three players with 40 or more catches in a single season.
Husker I-Backs Have Productive "Committee" Meeting Against Bulldogs
Entering the start of the 2006 season both Head Coach Bill Callahan and running backs coach Randy Jordan have regularly indicated Nebraska would utilize the talents of all four of its I-backs and operate with use of a "committee." The Louisiana Tech game proved the plan was solid, as four Husker I-backs combined for 44 carries for 250 yards and three touchdowns.
The productive effort by the four running backs allowed Nebraska to rush for 252 yards–its top rushing effort in the past 16 games since a 2004 victory over Missouri. In 2005, Nebraska averaged less than 100 yards on the ground, and its top rushing effort was 182 yards at Baylor.
Saturday’s rushing success was truly a team effort, as each of the backs made significant contributions...
Sophomores Marlon Lucky and Cody Glenn each had career bests in rushing attempts and yardage. Lucky shouldered much of the rushing load in the first half and finished with 13 carries for 79 yards, while also adding 42 receiving yards. Lucky also had 13 carries in last year’s opener against Maine when he posted his previous high of 44 rushing yards. Lucky recorded his first career score with a 13-yard second-quarter touchdown run.
Glenn led the team in rushing with 88 yards on 13 carries, and pounded the Louisiana Tech defense in the second half. Glenn added his fifth career touchdown on a one-yard run late in the second quarter.
Junior I-backs Brandon Jackson and Kenny Wilson also got into the act. Wilson carried a team-high 15 times for 47 yards in his Nebraska debut, while Jackson rushed three times for 36 yards, including a spectacular 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. After rushing for 390 yards as freshman, Jackson had just 52 yards on 18 carries during an injury-plagued 2005 campaign.
Senior Bookends Carriker, Moore Hope to Lead Blackshirt "Sack Attack" to Encore
Nebraska led the nation in sacks and tackles for loss in 2005, registering 50 sacks and 140 tackles for loss. That effort helped the Huskers finish in the top 30 nationally in total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense.
The Huskers entered the 2006 season with hopes of again making a push for the school single-season sack record of 53, set in1999. The Huskers returned players who accounted for 34.5 of the 50 sacks in 2005, led by dominant senior defensive ends Adam Carriker and Jay Moore, who set the tone for 2006 by each recording first-quarter sacks against Louisiana Tech.
The 6-6, 295-pound Carriker snuffed out the Bulldogs’ first drive of the game with a seven-yard sack on third down. The sack gave Carriker 14.5 career sacks, just outside of the Nebraska top 10 list. Carriker earned All-Big 12 honors in 2005 when he led the team with 9.5 sacks from his base end position.
A native of Elkhorn, Neb., Moore lines up opposite Carriker at the open end spot. The 6-4, 280-pound Moore made a two-yard tackle for loss on Tech’s first play of the game, then added a 10-yard sack later in the first quarter to thwart another Bulldog drive.
In addition to Carriker and Moore, Nebraska’s top sack threats also include junior middle linebacker Corey McKeon who had seven sacks in 2005, and fellow end Barry Turner who had a Nebraska freshman record six sacks on his way to frosh All-America honors in 2005.
The 2006 Blackshirts are poised to put together the best two-year sack total in school history. The most sacks Nebraska has recorded over the course of back-to-back seasons is 93 sacks in the 1984 (44) and 1985 (49) campaigns.
Huskers Enjoying New Home in 2006
The Nebraska football program moved into its new home in the summer of 2006. After being housed in the South Stadium for more than three decades, the Huskers moved into the Tom and Nancy Osborne Athletic Complex before the start of training camp in early August. Among the features in the new facility are...
The Charles and Romona Myers Performance Center...Located on the first floor of the Osborne Complex, the Myers Performance Center includes a state-of-the art athletic medicine facility, a spacious and sparkling new strength complex and a new locker room and equipment room for the Huskers.
New football offices...The Nebraska football offices are housed on the second floor of the Osborne Complex and provide the Husker staff and players with the needed tools to prepare at a championship level.
The change in location will lead to a significant change in Nebraska’s pre-game routine. The Huskers’ famous "Tunnel Walk" will now conclude with the team entering the field from the Northwest Corner of Tom Osborne Field. After a path of red FieldTurf leads the Huskers to the field, Nebraska enters after large bronze gates are opened. The gates feature images of six of the greatest Huskers from the 1890s to the 1960s.
The football program benefitted in numerous ways from the project, and Nebraska fans will also have several new features available.
New HuskerVision screens... Memorial Stadium features three new HuskerVision screens for the 2006 season. High above the North end of Memorial Stadium is a massive 33 x 117-foot screen. In addition to video, the large HuskerVision screen will feature a scoreboard, statistics and ticker. Two new HuskerVision screens were also placed on the Southeast and Southwest towers allowing fans in the north end of the stadium great viewing angles of the HuskerVision screens.
More Husker fans...6,500 seats were added in the North Stadium, in addtion to 13 new sky suites on the seventh floor of the Osborne Athletic Complex and new and improved handicapped seating. Nebraska received more than 15,000 requests for the 6,500 seats in less than three weeks.
Improved fan amenities...All ticket holders at Memorial Stadium will benefit from a new large concourse in the North Stadium. The concourse now connects the East, West and North stadiums. New gates were also added on the North end, aiding in entering and exiting Memorial Stadium.
Callahan's Huskers Continue to Perform in Classroom
Nebraska has continued its tradition of excellence in the classroom under Head Coach Bill Callahan. In 2005, Kurt Mann and Dane Todd were the latest Huskers to earn CoSIDA first-team academic All-America honors.
Mann, a two-year starter at center, carried a 3.97 grade-point average in mechanized systems management before graduating in May. A native of Lincoln, Todd graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in biological sciences.
Mann and Todd were two of just nine juniors on the first-team academic All-America list, and Nebraska was one of only three schools with a pair of first-team selections. Both players are strong candidates to repeat as first-team academic All-America selections this fall. Nebraska has previously had two pairs of players earn back-to-back first-team academic All-America honors. In 1983 and 1984 defensive end Scott Strasburger and defensive lineman Rob Stuckey picked up consecutive All-America honors, while nose tackle Terry Connealy and offensive tackle Rob Zatechka earned the same recognition in 1993 and 1994.
Overall, Nebraska has had 12 players earn two first-team academic All-America selections, most recently defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch in 1999 and 2000. The selection of Mann and Todd gave the Husker football program 85 all-time academic All-Americans, a nation-leading total. The Husker athletic program as a whole also leads the nation with 233 academic All-America selections across all teams and all sports.
Four Huskers Enter Season as Graduate Students
Kurt Mann and Dane Todd are among a group of four Husker seniors who will participate in the 2006 season as graduate students. Senior safety Andrew Shanle and senior cornerback Isaiah Fluellen also picked up their degrees during UNL’s spring commencement ceremonies, completing their undergraduate work in four years.
The four players will have a lot of company by the time bowl season rolls around. Among Nebraska’s 20-member senior class, 12 players are scheduled to earn their degrees by the conclusion of the fall semester.
Huskers Pace Big 12 Conference in Academic Awards
Nebraska had a Big-12 leading 22 players named to the first-team academic All-Big 12 team last fall. Fifteen Huskers were named to the first team, while another seven players earned second-team honors.
During the fall 2005 semester, Nebraska placed 31 players on the Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll, including six student-athletes who had perfect 4.0 grade-point averages for the semester. During the spring, 38 Huskers were named to the honor roll, with six players recording 4.0 GPAs for the spring semester. The honor roll recognizes all student-athletes who earned a 3.0 grade-point average or better in the previous semester.
Nebraska Honored by AFCA for Football Graduation Rate
The Husker football program was one of 29 schools from across the nation honored this spring by the American Football Coaches Association with the 2006 Academic Achievement Award.
The 29 schools that were honored achieved a graduation rate of 70 percent or better for the 2000-01 incoming freshman class. This year marked the sixth straight year Nebraska has received the honor and the 10th time since 1994 Nebraska has been recognized. Nebraska’s athletic program also leads the Big 12 in exhausted eligibility graduation rate for all sports at 93 percent.
Nebraska Owns Dominant Edge at Memorial Stadium
Nebraska has rewarded the loyality of its fans with incredible success at Memorial Stadium through the years. Nebraska finished 5-2 at home in 2005, and has won at least six home games in 17 of the past 19 seasons. Nebraska is 111-10 at home in the last 18 seasons (since 1989), including a pair of losses against teams that went on to win the national championship–Colorado in 1990 and Washington in 1991.
Since 1986, only seven different schools have left Memorial Stadium with a victory. During Nebraska’s run of success at home in the past 25 years, Nebraska has had three home winning streaks of 20 or more games. Nebraska had a school-record 47-game home winning streak from 1991 to 1998, a 26-game home streak from 1998 to 2002 and a 21-game win streak in the early 1980s.
Nebraska has not been shut out at home since a 12-0 loss to Kansas State in 1968 (242 games), and has posted 40 unbeaten and untied home seasons. The Huskers are 478-129-20 (.778, 627 games, 117 years) in Lincoln, 353-106-13 (.762, 472 games, 84 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923).
Huskers Make Successful Return to Bowl Season in 2005
Nebraska returned to the postseason in 2005, and made the most of its 43rd all-time bowl appearance with a 32-28 victory over Michigan in the Alamo Bowl. The Alamo Bowl was Nebraska’s 36th bowl appearance in the past 37 seasons, and came after the Huskers’ streak of 35 straight bowl appearances ended in 2004.
Nebraska’s 43 all-time bowl appearances rank fifth nationally, trailing Alabama, Texas, Tennessee and USC. The Huskers pushed their all-time bowl record over the .500 mark at 22-21 following the win over Michigan. Nebraska has won eight of its past 11 bowl games dating back to the 1994 season.
Huskers Among Leaders in AP National Titles
Notre Dame leads the nation by winning eight Associated Press national titles since 1936, with Oklahoma (7), Alabama (6), Miami (5), USC (5), Nebraska (4) and Minnesota (4) next in line. While the Huskers were awarded the national title by the coaches in 1997, NU finished second to Michigan in the AP poll.
In 1970, Nebraska was awarded the AP national title, but not the coaches (Texas was first, Ohio State second and NU third) as the final poll was released before the bowl games were played. In the coaches poll (since 1950), Nebraska is tied for fourth with Miami and Texas with four titles, behind Alabama and Oklahoma with six apiece, and USC with five.
Nebraska entered the 2006 campaign with the goal of reaching the Big 12 Conference Championship Game on Dec. 2 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The game has been held in Kansas City on three previous occasions, but Nebraska has not been involved in those three games.
This fall Nebraska will be looking for its first appearance in the league title game since 1999. The Huskers played in three of the first four Big 12 title games, winning the title in 1997 and 1999, with both of those games played in San Antonio.
Nebraska is one of three teams to capture two or more Big 12 titles in the first decade of the conference, joining Oklahoma with three and Texas with two. Kansas State, Texas A&M and Colorado each captured one Big 12 crown in the first 10 years of Big 12 action. Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado have each made four Big 12 title game appearances, while Nebraska and Kansas State have played in the the contest three times each.
Nebraska has won 43 football conference championships overall, including eight under Coach Bob Devaney and 13 under Coach Tom Osborne. Oklahoma has won 35 conference championships to rank second behind NU among conference schools.
Huskers Well-Represented in National Football League
Nebraska has a long-standing tradition of placing large numbers of players in the NFL. As of the start of NFL training camps, the Huskers had 41 players listed on rosters. When final rosters are determined this week, Nebraska will again be among the leaders in producing NFL players.
Included in that group are four players who were selected in the 2006 NFL Draft–safety Daniel Bullocks (2nd round, Detroit), punter Sam Koch (6th, Baltimore), defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith (6th, New England) and defensive lineman Titus Adams (7th, N.Y. Jets).
Koch’s selection gives Nebraska two punters and two place-kickers in the NFL, with the combined four kickers the most of any school in the country. Nebraska’s most experienced NFL veteran is Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro offensive guard Will Shields, who is entering his 14th NFL campaign in 2006.