No. 19/19 Nebraska (2-0) at No. 4/2 USC (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 16 - 7:13 p.m. Central
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (92,000) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Surface: Natural Grass
Series: USC leads 1-0-1
Last Meeting: 1970 in L.A., 21-21 Tie
Television: ABC Saturday Night College Football (National)
Radio: Pinnacle Sports Network (51 stations)
Sirius Satellite Radio: Channel 152
The 2-0 Huskers head into the contest with momentum after impressive performances in convincing wins over Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State to open the season. Nebraska has featured an explosive and balanced offensive attack in the wins, topping 250 yards on the ground in both games, while averaging better than 280 yards per game through the air, and producing 49 or more points in both games.
USC will enter Saturday night’s game with a 1-0 record, after a 50-14 dismantling of Arkansas on Sept. 2 in Fayetteville. The Trojans, who were idle last weekend, boast a remarkable 49-4 record since the start of the 2002 campaign, the best extended run in college football since Nebraska was 49-2 in winning three national championship from 1994 to 1997. USC will also bring a 27-game home winning streak and a 33-game regular-season winning streak into Saturday’s game.
Saturday night’s matchup will be just the third all-time meeting between two of college football’s top programs, and the first since a 21-21 tie at the Coliseum in 1970. USC won at Nebraska in 1969. The game also marks the first time Nebraska has been involved in a game between two ranked teams since a 2003 matchup at Texas.
Nebraska Rolls to Second Win of Young Season
Nebraska used a precise and efficient offensive effort to roll to a 56-7 victory over Nicholls State in a steady rain in Lincoln on Saturday afternoon. The Huskers featured impressive offensive balance for the second straight game, both rushing and passing for more than 200 yards on their way to scoring 49 or more points for the second consecutive week.
While the Husker offense rolled, Nebraska’s defense silenced Nicholls State through the air, holding the Colonels to no passing yards, the first time that has been achieved by the Blackshirts since grounding Oklahoma State in 1992.
Nebraska wasted little time taking control, scoring on six of its first seven possessions. Senior quarterback Zac Taylor produced one of the most efficient passing efforts by a Nebraska quarterback in school history, connecting on 19-of-23 passes, including 12 straight completions in the first half. He finished the game with 202 yards and four touchdowns through the air, and his 213.77 NCAA pass efficiency rating ranked as the eighth best day by a Husker in the Nebraska record books.
While Taylor guided the Huskers smoothly through the air, sophomore I-back Marlon Lucky carried the load on the ground. Lucky sprinted to the first 100-yard rushing day of his career with 18 carries for 103 yards and one touchdown. The big days from Taylor and Lucky helped the Huskers roll up 498 total yards, including 237 yards passing and 261 rushing yards. Nebraska’s consistency was evident on the scoreboard, as the Huskers put 14 points on the scoreboard in each quarter, with seven different players finding the end zone for the second straight week.
The Huskers opened the scoring on their first drive of the game after Stewart Bradley recovered a Nicholls State fumble. Nebraska wasted little time in converting the Colonels’ miscue into points, as Cody Glenn rammed his way into the end zone from one yard out to cap an 11-play drive in which all 53 Husker yards came on the ground.
Nebraska added another 11-play drive on its next possession, covering 51 yards, as senior fullback Dane Todd scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard pass from Taylor, who was 6-for-6 on the drive. The Huskers struck even more quickly on their third drive, flying 39 yards in three plays, culminating with a 19-yard pass from Taylor to tight end Matt Herian to extend NU’s lead to 21-0 with just under 13 minutes left in the first half.
Taylor completed 12 consecutive passes at one point in the first half from NU’s second through fifth drives. Taylor completed 12-of-15 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Lucky capped the second-quarter scoring on a one-yard plunge for Nebraska’s final touchdown of the first half.
Taylor stayed hot to start the second half going 4-for-4 on the first drive, capped by a 14-yard touchdown strike to Frantz Hardy to put the Huskers ahead 35-0. Taylor made it five straight completions with a 42-yard scoring toss to Maurice Purify on the first play of NU’s second drive of the second half to put the Huskers in front 42-0 with 7:36 remaining in the third quarter.
Nicholls State avoided the shutout early in the fourth quarter after a fumble recovery on a punt at midfield, followed by a two-play 50-yard drive capped by a one-yard TD by Broderick Cole to pull Nicholls State within 42-7 with 13:33 left. Nebraska concluded its scoring with fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Glenn and Kenny Wilson, who finished with 79 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Noting Game Two...Nebraska 56, Nicholls State 7
The victory was Nebraska’s seventh straight win against non-conference opponents and NU’s 37th win in its last 38 non-conference home games.
The win was Nebraska’s fifth straight win overall dating back to last season, the Huskers’ longest win streak since winning the first five games of the 2003 season.
Nebraska has scored at least 49 points in consecutive games to open the season. The previous time NU had scored 49 or more points in consecutive games was in 2000 when Nebraska had three straight games with 49 or more points at mid-season (Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor). Nebraska’s 105 points in the first two games of the season are the most by a Husker team to open a season since NU’s 114 points against Oklahoma State and Michigan State in 1995.
Nicholls State did not complete a pass, marking the 10th time in school history an NU opponent has not completed a pass. The previous time an opponent had zero passing yards was Oklahoma State in 1992.
Nebraska senior quarterback Zac Taylor passed for 202 yards and became the seventh Husker player to surpass 3,000 career passing yards. Taylor ranks seventh in school history with 3,142 career passing yards.
Taylor threw for a career-high four touchdowns, eclipsing his three TD efforts in the previous two games (Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan, Louisiana Tech). It was also Taylor’s 11th straight game with at least one touchdown pass.
Taylor connected on 19-of-23 pass attempts and his pass efficiency rating of 213.77 ranked as the eighth-best single-game effort in Nebraska history.
Sophomore I-back Marlon Lucky rushed 18 times for a career-high 103 yards. Lucky set the tone for his day on Nebraska’s first series, rushing six times for 40 yards. Lucky had surpassed his career highs for both carries and rushing yards by halftime with 15 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. His previous career bests were 13 carries for 78 yards a week ago against Louisiana Tech.
Nebraska rushed for 261 yards in the win after opening the year with 252 yards rushing against Louisiana Tech. Saturday marked the first time since the opening two games of the 2004 season that Nebraska posted back-to-back games with more than 200 rushing yards. The Huskers opened 2004 by rushing for 363 yards against Western Illinois and 274 yards vs. Southern Miss.
Senior tight end Matt Herian caught four passes for 38 yards, and now has 60 receptions in his career, just one reception shy of the NU tight end record of 61 receptions by Jerry List from 1970 to 1972. In the season opener, Herian became Nebraska’s career leader for receiving yardage among tight ends.
Herian’s 19-yard touchdown in the second quarter was his second of the season and the 12th of his career. He is two shy of the Nebraska tight end touchdown record of 14 by Todd Millikan from 1985 to 1988.
Junior receiver Terrence Nunn caught three passes and moved into the top 10 on the NU career receptions list with 67 catches, tying Irving Fryar for eighth place on the career chart, just five catches from fifth place.
Nebraska picked up 30 first downs for the second straight week, marking the first time Nebraska has had 30 or more first downs in consecutive games since 2001 when NU accomplished the feat against Baylor (31) and Texas Tech (30).
Senior linebacker Stewart Bradley recovered two fumbles in the game, tying a Nebraska linebacker position record. Troy Branch also had two fumble recoveries in Nebraska’s 1992 victory over Colorado.
Huskers Closing in on 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 796-321-40 all-time record in 1,157 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.
NU’s matchup with USC features two of the nation’s top 10 teams in terms of all-time wins, as USC ranks 10th with 733 victories.
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, and conference and national championships.
In the past 37 seasons (including 2006), beginning with 1970, Nebraska has posted a remarkable 362 victories, an average of 10 wins per season. The Huskers’ overall record in that time period is 362-80-5 for an .815 winning percentage in 447 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 (324), Ohio State (324) 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.
Nebraska vs. the Pac-10
Nebraska is familiar with matchups against Pac-10 foes, posting a 33-18-3 all-time record against members of the conference, including an 0-1-1 mark against USC. NU’s meeting with USC will mark its first matchup against a Pac-10 team since a 48-10 victory over Arizona State to open the 2002 season.
The Huskers are 8-2 in their last 10 meetings with Pac-10 opponents, dating back to the 1994 season.
Nebraska faced at least one Pac-10 opponent in the regular season for 17 consecutive years from 1983 to 1999.
Nebraska has played every Pac-10 team at least once in school history.
In addition to a return game against USC next year in Lincoln, the Huskers also have future home-and-home series scheduled with Washington (2010, 2011) and UCLA (2012, 2013).
Huskers Open 2006 With Balanced and Explosive Offensive Attack
Nebraska’s blowout wins over Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State to open the 2006 season have featured two of Nebraska’s most impressive offensive efforts in recent years.
The Huskers rolled up 584 yards of total offense, including 252 rushing yards and 332 yards through the air in a 49-10 victory over Louisiana Tech in week one. In defeating Nicholls State 56-7, Nebraska was again extremely effective on offense, piling up 498 total yards–261 on the ground and 237 through the air.
Nebraska enters the USC game ranked third nationally in total offense (541.0 ypg), second in scoring (52.0 ppg) and eighth in rushing offense (256.5 ypg). In churning out huge numbers in the first two games, Nebraska has produced several noteworthy statistics.
The 584 yards of total offense against Louisiana Tech were the most by Nebraska in Bill Callahan’s three seasons as head coach, and the most since a 595-yard effort against McNeese State in 2002. The 498 yards against Nicholls State are fourth-best under Callahan.
Nebraska has topped 49 points in consecutive games for the first time since 2000, when Nebraska topped 49 points in three straight games at mid-season (Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor).
Against Louisiana Tech, Nebraska topped 250 yards in both rushing and passing for the first time in a decade (Kansas, 1996).
The Huskers have produced their third and fifth-best rushing efforts in three seasons under Callahan in the season’s first two games. Nebraska last topped 250 yards rushing in consecutive games against Western Illinois and Southern Miss to open the 2004 season.
Nebraska has racked up 30 first downs in each of its first two games, the first time the Huskers have had back-to-back games with 30 first downs since the 2001 season (Texas Tech, Baylor). NU has 33 first downs by rush, 26 by pass and one by penalty.
Nebraska’s strong rushing attack has allowed Nebraska to control the clock for 57.3 percent of the first two games (35:05 vs. La. Tech; 33:44 vs. Nicholls State). Nebraska has run 160 offensive plays to 103 for its first two opponents.
The Huskers are an impressive 18-of-28 (64 percent) on third-down conversions, including 11-of-16 in the opener.
Nebraska has spread the wealth on offense. Eleven different players have scored touchdowns through two games, with seven different players scoring TDs in each of the first two games.
Quarterback Taylor Off to Strong Start in 2006
Senior quarterback Zac Taylor has been the man at the helm of Nebraska’s two sharp offensive efforts to open the 2006 campaign. The 6-2, 210-pound Taylor backed up a record-setting 2005 campaign with impressive performances during spring and fall camp and that work has led to a strong opening to 2006.
Through two games, Taylor has shown why he is on track to re-write nearly all of Nebraska’s passing records and contend for postseason honors in 2006. Among his notable accomplishments are....
Taylor has completed 72.6 percent of his passes (41-of-56) through two games with seven touchdowns and one interception. Taylor’s pass efficiency rating through two games is 184.24, which ranks seventh best in the country. His pass efficiency rating against Nicholls State (213.77) was the eighth-best in school history.
Taylor’s four touchdown passes against Nicholls State were a career high, bettering the three touchdown passes in his previous two games (Louisiana Tech, Michigan). In Nebraska’s five-game winning streak dating back to last season, Taylor has thrown for 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
The Husker passing game has been very efficient under Taylor’s direction. In week one, Taylor had a streak of 11 straight completions, including eight straight completions for 98 yards in engineering a two-minute drive before halftime. Against Nicholls State, Taylor’s first pass attempt fell incomplete, but he completed his next 12 pass attempts before an incompletion late in the second quarter. The 12 straight completions were three off the Nebraska school record.
The 287 passing yards against Louisiana Tech marked the third-highest total of his Nebraska career. He added 202 yards against Nicholls State for his eighth career game with 200 or more passing yards, including six of the past eight games.
Taylor has completed passes to 11 different receivers this season, and thrown touchdown passes to six different Huskers.
The 489 passing yards in the first two games has continued Taylor’s ascension up the Nebraska career passing chart. He now has 3,142 career passing yards and ranks seventh on the NU career 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.
A year after throwing 19 touchdown passes (one off the school record), Taylor appears poised to challenge for the season record in 2006 with seven TD passes in the first two games. Taylor has 26 career touchdown passes, 17 away from the school record of 43 touchdown passes by Tommie Frazier from 1992 to 1995. Taylor has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 11 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 season-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.
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 regularly indicated Nebraska would utilize the talents of all four of its I-backs and operate with use of a "committee." The first two games have proven that it was a solid plan, as four Husker I-backs have combined for 89 carries for 508 yards and seven touchdowns.
All four backs have gotten into the act, with each of them having between 10 and 31 carries through two games. Each of the four has scored a touchdown in the first two games. Together the group has keyed a resurgent Nebraska rushing attack.
Nebraska opened the year with 252 yards on the ground against Louisiana Tech, then churned out 261 rushing yards in a 56-7 rout of Nicholls State. The rushing efforts are both among the top five in Bill Callahan’s three seasons, and the most since late in the 2004 season. In 2005, Nebraska averaged less than 100 yards on the ground, and its top rushing effort was 182 yards at Baylor.
Sophomore Marlon Lucky, a native of North Hollywood, Calif., has started each of the first two games and paced the NU rushing attack. Lucky produced his first career 100-yard rushing game against Nicholls State with 18 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown. Lucky also has four catches for 55 yards out of the backfield and is averaging 118.5 all-purpose yards per game.
Sophomore Cody Glenn is Nebraska’s power back. The 6-0, 230-pound Glenn rushed 13 times for a team-high 88 yards against Louisiana Tech, then added 47 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries against Nicholls State.
Junior Kenny Wilson joined the Huskers as a highly touted junior-college prospect. Through two games, Wilson has rushed for 126 yards on 24 carries, and scored his first career touchdown on a 14-yard run against Nicholls State.
Junior Brandon Jackson had a standout freshman year in 2004 when he rushed for 390 yards, but was slowed by injury last season. This fall he has carried 10 times for 65 yards, including a spectacular 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against Louisiana Tech.
Return of Herian Gives Passing Game Another Dimension
Senior tight end Matt Herian has made a strong return to the field in the first two games of 2006. The 6-5, 245-pound Herian missed all of the 2005 season while recovering from a broken leg he suffered against Missouri in the eighth game of 2004. Herian’s return has helped give quarterback Zac Taylor another impressive target in the Husker passing game.
Through two games, Herian has hauled in seven passes for a team-high 99 yards and two touchdowns. In the process, Herian has resumed his assault on the Nebraska tight end record book. Against Louisiana Tech, Herian caught three passes for 61 yards and moved past Tracey Wistrom into first on the tight end career receiving yardage list. Herian enters the USC game with 1,192 career receiving yards.
His four receptions against Nicholls State moved his career total to 60, just one shy of the tight end record of 61 by Jerry List from 1970 to 1972. Herian’s receptions total is 16th-best among all Huskers, and just six catches from the top 10.
Herian was not the only tight end to make headlines in the opener against Louisiana Tech. After a first-quarter touchdown catch by Herian, three of Herian’s tight end teammates got into the act in the second half as juniors J.B. Phillips and Josh Mueller, and sophomore Hunter Teafatiller all reached the end zone.
The tight end outburst was quite notable...
The four touchdowns against Louisiana Tech 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.
The four tight ends combined for eight receptions for 108 yards and four touchdowns in the opener and have 15 catches for 163 yards and five touchdowns in two games.
Wide Receiver Tandem Looking for Another Big Season
Quarterback Zac Taylor’s two favorite targets from the 2005 season–receivers Terrence Nunn and Nate Swift–are back for 2006 and figure to be key elements to the Husker offense again this fall.
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. Through two games this season, Nunn leads Nebraska with eight receptions (76 yards), while Swift caught three passes in the opener before being held without a catch against Nicholls State.
Both players are quickly moving up the career pass receptions list, with Nunn cracking the top 10 on the list against Nicholls State. Nunn now ranks in a tie for eighth place with 67 career receptions, just five catches from the top five and 26 from second place 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. Swift had caught at least two passes in 10 straight games before being held without a catch by Nicholls State.
Nunn caught at least one pass in all 12 games of his sophomore season in 2005, including nine games with three or more receptions. Entering the USC game he has caught at least one pass in 15 straight games, including at least three catches in each of the last seven games.
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.
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, a pre-season All-American and Lombardi candidate, 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.
Through two games, Carriker leads a balanced Nebraska defense with nine tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack.
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. Moore had six tackles through two games and is tied with Carriker for the team lead in tackles for loss with three for a team-best 16 yards. Both Moore and Carriker have two hurries.
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. Turner leads Nebraska through two games with three quarterback hurries.
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 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. Nebraska set a Memorial Stadium record with 85,181 fans for the Louisiana Tech game.
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.
2006 Schedule to Provide Nebraska with Stern Test
USC is the first major test for Nebraska in 2006. The Trojans are one of seven Husker opponents that won seven or more games last season and one of six 2005 bowl teams on Nebraska’s schedule.
Nebraska faces the challenge of taking on both of last year’s national championship game participants with this week’s 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 Continues to Be Packed
Last Saturday’s game with Nicholls State marked 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 184 consecutive sellouts. Nebraska has had remarkable success during the sellout streak, posting a 244-33 record during the 277 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. (see left margin)
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.
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 112-10 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 (243 games), and has posted 40 unbeaten and untied home seasons. The Huskers are 479-129-20 (.779, 628 games, 117 years) in Lincoln, 354-106-13 (.762, 473 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 were determined last week, Nebraska had 31 players on active rosters and one player on a practice squad. Nebraska’s 31 players on active rosters led the Big 12 Conference, one more than Texas and two more than Oklahoma.
Included in the group of players on NFL rosters 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), who is on the practice squad. In addition, running back Cory Ross, a non-drafted free agent is on the Ravens’ opening day roster.
Koch’s roster spot 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 in his 14th NFL campaign in 2006. A full listing of Nebraska’s players in the NFL is included in the left margin.