Tuesday, November 14, 2006

2006/2007 Football Season Husker News #11 11-9-06

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Always feels good to beat Mizzou (and win our homecoming game)...especially after all the fits they've given the Huskers in the last few years. Beating the Tigers puts Nebraska one game ahead of Mizzou and Kansas for the Big 12 North, but we need to win at least one of the remaining two games to clinch a spot in the Championship game in Kansas City on December 2nd.

You probably won't get this until after the elections, so some of the info below about President Bush's recent trip through Nebraska (stops in Omaha and Grand Island) may be moot, but its still nice for folks back home to get a Presidential visit once in awhile...even if its just a campaign stop....especially at Grand Island's newly rennovated airport! I've added the next email in the series from Thomas O'Hara in Baghdad at the bottom of this email.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Watch Parties...
Our game this Saturday is another ABC Regional broadcast with kickoff at 12:30 Pacific, so lets gather at our favorite watering holes once again to cheer on the Huskers as they travel to Texas A&M to hopefully clinch the Big XII North Division title.



Jay Moore and the Huskers will look to clinch the Big 12 North Division title against Texas A&M on Saturday.

No. /25 Nebraska (7-3, 4-2) at
No. 24/23 Texas A&M (8-2, 4-2)
Saturday, Nov. 11 - 12:30 p.m. Pacific
Kyle Field (82,600) - College Station, Texas
Surface: Natural Grass
Series: NU leads, 9-2-0
Last Meeting: Nebraska won, 48-12, 2003 in Lincoln
Television: ABC (Regional)
Radio: Pinnacle Sports Network (51 stations)
Sirius Satellite Radio: Channel 107

Lincoln - Nebraska continues its November stretch run with another tough road test this Saturday, traveling to College Station, Texas, to face the 8-2 Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. The game will be televised on a regional basis by ABC Sports, with kickoff set for shortly after 12:30 p.m. Pacific.

The Huskers will take momentum to the Lone Star State after a 34-20 victory over No. 25 Missouri (Coaches) on Saturday in Lincoln. The victory improved Nebraska to 7-3 overall and pushed the Huskers to the front of the race for the North Division title. Nebraska is 4-2 in league play, a game in front of Missouri and Kansas State with just two games to play. The Huskers need one victory in their final two games to earn a spot in the Big 12 Conference Championship Game for the first time since 1999.

Nebraska’s win over Missouri pushed the Huskers back into the national rankings at No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, while the Huskers are just outside of the top 25 in the Associated Press poll. Nebraska had been ranked in the first nine polls of the year, but fell out of the rankings after losses to Texas and Oklahoma State.

Texas A&M will come into the game with an 8-2 overall record and a 4-2 mark in Big 12 Conference action. The Aggies are coming off a 17-16 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday night at Kyle Field. After falling behind 14-3 late in the first quarter, the Aggies allowed Oklahoma just a field goal the rest of the way, but fell one point shy of the comeback victory. Texas A&M has grown accustomed to close contests with six of its games, including five Big 12 games decided in the final minutes of regulation or overtime. Texas A&M remained in the rankings this week, listed 23rd in the coaches poll and 24th in the AP poll.

Nebraska owns the upper hand in the all-time series between the two schools, winning nine of the first 11 meetings. Saturday’s game at Kyle Field will be just the third meeting in College Station. Texas A&M knocked off second-ranked Nebraska in 1998, before Nebraska won at Kyle Field in 2002.


The Big 12 Conference and ABC have announced that Nebraska’s game at Texas A&M next Saturday will be televised regionally beginning at 12:30 p.m PST. The ABC telecast will guarantee Nebraska seven appearances on the network in the regular season, including five straight games to cap the regular season. Nebraska’s Nov. 24 regular-season finale against Colorado is set for a national telecast on ABC (12:30 p.m. PST).

Other Big 12 games that will be televised on Saturday, Nov. 11 include Texas at Kansas State (5 p.m., ABC), Texas Tech at Oklahoma (4 p.m., FSN) and Baylor at Oklahoma State (9:30 a.m., FSN). (all times Pacific)


The Blackshirts forced three turnovers against Missouri on Saturday.

Big Red Review is your source for a complete postgame recap of Nebraska's Homecoming battle with Missouri on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Huskers.com provides a complete game story, stats, notes, quotes and photos.

Nebraska vs. Missouri Recap
Nebraska vs. Missouri Final Game Statistics
Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan Quotes
Nebraska Player Quotes
Nebraska Postgame Notes
Missouri Postgame Notes
Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel Quotes
Missouri Player Quotes
Audio Clips from the Post-Game Press Conference
Audio Highlights from the Husker Sports Network
Nebraska Season Statistics
2006 Season Photo Gallery

Excerpt from the Recap:

Lincoln – Zac Taylor threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns, while Brandon Jackson rushed for 111 yards and a score, as Nebraska made its claim for the Big 12 North Division title with an impressive 34-20 victory over No. 25 Missouri Saturday.

The Huskers (7-3, 4-2 Big 12) built a 27-6 halftime lead and moved into sole possession of first place in the North Division in a battle between the division’s top two teams. With Saturday’s win, the Huskers can clinch a berth in next month’s Big 12 title game in Kansas City with either a win at Texas A&M next Saturday or against Colorado on Nov. 24.

Taylor completed 13-of-21 passes for 208 yard and two first-half scores, including a 7-yard strike to Maurice Purify and a 17-yard pass to tight end Hunter Teafatiller.

Jackson paced a balanced Husker rushing attack, as he reached the 100-yard plateau for the third time this season. The junior I-back toted the ball a career-high 32 times for 111 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to give the Huskers a 34-13 lead with 14:36 remaining.

The Huskers, playing in front of a Memorial Stadium record crowd of 85,197 and an ABC regional television audience, seized the momentum by out-scoring MU 10-0 in the first quarter before scoring a season-high 17 points in the second quarter to bolt to a 21-point halftime lead.
While Nebraska’s offense was putting points on the board, the Blackshirts were opportunistic on defense. NU forced three turnovers, including a pair of Chase Daniel interceptions that the Huskers converted into touchdowns. Bo Ruud led the charge with a team-high seven tackles, a 13-yard sack in the fourth quarter to stop a drive, an interception and a fumble return that sealed the victory.


Junior linebacker Bo Ruud was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career.

Nebraska junior linebacker Bo Ruud has been named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his standout effort against Missouri on Saturday.

Ruud played a key role in a strong defensive effort that helped the Huskers to a 34-20 victory that put Nebraska atop the Big 12 North standings. The Lincoln Southeast graduate finished the day with seven total tackles, including five solo stops and a 13-yard sack of Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel in the fourth quarter.

The 6-3, 235-pound Ruud also accounted for two of the three takeaways for the Blackshirt defense. In the second quarter, he intercepted a Daniel pass and returned it 40 yards to the Tiger 17-yard line. A play later, Zac Taylor connected with Hunter Teafatiller for a touchdown pass to give Nebraska a 24-3 advantage.

Ruud sealed the Husker victory in the fourth quarter by forcing and recovering a Daniel fumble, ending the Tigers’ final possession of the game. The forced fumble was Ruud’s team-leading third of the season.

The award marks the second time in his career Ruud was been named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. He also received the honor after a 25-7 victory over Maine in 2005, when Ruud returned an interception for a touchdown.

Ruud is the second Husker this season to earn Big 12 Player-of-the-Week honors. Sophomore I-back Marlon Lucky won the offensive award following his performance against Troy.


Athletic Director Steve Pederson made the announcement, along with the men's and women's tennis teams.

Lincoln – The Nebraska Athletic Department announced on Monday that the Husker men’s and women’s tennis teams are the latest beneficiaries of NU’s program-wide facility improvement effort, as the University of Nebraska has reached a lease agreement that will allow both squads to practice and compete indoors at the new $3 million Nebraska Tennis Center.

Athletic Director Steve Pederson made the announcement at a press conference at the Nebraska Tennis Center. Also in attendance at the press conference was Senior Associate Athletic Director Bob Burton, women’s head coach Scott Jacobson and men’s head coach Kerry McDermott.

Del Leinemann Sr., President of the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation, and his son, Del Leinemann Jr., President of the Lincoln Sports Foundation, which operates under the name Abbott Sports Complex, were also on hand for the announcement.

Pederson was pleased to announce that the men’s and women’s teams will be able to train and compete in such an outstanding facility.

“These beautiful new facilities will provide our women’s and men’s tennis teams the opportunity to play on some of the finest courts in the Midwest,” Pederson said. “These courts are essential for our success and we are excited to be a part of this great new complex.”

The Nebraska Tennis Center, located approximately one mile north of the intersection of 70th St. and Cornhusker Highway, is part of the Abbott Sports Complex. The Nebraska Tennis Center features six climate-controlled indoor courts, as well as 12 outdoor courts.

The announcement of the tennis teams’ use of the new facility renewed a partnership between the Nebraska Athletic Department and the Abbott Sports Complex. The Husker soccer team called Abbott home from 1994 to 2004, before moving on campus in 2005 as part of the recently completed $50 million North Stadium Improvement project.

The tennis teams are the latest Husker squads to enjoy a sparkling new facility. In addition to a new home field for the soccer team, all of Nebraska’s student-athletes benefited from the addition of the Hawks Championship Center and the Tom and Nancy Osborne Athletic Complex, which includes the Charles and Romona Myers Performance Center.

A brand new strength complex, athletic medicine facility and a second indoor practice facility, along with soccer’s new home, improvements to Memorial Stadium and new state-of-the-art stadiums for the baseball and softball programs in the last five years, prove Nebraska is committed to providing its student-athletes with all of the tools necessary to become champions.



Bush visits Grand Island to rally support for GOP (thanks to Duane for sending this along) http://www.dailynebraskan.com/news/2006/11/06/

Text of the President's speech in G.I. : http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1733001/posts

* Text of The President's Comments in Omaha

To read what the prez sez. http://nebraska.statepaper.com/vnews/display.v/ART/

* Nebraska Downs Missouri - And Now Faces Tough Texas A&M

The Huskers need to resin their riggins' and batten down hatches and... whatever else. These Aggies are a tough lot of fellows. Really tough. http://nebraska.statepaper.com/vnews/display.v/ART/

NEWS FROM A HUSKER IN BAGHDAD (#2 in a series from Tom O'Hara III)...

Interesting times

Interesting times continue here in Iraq. Yesterday the high court handed down the first verdict against Saddam Hussein. Things were tense as we wondered what the reaction on the street would be. Would there be celebration? Would the remaining Saddam loyalists revolt? Would there be calmness in the streets? As a precaution, Baghdad established a curfew to limit movement in the city. Within the IZ we donned protective gear as a precaution. After the verdict was announced – guilty and sentenced to death by hanging – the reaction was mixed.

There were multiple celebrations in the street – much like they did when he was captured and arraigned. There were some events of violence, but not to the degree anticipated by some. But overall a quiet calm – much calmer than people predicted. For hours we remained on alert to protect ourselves mostly from celebratory rounds from landing and causing injury (what goes up must come down and even a small round can cause significant injury).

Today it is a beautiful morning here in Baghdad. There is a light rain throughout the city which has cooled things down a bit as it washes away a little of the dirt and grime. A more poetic writer might draw an analogy of a ‘rebirth in Baghdad’ following the verdict. Poetic or not, I feel we have passed a momentous milestone in the eventual progression to peace here in Iraq.

As my Iraqi friends had stated, the sooner Saddam is visibly removed from the picture, the quicker the environment will develop for true recovery to come. It’s difficult to convey the magnitude of fear that existed within this culture, for generations, under Saddam. Until he is once and for all removed from the equation, will those who long feared him truly be allowed to move forward. (And if anyone thinks the Iraqi people are being irrational about this, ask yourself how many Americans are still waiting for Elvis to return)

Civil War?

Despite these significant times, most coverage on the effort here continues to focus on the sectarian struggle and ongoing violence. Much of the dialogue continues to suggest the beginning of, or actual engagement of, an Iraqi Civil War.

While I don’t profess to be a cultural expert, I do engage Iraqis every chance I get to get their true reaction. Here in Baghdad and also throughout the country I get a consistent response when I ask about a “civil war” here.

Their answer is very consistent. While there may be sectarian based mobs and death squads causing intense fear throughout Bagdad that is a far cry from genuine sectarian divide which would result in a faction vs. faction civil war. As a matter of fact, within the once combined and now secular neighborhood of Baghdad, the genuine Iraqis are helping each other (Sunni, Shia, Kurds, etc) survive while its fledgling government and security forces identify, and extract those causing the bloodshed.

Iraqis will tell you that while there may be some ideological zealots in these militias, many are often simply some of the poor, downtrodden and unemployed. Most of all, they are also mainly the criminal element that was here before and many of those whom were released when Saddam fled. They are gangs…not freedom fighters.

In fact, one of my own staffers, a Sunni who married into a Shia family less than a year ago, was threatened by one of the death squads as he lived in a mostly Shia neighborhood. It was his family and neighbors (representing mixture of cultural and religious beliefs) who helped him relocated to a safer portion of Baghdad. Much like Americans did -- putting their political, ethnic and religious differences aside when faced with a threat to their existence during Sept. 11 -- any divisions within the true populace here in Iraq fade away as human beings find a way to survive together.

Superficial coverage

Unfortunately that nuance is lost in the superficial coverage of the issues here. Yes there are sectarian based factions causing problems – but there are not sectarian based societies at odds. What is covered as cultural hit squads at a tug of war, in my opinion, are the Baghdad equivalent of gangs – criminals.

One thing I have to admit to is the enemy is better in affecting what we call the information battlefield. Recently militias leaked a video of a sniper allegedly shooting and killing one of our American Soldiers and CNN decided to air it on Anderson Cooper 360. (Story – not video - http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-sniper21oct21,1,2127335.story) The result was another story that impacted the understanding of the mission and the home front support to the accomplishments here. Make no mistake, the insurgents know the US is in the midst of an election season – there is reason and rhyme to their information efforts as well.

Idealistically, you would hope those who represent the 4th estate, would find the balance to determine what news is and what is infotainment. Unfortunately, with a desire to shock rather than inform, this Al Qaeda ‘snuff’ film was presented as news. I guarantee if I were to provide a video of our troops building a new school, new water purification facility, or new electrical plant, it would not get the level of coverage this video did. I wonder, who are our major networks reporting to?

And it is not limited to simply the outlet mentioned above. Our media tracking of coverage shows that stories on death/violence in Iraq beat out stories of services and rebuilding by more than eight to one!! I am at a loss at understanding how network and print editorial boards justify that coverage. Would you get an accurate account of a football game if you only heard coverage of your team while it was on defense?

Exacerbating that is the continual focus on the mission here and the impact on the US elections. Much as it skewed the coverage in 2004, it drives the focus here with respect to western media coverage. With most media outlets supporting one agenda or another (very few genuinely keep to middle ground) it really is a hurdle on getting out the word.

A good example is the recent discussions of an editorial that is to be released Monday in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine times critical of the Secretary of Defense. The impression is that there is an across-the board service outcry. When you hear that coverage, keep track of who fails to mention that every one of those service papers is produced by one private sector entity, Gannet Corp. While it may be presented as a unilateral critique by the services, it actually is like every other editorial you read (one person’s opinion).


Here is some of the reconstruction news you’re not hearing:

Of the Iraqi Relief and Reconstruction fund money (US money) that was dedicated to rebuilding efforts here, the US Army Corps in Iraq was able to obligate nearly 100% of that $13+ billion dollars dedicated to construction, before those funds expired at the end of the last fiscal year. (only ~$8000 remained)

As of the end of October, there have been more than 4000 project started, 3180 of those completed with a total of more than 4500 planned once this all is done (includes IRRF money as well as Iraqi funded money (DFI) and other sources)

Great strides have been made in building the foundations of improved infrastructure in electrical generation, transmission and distribution. Oil exports are increasing and refinery capacity within this country is improving to the point to sustain internal needs. Water purification and distribution systems are sprouting up throughout Iraq. New facilities in health care, emergency services and schools open every month. Transportation facilities (air, ship and rail), plus military and security facilities are working now and moving commerce throughout the country. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are getting the job done.

I am sorry this second email has been much delayed – promise more later. I did not have time to capture my trip to the Haditha Dam in the western Anbar Province last week with the Assistant Secretary of the Army (civil works), Hon. John P. Woodley. Nor did I give you more information on current completions throughout theater. I have to send this now as I am leaving for another trip which will keep me out of the net for a few days. I promise to focus more on reconstruction next time. I just decided it would be remiss of me not to take a moment and describe the incredible pride I have to be among those here during this historical period.

In the meantime, you can read much of this in the latest issue of ESSAYONS FORWARD, the field magazine of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq at: http://www.grd.usace.army.mil/news/Essayonsforward/index.html (Note: it is a large .pdf to download, please be patient).

You can follow the progress here in Iraq on the Multi-National Force in Iraq web site at http://www.mnf-iraq.com/ There you can sign up for weekly emails/newsletters, view AFN broadcasts and video of real progress stories and send messages to the heroes here in Iraq. This is the news that should be getting out.

If you know of someone who you know was looking to receive these, and is not, have them contact me. The views expressed in this email are those of the sender and do not necessarily reflect that of the Department of Defense, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.
(Go Cubs, Go Huskers ;)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Baghdad, Iraq

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