Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bay Area Huskers E-News 12-29-05

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Wow! What a roller coaster ride last night! Great win for the Huskers over a tough Michigan team who truly fought to the last second trying to turn the tables on the Huskers. That last play kinda reminded me of the infamous Cal-Stanford game where a series of laterals ended with a Cal player scoring the winning touchdown and running into a Stanford trombone player in the end zone after the clock had run out. Started to look like deja vu, but fortunately the Huskers ran the Michigan player out of bounds at the 13 yard line to clinch the victory. Congratulations to the Huskers on a great finish to a good season, and the start of another era of winning seasons and bowl appearances!
Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Bay Area Huskers
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Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media RelationsNebraska celebrates its 32-28 win over Michigan during the official Alamo Bowl trophy presentation on Wednesday night.
Big Red Review is your source for complete postgame coverage of Nebraska's 32-28 win over No. 20 Michigan to claim the Alamo Bowl title at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday night. In addition to a complete game story from Nebraska's clash with the Wolverines, provides complete game statistics, postgame notes, quotes and photos from the game.
Nebraska vs. Michigan Alamo Bowl Game Story
Nebraska vs. Michigan Alamo Bowl Statistics (HTML)
Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan Postgame Quotes
Nebraska Player Quotes
Nebraska Postgame Notes
Michigan Postgame Notes
Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr Postgame Quotes
Nebraska Season Statistics
Nebraska Season Photo Galleries
Mercury News Wire Services
Zac Taylor threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Nunn with 4:29 left, and Nebraska survived Michigan's lateral-filled, game-ending play to beat the No. 20 Wolverines 32-28 at the Alamo Bowl on Wednesday in San Antonio.
The game ended on a bizarre play, with Michigan's Chad Henne throwing a short pass and his teammates lateraling eight times up and down the field before the play fizzled out with Titus Brothers shoving Tyler Ecker out of bounds at the Nebraska 13. Extra players and some coaches from both teams were on the field as the play finished.
``I'm thankful we didn't get penalized,'' Coach Bill Callahan said. ``We thought the game was over, but the ball was still going down on the field. We were very fortunate we stayed alert and made the play to end the game.''
Nebraska (8-4) overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter and won the Alamo Bowl for the third time in six years and finished a season with three consecutive victories for the first time since 1999.
``This puts us back on the map,'' said Cory Ross, who ran for 161 yards.
Henne threw three touchdown passes and also ran for a score. His 7-yard scramble with 11:40 left gave the Wolverines a 28-17 lead.
But Nebraska used a long punt return and a turnover to end Michigan's season with another disappointment. The Wolverines, ranked No. 3 in September, finished 7-5, with their losses coming by a combined 21 points.
ERIC GAY, AP Nebraska coach Bill Callahan celebrates with his players after the Huskers survived a wild final play against Michigan.
Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO - If Nebraska returns to national prominence next season, the Cornhuskers will remember the Alamo Bowl - especially the frantic final play. Zac Taylor threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Nunn with 4:29 left, and Nebraska survived Michigan's lateral-filled, game-ending play to beat the No. 20 Wolverines 32-28 on Wednesday night.
"This puts us back on the map," said Cory Ross, who ran for 161 yards.
The game ended on a bizarre play, with Michigan's Chad Henne throwing a short pass and his teammates lateraling eight times up and down the field before the play fizzled out with Titus Brothers shoving Tyler Ecker out of bounds at the Nebraska 13. Extra players and some coaches from both teams were on the field as the play finished.
"I'm thankful we didn't get penalized," coach Bill Callahan said. "We thought the game was over, but the ball was still going down on the field. We were very fortunate we stayed alert and made the play to end the game."
Nebraska overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
"We showed them that Nebraska is back on the rise," Taylor said.
The Huskers (8-4) won the Alamo for the third time in six years and finished a season with three straight victories for the first time since 1999.
Henne threw three touchdown passes and also ran for a score. His 7-yard scramble with 11:40 left gave the Wolverines a 28-17 lead.
But Nebraska used a long punt return and a turnover to end Michigan's season with another disappointment. The Wolverines, ranked as high as No. 3 in September, finished 7-5, with their losses coming by a combined 21 points.
"We just didn't finish," Michigan running back Mike Hart said. "That's been a problem all year."
Ross highlighted his night with a 31-yard touchdown that pulled Nebraska to 28-25 with 8:08 left. That score was set up by Cortney Grixby's 28-yard punt return to the Michigan 38.
"It was a huge hole that Greg Austin set up for me," Ross said of his touchdown. "It was there. There wasn't anything crazy I had to do other than run."
The Huskers took the lead after Henne fumbled and Ola Dagundaro returned the ball to the Michigan 17. Three plays later, Taylor connected with Nunn for his third touchdown pass and second to Nunn.
Michigan drove to the Nebraska 18, but Zackary Bowman tipped away Henne's fourth-down pass to Mario Manningham.
"The turnovers were really monumental," said Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, whose team lost two fumbles and had an interception. "The offense was outstanding in the first half. We gave our offense some opportunities but didn't capitalize on it."
Taylor was 14 of 31 for 167 yards, with two interceptions. He was sacked four times and hit hard on many other occasions.
"We don't like to see him take hits," Callahan said. "He's a courageous young man. He stays right in there in the pocket. There's flurry all around him, he stays as calm as any quarterback I've coached."
Henne, 20-of-42 for 219 yards, erased a 17-14 deficit in the third quarter with a 21-yard pass to Manningham. Henne's touchdown run made it 28-17.
Nebraska, back at a bowl after having its NCAA-record run of 35 straight postseason appearances end last year, ran its record to 5-0 in games at the Alamodome. The Huskers have won three bowls in San Antonio and two Big 12 championships.
"Something's in the air down here," Ross said. "I think I'm going to move here."
The Huskers are 13-10 in Callahan's two seasons after beating Kansas State, Colorado and Michigan to finish the season. They haven't been in the Top 25 since the end of the 2003 season.
"We have something special going here, so we're just going to keep going," Taylor said.
Hart, who was injured most of the season, led Michigan with 74 yards on 19 carries.
The game was tied 14-14 at halftime, and Michigan benefited from a third-quarter video review that overturned a Nebraska touchdown and forced the Huskers to settle for Jordan Congdon's 20-yard field goal. Taylor's 3-yard pass to Nunn was disallowed when it was ruled that Nunn reeled in the ball after it hit the ground.
The Wolverines then marched 58 yards in six plays to take a 21-17 lead. Henne completed passes of 12 and 18 yards, and got 15 more yards on Titus Adams' roughing-the-passer penalty, before Henne hit Manningham for a touchdown.
The Alamo Bowl is sponsored by MasterCard.
By Dirk Chatelain
World-Herald Staff Writer
SAN ANTONIO - Marching band drummers and defensive tackles and little kids in red jerseys stomped celebratory balloons. Fireworks sparkled above the 50-yard line.

NU coach Bill Callahan celebrates with his team after winning the Alamo Bowl Wednesday night.
A sea - make that a lake - of red thundered "Husker Power." Titus Adams and Barry Cryer cradled the Alamo Bowl trophy like an infant.
For the first time in many a winter, Nebraska football and its legion of followers can hibernate with a smile. The Huskers, who spit and sputtered through three straight losses late in the season, somehow, some way, outlasted Michigan 32-28 Wednesday in the Alamo Bowl.
"I can't be any prouder of this team the way they fought and came back," Nebraska coach Bill Callahan shouted to a pro-Husker crowd afterward.
The last time Nebraska won its last three games was 1999. The Huskers opened the ensuing fall ranked No. 1 in the country. That won't happen in 2006.
But the seed of redemption, a seed planted in the foothills of the Rockies a month ago, sprouted on a warm December night under the dome lights for all this football-loving, ESPN-watching country to see.
Few - even those who wondered for so long if Big Red had the right man at the top or the right quarterback or the right attitude - could question that.
Few could question a team that trailed 28-17 in the fourth quarter against the winningest program in college football history and rallied with two key turnovers and two key touchdowns that commenced a New Year's-like jubilation, the kind that seemed a stranger since that morbid winter night in Pasadena four years ago.
"This is another huge building block for our program," said linebacker Lance Brandenburgh.
Whether the seed survives this cold, hard winter and then programs like Texas and USC, well, that's a topic for another day. Just like the question of what the heck happened on the last play when Michigan almost mastered its impression of Cal-Stanford '82.
On this night, in this fair city where thousands of Midwestern families spent thousands of dollars and chanted "Go Big Red" thousands of times, Nebraska stamped itself back on the national map.
"I don't know what the ramifications will be," Callahan said. "But I can tell you about the excitement in that locker room. We've been through quite a bit of adversity this year and to culminate this season with this type of victory feels very good."
The key plays in the fourth quarter alone were almost too many to count.
There was Cory Ross' 31-yard burst off left tackle to cut the Michigan lead to 28-25. There was Blake Tiedtke's sack and forced fumble of UM quarterback Chad Henne that handed an inconsistent Husker offense the short field in the final minutes.
There was Zac Taylor's strike to Terrence Nunn on third-and-six from the Michigan 14-yard line to boost NU to its first lead since early in the third quarter.
The biggest: On fourth-and-nine from the Nebraska 19 with 2:39 left, Zack Bowman tipped away a Henne pass to Mario Manningham at the goal line, all but ending Michigan's hopes - the fact that pass interference could've been called mattered little to the shirtless dudes in the crowd who painted red their chests.
Nebraska and Michigan hadn't met on a football field since the Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1, 1986. The score that day: Wolverines 27, Huskers 23.
Twenty years was too long for a rematch. These two traditional titans had experienced their share of nail-biters in 2005.
Wednesday's may have taken the cake, though, in part because the Huskers never quit, a mindset epitomized by Taylor, senior I-back Cory Ross and a decimated group of Blackshirts.
The first-year quarterback has experienced the full spectrum of emotions in 2005.
He looked suspect in September. He torched the record books against Iowa State. He missed one too many opportunities against his hometown Sooners.
He was knocked out of the Kansas State game. He played like an All-American at Colorado. The Alamo Bowl illustrated a microcosm of his season, and perhaps Nebraska's.
On NU's second drive, Taylor punished Michigan for an ill-timed blitz. He found Terrence Nunn on a hot read over the middle. Nunn broke a tackle and raced to the end zone.
But before Taylor could find that rhythm that carried him to 392 yards at Colorado, he threw two interceptions on two straight plays. He missed Nunn deep down the sideline. He suffered several shellackings from Michigan's beefy defensive linemen.
Midway through the second quarter, after five Nebraska possessions without a first down, Michigan's defense had taken control.
But Taylor came back, starting with a perfect strike through traffic to Nunn on third-and-nine. Taylor danced in the pocket before finding a hole and shooting a laser that gained 25.
"He's a courageous young man," Callahan said. "He's like the eye in the hurricane. There's flurry all around, and he stays as calm and as poised as any quarterback I've ever coached."
Taylor capped a seven-play, 70-yard drive when he fired to trusty Nate Swift over the middle. Tie game.
That's when Ross stepped in, refusing to let his career end quietly. He moved as quickly, as gracefully as he had in months. He finished with 161 yards on 28 carries; 102 yards came after halftime.
He sprinted around left end for 25 yards to set up a field goal early in the third quarter. He burst 31 yards off left tackle for another score with 8:08 left after Michigan had seized a 28-17 lead.
Then the Blackshirts stepped up. Kevin Cosgrove, NU's defensive coordinator, told his injury-bitten bunch it had to create a turnover. Had to give the offense a short field.
Senior linebacker Adam Ickes had the right idea when he stripped a Wolverine at midfield, but Nebraska couldn't convert the turnover.
The Husker offense earned another chance after Tiedtke stripped Henne inside the UM 20 with six minutes left, leading to Taylor's third touchdown pass.
Henne responded, directing a drive into the Husker red zone in the final three minutes before Bowman broke up the fourth-down pass.
The Wolverines got one last chance with two seconds left, but a bizarre desperation play that included seven pitches and a fumble ended at the Nebraska 13-yard line after - yes, after - a mass of joyous Huskers had already rushed the field.
Officials forgave them, for this party had been a long time comin'. Go to the Omaha World Herald website - • Photo gallery from the Alamo Bowl • Audio clips from the post-game news conferenceAlso:Wacky play almost results in MU score2005-'06 college football bowl results, schedulesZac survives Michigan sack attack
An Alamo to rememberBY STEVEN M. SIPPLE / Lincoln Journal Star endured an up-and-down regular season, finishing on an ultra-high note last month at Colorado. So perhaps it was fitting that the Huskers fought through an Alamo Bowl consisting of several mood swings, emerging with wide smiles following a 32-28 triumph over Michigan before 62,016 spectators Wednesday night at the Alamodome, plus a national television audience. Talk about it at Life in the Red More Big Red coverage at Husker Extra
Cory Ross (4) prepares to stiffarm Michigan's Jamar Adams (22) on a second-quarter run. (Eric Gregory)“We said before the game that we’d learn and grow from this (no matter the outcome),” Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said. “This will give us more confidence playing big-time teams.”Nobody embodied the roller-coaster nature of this contest more than Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor. He was pressured in the pocket all game long and threw two interceptions, but he saved his best for last. Taylor gunned a 13-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Terrence Nunn for the game winner with 4:29 remaining in the contest. Taylor finished 14-for-31 passing for 167 yards and three touchdowns.Nebraska senior safety Blake Tiedtke set up his team’s final touchdown by knocking the ball from Michigan quarterback Chad Henne as he attempted a pass in the pocket. Defensive tackle Ola Dagunduro picked up the pigskin and rumbled 13 yards to the Michigan 16-yard line.
“They came up huge,” Callahan said of the Husker defense. “I have to tell you, we put them in some bad, bad positions tonight, both on offense and special teams.” Husker senior I-back Cory Ross, who rushed 28 times for 161 yards on the night, had pulled Nebraska within 28-25 with a 31-yard touchdown run with 8:06 remaining.The touchdown was set up by Cortney Grixby’s 28-yard punt return. Michigan (7-5) had seemed to seize control on Henne’s 7-yard touchdown scramble, pushing the Wolverines’ lead to 28-17 with 11:40 remaining.Nebraska, a team that played from behind in games much of the season, kept throwing punches and eventually was rewarded with a satisfying victory, pushing its record to 8-4 a year after finishing 5-6 and out of the bowl business.“There’s a lot of grit on this football team, and I’m very proud of that,” Callahan said. Ross referred to Nebraska’s team mantra of being “all-day fighters.”“We did that all season long,” he said.After a 14-14 tie at halftime, Nebraska got a field goal in the third quarter, which Michigan answered with a touchdown, setting up the wild fourth quarter. The game ended on a bizarre note, with Michigan desperately throwing lateral after lateral in a last-gasp attempt to reach the end zone. The Wolverines’ final play covered 62 yards, with Tyler Ecker being pushed out of bounds at the Nebraska 13, with dozens of Huskers already on the field thinking the game was over.“I thought they were down six or seven times, and they kept popping up,” Husker linebacker Corey McKeon said.Nebraska improved to 5-0 all-time in the Alamodome, while Michigan lost five games in a season for the first time in three decades.The Huskers ended the season riding a three-game winning streak, the first time the program has managed that feat since closing the 1999 campaign with six straight triumphs.Michigan and Nebraska were tied 14-14 at halftime after being deadlocked 7-7 after one quarter. Taylor threw two interceptions —both to cornerback Leon Hall — and Michigan made Nebraska pay for Taylor’s second misfire.After Hall’s second interception gave Michigan possession at the Nebraska 28, the Wolverines needed only three plays to reach the end zone, on tight end Mike Massey’s 16-yard reception.Nebraska didn’t flinch. Taylor rifled a 25-yard completion to Nunn on third-and-9. Ross then sprinted around right end for 19 yards, and a Michigan late-hit penalty moved the ball to the Wolverines’ 10.Two plays later, Taylor zipped a 14-yard TD strike to wideout Nate Swift running a crossing route. Nebraska established itself early in the first quarter, opening scoring on Nunn’s 52-yard, catch-and-run reception off a quick slant over the middle. Nunn broke loose of free safety Brandon Harrison’s missed tackled and sprinted into open field.Michigan answered on its ensuing possession, thanks to Steve Breaston’s Alamo Bowl-record 69-yard kickoff return to the Nebraska 30. The Wolverines needed five plays to reach paydirt, scoring on tight end Tyler Ecker’s 13-yard reception.

Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media RelationsBrett Jensen was named a preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball
Three Huskers Honored by Collegiate BaseballLincoln – A trio of Husker baseball players were honored Tuesday, as they were selected to the Collegiate Baseball’s preseason All-America team. The honorees included a pair of first-team selections in starting pitcher Joba Chamberlain and closer Brett Jensen. The three pitchers are a major reason why the Huskers were picked fourth in the publication’s top-40 preseason poll released last week. Chamberlain, who was a second-team pick by the NCBWA earlier this month, turned in an impressive first season at NU, going 10-2 with a 2.81 ERA to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors. A projected first-round pick in next June’s draft, Chamberlain struck out 130 in 118.2 innings in 2005, including a 13-strikeout effort against Miami. He also picked up the Huskers’ first-ever CWS win with a victory over Arizona State in Omaha.
Jensen, a third-team pick by the NCBWA, is one of the nation’s top closers after saving a school-record 16 games in 2005. He posted a 2-5 record and a 1.96 ERA in 33 games. He was 16-of-17 in save chances, ranked third nationally in saves in 2005 and is the nation’s top returnee in saves from a year ago.
Dorn enjoyed the finest freshman pitching season in school history, going 12-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 104 innings of work. The Grand Island, Neb., native led all freshmen nationally in wins and ranked among the Big 12 leaders in ERA and opponent batting average (.199), as he earned third-team All-America honors in 2005. He was also a second-team preseason pick by the NCBWA.
The Huskers will begin the 2006 campaign on Feb. 16 against Charleston Southern, while the home opener against Alabama is set for Friday, March 10.
Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media RelationsAndy Gerch leads NU into the 2006 campaign
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Nebraska baseball team was picked fourth in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason rankings released Friday.
The Huskers, who won a school-record 57 games and reached the College World Series for the third time in five seasons, welcome back 15 letterwinners from a year ago, including All-American pitchers Joba Chamberlain and Johnny Dorn along with regional MVP Andy Gerch.
The Huskers were one of four Big 12 teams ranked in the top-40, including three teams in the top-15. Defending NCAA champion Texas was picked first by the publication, while Missouri (14), Baylor (23) and Oklahoma (29) were also tabbed by the publication. The "Collegiate Baseball" Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1957 college baseball season.
Nebraska begins the 2006 season on Thursday, Feb. 16, when the Huskers take on Charleston Southern, while the home opener is set for Friday, March 10 against Alabama.
The Nebraska baseball program will hold its annual coaches clinic on Jan. 13-14, and for more information and how to register, contact the NU baseball office at 402-472-2269.
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 23, 2005) Rank School ('05 Final Record) Points Final '05 Rank1. Texas (56-16) 496 12. Florida (48-23) 492 23. Oregon St. (46-12) 490 74. Nebraska (57-15) 489 65. Rice (45-19) 487 166. Clemson (43-23) 484 137. North Carolina (41-19-1) 482 218. Florida St. (53-20) 479 159. Cal. St. Fullerton (46-18) 476 910. Georgia Tech. (45-19) 475 10
11. Miami, Fla. (41-19-1) 473 1412. Arizona St. (42-25) 470 313. Pepperdine (41-23) 469 2314. Missouri (40-23) 467 -15. Louisiana St. (40-22) 466 1916. Long Beach St. (37-22) 463 1817. South Carolina (41-23) 461 2618. Florida Atlantic (37-24) 459 -19. Tennessee (46-21) 458 820. Mississippi (48-20) 456 11
21. Southern California (41-22) 455 1722. Notre Dame (38-24-1) 453 -23. Baylor (46-24) 450 424. Tulane (56-12) 449 525. Stanford (34-25) 447 -26. Wichita St. (51-24) 444 2727. Texas Christian (41-20) 443 2928. Winthrop (44-22) 440 -29. Oklahoma (35-26) 438 -30. Southern Miss. (41-21) 435 -
31. Arizona (39-21) 434 1232. Houston (29-30) 430 -33. Arkansas (39-22) 428 -34. Mississippi St. (42-22) 427 -35. San Francisco (38-18) 425 -36. San Diego (30-27-1) 422 -37. Stetson (35-28) 419 -38. Washington (33-22) 415 -39. Georgia (30-25) 413 -40. Fresno St. (30-29) 409 -


* Nebraska Claims 32-28 Win Over Michigan In Alamo Bowl
It was one for the books. Especially record books and comic books.

* State Begins Fight To Overturn Decision Against Corporate Farming Ban
Yet another never-ending story.

* Former Senator Ralph Kelly Is Dead At 85
A good-hearted fellow.

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