Nebraska Leaders Strongly Embrace American Veterans
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds and new Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos have strong reasons for Husker fans to embrace Saturday’s annual salute to veterans, one weekend ahead of national support for the men and women who defend our country.
“I had the great privilege of serving in the U.S. Army and I treasure that time,” Bounds told me Saturday inside Memorial Stadium. “This is the greatest country in the world for a couple reasons: No. 1: Our founding fathers understood what freedom really means; and No. 2: Tens of thousands of the men and women in this country have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that our freedom exists to this day.
“It’s been hundreds of years past our founding leaders, and it’s really easy to thank everyone as much as possible,” Bounds said. “That’s what today is all about – the men and women who have served our country greatly."
Hank Bounds: Today We All Realize How Important Things in Life Really Are to Live Free
Bounds added an expressive footnote to his own strong belief.
“Football is a game,” he said, “and today we all realize how important things in life really are to live free, worship free and respect the freedom that exists and the men standing on this field right now.
“The rest is a game, and that is really important for all of us to understand,” Bounds said before Nebraska’s NCAA record 360th consecutive sellout football crowd showed its collective appreciation and unparalleled gratitude to embrace and to honor its veterans.
Count Moos in lockstep with Bounds when it comes to patriotic thankfulness. “My dad was a decorated World War II combat veteran, and I’ve always had a deep appreciation for those who serve our country,” Moos said. “Today is a fabulous celebration for our veterans. I am thrilled that this has such a rich tradition here at Nebraska, and I can assure everyone that it definitely will be continued.”
1956 Co-Captain Jim Murphy Sr. Will Never Forget His Favorite Memory Inside Memorial Stadium
Jim Murphy Sr. was a Nebraska football co-captain in 1956, and a few minutes after airplanes completed their signature flyover of Memorial Stadium Saturday, he shared his fondest memory as a Husker. "Being on this field brings back memories from my senior year," Murphy Sr. said. "We upset Missouri, 15-14. We had two halfbacks from Portland, Maine (Willie Greenlaw and Frank Nappi). They had great games that day. LaVerne Torczon was from Lexington, my hometown. They all had great games. It's been a long time since I was on this field before a game.
"I loved talking to our new athletic director, and I'm glad he was an offensive lineman," Murphy Sr. said. "I enjoyed talking with him. I told him to come to Lexington sometime when he gets a chance. We have a 50,000-watt radio station and if he wants to see this part of our state, he can talk to almost everyone who listens to our station."
Jim Murphy Jr. smiles when he hears his dad's unique invitation. "It gives me chills to be on the same field with my dad for an event like this," Jim Jr. said. "He's always been my hero, and it means a lot to celebrate two of the things we both love the most, the United States of America and Nebraska Football."
Redshirt Freshman Tight End Jack Stoll Scores His First Touchdown and Looks Ahead
Nebraska redshirt freshman tight end Jack Stoll (No. 86 above) had a 32-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, scoring his first career touchdown on just his second career reception.
The milestone was an individual thrill at the time but “I would say I’m walking out of here pretty upset,” Stoll said in the postgame press conference. “You just come back on Monday ready to work, prepared to game plan for Minnesota and do what we do to get ready,” Stoll said.
A 6-foot-4, 245-pound tight end from Lone Tree, Colo., Stoll helped fill a void in the absence of senior tight end Tyler Hoppes. “I have no idea on his status,” Stoll said. “We all just knew we had to go out there and step up. Everyone knows we have to be a playmaker.”
Senior Linebacker Marcus Newby Records His First Career Interception, a Pick-6 for 49 Yards
Husker senior linebacker Marcus Newby (No. 3 above) gets an escort to the end zone from Joshua Kalu (No. 46) and Chris Weber (No. 49). Newby's first career interception was a third-quarter 49-yard Pick 6 for a touchdown to give Nebraska a 21-17 lead.
Newby’s interception return for a touchdown was the longest by a Husker since Nate Gerry’s 54-yard interception return against Illinois three seasons ago.
A 6-1, 235-pound senior from Gaithersburg, Md., Newby finished Saturday’s game with a career-high tying 10 tackles, including eight solo stops.
In His Postgame Press Conference, Northwestern Coach Showed His Respect for Mike Riley
In the postgame press conference, Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald showed his respect for Nebraska Coach Mike Riley. “The Cornhuskers have a great football coach here with Mike and his staff,” Fitzgerald said. “To see how they're handling the outside noise and to take this talented team and get better and improve…from one coach to another, I tip my hat to Mike and his staff. I think he’s doing one heck of a job.”
Fitzgerald told Riley after the game how much respect he had for him. “Love him dearly,” Fitzgerald said, praising Riley’s moral compass. Fitzgerald described Riley’s approach to student-athletes as “second to none."
After losses to top-10 foes Wisconsin and Penn State, Northwestern has won four straight games and three consecutive overtime games against Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska. The Huskers play at Minnesota Saturday.
Send a comment to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include city, state)
Follow Randy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RandyYorkNsider