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Quick now ... in Nebraska's 47-game bowl history, what back holds the Huskers' single-game rushing record? Mike Rozier? Tommie Frazier? Ahman Green? Eric Crouch? Cory Ross? Give up? Move to the head of the class of you said Dan Alexander, who needed only 20 carries to produce a record 240-yard rushing performance against then Big Ten co-champion Northwestern in the 2000 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.
Alexander scored two of then No. 8-ranked Nebraska's school record and NCAA record nine offensive touchdowns in that 66-17 romp over the Wildcats, who visit Lincoln Saturday to meet in the schools' first-ever Big Ten Conference Legends Division matchup.
Nebraska scored an NCAA record 31 points in the second period and then added another 21 in the third quarter of that 2000 Alamo Bowl. Call it Alexander's one shining moment in Nebraska's illustrious bowl history, putting him ahead of several Husker legends. Here's the all-time list:
1) 240 by Alexander in the 2000 Alamo Bowl
2) 206 by Green in the '98 Orange Bowl
3) 199 by Frazier in the '96 Fiesta Bowl
4) 165 by Lawrence Phillips in that same '96 Fiesta Bowl
5) 161 by Cory Ross in the 2005 Alamo Bowl
6) 147 by Rozier in the '84 Orange Bowl
7) 138 by Ross in the 2003 Alamo Bowl
8) 125 by Quentin Castille in the 2009 Gator Bowl
9-10) 118 by Rick Berns in the '76 Bluebonnet Bowl
9-10) 118 by Rozier in the '83 Orange Bowl
Believe it or not, by my calculations, Nebraska only has five more 100-yard rushing performances in its bowl history:
114 by Crouch in the 2002 Rose Bowl;
108 by Dennis Claridge in the '64 Orange Bowl
108 by Alexander in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl
106 by Tony Davis in the '74 Cotton Bowl and
102 by Doug Dubose in the '85 Sugar Bowl
According to former Nebraska football trainer and now outreach director Doak Ostergard, Alexander holds one other record that few know about. The two-time Nebraska Lifter of the Year came back from ACL surgery in three months. "Tough player ... good leader ... that's why he was a team captain," Ostergard said. Alexander was the Missouri state heavyweight wrestling champion in high school and a four-time Academic All-Big 12 selection at Nebraska.
A year ago, he was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame and still keeps himself in competitive shape. Last year, for instance, he played for the Alabama Vipers in the Arena Football League and rushed for five touchdowns on 10 carries in the season opener against the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings. He spent two seasons in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars and played five years of arena football before settling into his new routine.
Today, Alexander, 33, is firmly entrenched as a husband, a father and executive director of a charitable organization in Franklin, Tenn. He and his wife Amy have a 4-year-old son, Braxton. "We're like a Boys Club/Girls Club or a Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization," Alexander said.
"We bring spiritual and physical hope to the county's inner-city youth and teach them critical life skills," he said. "God put me in this position for a reason, and I absolutely love it. I love helping kids, and I love raising funds for their development. Football produced some of the best times of my life. The experiences, roadblocks and even the disappointments led me to where I am today, so I can do what I feel I am called to do."
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