NU, Tigers to Clash in Big 12 Showdown
Nebraska (6-3, 3-2) vs.
No. /25 Missouri (7-2, 3-2)
Saturday, Nov. 4 - 11:10 a.m. Central
Memorial Stadium (81,067) - Lincoln, Neb.
Series: NU leads, 62-34-3
Last Meeting: Missouri won, 41-24, last year in Columbia
Television: ABC (Regional)
Radio: Husker Sports Network (51 stations)
Sirius Satellite Radio: Channel 146
Special Events: Homecoming; 100th all-time meeting; Veteran's Salute
Lincoln -- Nebraska begins its November stretch run with a Big 12 North Division showdown against Missouri on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The winner of the 100th all-time meeting between the schools will take a huge step toward representing the North Division in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 2 in Kansas City. The Nebraska-Missouri matchup will be televised to a regional audience by ABC Sports with kickoff set for shortly after 11 a.m.
The Huskers and Tigers enter Saturday’s matchup tied for the North lead at 3-2 in conference play, one game ahead of third-place Kansas State. Both Nebraska and Missouri have already recorded victories against the Wildcats, meaning the winner of Saturday’s game will own a one-game advantage and the tiebreaker with just two games remaining.
Both Nebraska and Missouri must regroup following losses last weekend. The Huskers dropped a 41-29 decision at Oklahoma State. The loss was Nebraska’s second straight setback after a 22-20 loss to fifth-ranked Texas on Oct. 21 in Lincoln, and dropped Nebraska to 6-3 overall. Nebraska will enter Saturday’s game unranked after being in both national polls for each of the first nine weeks this season.
Missouri also missed a chance to take the divisional lead, losing 26-10 to Oklahoma in Columbia, marking the Tigers’ second loss in three weeks. Despite its recent losses, Missouri boasts an impressive 7-2 overall record and No. 25 national ranking (Coaches) entering Saturday’s game. The Tigers own league home wins over Colorado and Kansas State and picked up a road victory at Texas Tech. Missouri has one of the league’s most explosive offenses, ranking third in the Big 12 in passing at nearly 260 yards per game.
Nebraska hopes to use the home field to its advantage against the Tigers. The Huskers have won the past 14 meetings against Mizzou in Lincoln, dating back to a 1978 Tiger win. Saturday’s game will also include Homecoming festivities in Lincoln. Nebraska lost its Homecoming contest to Texas Tech last year, but had won its previous 36 Homecoming games.
Huskers Drop Shootout at Oklahoma State
Junior I-back Brandon Jackson rushed for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, but three fourth-quarter touchdowns by Oklahoma State gave the Cowboys a 41-29 win over No. 20 Nebraska at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday. The Huskers slipped to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the Big 12, and the loss was Coach Bill Callahan’s first Nebraska loss when leading at halftime.
In a game that featured nearly 1,000 yards of total offense by both teams, Nebraska managed 452 total yards, including 241 yards passing by Zac Taylor, who completed 21-of-39 attempts with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Husker offense also maintained control of the ball for 34:59.
Quarterback Bobby Reid led the OSU offense to 496 total yards by completing 13-of-21 passes for 229 yards and two scores. Reid also rushed eight times for 61 yards to account for 290 yards of total offense by himself. Dantrell Savage led OSU with 117 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
Nebraska appeared to be in control of the game through the first 20 minutes on the strength of Jackson’s explosive rushing. His second rushing touchdown came with 10:43 remaining in the second quarter on a 24-yard burst to give the Huskers a 16-0 lead. The snap and hold on Nebraska’s ensuing extra-point attempt were unsuccessful. Jackson had pushed NU’s lead to 10-0 with a two-yard touchdown run with just 33 seconds left in the first quarter, after setting up NU’s field goal on its opening drive by carrying for 66 yards.
OSU answered quickly after NU’s third score, driving 80 yards in five plays, capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Reid to Keith Toston with 8:12 left in the first half. Oklahoma state slashed the NU lead to just three points on an 18-yard touchdown run by Savage with 4:13 left in the half.
Taylor pushed the Husker lead back to 10 points with his 22-yard touchdown connection to Maurice Purify with just 56 seconds left in the half. But the Cowboys struck quickly again, using a 39-yard kickoff return to set up Reid’s 45-yard touchdown pass to Adarius Bowman on the next play to cut NU’s halftime edge to 23-20.
After the two teams combined for 33 points and nearly 400 yards of total offense in the second quarter, the defenses reasserted themselves in a scoreless third quarter. Unfortunately for the Huskers, the Cowboys showed that they still had a few big plays left. Reid connected with D’Juan Woods on a 55-yard pass on the opening play of the fourth quarter, before Savage sprinted into the end zone from 20 yards out on the next play to give OSU its first lead of the day at 27-23 with 14:34 left.
OSU pushed its lead to 34-23 on Julius Crosslin’s two-yard touchdown run with 8:05 remaining. Nebraska tried to battle its way back, but OSU’s Patrick Lavine closed the door on any Husker comeback hopes when he sacked Taylor and forced a fumble that was scooped up by Nathan Peterson, who raced 19 yards for a touchdown to give the Cowboys an insurmountable 41-23 edge with 3:14 left.
The Huskers closed the scoring on Taylor’s five-yard touchdown pass to Purify with seven seconds left in the game. Purify finished the day with six catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns for the Huskers.
Noting Game Nine...Oklahoma State 41, Nebraska 29
Nebraska junior I-back Brandon Jackson rushed 21 times for a career-high 182 yards, bettering his previous career high of 116 yards at Iowa State. Jackson ran six times for 66 yards on Nebraska’s opening drive of the game and had 99 yards by the end of the first quarter.
Jackson’s 182 yards pushed his career total to 1,026 yards, making him the 55th, 1,000-yard career rusher in Nebraska history. His 182 yards on the ground are also the most by a Husker since Cory Ross posted 194 yards against Missouri on Oct. 30, 2004.
Jackson had four runs of more than 20 yards, including first-half scampers of 24, 28 and 24 yards. Jackson has eight runs of longer than 20 yards this season, and also has three pass receptions of better than 20 yards in 2006.
Nebraska had 211 rushing yards, marking the Huskers’ fifth 200-yard rushing game in 2006. Nebraska had just four games with more than 200 yards rushing in the two previous seasons.
Nebraska senior quarterback Zac Taylor completed 21-of-39 passes for 241 yards passing. Taylor’s 241 passing yards gives him 2,065 passing yards this season. This marks the sixth 2,000-yard passing season in school history, led by Taylor’s school-record 2,653 yards last season. Taylor is just 10 yards from holding the top two spots on the single-season passing chart, as second place is 2,074 yards by Dave Humm in 1972.
Senior defensive end Adam Carriker recorded a seven-yard sack on OSU’s opening series, and finished the day with 2.0 sacks for 10 yards in losses, three tackles for loss totaling 16 yards, six total tackles, a pass breakup and a blocked extra point. His two sacks pushed his career sacks total to 16.5, and moved him into a tie for sixth place on Nebraska’s career sacks list. Carriker also moved into the top 10 on the career tackles for loss list. Carriker’s three tackles for loss give him 35 TFL in his career, good for ninth on the NU list.
Junior wide receiver Maurice Purify caught a career-high six passes for 65 yards, including two touchdowns. Purify has five touchdowns this season, including four in the past four games. Purify has 11 receptions of longer than 20 yards this season, and has picked up a first down on 19 of his 23 receptions.
The Nebraska offense had eight plays of 20 yards or more, including four rushes and four through the air. The Huskers had six plays of more than 20 yards in the first half. Nebraska now has 54 plays of 20 yards or more this season, 15 more than last year’s 12-game total of 39.
I-back Marlon Lucky had three receptions for 47 yards, and has caught a pass in every game this season. Lucky had a pair of 21-yard receptions against OSU.
Nebraska kicked a field goal on its opening drive, marking the sixth time in nine games it has scored points on its first drive of the game. Nebraska has scored first in eight of nine games this season (all except Texas).
Senior linebacker Stewart Bradley recovered an OSU fumble in the second quarter, marking his team-leading third fumble recovery of the season.
Nebraska junior safety Tierre Green intercepted a Cowboy pass in the first quarter, marking his first career interception.
Sophomore punter Dan Titchener had a career-long 58-yard punt in the fourth quarter.
The loss marked the first time Nebraska has lost when leading at halftime in Bill Callahan’s three seasons as head coach.
Nebraska Aims to Continue Dominance of Tigers in Lincoln
Nebraska will carry a 14-game winning streak against Missouri at Memorial Stadium into Saturday’s contest. The Tigers’ last victory in Lincoln was a 35-31 win over the Huskers in 1978, marking Mizzou’s fourth win in six tries at Memorial Stadium from 1968 to 1978. Since that win, the Tigers have found little success in Lincoln.
The Huskers have won by double digits in 11 of the victories in the 14-game winning streak, including each of the last three games in Lincoln. Two seasons ago, Nebraska posted a 24-3 victory over the Tigers at Memorial Stadium.
NU Hopes to Continue North Win Streak, Grab Divisional Lead
Nebraska can take a major step toward its first Big 12 Championship Game appearance since 1999 with a victory over Missouri on Saturday in Lincoln. The Huskers are tied for the North Division lead thanks to a 3-0 record against divisional foes in 2006.
Dating back to last season, Nebraska has won five straight games against Big 12 North opponents, its longest divisional winning streak in six years. The Huskers won nine straight from 1998 to 2000, capturing its final North game in 1998, all five games against divisional foes in 1999 and the first three in 2000.
In each of the three seasons Nebraska has represented the North in the Big 12 title game (1996, 1997, 1999), the Huskers have posted a 5-0 record in divisional games.
Big Plays Help Nebraska Against Tigers
Nebraska has shown big-play ability throughout 2006, and history would indicate that big plays could play a key factor in Saturday’s matchup. The Huskers have had at least one scrimmage play or return of 50 yards or more in nine of the last 10 meetings with Missouri, including plays of 86 yards or more in four of the last six meetings. Overall, Nebraska has had six runs, two pass plays and four returns that have covered more than 50 yards against the Tigers since 1996, including:
Ahman Green runs of 56 and 70 yards in a 51-7 win in 1996
A 51-yard Joe Walker kickoff return in a 45-38 overtime win in Columbia in 1997
Shevin Wiggins' 53-yard punt return in NU's 20-13 victory in 1998
A 53-yard TD pass from Eric Crouch to Bobby Newcombe and a 57-yard run by Correll Buckhalter in 1999
Newcombe's 94-yard punt return touchdown and Buckhalter's 58-yard run in a 42-24 win in Lincoln in 2000
Crouch's record-setting 95-yard touchdown run in NU's 36-3 win in Columbia in 2001
An 89-yard punt return touchdown by DeJuan Groce in a 24-13 Husker victory in 2002
Mark LeFlore’s 55-yard TD catch from Jammal Lord vs. Mizzou in 2003
Cory Ross’ 86-yard touchdown run in 2004 in Lincoln
Last season in Columbia, Missouri turned the tables on the Huskers, using three plays of 50 yards or more to help key a 41-24 Tiger win.
2006 Husker Offense Showing Balance, Explosiveness and Flexibility
Nebraska has featured excellent balance and firepower on offense in 2006. Through nine games, the Huskers have posted four of the top six total offense efforts in Bill Callahan’s three seasons as head coach, including a season-high 597 yards against Troy, the most by Nebraska in five seasons. Nebraska has also topped 500 yards against Louisiana Tech (584) and Kansas (511), while just missing the mark against Nicholls State (498).
In the latest NCAA rankings, Nebraska stacks up well nationally on offense. The Huskers rank 13th nationally in scoring offense (34.2 ppg), eighth in total offense (436.8 ypg), 16th in rushing offense (189.2 ypg) and 23rd in passing offense (247.6 ypg). Nebraska is one of just three teams in the nation to rank in the top 25 in rushing offense, passing offense, total offense and scoring offense, joining Louisville and Oregon.
The Huskers’ 2006 offense has shown the explosiveness and efficiency Head Coach Bill Callahan is seeking in Nebraska’s version of the West Coast Offense.
The 597 yards of total offense against Troy were the most by Nebraska in Callahan’s three seasons as head coach, and the most since a 688-yard effort at Baylor in 2001. Nebraska has had four of its top five offensive outputs under Callahan in 2006.
Against Louisiana Tech, Nebraska topped 250 yards in both rushing and passing for the first time in a decade (Kansas, 1996). It took Nebraska exactly three weeks to accomplish the feat again, as the Huskers rushed for 316 yards and passed for 281 yards against Troy.
The Huskers have produced four of their top seven rushing efforts under Callahan this season, with 316 yards against Troy, 261 yards against Nicholls State, 252 vs. Louisiana Tech and 251 yards at Iowa State. Before the 316-yard outburst against Troy, Nebraska last topped 300 yards on the ground against Western Illinois in 2004.
Nebraska’s back-to-back 250-yard rushing efforts to open the season marked the first time NU had topped 250 yards on the ground in consecutive games since 2004 (Western Illinois and Southern Miss). Nebraska has topped 200 yards on the ground five times in 2006, after not reaching that plateau in 2005.
The Huskers showed the ability to rely on the pass when needed. Nebraska threw for 395 yards, the second-most in school history, in a 39-32 overtime win over Kansas.
With an impressive running attack, Nebraska has shown the ability to control the clock. NU has held the ball more than 33:44 in six games this season, including 34:51 or better in October road games at Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. The Huskers are averaging 32:29 of possession time, a figure that ranks 12th nationally. Last season Nebraska averaged 29:56 of possession time per game.
The Huskers are converting 45.5 percent (56-of-123) of their third-down conversions, including 11-of-16 against Louisiana Tech and 7-for-11 vs. Troy. The figure ranks 19th nationally.
Nebraska racked up 30 first downs in each of its first two games, the first time the Huskers had back-to-back games with 30 first downs since the 2001 season (Texas Tech, Baylor). On the year, Nebraska has 88 first downs by rush, 91 by pass and nine by penalty.
Nebraska has spread the wealth on offense. Sixteen different players have scored touchdowns, with seven different players scoring TDs in each of the first two games.
In wins over Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State, Nebraska 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).
The Husker offense left an impression on Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney following the 56-0 NU win...
"That is the best football team we have faced in a long time. I don’t know what they call that offense, if it is West Coast or East Coast or South Coast or Canadian or whatever, but it was very well-designed and gave us more than we could handle. Their style of play and their physical approach and their ability with Zac Taylor to throw the football down the field really gave us more than we could handle."
Huskers Looking for Another Quick Start
Nebraska has had early success this season, outscoring the opposition 86-10 in the first quarter, allowing only a Texas field goal and a USC touchdown on the final play of the first quarter.
A large part of that first quarter success has been Nebraska’s first drive of the game. The Huskers have scored on their first drive of the game six times in nine games, including four straight games from Troy to Kansas State. Nebraska also scored a TD on its opening drive against Nicholls State and kicked a field goal on its initial drive at Oklahoma State.
In games against Troy, Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State, Nebraska lost the coin toss each week and the opposition deferred, giving the football to the Huskers. Nebraska responded by driving for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead in each of the four games.
Nebraska had ball-control drives to open the game against Troy (10 plays, 73 yards, 5:47), Iowa State (10 plays, 80 yards, 5:27) and Kansas State (9 plays, 80 yards, 3:54), while striking quickly against Kansas (2 plays, 80 yards, :50).
The Texas game is the only time this season Nebraska did not score first, but the Huskers did put a touchdown on the board on their second drive of the game.
Quarterback Taylor Leading Husker Offense, Closing in on NU Career Records
Senior quarterback Zac Taylor is the man at the helm of Nebraska’s offense. The 6-2, 210-pound Taylor had a record-setting 2005 campaign, and has established himself as a contender for the All-Big 12 quarterback spot in 2006. Through nine games, Taylor has shown why he is on track to re-write nearly all of Nebraska’s passing records. Among his notable accomplishments are....
Taylor has completed 61.9 percent of his passes (143-of-231), up from 55.1 percent in 2005. Taylor has 18 touchdowns and three interceptions, and his pass efficiency rating of 160.11 ranks 10th in the country. His pass efficiency rating against Nicholls State (213.77) was the eighth-best in school history.
Taylor has twice thrown for a career-high four touchdown passes (Nicholls State, Kansas), bettering the three touchdown passes in his previous two games (Louisiana Tech, Michigan). In Nebraska’s last 12 games dating back to last season, Taylor has thrown for 25 touchdowns against just five interceptions.
Against Louisiana Tech, 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. The 12 straight completions were three off the Nebraska school record. He opened the Troy game by completing 12 of his first 13 attempts.
Taylor had a streak of 83 straight passes without an interception end in the second quarter against Troy, and a streak of 84 consecutive without a pick end in the second quarter of the Texas game.
Taylor’s 395-yard passing effort against Kansas was the second-highest total in Nebraska history, trailing only his 431 yards last season against Iowa State. Taylor owns the top three single-game passing efforts in NU history. He has 12 career games with 200 or more passing yards (six in 2006), including 10 of the past 14 games.
Against Kansas, Taylor had the three longest passes of his NU career, a 78-yard strike to Frantz Hardy and a pair of 75-yard touchdown passes, one each to Hardy and Terrence Nunn. In the past six weeks, Taylor has five of the seven longest passes of his Nebraska career and has completed 23 passes of 20 yards or more, including five of 60 yards or more.
Taylor has completed passes to 11 different receivers, and thrown TD passes to eight different Huskers.
Taylor has continued his ascension up the Nebraska career passing chart. He now has 4,718 career passing yards to rank second on the NU career list. Against Oklahoma State, he passed Eric Crouch and Jerry Tagge to move into the second spot. Taylor is 317 yards from the school career passing record of 5,035 yards set by Dave Humm from 1972 to 1974.
Taylor owns the Nebraska single-season passing yardage record with 2,653 yards last season, and his 2,065 yards in 2006 are fourth on the list, just nine yards from second place.
Taylor has 380 career pass completions, a Husker record, eclipsing the 353 by Humm.
A year after throwing 19 touchdown passes (one off the school record), Taylor appears poised to challenge for the season record in 2006 with 18 TD passes in nine games. Taylor has 37 career touchdown passes, six away from the school record of 43 touchdown passes by Tommie Frazier from 1992 to 1995. Taylor’s streak of at least one touchdown pass in 11 straight games ended in a 28-10 loss at USC, but he has thrown at least one touchdown in each of the past six games.
Last season, Taylor shattered several game and season passing records in his first year after transferring from Butler County Community College in Kansas. Among the top accomplishments for Taylor in 2005 were:
Taylor's 2,653 passing yards established a NU single-season record, shattering the previous single-season NU record of 2,074 yards by 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. He has added the sixth 2,000-yard season in 2006.
Taylor posted what were at the time the two highest passing outputs in NU history with 431 yards vs. Iowa State and 392 yards at Colorado. All five individual 300-yard passing days in NU history have come with Bill Callahan as head coach, including three by Taylor.
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.
Taylor One of Nation’s Best at Protecting the Football
Taylor ranks 10th nationally in passing efficiency. His lofty rating is due in large part to Taylor’s ability to protect the football, having thrown just three interceptions in 231 pass attempts this season. Taylor has streaks of 84 and 83 passes without an interception this season.
Taylor is one of just five quarterbacks nationally with at least 225 pass attempts and three or fewer interceptions.
QBs with 225+Pass Attempts, 3 or Fewer INT
Quarterback, School Attempts INT
Kevin Kolb, Houston 296 3
Perry Patterson, Syracuse 237 3
Zac Taylor, Nebraska 231 3
John Beck, BYU 230 3
Stephen McGee, Texas A&M 225 1
Jackson Becoming Leader of NU Running Back "Committee"
Nebraska junior I-back Brandon Jackson has become Nebraska’s go-to-back in recent weeks, rushing for 430 yards and three touchdowns over the past four weeks. Jackson is coming off a career effort, running 21 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns at Oklahoma State. Jackson had four carries of 20 yards or more in the contest, and also caught three passes out of the backfield.
Jackson’s impressive effort at Oklahoma State capped a strong month of October.
Jackson finished the month with 66 carries for 430 yards, an average of 6.5 yards per carry. He posted his first two 100-yard rushing games with 116 yards on 22 carries at Iowa State and the 182 yards at Oklahoma State. Jackson also rushed for 92 yards at Kansas State and had 162 all-purpose yards against Texas, including a 49-yard touchdown reception.
The 182 yards by Jackson at Oklahoma State were the most by a Husker since Cory Ross ran for 194 yards against Missouri in 2004, a span of 24 games.
Jackson pushed his career rushing total past 1,000 yards at Oklahoma State, becoming the 55th Husker to eclipse 1,000 career rushing yards. He enters the Missouri game with 1,026 career yards.
Jackson leads Nebraska with 584 yards on 93 carries with five rushing touchdowns. He also has 15 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield.
Jackson had a standout freshman year in 2004 when he rushed for 390 yards, but was slowed by injury last season, and carried the football just 18 times.
Husker I-Back "Committee" Continuing to Distribute the Football
Entering 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." Although Brandon Jackson has received the majority of the carries over the past month, all of the backs continue to produce in the Husker offense.
The results have been outstanding as four Husker I-backs have combined for 316 carries for 1,765 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. All four backs have gotten into the act, with each of them having between 65 and 93 carries, and each of the backs has topped 100 yards, and has at least three rushing touchdowns. 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 Huskers erupted for their top rushing output of the year with 316 yards and six rushing touchdowns in a 56-0 win over Troy, then controlled the football with a 251-yard rushing effort at Iowa State, NU’s highest road rushing total in three seasons. Nebraska is averaging 189.2 yards per game on the ground to rank 16th in the nation.
The four 250-yard-plus rushing efforts are all among the top seven in Bill Callahan’s three seasons. In 2005, Nebraska averaged less than 100 yards on the ground, and its top rushing effort was 182 yards at Baylor. Additionally, Nebraska has produced 21 rushing touchdowns in 2006. A year ago, Nebraska rushed for 10 touchdowns in 12 games.
In addition to Jackson, three other backs have played a large role in Nebraska’s ground game.
Sophomore Marlon Lucky, a native of North Hollywood, Calif., started the first five games and has 523 rushing yards. Lucky produced his first career 100-yard rushing game against Nicholls State with 18 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown, then had a career-best 156 yards on just 10 carries against Troy. Lucky had three touchdown runs of at least 34 yards against the Trojans, and earned Big 12 Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors. The 15.6 yards per-carry average was the best for a Husker with at least 10 carries in a game since Damon Benning registered 173 yards on 10 carries against Pacific in 1995.
Lucky added his fourth TD run of longer than 34 yards with a 40-yard scamper at Kansas State, and is tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. Lucky also has 16 catches for 170 yards out of the backfield, and has at least one catch in every game.
Sophomore Cody Glenn is Nebraska’s power back, but showed his complete ability against Iowa State. The 6-0, 230-pound Glenn set career highs with 19 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns against the Cyclones, including the three longest runs of his career. Glenn’s previous career rushing high was a team-high 88 yards in the opener against Louisiana Tech. Glenn missed the Troy game with an injury, but returned to action against Kansas and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Glenn is tied with Lucky for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns, and has 65 carries for 345 yards.
Junior Kenny Wilson joined the Huskers as a highly touted junior college prospect. Wilson has 69 carries for 313 yards. He scored his first career touchdown on a 14-yard run against Nicholls State, and had his first career 100-yard game with 106 yards on 19 carries against Troy.
In Nebraska’s win at Iowa State, Glenn and Jackson produced Nebraska’s second double 100-yard effort in three weeks. The 100-yard rushing efforts marked the first time a Nebraska running back had topped the century mark in a Big 12 game since Cory Ross at Oklahoma in 2004. It was the first time since the 2003 contest at Missouri that Nebraska had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same conference game.
Previously, both Lucky (156) and Wilson (106) topped the century mark against Troy, marking the first time Nebraska has had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since 2004 against Western Illinois, the first game of Bill Callahan’s tenure at Nebraska.
Four Husker Backs Making Push for 500-Yard Club
The balanced Husker rushing attack has given all four I-backs a chance to gain 500 yards on the ground this season. All four of the Nebraska backs are within 187 yards of cracking the 500-yard barrier. Brandon Jackson (584) and Marlon Lucky (523) have already topped the 500-yard mark.
Nebraska has long been one of college football’s dominant rushing teams, winning 15 NCAA team rushing titles. Despite that rushing prowess, the Huskers have had just one season in their history with four backs topping the 500-yard barrier.
In 1979 four Huskers had between 544 and 1,110 yards, including...
Junior I-back Jarvis Redwine (1,100 yards), senior I-back I.M. Hipp (585 yards), junior fullback Andra Franklin (583 yards) and junior I-back Craig Johnson (544 yards). Behind their combined rushing efforts, Nebraska ranked third nationally averaging 345.1 yards per game.
In 1982, Nebraska nearly duplicated the feat with four players rushing for 497 yards or more, including I-backs Mike Rozier, Roger Craig and Jeff Smith and quarterback Turner Gill.
Receiver Tandem Posting Another Strong Season
Quarterback Zac Taylor’s two favorite targets from the 2005 season–receivers Terrence Nunn and Nate Swift–are back in 2006 and are again key elements in the Husker offense.
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. This season Nunn leads Nebraska with 28 receptions for 437 yards, while Swift has 13 catches for 216 yards.
Both players are quickly moving up the career pass receptions list. Nunn caught three passes against Oklahoma State to push his career total to 87, third on the all-time Nebraska list, just six catches behind Matt Davison. Swift, only a sophomore, moved into the top 20 on the list recently and his 58 career catches are tied for 17th on the career list.
Nunn has produced his two biggest yardage outputs in recent weeks with 102 yards on four catches against Troy and 98 yards on three catches, including a career-long 75-yard touchdown, against Kansas. Nunn currently has 1,150 career receiving yards, tied for seventh on the Husker career 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 catches by Nicholls State and USC.
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 Missouri game he has caught at least one pass in 22 straight games, the second-longest streak in Nebraska history.
Like Swift, Nunn also caught seven touchdown passes from Taylor in 2005, 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.
Purify and Hardy Providing Big Plays in Passing Game
Nunn and Swift are not the only Husker wideouts with impressive outings this season. Juniors Maurice Purify and Frantz Hardy have both been key parts of the passing game and provided Nebraska with home-run threats.
Purify is quickly becoming a candidate for Big 12 Newcomer-of-the-Year honors. He ranks second on the team with 23 receptions for a team-high 482 yards, an average of 21.0 yards per catch. Purify has stepped up his play since the start of Big 12 action, totaling 18 catches for 348 yards, including a career-high six catches at Oklahoma State and four-reception efforts against Kansas and Kansas State.
Purify has a team-high five touchdown receptions this season, including four in Big 12 play. He caught a 27-yard touchdown reception with three seconds left in the first half at Iowa State, giving NU a 21-7 edge and a career-long 63-yard TD catch for a touchdown against Texas. He added TD catches of 22 and 5 yards in Nebraska’s loss at Oklahoma State last week.
Purify has 11 receptions of 20 yards or longer, including four touchdown grabs. Purify has picked up a first down on 19 of his 23 receptions in 2006.
Hardy had a career night with three receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas. Hardy had touchdown receptions of 78 and 75 yards and became the first player in school history with two career games with more than 150 receiving yards (also Maine, 2005). Hardy has 12 receptions for 273 yards, an average of 22.8 yards per catch.
Herian Leads Deep Tight End Corps; Gives Passing Game Another Dimension
Senior tight end Matt Herian has made a healthy return to the field in 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.
Herian has caught 12 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. In the process, Herian has resumed his assault on the Nebraska tight end record book. Against Louisiana Tech, Herian moved past Tracey Wistrom into first on the tight end career receiving yardage list. Herian enters the Missouri game with 1,243 career receiving yards, good for third on NU’s all-time yardage chart.
He had four receptions against Nicholls State, and his two catches at Iowa State moved him past Jerry List’s 61 catches from 1968 to 1970. Herian’s receptions total of 65 is tied for 11th-best among all Huskers, and just one catch from the top 10. Herian has also continued to show his big-play ability. The senior has two receptions of 25 yards or more this season and 15 catches of that length in his career.
Herian is the leader of a group of four tight ends who have made their presence felt in 2006. Following Herian’s first-quarter touchdown catch in the opener against Louisiana Tech, three of his 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 30 catches for 292 yards and eight touchdowns in 2006. At Kansas State, Teafatiller (17 yards) and Mueller (3 yards) each had a touchdown grab, giving each of NU’s four tight ends two touchdown catches this 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 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.
Carriker posted his best game of the season at Oklahoma State, including a dominant first-half performance. Carriker finished the game with six tackles, three tackles for loss (16 yards), a pair of sacks for 10 yards, a pass breakup, a blocked extra point and a quarterback hurry.
The two sacks at Oklahoma State gave Carriker 16.5 career sacks, tied for sixth on the NU career list. A year ago, Carriker earned All-Big 12 honors in 2005 when he led the team with 9.5 sacks from his base end position.
In 2006, Carriker is among the leaders of a balanced Nebraska defense with 33 total tackles, including 10 tackles for loss to tie the team lead. His career tackles for loss total also ranks in the top 10 in school history. Carriker leads the 2006 Huskers with 12 quarterback hurries.
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 Louisiana Tech’s first play of the opener, then added a 10-yard sack later in the first quarter to thwart another Bulldog drive.
He added his second sack of the season against Troy, and added sacks against Kansas State (13 yards) and Texas (four yards). He also made a key sack on a Kansas two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter of NU’s 39-32 overtime win. Moore has 26 total tackles, a team-high four sacks for 33 yards in losses, and is tied with Carriker for the team lead in tackles for loss, with 10 stops behind the line totaling 47 yards in losses.
In addition to Moore and Carriker, Nebraska has other sack threats. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has become a presence in opposing backfields this season, ranking second on the team in sacks (3.5-37 yards) and third in tackles for loss (8-45). He has at least one tackle for loss in four of Nebraska’s past seven games. Senior defensive tackle Barry Cryer has 2.5 sacks, while senior nose tackle Ola Dagunduro has two sacks for 16 yards.
Veteran Linebacking Corps Tackling Opponents
In addition to a strong front four anchored by Moore and Carriker, Nebraska has a talented and veteran group of linebackers, giving the Blackshirts one of the Big 12’s best front seven units.
The Huskers featured returning starters at all three linebacker spots for 2006–senior Sam linebacker Stewart Bradley, junior Mike linebacker Corey McKeon and junior Will linebacker Bo Ruud. The trio had 99, 98 and 97 career tackles, respectively, entering 2006, and have started a combined 64 games in their career.
The three players are continuing to rack up impressive tackle numbers in 2006, ranking as three of Nebraska’s top five tacklers.
Bradley posted his third career double-figure tackle game with a team-high 10 stops at Kansas State, matching his total at USC four weeks earlier. Bradley has forced a pair of fumbles (USC, Texas) and has a team-leading three fumble recoveries (2 vs. Nicholls State, Oklahoma State). The 6-4, 250-pound Bradley leads the team with 55 tackles, including four tackles for loss.
McKeon burst onto the scene last year with a team-leading 98 tackles, including 22 tackles for loss, the second-most in Nebraska history. After opening with a pair of four-tackle efforts, McKeon had nine tackles each against USC and Kansas and is fifth on the team with 43 tackles, while also forcing and recovering a fumble.
Ruud had a season-high nine tackles at USC and at Iowa State and added eight stops against Texas. He ranks third on the team with 46 tackles, including six tackles for loss and a 10-yard sack against Texas. Ruud finished 2005 as Nebraska’s second-leading tackler behind McKeon. Ruud picked off a pass in the season opener for the second straight year, returning his pick against Louisiana Tech 14 yards and has forced a pair of fumbles this season.
Bradley broke into the top 50 on Nebraska’s career tackles list at Oklahoma State, and both McKeon and Ruud are within 10 tackles of making the list.
Juniors Steve Octavien and Lance Brandenburgh each have one career start and give Nebraska five linebackers with significant game experience. Octavien missed four straight games before returning against Texas and he responded with a career-high 10 tackles, including two tackles for loss. Brandenburgh has 27 tackles this season.
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 Husker Seniors Playing 2006 Season as Graduate Students
Kurt Mann and Dane Todd are among a group of four Husker seniors who are playing 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.
Nebraska Leads Big 12 Conference in 2006 Graduation Success Rate Report
Nebraska topped the Big 12 and ranked among the national leaders in the Graduation Success Rate for football as released by the NCAA in late September. Nebraska’s 88 percent GSR was tops in the Big 12 Conference and well ahead of the national average of 65 percent. Among teams ranked in the Associated Press Poll the week of Sept. 24, Nebraska’s GSR score was second only to Notre Dame, and the Huskers were one of just three programs with a GSR better than 80 percent.
The Graduation Success Rate is an NCAA measurement that improves the federally mandated graduation rates by including transfer data in the calculation. This year’s GSR scores were figured based on four classes of scholarship student-athletes who entered college from the fall of 1996 to the fall of 1999, and allowed for a six-year window in which to earn their degree. The GSR scores include student-athletes who transferred to Nebraska, but do not count student-athletes who transferred to another school and were academically eligible at the time of their transfer.
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 the Newest Member of 800-Win Club
Nebraska joined Michigan (857), Notre Dame (817) and Texas (807) in the 800-win club with its Oct. 14 victory at Kansas State. The Oct. 21 matchup between Nebraska and Texas marked just the third-ever meeting in college football between teams with 800 wins at game time. Michigan and Notre Dame’s meetings in 2005 and 2006 both featured programs with more than 800 victories.
Nebraska is in its 117th season of college football in 2006, and is the fourth-winningest program in terms of victories. The Huskers own an 800-324-40 all-time record in 1,164 games (.704) in 117 years of football.
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 366 victories, an average of 10 wins per season. The Huskers’ overall record in that time period is 366-83-5 for an .812 winning percentage in 454 games.
In that time span, Nebraska has easily established itself as the nation’s winningest program, posting 26 more victories than second-place Michigan, followed by Ohio State (331), Oklahoma (328), and Penn State (325).
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.
Huskers 2006 Schedule Includes 2005 Title Game Participants
Nebraska is facing a challenging schedule in 2006. In the non-conference the Huskers faced their first ranked opponent of the season, squaring off against No. 4 USC on the road. On Oct. 21, Nebraska faced off with fifth-ranked Texas at Memorial Stadium, the first top-five foe to visit Memorial Stadium since No. 2 Oklahoma in 2001. This season marks the first time Nebraska has faced a pair of top-five teams in the same season since 2001, when NU played the second-ranked Sooners and No. 1 Miami in the Rose Bowl.
Nebraska is the the only team in the nation facing both of last year’s national championship game participants. The Trojans and Longhorns are two of seven Husker opponents that won seven or more games last season and one of six 2005 bowl teams on Nebraska’s schedule.
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.
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 led to a significant change in Nebraska’s pre-game routine. The Huskers’ famous "Tunnel Walk" now concludes 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, and are guarded each week by two military members.
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 85,187 fans for the Texas 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.
Bigger Memorial Stadium Continues to Be Packed
Nebraska’s game against Missouri will be the 281st consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium, an ongoing NCAA record. The sellout streak celebrated will celebrated its 44th anniversary this week, as it dates back to a Nov. 3, 1962, game against Missouri in Bob Devaney’s first season as Nebraska head coach.
Nebraska’s 281 consecutive sellouts easily outdistance Notre Dame, which ranks second nationally with 189 consecutive sellouts. Nebraska has had remarkable success during the sellout streak, posting a 246-34 record during the 280 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 Texas game featured a stadium record crowd of 85,187, the sixth-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. The crowd of 92,000 at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sept. 16 was the second-largest crowd Nebraska has played in front of in the regular season.
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 114-11 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. The Huskers are 4-1 at home in 2006.
Since 1986, only seven 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 (246 games), and has posted 40 unbeaten and untied home seasons. The Huskers are 481-130-20 (.778, 631 games, 117 years) in Lincoln, 356-107-13 (.762, 476 games, 84 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923).
Nebraska has defeated Missouri 14 straight times at Memorial Stadium, dating back to a 1978 MU win.
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.The victory at Kansas State gave Nebraska six wins and made the Huskers eligible for a 44th all-time bowl appearance.
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. The Huskers face their biggest hurdle in the race to get to Kansas City, as Missouri enters Lincoln tied with Nebraska atop the North Division.
This fall Nebraska is 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, 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.
Misc. 2006 Notes...
Nebraska extended the nation’s longest winning streak in season openers with its 49-10 victory. 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 was 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. 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.
Nicholls State did not complete a pass, marking the 10th time in school history Nebraska has held an opponent without a pass completion, and the first time since 1992 against Oklahoma State.
The loss at USC marked the first time under Bill Callahan that Nebraska has lost when scoring first in a game. NU is 11-1 in such games under Callahan.
The 28 points scored by USC were the fewest by the Trojans since also scoring 28 points against Oregon State in November of 2004 (19 games). It also ended a streak of 15 straight games with 30 or more points and a streak of 10 straight home games with 38 or more points.
Nebraska’a shutout was its first since a 28-0 shutout of Iowa State in 2003. NU had two shutouts that season, also blanking Troy 30-0. The 56-0 victory was NU’s most lopsided win since a 59-0 win over Baylor in 2000.
Nebraska’s 406 yards of total offense in the first half was the most in a half under Coach Bill Callahan, and NU’s most in the first half of a game since rolling up 416 yards in the first half of a 59-0 2000 win over Baylor.
Nebraska limited Troy to 140 yards of offense, the fewest by a Nebraska opponent since allowing just 84 yards against Baylor in 2000.
Nebraska recorded its 31st win in its last 32 conference openers, and its 29th straight win in a conference home opener.
Senior safety Andrew Shanle intercepted two passes in the first quarter. Shanle’s two interceptions marked the first time a Husker has had two interceptions in a game since Josh Bullocks had two interceptions against Oklahoma State in 2003. Shanle had picked off his first career pass last week against Troy.
Kansas’ 94 plays were the most ever by a Husker opponent, topping the 92 plays that Oklahoma ran against Nebraska in 1948. KU’s 405 passing yards also rank sixth all-time against a Husker opponent.
Cody Glenn (148) and Brandon Jackson (116) each topped 100 yards rushing in the game. The 100-yard rushing games marked the first time a Husker has rushed for 100 yards in a Big 12 game since Cory Ross rushed 30 times for 130 yards at Oklahoma in 2004. It was the first time since the 2003 contest at Missouri that the Huskers have had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same conference game.
Nebraska’s 3-0 Big 12 start was its first since 2001.The victory ended a four-game Nebraska losing streak against Kansas State in Manhattan, since an NU win in 1996.
Nebraska’s back-to-back road victories at Iowa State and Kansas State marked the first time Nebraska has won Big 12 road games in consecutive weeks since 2000 wins at ISU and Texas Tech.
Nebraska's victory marked the 800th win in the history of the program. The Huskers become the fourth program to win 800 games, joining Michigan (855), Notre Dame (816) and Texas (806).
The loss ended a streak of four straight Nebraska victories at Memorial Stadium against top-five opponents. The previous top-five team to win at Memorial Stadium was fourth-ranked Washington in 1991. The Huskies went on to win the national championship that season.
NU scored 20 points against Texas, ending a streak of eight straight home games with at least 24 points.
The crowd of 85,187 was a Memorial Stadium record, eclipsing the 85,181 fans for the Sept. 2 season opener against Louisiana Tech.