Friday, September 08, 2006

2006/2007 Football Season Husker News #2

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Great game last Saturday! Sure was fun seeing all the Husker fans who dusted off their Big Red duds and turned out at our watch sites to see the first game of the season. Although they got off to a slow start, it looks like the Husker offense started to click and show a lot of potential. This Saturday's test against another Louisiana team that also uses a 'big red N' for a logo, Nicholls State, will provide fans with a better sense of what the Huskers may do this season and one more look before the Huskers head to L.A. for their first big test of the year. Since the Nicholls State game will not be televised (and our friends in the NORCAL Alumni Assoc. in Sacramento no longer fund a radio broadcast), the only ways you will be able to hear the game live will be through the online broadcast over the internet:
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and on Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 152). Tune in and cheer for the Huskers!
Go Big Red (White and Blue),


USC Game...
Only a little over a week before the big game against USC, so if you are looking for tickets and travel arrangements I highly suggest you finalize your plans soon. HuskerPedia still has a few hotel package deals left that include tickets, but it looks like all of their other local event packages don't have ticket connections anymore. You can also check their TicketPedia site (see Ticket Exchange below) for game tickets and parking passes. We've got 20-30 folks from our area heading down for the game...hope to see you at the pre-game activities and of course at the game!

(I only included part of the story...see the Big Red Review below for the full story and stats)...

Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Nebraska won its 21st consecutive season opener with a 49-10 victory over Louisiana Tech.
Lincoln - Fueled by a flurry of career firsts, a balanced offensive attack and a dominating performance by the Blackshirts, Nebraska rolled past Louisiana Tech, 49-10, in Saturday's season-opener in front of a school-record 85,181 fans.

The victory marked Nebraska's 21st consecutive season-opening win, dating back to a 17-13 loss to Florida State in the 1985 season opener. The Huskers' 21 straight victories in season openers is the longest streak in the nation.

Offensively, NU threw for 332 yards and rushed for 252 more in amassing 584 total yards, the most in the Bill Callahan era. Seven different players scored a touchdown, including four Huskers who found the end zone for the first time in their career. Nebraska's balanced attack allowed the Huskers to dominate time of possession, where NU enjoyed an advantage of better than 10 minutes.

Senior quarterback Zac Taylor tied a career high with three touchdown passes, with each touchdown toss coming to a different Husker tight end. Taylor finished the game 22-of-33 for 287 yards.

Sophomore Cody Glenn paced the rushing attack, running for 88 yards on 13 carries. Fellow sophomore Marlon Lucky added 79 yards on 13 carries and scored his first career touchdown. In his Husker debut, Kenny Wilson rushed a game-high 15 times for 47 yards, while junior Brandon Jackson totaled 36 yards on three carries, including a spectacular 25-yard touchdown run.

The receiving corps was busy all afternoon as 10 different players caught at least one pass. Junior Terrence Nunn led the way with a team-high five catches for 54 yards. Playing in his first game since the 2004 season, senior Matt Herian made three grabs for a team-high 61 yards. Herian also became Nebraska's tight end career receiving yardage leader after his final catch.

Saturday's game began with a pregame ceremony that included the display of a large "Power of Red" banner and the performance of "God Bless the USA" by grammy award-winning artist Lee Greenwood before the Huskers took the Tunnel Walk onto the field from North Stadium for the first time since the 1973 season. Highlighting the first tunnel walk on the new HuskerVision big screen was the appearance of legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson, who whipped the crowd into a frenzy by stating there was no place better to be than Memorial Stadium on a college football Saturday.


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Matt Herian returned to the field after more than a year layoff by scoring the Huskers' first touchdown Saturday.
Big Red Review is your source for a complete postgame recap of Nebraska's 49-10 victory over Louisiana Tech. In addition to a complete game story from Nebraska's win over the Bulldogs, provides complete game statistics, postgame notes, quotes and photos from the game. Check back after the game as the links below will be continually updated following the game.

Nebraska vs. Louisiana Tech Recap
Nebraska vs. Louisiana Tech Final Game Statistics (HTML)
Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan Postgame Quotes
Nebraska Player Quotes
Nebraska Postgame Notes
Louisiana Tech Head Coach Jack Bicknell Postgame Quotes
Louisiana Tech Player Quotes
Postgame Husker Audio Clips
Nebraska Season Statistics
2006 Season Photo Gallery


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
NU linebacker Clayton Sievers (left) has handled the transition from tight end well, according to head coach Bill Callahan.

The Nebraska football team continued preparation for Saturday’s Nicholls State game with a two-hour practice at Memorial Stadium Wednesday afternoon. The workout focused on short-yardage and goal-line situations.

Nebraska has continued to prepare for Nicholls State’s triple-option offense. The Colonels ran on 47 of its 51 offensive snaps en route to 195 rushing yards in a 35-0 win against Southern Arkansas. Last year, NSU led Division I-AA with 368.4 rushing yards per game. Still, Callahan feels the Huskers will ready to take on the Colonels’ attack.

“Our defensive coaches have done a great job of teaching the assignments and teaching where you need to be in terms of gap discipline and gap responsibilities,” Callahan said. “That’s going to be a solid area for us. I like the progression of how we taught option responsibility.”

Callahan also noted the versatility of Clayton Sievers, who has converted from tight end to linebacker in the early part of the 2006 season.

“He’s a physical, tough guy,” Callahan said. “We love the way he blocks, the way he covers punts and the way he rushes the passer when he takes on the edge when he’s rushing the passer. He can make that transition from defense to offense easily because of his ability to understand what’s going on.”

The Huskers will continue preparations for Nicholls State with a Thursday afternoon practice at Memorial Stadium.


Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Head Coach Bill Callahan spoke about the Nicholls State running game and defense on Thursday.
Lincoln – The Nebraska football team held its final full-scale practice of the week Thursday, as it continued to prepare for Saturday’s afternoon matchup against Nicholls State with a two-hour workout in helmets and shorts. Head Coach Bill Callahan described his team as “focused for this particular game.”

Following practice, Callahan was asked to break down the Nicholls State defense, which he described as “multiple.”

“They play everything everyone else does,” Callahan said. “There’s really no variation in terms of how they are playing their scheme. They have done an excellent job. I think it comes down more to fundamentals and techniques for them. They have done an excellent job of executing their system, and they have demonstrated that on many occasions against good football teams.”

With the Bulldogs basing their offense off the triple-option, stopping fullback Broderick Cole will be a key for the Husker defense. Cole led Nicholls State last season with 13 rushing touchdowns and fell only one yard shy of the team lead with 717 yards on the ground.

“He’s a physical guy, explosive and fast. Everything’s quick hitting. He’s in between the guards quite a bit. He can block, he can lead and he can load. He can do it all. He’s a good player, I really like that guy. He’s a key (for them). You have to puncture the fullback, knock him down and force their game on the perimeter. But he’s a load, an outstanding player.”

On the injury front, Callahan announced that senior center Kurt Mann is doubtful to play on Saturday due to a viral infection. Callahan said he does not expect the situation to be serious, and junior Brett Byford will start if Mann is unable to play. Juniors Jordan Picou and Andy Christensen will serve as backups at the position for this weekend.

“I feel confident that (Brett) will do a great job,” Callahan said. “He has a lot of experience, because he’s had a ton of reps (in practice). He’s a smart guy and knows the offense well, so it’s just a matter of going out and executing under pressure. He can do it.”

The Huskers conclude their game week preparations Friday with a short afternoon walkthrough.

Former Huskers in the NFL

Former Husker Cory Schlesinger begins his 12th NFL season on Sunday as a member of the Detroit Lions.
Lincoln – This week’s start to the National Football League season will feature 31 former Nebraska players appearing on the rosters of 20 different teams, while two former Huskers also are in the league as NFL coaches. The 31 players leads the Big 12 Conference, one more than Texas and two more than Oklahoma.

Nearly 300 former players have represented Nebraska in the NFL. Over the past 10 years, NU leads all Big 12 schools with 52 players chosen in the NFL Draft. No other conference school has had 40 players chosen over the past 10 years.

Headlining this season’s group in his 14th year with the Kansas City Chiefs is 10-time Pro Bowler Will Shields. Shields is the senior member among all former Huskers, while former NU fullback Cory Schlesinger, the 22nd Husker all-time with 10-plus years of NFL experience, enters his 12th season with the Detroit Lions.

The Lions are one of two squads that will feature three former NU standouts this season. Joining Schlesinger in Detroit will be former Rimington Award winner Dominic Raiola, who enters the year as the Lions’ starting center, and free safety Daniel Bullocks, who was a second-round selection during the 2006 NFL Draft.

Bullocks joins his twin brother, Josh, in the NFL this season. Josh Bullocks, the starting free safety for New Orleans, is one of three former Huskers on the Saints’ roster, which includes cornerback DeJuan Groce and linebacker Scott Shanle. Both Groce and Shanle joined the Saints during preseason camp, arriving from St. Louis and Dallas, respectively.

Four members of Nebraska’s 2005 Alamo Bowl champion squad made their way onto NFL rosters this fall. In addition to Daniel Bullocks, former teammates Sam Koch and Cory Ross will play for Baltimore this season, and Le Kevin Smith made New England’s roster. Koch is listed as the Ravens’ No. 1 punter entering the season, while Ross is slated at No. 2 for both punt and kick-off returns. Smith currently is running third string at defensive tackle for the Patriots. Former Husker center Russ Hochstein joins Smith for his fourth season in New England.

Other NFL teams with multiple Huskers this season include the Carolina Panthers with free safety Mike Minter and defensive end Mike Rucker; the Houston Texans with place-kicker Kris Brown and offensive tackle Zach Wiegert; the Oakland Raiders with center Adam Treu and cornerback Fabian Washington; the San Diego Chargers with defensive tackle Ryon Bingham and linebacker Carlos Polk; and the Seattle Seahawks with place-kicker Josh Brown and defensive end Grant Wistrom.

Also included among NFL rosters entering the season are linebacker Demorrio Williams with Atlanta; defensive end Chris Kelsay with Buffalo; strong safety Mike Brown with Chicago; punter Kyle Larson with Cincinnati; cornerback Ralph Brown with Cleveland; running back Ahman Green with Green Bay; running back Correll Buckhalter with Philadephia; defensive end Trevor Johnson with the New York Jets; linebacker Barrett Ruud with Tampa Bay; and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch with Tennessee.

Forty-one former Huskers appeared on NFL rosters as of Aug. 26, but 10 cuts were made in the final week as teams attempted to trim their rosters to the league-mandated 53-player limit by Sept. 2. Among those for NU standouts cut included: Titus Adams (New York Jets); Mike Erickson (Tennessee); Toniu Fonoti (Tampa Bay); Jay Foreman (New Orleans); Aaron Golliday (Kansas City); T.J. Hollowell (Denver); Jamal Lord (Indianapolis); Jerrell Pippens (San Diego); Benard Thomas (Baltimore); and Eric Warfield (New England). Adams was signed to the Jets' practice squad on Thursday.

In addition to NU’s contingent on active rosters, two individuals with Nebraska ties are coaching in the NFL this season. Former Husker player and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin begins his 24th year in the NFL with Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator. Kiffin, the longest tenured defensive coordinator in the NFL, is in his 11th season with Tampa Bay. Along with Kiffin, former Husker wide receivers coach Gene Huey enters his 15th year as running backs coach with Indianapolis. Huey’s 224 games of service are the most for a position coach in Colts’ franchise history.

For more on each former Husker's respective NFL career, visit here and click on a player's name.


Here's the excerpt on the third largest city in Nebraska (on a football Saturday), but click on the link for the entire article...
4. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska
The inscription above the stadium's main entrance reads, "Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football," and the words might not be hyperbole. If a big game in Lincoln isn't the main artery of college football, it at least looks like the world's largest blood clot because everyone -- and I mean EVERYONE -- wears red.

If you go: Dine at Misty's Steakhouse, which is kind of like the college football hall of fame, only with steaks and alcohol.

Amy Schaeppi - is a Bay Area Husker fan looking for USC tickets.

Diane Dodd - Does anyone out there have one or two or three tickets to the USC-NU football game that they would like to sell?


The HuskerPedia Ticket Website is a clearing house for many sports and entertainment venues and their link to the Nebraska-USC game still has a number of tickets and parking passes available if you are willing to pay the going rate. Check the website:


* Callahan Says Huskers Taking One Step At A Time - Toward USC
We believe Coach Callahan when he says the Huskers won't look past what should be a tune-up with Nicholls State. The fans, however, are no doubt doing exactly that.

* Nebraska Flunks College Affordability Test
This will not be a bulletin to thousands of students and parents. However, this report is more than worthwhile for its examination of a variety of areas of higher education in Nebraska.

* Lincoln Mayor Will Not Try For A Second Term
Not a surprise. Democrat Coleen Seng knew her poll numbers were miserable.

* Rural Folk Feeling Better About Rural Communities
That's nice. Interesting reading, too.

* UNL Chancellor Says Improvements Made In Minority Recruitment
And, says Harvey Perlman, more needs to be accomplished.


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