Honors & Awards
- Holds 23 Nebraska School Records
- NU Single-Game Record Holder for Passing Yards (510),
- Total Offense (528) and Passing TDs (7)
- Nebraska Season Record Holder for Passing Yards,
- Pass Completions and Total Offense
- Second at Nebraska in Career Passing Yards and Touchdown Passes
- 2008 First-Team Academic All-Big 12
- Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week (2007 vs. Kansas State; 2008 vs. Kansas State)
- 2008 Tom Novak Trophy Winner
- 2008 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List
- Four-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
- Three-Time Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll (2005, 2007, 2008)
- 2008 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team
- 2004 Nebraska Offensive Scout Team MVP
Quarterback Joe Ganz took the reins of the Nebraska offense late in the 2007 season and immediately began re-writing the Cornhusker record book. Ganz went on to post one of the most prolific offensive seasons in school history in 2008, and by the end of his career he held more than 20 school records.
The 6-1, 210-pound Ganz engineered a Nebraska offense that became one of the most complete units in the country in the second half of the 2008 season. The Huskers ranked in the top 20 nationally in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense. Ganz also transformed Nebraska into one of the most efficient units in the country. The Huskers ranked second in the nation in time of possession and were among the Big 12 leaders in third-down conversions.
In the process of leading the Husker offense Ganz, set Nebraska season records for with 3,568 passing yards and 3,826 yards of total offense. Ganz was extremely accurate throughout the season, completing 67.9 percent of his passes and set NU’s record for season completions and percentage. He has also shattered the Nebraska career record for accuracy by completing nearly 66 percent of his 549 career pass attempts. He threw for 25 touchdown passes in 2008, the second-most in NU history and his 45 career touchdown passes also rank second in the Nebraska record book.
Ganz finished his senior season ranked among Big 12 and national leaders in several categories, including passing yards per game, total offense and pass efficiency. Following his final game, Ganz’s career pass efficiency ranking was fourth among all 2008 active players trailing only Heisman finalists Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy.
Ganz threw for more than 300 yards five times in 2008, and topped that number eight times in 16 career starts. In 2008, Ganz also showed his dual-threat ability. He ran for 258 yards and five touchdowns on the season, including 95 yards and two touchdowns at Kansas State–the most rushing yards by an NU quarterback in five seasons. Ganz also joined elite company against New Mexico State when he became just the third player in school history to rush, pass and catch a touchdown in the same game. The only other Huskers to accomplish that feat are Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Rodgers and Eric Crouch.
The leadership of Ganz allowed Nebraska to surpass 30 points 10 times in 2008 and in 13 of his 16 career starts. The Huskers passed for at least 200 yards in all 12 games in 2008 and gained more than 400 yards of total offense nine times. His poise was evident as Nebraska rallied from a second-half deficit to win four games in 2008, including three of the season’s final four games.
Ganz was voted one of four team captains for the 2008 season. Ganz was also named the Huskers’ MVP and capped his career by being named the MVP of the 2009 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl.
Ganz served as the Huskers’ No. 2 signal caller for nearly all of 2005, 2006 and 2007, before a season-ending injury to Sam Keller thrust Ganz into the starting role late in 2007. Less than a month later, Ganz had shattered numerous school records and established himself as a player to watch for the 2008 season.
Ganz threw for 1,399 yards and 15 touchdowns in his three 2007 starts, while posting the top two passing days in school history. His 15 touchdown passes in a three-game stretch were a school record and he guided Nebraska to an average of 598.7 yards of total offense in his three starts. Ganz threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in his first start at Kansas, then threw for a school-record 510 yards and an NU record seven touchdowns in a rout of Kansas State. He added 484 yards and four touchdowns at Colorado.
Ganz backed up Zac Taylor in 2006 and played in five games. He completed 7-of-13 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns. He did not see game action in 2005, and redshirted in 2004.
Ganz was also strong in the classroom, earning first-team academic All-Big 12 honors in 2008. He graduated in December of 2008 with a degree in communication studies and was a seven-time Big 12 commissioner’s honor roll pick.
Ganz lost a close battle for the starting job and served as the backup through the season’s first eight games, with appearances in victories over Nevada and Iowa State. He got his first real opportunity at Texas when Keller suffered a shoulder injury late in the game. Ganz came off the bench to finish a touchdown drive and converted a two-point play to pull Nebraska within 28-25 in the waning moments.
Ganz then took over at Kansas, where he completed 25-of-50 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns, including three to Maurice Purify. He also rushed five times for 11 yards and a first-quarter touchdown.
A week later, Ganz shattered several Nebraska records in a 73-31 rout of Kansas State. He completed 30-of-40 passes for a Husker record 510 yards and connected on a school-record seven touchdown passes, two better than the previous mark. Ganz added 18 rushing yards, and his 528 yards of total offense also set a Nebraska record.
In the season finale at Colorado, Ganz completed 31-of-58 passes for 484 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Ganz’s numbers against the Buffs represented the second-best single-game passing and total offensive numbers in school history.
Ganz completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,435 yards and 16 touchdowns for the season. He also rushed 20 times for 93 yards and three touchdowns. In the month of November alone, Ganz accounted for three of the five 400-yard passing days in school history, in addition to three of the top five games in total offense. Ganz also had a receiver tie the school record for touchdown catches in a game in each of his three starts.
Ganz backed up Zac Taylor in 2006 and played in five games. He completed 7-of-13 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed three times, with a 10-yard gain against Nicholls State. He completed 2-of-3 passes against Louisiana Tech for 45 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown to Hunter Teafatiller. Ganz saw extensive action against Nicholls State and Troy, completing two passes in each game. He passed for 35 yards against Nicholls State and 13 yards, including a touchdown pass to Matt Senske against Troy.
The most memorable play for Ganz in 2006 came against Colorado. With the game tied at 7-7 in the second quarter, Ganz came onto the field and lined up as the kicker in a field goal formation. He received the snap directly and lofted a perfect 29-yard scoring strike to defensive end Barry Turner in the end zone.
2005 (Redshirt Freshman)
Ganz was a backup to Zac Taylor, but did not see game action.
Ganz redshirted and was NU's Offensive Scout Team MVP.
Before Nebraska (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS)
Ganz was a dual threat as a three-year starter at quarterback for Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He threw for 3,428 yards in his career and rushed for another 1,328 yards. As a senior, Ganz completed 60 percent of his passes for about 1,250 yards and 10 touchdowns. He added 600 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, while guiding Stagg to a 6-4 record and a second consecutive state playoff appearance. Ganz completed better than 60 percent of his passes for 1,400 yards as a junior, leading Stagg to a 10-3 record and a state semifinal appearance. He also started three seasons at safety.
Ganz earned Class 7A all-state honors from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, was a first-team all-conference (SICA Gray) and all-area pick. A two-time team MVP, Ganz earned second-team all-state honors as a junior. Ganz chose Nebraska over Eastern Michigan and Northwestern. In addition to football, Ganz also lettered three times in baseball. In 2003, he batted .480 with seven homers and 38 RBIs as a shortstop. He hit .420 with eight homers and 45 RBIs to earn all-state honors as a senior.
The son of Mike and Debbie Ganz, Joe was born on Dec. 6, 1985. He is majoring in business administration, and is on track to earn his degree in December. Ganz has been named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll six times. Ganz has volunteered his time with American Education Week, School is Cool Week and the Husker Pen Pal program. For his efforts in the community, Ganz was named to the 2008 Brook Berringer Citizenship Program.
Year G Att. Cmp. Int. Pct. Yds. Y/A Y/G LP TD Eff.R. Totals 24/16 585 381 18 .651 5,125 8.8 213.5 69 44 157.38
Did Not Play
Rushing: 115-341-8 total; 92-258-5, long-33 vs. New Mexico State in 2008; 20-93-3, long-28 vs. Colorado in 2007; 3-(-10)-0 in 2006; long-10 vs. Nicholls State
Receiving: 1-20 total; 1-20 in 2008; long-20 vs. New Mexico State
Pass Attempts–58 at Colorado, 2007 (school record)
Pass Completions–36 at Texas Tech, 2008 (ties school record)
Passing Yards–510 at Kansas State, 2007 (school record)
Passing Touchdowns–7 vs. Kansas State, 2007 (school record)
Long Pass–69 yards to Marlon Lucky vs. Baylor, 2008
Rushes–13 vs. Colorado, 2008
Rushing Yards–95 vs. Colorado, 2008
Rushing Touchdowns–2 at Colorado, 2007, at Kansas State, 2008
Total Offense Attempts–64 at Colorado, 2007 (school record)
Total Offense Yards–528 vs. Kansas State, 2007 (school record)