Thursday, November 30, 2006

2006/2007 Football Season Husker News #13 11-30-06

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Hope everyone had a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving with friends and family. Always fun to get together to give thanks, eat too much and watch a little football....especially the traditional game on Friday after the holiday when we got to watch the Huskers dine on buffalo instead of leftovers!!

Undefeated in the Big 12 North, and poised on the brink of another Big XII championship once again, the Huskers are headed to Kansas City this Saturday for a very big game. Our decisive win over the Colorado Buffs last Friday guaranteed our bowl bid, but we now have another big rivalry against the Sooners to see which bowl we attend on January 1st. A victory on Saturday means we are headed to the BCS Fiesta Bowl in Arizona (looks like it would be against Boise St.), and a defeat will have the Huskers playing the Cotton Bowl earlier in the day against an SEC team. Lots of pride (and some big bowl bucks) are on the line.

Our #1 ranked Volleyball team is also gearing up for their post-season play so can also watch them (via the internet) as they start their NCAA games on Friday and again on Saturday (see below for details). Lots of other good stuff below including another installment from Tom O'Hara in Baghdad, and a funny video clip about NU vs. CU.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),


Watch Sites Ready for Husker Faithful this Saturday...

Come on out and join other Bay Area Husker fans to watch the Big 12 Championship game this Saturday. Coverage starts at 5 p.m. with kickoff around 5:13. All four of our watch sites (Jack's, Final-Final, Legends and Knuckles) will be carrying the game. So get there early for a good seat and order up some good pub grub for dinner during the game. See you there!



Adam Carriker will lead the Blackshirts into Saturday's Big 12 Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium.

No. 19/18 Nebraska (9-3, 6-2) vs.
No. 8/10 Oklahoma (10-2, 7-1)
Saturday, Dec. 2 - 5:13 p.m. Pacific
Arrowhead Stadium (79,451) - Kansas City, Mo.

Surface: Natural Grass
Series: OU leads, 42-37-3
Last Meeting: Oklahoma won, 31-24, 2005 in Lincoln
Television: ABC National
Radio: Pinnacle Sports Network (51 stations)
Sirius Satellite Radio: Channel TBA

Lincoln - Nebraska returns to the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time since 1999 this weekend as the Huskers travel to Kansas City for Saturday nights game at Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent will be a familiar foe as long-time rival Oklahoma will represent the South Division and the schools will meet for the first time in the 11 years of the Big 12 Championship Game. Game time on Saturday night in Kansas City is set for 5:13 p.m. (Pacific), and the matchup will be televised nationally by ABC Sports.

After playing in three of the first four Big 12 Championship Games from 1996 to 1999, and winning league crowns in 1997 and 1999, Nebraska has been absent from the past six title games. Oklahoma meanwhile has been a fixture in the game in recent years. The Sooners did not play in the first four Big 12 title games, but has been the South representative in five of the past seven seasons, winning Big 12 titles in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

Both teams enter the matchup with good momentum. The Huskers completed their regular-season with a 9-3 overall record and a 6-2 mark in league play, thanks to a three-game winning streak to end the regular season. Nebraska capped a perfect 5-0 run through the North Division with a 37-14 victory over Colorado last Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma dropped to 3-2 after an Oct. 7 loss to Texas in Dallas, but the Sooners have responded with seven straight wins, the sixth-longest win streak in the nation. The Sooners earned the South Division title with a 27-21 victory at in-state rival Oklahoma State last Saturday afternoon.

Saturday nights game will mark the 24th time the "Battle of the Big Reds" will pit a pair of nationally ranked teams. The Huskers enter the contest ranked 19th by the Associated Press and 18th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Oklahoma is listed eighth in this weeks AP poll and is ranked 10th by the coaches.

The winner of Saturday nights matchup will earn the Big 12 Conferences automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series and a trip to the Jan. 1 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.


The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and the Big 12 Conference have announced that Nebraska and Oklahoma will fill the league's spots in those two bowl games.

The winner of Saturday's Big 12 Championship Game will earn the conference's automatic bid into the Bowl Championship Series and a trip to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be played on Monday, Jan. 1, at the University of Phoenix Stadium, with kickoff set for 5:45 p.m. PST.

The opponent in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be announced as part of Sunday night's BCS announcement show on Fox at 5 p.m. PST. A trip to the Fiesta Bowl would be Nebraska's first since defeating Tennessee in the game following the 1999 season. It would also mark Nebraska's first appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game since the 2002 Rose Bowl. Nebraska would be making its sixth appearance in the Fiesta Bowl. In addition to 1999, Nebraska also played in the contest following the 1975, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1995 seasons.

The Big 12 Conference runner-up will participate in the 71st Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 1 in Dallas. The Cotton Bowl will kick off at 8:40 a.m. PST and will be televised by Fox Sports.

The opponent in the Cotton Bowl will be a representative of the Southeastern Conference. That team will be determined following Saturday's SEC Championship Game.

An appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic would mark Nebraska's first trip to Dallas for the New Year's Day game in 27 years, dating back to a loss to Houston in the 1980 Cotton Bowl. Nebraska also appeared in the Cotton Bowl following the 1964 and 1973 seasons.

Husker fans who are interested in attending Nebraska's bowl game will have an opportunity to place a request for tickets shortly after the conclusion of Saturday's Big 12 Championship games by visiting

Seat locations will be determined at a later date and will be assigned based on Nebraska's donor priority point system.

Nebraska's team allotment for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is 12,500 tickets, with tickets costing $135 each. Beyond the seats designated for the respective team allotments, the Fiesta Bowl is sold out. Nebraska will receive 12,500 tickets for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, with tickets costing $90 each.

Ticket requests for either bowl game will remain available at until the team allotment has sold out. The ticket office will also be open for special hours Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. to accommodate Husker fans wishing to place a request for tickets in person at the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office (Stadium Parking Garage) or over the phone by calling 1-800-8 BIG RED.

Nebraska's bowl appearance will be the school's 44th all-time postseason trip, the fifth-most in NCAA history. Nebraska has played in several January bowl games in recent years, but this year will mark Nebraska's first bowl game on New Year's Day since a 24-17 victory over Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl.

Ed. note: Due to this bowl arrangement, Texas A&M is now slated to represent the Big 12 in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.


The Huskers celebrate the Big 12 North Division title

Big Red Review is your source for a complete postgame recap of Nebraska's 37-14 win over the Colorado Buffaloes on Friday at Memorial Stadium. provides a complete game story, stats, notes, quotes and photos.

Nebraska vs. Colorado Recap
Nebraska vs. Colorado Final Game Statistics
Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan Quotes
Nebraska Player Quotes
Nebraska Postgame Notes
Colorado Postgame Notes
Colorado Coach Dan Hawkins Quotes
Colorado Player Quotes
Nebraska Audio Clips of Postgame Quotes
Audio Highlights from the Husker Sports Network
Nebraska Season Statistics
2006 Season Photo Gallery Photo Gallery vs. Colorado
Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship Game Information

Excerpt from the Recap:

Lincoln – It may have been the day after Thanksgiving, but No. 19 Nebraska made it seem more like Halloween, turning trick plays into touchdown treats in a 37-14 victory over Colorado in front of a Memorial Stadium record crowd of 85,800 and an ABC national television audience on Friday afternoon.

The Huskers (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) relied on outstanding special teams play and deception throughout the day. Defensive end Barry Turner’s 29-yard touchdown catch from reserve quarterback Joe Ganz on a fake field goal gave NU a 14-7 lead at halftime after a first quarter blocked punt led to NU's first score of the afternoon. A punt by Jordan Congdon downed at the CU 1 by Turner also led to a safety on the next play to help the Huskers take a 23-14 lead and the Huskers never looked back on their way to a third straight victory heading into next Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

While the special teams shined, the Huskers received strong offensive performances from senior quarterback Zac Taylor and I-back Brandon Jackson in posting their second straight win over Colorado (2-10, 2-6 Big 12).

Taylor completed 18-of-29 passes for 249 yards and two scores, tying Tommie Frazier’s school record for career touchdown passes with 43, while breaking his single-season record for passing yards for the second straight year. Taylor, who has thrown for at least 200 yards in each of the past five games, has thrown for 2,789 yards in 2006, breaking his previous NU record of 2,653 in 2005.

Jackson was a workhorse for the Huskers, finishing with 190 all-purpose yards and a pair of scores. He totaled a career-high 34 carries for 142 yards and a score en route to his fourth 100-yard rushing day of the season. Jackson, who became only the second CU opponent to reach the century mark this season, also caught a career-high six passes for 48 yards, becoming the second Husker in school history to record 40 all-purpose attempts in a game.


Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan welcomed the media to Memorial Stadium on Tuesday to discuss the Huskers' showdown with Oklahoma for the Big 12 title at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The following links provide complete transcripts of Coach Callahan's and select Nebraska players' sessions with the media on Tuesday. Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove and Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell meet with the media following Tuesday's practice. For audio coverage of the press conference, please click here.

Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan
Quarterback Zac Taylor
Defensive End Jay Moore
Wide Receiver Maurice Purify
Linebacker Corey McKeon
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove (Post-Practice)
Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell (Post-Practice)


Friday's match against American will be shown live on NET and NET-HD.

Lincoln -- NET Television will provide live coverage as the No. 1 Nebraska Huskers begin their bid to capture the national volleyball championship by taking on the American University Eagles in the first round of the NCAA Division 1 Women's Volleyball Tournament.

All the action will be broadcast statewide on NET1 and in high-definition on NET-HD Friday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m. PST. In addition, fans outside of the state of Nebraska can watch a free live video stream of Friday's match on

The match will be telecast from the Nebraska Coliseum with sportscaster Larry Punteney and former University of Nebraska All-American volleyball standout Kathi Wieskamp calling the action.

The Eagles are making their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth overall after winning the Patriot League title.

If the Huskers advance in NCAA tournament play, NET1 and NET-HD will broadcast live their second-round match against either the Northern Iowa Panthers of the Missouri Valley Conference or the Winthrop Eagles of the Big South Conference on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. PST. NU's second-round match would also be shown for free on


One day after being named the Big 12’s Player of the Year for the second straight year, Nebraska volleyball player Sarah Pavan received an more prestigious honor on Tuesday morning, as she was named the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American of the Year.

The honor combines both athletic and academic success and is voted on by the Academic All-American committee. Pavan, who is a two-time first-team Academic All-American, carries a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in biochemisty and is a two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 performer. She is Nebraska’s 234th Academic All-American and the Huskers’ 29th Academic All-American in volleyball, totals that lead the nation.

"It is a tremendous honor for Sarah and continues the great tradition of athletic and academic excellence at Nebraska," Nebraska Coach John Cook said. "Keith Zimmer (volleyball academic advisor) and Sarah deserve a lot of praise for representing our university at such a high level."
University of Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman lauded Pavan’s ability to be equally successful in the classroom as well as on the court.

"Sarah's outstanding achievements in both academics and athletics demonstrate her ability to play at the highest levels in both the classroom and on the court. The University of Nebraska is exceedingly proud that one of its student athletes has been named to this high national honor."

Pavan is one of the top players in the country, earning first-team All-America honors after her first two seasons at Nebraska. A two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, Pavan leads the Big 12 in kills per game (5.22) and points per game (6.17), while ranking sixth in service aces (0.34/gm) after leading No. 1 Nebraska to a 27-1 record and a third straight Big 12 title in 2006. A three-time All-Big 12 honoree, Pavan already ranks fifth on Nebraska’s all-time kills list with 1,404 and is on pace to break Nebraska’s single-season record for kills per game.

Pavan is also active in the Huskers’ Life Skills program, serving as a speaker on the Tour of Excellence and during American Education Week during her Husker career.

She is the fourth Husker volleyball player to be chosen as the Academic All-American of the Year, joining current U.S. National Team member Nancy Metcalf (2001), Janet Kruse (1990-91) and Virginia Stahr (1988-89).

Nebraska Director of Life Skills Keith Zimmer says that Pavan’s accomplishment shows the strong work ethic she has to be successful in both demanding areas.

“Sarah Pavan is most deserving of being named the Volleyball Academic All-American of the Year,” Zimmer said. “She takes great pride in her academics and is appreciative to the faculty and staff on our campus who have supported her lofty goals. She is a great example to her teammates and the rest of her Nebraska student-athlete peers that excellence in academics and athletics at the highest level is attainable at Nebraska.”

Jordan Larson had 13 kills in NU's sweep of Kansas.

Jordan Larson totaled 13 kills to lead a balanced attack, as No. 1 Nebraska wrapped up the outright Big 12 title with a 30-16, 30-16, 30-20 sweep of Kansas Wednesday night at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Larson, a sophomore outside hitter from Hopper, Neb. totaled 13 kills on .571 hitting. The Huskers were also paced by a pair of season-high performance by senior Dani Mancuso, who matched her season high with 11 kills while hitting a season-high .647, as the Huskers wrapped up their ninth Big 12 town in 11 seasons.

Larson and Mancuso helped Nebraska (26-1, 18-1 Big 12) hit .476 as a team, marking the third straight Big 12 contest that the Huskers have hit .435 or above and was just .010 shy of the team’s season high. It marked the first time since 1998 that NU hit .400 or better in three straight matches. Rachel Holloway totaled 45 assists and four kills, as seven Husker attackers hit .300 or better.

“We were humming on all cylinders tonight,” Nebraska Coach John Cook said. “They were focused and I could see that in practice this week. They wanted to play well and came ready to play tonight on what is typically a tough night, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. They wanted to win the Big 12 outright tonight.”

In addition to performance of the outside hitters, the Huskers also received strong performances from Kori Cooper and Amanda Gates, who combined for 13 kills in 15 swings. Cooper had six kill in six swings, while Gates totaled a career-high seven kills on .778 hitting and a pair of blocks in the win.


Kansas City's Will Shields recorded his franchise-record 218th consecutive start at right guard for the Chiefs in its 19-10 win.

Demorrio Williams (Atlanta)—Williams posted one solo tackle in the Falcons 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Williams has totaled 80 tackles, including 52 solo, one interception and one pass breakup through 11 games this season.

Sam Koch (Baltimore)—Sam Koch averaged 43.2 yards on six punts while also booting a long of 55 yards and pinning two inside the 20-yard line as Baltimore blanked Pittsburgh 27-0. The Seward, Neb., native has averaged 43.0 yards on 62 punts this season, including pinning 20 inside the 20-yard line, as Baltimore stands at 9-2 to lead the AFC North.

Cory Ross (Baltimore)—Ross was not active for the Raven’s game against Pittsburgh, but continues to practice with Baltimore.

Chris Kelsay (Buffalo)—Kelsay snagged three solo tackles as the Bills added their second consecutive last-minute win with a field goal as time expired, edging the Jaguars 27-24 to advance to 5-6.

Mike Minter (Carolina)—Minter totaled five tackles, including two solo, as the Panthers fell to the Redskins 17-13. Minter has snagged 62 tackles this season, including 42 solo, while adding one interception and three pass-breakups.

Mike Rucker (Carolina)—Rucker totaled three tackles, including two solo, as Carolina fell to Washington 17-13. Rucker has totaled 32 tackles so far this season, including 20 solo, while adding 3.5 sacks and two pass breakups.

Mike Brown (Chicago)—Brown was sidelined with a season-ending injury in Week 8.

Kyle Larson (Cincinnati)—Larson averaged 46.5 yards on four punts as the Bengals blanked the Browns 30-0. The former Husker specialist also had a long of 57 yards and pinned one inside the 20-yard line.

Ralph Brown (Cleveland)—Brown snagged three tackles, including two solo, as Cleveland fell to Cincinnati 30-0. Brown has totaled 26 tackles, including 24 solo, while adding seven pass breakups through 11 games this season.

Daniel Bullocks (Detroit)—Bullocks snagged a season-high 10 solo tackles and forced a fumble in the Lions 27-10 loss to the Dolphins. Bullocks has totaled 61 tackles this season, including 45 solo, as well as one sack and three pass breakups.

Dominic Raiola (Detroit)—Raiola made his 74th consecutive start at center for the Lions, blocking for a 22-40, 252-yard performance from quarterback Jon Kitna in Detroit’s 27-10 loss to Miami. Railoa, a Rimington Award Winner in 2000, anchored a Detroit offensive line that allowed receiver Roy Williams to snag 126 yards on six catches.

Cory Schlesinger (Detroit)—Schlesinger played in his 178th career game at fullback and but did not record a catch as the Lions fell to the Dolphins 27-10.

Ahman Green (Green Bay)—Green racked up 44 yards on 14 carries while scoring one touchdown in Green Bay’s 34-24 loss to Seattle.

Kris Brown (Houston)—Brown was one-of-two in field goals, making a 46-yard attempt in Houston’s 26-11 loss to New York.

Zach Wiegert (Houston)—Wiegert suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the fourth-quarter loss at Jacksonville in Week 10, and underwent reparative surgery the following week.

Will Shields (Kansas City)—Shields recorded his franchise-record 218th consecutive start at right guard for the Chiefs in Kansas City’s 19-10 win over Denver. Shields headed up a blocking effort that led to a 157-yard day on 34 carries from Larry Johnson, who also tacked on one touchdown.

Russ Hochstein (New England)—Hochstein played center for a New England offensive effort that included a 22-33, 269-yard, one-touchdown performance from quarterback Tom Brady as the Patriots edged the Bears 17-13.

Le Kevin Smith (New England)—Smith was not active but continues to practice for the 8-3 Patriots.

Josh Bullocks (New Orleans)—Bullocks totaled two solo tackles in New Orleans’ 31-13 win over Atlanta. Bullocks has racked up 57 tackles, including 45 solo, one interception and three pass breakups through 11 games this season.

DeJuan Groce (New Orleans)—Groce racked up four tackles, including three solo, as New Orleans beat Atlanta 31-13. Groce has totaled nine tackles, including eight solo, after being active in seven games this season.

Scott Shanle (New Orleans)—Shanle grabbed three solo tackles in New Orleans’ 31-13 win over Atlanta. Shanle has snagged 73 tackles, including 53 solo, through 11 games this season after totaling 45 through the entire year in 2005. Shanle has also added three sacks and one pass breakup so far this season.

Adam Treu (Oakland)—Treu played in his 154th career game with Oakland, serving as the squad’s long snapper, as the Raiders fell to the Chargers 21-14.

Fabian Washington (Oakland)—Washington recorded two solo tackles in Oakland’s 21-14 loss to San Diego. Washington has recorded 22 tackles, including 21 solo, while also adding six pass-breakups and three interceptions after being active in nine games this season.

Correll Buckhalter (Philadelphia)—Buckhalter had two catches for 26 yards and four carries for 18 yards rushing in the Eagle’s 45-21 loss to the Colts. Buckhalter has racked up 237 yards on 60 carries rushing and 209 yards on 19 receptions through 11 games this season.

Ryon Bingham (San Diego)—Bingham recorded one assisted tackle and a half-sack in the Chargers’ 21-14 win over the Raiders.

Carlos Polk (San Diego)—Polk snagged a four tackles, including one solo, in San Diego’s 21-14 win over Oakland. Polk has totaled 33 tackles, including 25 solo, while adding one sack, through 11 games this season.

Josh Brown (Seattle)—Brown recorded a perfect game and racked up 14 points as he snagged all four attempted field goals, including a long of 45 yards, and two extra points in the Seahawk’s 34-24 win over the Packers.

Grant Wistrom (Seattle)—Wistrom snagged two solo tackles in the Seattle’s 34-24 win over Green Bay.

Barrett Ruud (Tampa Bay)—Ruud co-led the team with eight tackles, including six solo, as Tampa Bay fell to Dallas 38-10.

Kyle Vanden Bosch (Tennessee)—Vanden Bosch snagged four tackles, including two solo, as the Titans edged the Giants 24-21 in a comeback thriller that saw the Tennessee score all 24 points in the fourth quarter after trailing New York 21-0 at the half. Vanden Bosch has totaled 46 tackles, including 34 solo, through 11 games this season, while also adding four sacks.


Zac Taylor earned Nebraska's third Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year award Tuesday, joining two-time winner Eric Crouch.

Four Nebraska football players were named to the 2006 AT&T All-Big 12 First Team released Tuesday, including senior quarterback Zac Taylor, who was honored by the league’s coaches as Offensive Player of the Year. The four NU selections marked the most for the program since it placed five on the 2003 All-Big 12 squad.

A native of Norman, Okla., Taylor became the second Husker to be named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, joining two-time winner Eric Crouch (1999, 2001). Taylor enters Saturday’s Big 12 Championship game having set nearly every major Nebraska career and single-season passing record in only his second, and final, year on campus. He ranks ninth nationally, and second among Big 12 quarterbacks, in passing efficiency this season and has recorded school-record totals of 2,789 yards and 24 touchdowns while throwing only four interceptions.

Taylor was joined on the first team offense by senior teammate Dane Todd at fullback, while senior defensive end Adam Carriker and junior linebacker Bo Ruud also were selected. Ruud has put together a tremendous season in his second year as the starting WILL linebacker and leads the Blackshirt defense with three forced fumbles.

Carriker was the Huskers’ lone repeat selection, while he was also honored with the Big 12’s first annual Defensive Lineman of the Year award. He also became the first Nebraska defensive player named first-team All-Big 12 since linebacker Carlos Polk in 1999 and 2000. NU’s four first-team selections trailed only Oklahoma and Texas, which each notched five honorees.

Nebraska added three players to the All-Big 12 second team, headlined by senior defensive end Jay Moore, an honorable mention selection a year ago who has set a career high with four sacks this season. A pair of Husker first-year offensive starters joined Moore on the squad in juniors Brandon Jackson and Maurice Purify. Jackson leads NU this season in both rushing and all-purpose yards, while Purify has become a focal point of the Nebraska passing game by ranking first on the team in touchdown catches and receiving yardage and second in catches.

Seven additional Huskers were named honorable-mention All-Big 12: senior linebacker Stewart Bradley, senior free safety Andrew Shanle, junior center Brett Byford, junior cornerback Cortney Grixby, junior linebacker Corey McKeon, sophomore I-back Marlon Lucky and sophomore offensive tackle Matt Slauson.


Barry Turner scored his first career touchdown on a fake field goal attempt during Friday's win over Colorado.

Nebraska sophomore defensive end Barry Turner has been named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week for his standout performance in Nebraska’s 37-14 victory over Colorado.

Turner made two critical special teams plays in the game, helping lead directly to nine Nebraska points. In the second quarter, the 6-3, 250-pounder was on the receiving end of a 29-yard touchdown pass from Joe Ganz on a fake field goal. The catch was the first of Turner’s college career and gave Nebraska a 14-7 edge.

With Nebraska leading 21-14 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Huskers’ Jordan Congdon punted from Colorado territory. Turner made the key play to down the ball inside the CU 1-yard line, and one play later the Nebraska defense recorded a safety to give the Huskers a 23-14 lead and control of the game.

The Colorado game marked the second straight week that Turner has made a huge special teams play. Against Texas A&M, Turner blocked an Aggie field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter. The block kept Nebraska’s deficit at 27-21 and the Huskers responded with a game-winning touchdown drive for a 28-27 victory.

Turner’s selection as Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week marks the third time this season a Husker has been honored by the conference. I-back Marlon Lucky was named Offensive Player of the Week following his performance against Troy, while linebacker Bo Ruud was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after a standout effort against Missouri.

Missouri’s Chase Daniel was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, while Texas A&M’s Mark Dodge was chosen as Defensive Player of the Week.


Dane Todd earned his third consecutive Academic All-Big 12 First-Team honor Tuesday.
IRVING, Texas — A conference-leading 15 Nebraska football players were named first-team Academic All-Big 12, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. Overall, 22 Huskers received either first- or second-team recognition by the Big 12.

Leading the way for Nebraska was senior fullback Dane Todd, who was one of two players honored for having a cumulative 4.0 grade-point average. Todd is a strong candidate to be named an Academic All-American for the second consecutive year later this month.

Todd is one of five Huskers who were named first-team Academic All-Big 12 for the third time in their careers. Also named to the first team for the third time were senior center Kurt Mann, senior free safety Brandon Rigoni, senior free safety Andrew Shanle and junior tight end J.B. Phillips. Making their second career appearance on the academic squad were junior linebacker Lance Brandenburgh and sophomore wide receiver Todd Peterson.

Players being named first-team Academic All-Big 12 for the first time were senior defensive end Adam Carriker, sophomore offensive guard Andy Christensen, sophomore place-kicker Jordan Congdon, senior linebacker Andy Kadavy, senior offensive tackle Newton Lingenfelter, sophomore safety Matt O’Hanlon, sophomore defensive end Zach Potter and sophomore punter Dan Titchener. Five members of the second team—senior cornerback Isaiah Fluellen, senior tight end Matt Herian, junior tight end Josh Mueller, junior offensive tackle Chris Patrick and senior quarterback Zac Taylor—also each earned their first career recognition.

First-Team (3.20 GPA or higher; * 4.0 GPA)
Name – Year - Major - Hometown
Lance Brandenburgh - Jr. - Business Administration – Overland Park, Kan.
Adam Carriker – Sr. – Business Administration – Kennewick, Wash.
Andy Christensen – So. – Construction Management – Bennington, Neb.J
ordan Congdon – So. – Undecided – San Diego, Calif.
Andy Kadavy – Sr. – Elementary Education – Seward, Neb.
Newton Lingenfelter – Sr. – Mechanized Systems Management – Plainview, Neb.
Kurt Mann – Sr. – Mechanized Systems Management – Grand Island, Neb.
Matt O’Hanlon – So. – Secondary Education-Social Science – Bellevue, Neb.
Todd Peterson – So. – Nutritional, Exercise and Health Science – Grand Island, Neb.
J.B. Phillips – Jr. – Marketing – Colleyville, Texas
Zach Potter – So. – Business Administration – Omaha, Neb.
Brandon Rigoni – Sr. – Psychology – Lincoln, Neb.
Andrew Shanle – Sr. – Family and Consumer Sciences Education – St. Edward, Neb.
Dan Titchener – So. – Marketing – Cheyenne, Wyo.
*Dane Todd – Sr. – Biological Sciences – Lincoln, Neb.

Second-Team (3.0 – 3.19 GPA)
Name – Year - Major - Hometown
Isaiah Fluellen – Sr. – German – Rammstein, Germany
Matt Herian – Sr. – History – Pierce, Neb.
Josh Mueller – Jr. – Business Administration – Columbus, Neb.
Chris Patrick – Jr. – Criminal Justice – Ithaca, Mich.
Clayton Sievers – So. – Communication Studies – Elkhorn, Neb.
Nate Swift – So. – Sociology – Hutchinson, Minn.
Zac Taylor – Sr. – Communication Studies – Norman, Okla.


Ryan Wehrle was one of two Huskers chosen for the Wallace Award Watch List on Wednesday.

A pair of Nebraska baseball players were honored Wednesday, as they were among the 120 players on the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List. Juniors Tony Watson and Ryan Wehrle were among the college baseball stars chosen on the preseason list. It is the second preseason honor for both, as Wehrle and Watson were also chosen as preseason All-Americans last week.

Watson returns to anchor the Husker rotation after earning All-America honors last spring. The left-hander compiled an impressive 10-2 mark with a 2.78 ERA in 17 appearances. Watson ranked among the Big 12 leaders in ERA (third), wins (fourth), opponent batting average (.236, fifth) and innings pitched (100.1) in his first full season as a starter. He was also selected in the 17th round by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2006 MLB Draft, but elected to return to Nebraska for his junior season.

Wehrle became the first Husker shortstop in 21 seasons to earn first-team all-conference honors in 2006, hitting a team-best .367 with eight homers and 49 RBIs. Wehrle led NU in average and ranked second on the squad in RBIs, while also going a perfect 14-for-14 on the basepaths. A two-year starter, Wehrle also enjoyed a strong performance in the field, posting a .949 fielding percentage while starting 57 contests. An 18th round selection by the Cincinnati Reds in last summer’s MLB Draft, Wehrle also elected to return to Nebraska for the upcoming season.

The Huskers begin the 2007 campaign on Friday, Feb. 16, when they take on New Mexico. Nebraska returns 22 letterwinners, including six everyday starters and three of its top four starting pitchers, from a team that finished 42-17 and reached the NCAA Regionals for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.


The 2007 Huskers were ranked 10th in the GymInfo preseason poll.

The Nebraska men’s gymnastics team earned national recognition this week, as the Huskers were ranked 10th in the GymInfo preseason coaches poll.The Huskers enjoy the return of six letterwinners this season, including leading all-arounders junior Stephen Tétrault and senior Jason Wassung. Tétrault is a returning All-American on vault, while Wassung has been ranked in the top-10 nationally in the all-around for the last three seasons.

Nebraska also welcomes 10 newcomers to the roster in 2007, its largest recruiting class in five years, which includes four talented all-arounders that are expected to make an immediate impact for NU.

Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma, headlines the poll in the No. 1 spot with nine first-place votes, followed by Stanford in second. California, ranked fourth, joins Nebraska to give the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation four teams in the top 10.

Nebraska begins its season on Friday, January 12, in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the 15th annual Rocky Mountain Open. The meet, hosted by Air Force, kicks off at 8 p.m. central time on Friday with the team competition, followed by individual event finals on Saturday, January 13 at 2 p.m.
Nebraska’s young lineup will be tested early at the meet, which also features the Sooners. It is the first of several meetings between the two programs, including NU’s home opener on Friday, February 2, when it welcomes both Oklahoma and Air Force to the Devaney Sports Center at 7:30 p.m.

The triangular against OU and Air Force is one of four home contests for the Huskers this season. NU also hosts three consecutive weekend home duals in March against Stanford, Minnesota and Air Force.


* Autumn Thoughts On Seeds And ... Procreation

Something pleasant to contemplate in a world of news that isn't always pleasant.

* Workers In Meatpacking Plants Still Face High Risk Of Injury

With the influx of immigrant workers - illegal and otherwise - we have a hard time imagining things getting a lot better for those who labor in jobs that most of us wouldn't consider doing.

* Osborne Will Teach Leadership, Ethics Courses At UNL

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* On The "Old Editor" Turning 80

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* Painful Memories And Gratitude In The Wake Of Deadly Fire

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* UNO Athletic Director Resigns Under Continuing Pressure

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* Marine Lance Corporal Who Fell In Iraq Memorialized

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* Quarterback Taylor Looks To Final Home Game At Memorial Stadium

The photograph provided by the Daily Nebraskan is enough by itself to recommend this piece - which was nice presented by Kaitlyn Kerkhove.

* Autumn Thoughts On Seeds And ... Procreation

Something pleasant to contemplate in a world of news that isn't always pleasant.


GREAT YouTube VIDEO (thanks Duane)...

Video Description

Coach Dan Hawkins

For more Husker videos from the guy who created this one, check out:
HUSKER IN BAGHDAD 2006 - Number 3

Sorry it has been so long since checking in. I was hoping to get these out about every two weeks but the last few have been very busy. Was on the road a bit checking out projects in the south and was able to do a little reconnaissance of some projects we’re working on right here in Baghdad. Before I get to those…a few disclaimers:


There was a recent news story in Omaha regarding my HUSKER IN BAGHDAD series. I appreciated all the coverage and help in getting the good news out in Iraq, but I must clarify a few things that apparently were misstated in that coverage. I am not a Lt. Col. serving over here. While the billet I am filling is an O-5 billet, and I just relived an O-6 who filled this before me, I am currently serving in Iraq as a GS-14 volunteer Department of the Army Civilian. It is part of the “Army of One” package that integrates active duty, Army Reserve, National Guard and Civilian forces. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq is comprised of approximately 500 people, sixty percent are civilian volunteers. There are also several hundred Iraqi nationals that work alongside us. We work in addition to the all-military engineering units in theater, who also fall under the USACE colors.

This is my third voluntary tour in four years. Stateside I serve as the Chief of Public Affairs for the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That said, on the military side, I am proud to state I am also in my 21st year serving as a reservist in the Army – currently as a sergeant first class, and will be going on-orders for a few weeks during my tour here. Prior to transferring to the Army Reserves in 2004, my first 19 years were served in the Nebraska Army National Guard and I am proud to say several of those fine Soldiers are also over here – they’re still ‘my guys’ – I look for them everywhere I go.

Another disclaimer: I often express my frustration with the media coverage on the mission here – but I would be remiss if I did not note that most smaller U.S. market outlets are making the valiant attempt to cover the whole story. Unfortunately they work against, and do not have at their disposal, the vast major network resources. It would be unfair for me to include many of those folks in any broad brushstroke criticism on the outlets here in theater – we depend on those journalists, those true journalists, in helping write the true first rough draft of history.

Ok, back to the mission at hand…

A few weeks back I was able to travel to the Haditha Dam in western Iraq. The Hon. John P. Woodley, assistance secretary of defense for civil works, was in country visiting many of our civil works projects. I spent several nights there in 2004 to report on Corps efforts as they help refurbish and replace two of the six turbines in the hydropower dam, replace several control systems as well as restore and improve multiple high voltage lines to provide needed capacity and inter-connectivity for the electrical grid in Iraq. In May of 2004, for the first time since 1990, that hydropower dam was able to operate at full capacity. Despite that being a huge success story, even then it received only minimal coverage. Today, Corps crews are still onsite helping to maintain and develop capacity within the operators at the dam to maintain these improved systems.

For those familiar with the Army, most services follow a practice called ‘preventive maintenance.’ In short, we bend over backwards checking our equipment and systems daily, weekly, monthly to ensure they are operational at all times. In some situations, it means taking systems off line for tests, cleaning, calibration, etc.

For years, in Iraq, due to threats by Saddam and from fear of failure, this society has followed what can best be described as ‘failure maintenance.’ Saddam would demand these systems would run at all costs – despite his reluctance to invest in maintenance or spare parts. When they broke down, ANY fix to get them going again was pursued. While some ingenious engineering solutions were developed to band-aid some of these systems, in the end it was a progressively slow path towards ultimate failure of these systems. Now that we have rebuilt, and built new, many of these systems, there is a focused effort to develop not only an awareness for preventive maintenance, but also alleviate the ‘fear of failure’ that proliferated the operation and maintenance of these systems just a few years ago. It will do us no good to build just another system and let it run towards failure.

On a separate trip in the south, in Basrah we visited one of our larger facility projects in health care as well as a new prison in the Nasariyah area. Both are progressing well. Cumulatively, these health care facilities, courthouses, prisons, etc, will systematically provide a foundation for the Iraqi people to pick up and carry forward to improve their public services, rule of law, and other basic tenants of society that we stateside take for granted.

However, and this is a point often lost in the coverage of the construction effort here, even with all the great accomplishments, we are only scratching the surface on what needs to be done here in Iraq.


Something that is lost in the dismal western coverage of the construction efforts here is 1) an appreciation for the baseline or starting point of the effort, and 2) a realistic sense of success in a war zone.

It can not be overstated that the state of the infrastructure in Iraq in 2003, after the fall of Saddam, was dismal. An often used expression was the Iraqis here were keeping things going with ‘bubble gum and barbed wire.’ That expression is not too off base. Add to that the inequitable distribution of the limited systems they had under Saddam, the looting and vandalism that occurred, and eventually the deteriorating security environment that hampered construction, it is amazing, if not unprecedented, to have made the incredible strides we have made in these three short years. This is more of a construction effort than reconstruction effort.

Despite that, it seems the level of expectation in the western media is that all projects need to have pretty paint, balloons and a ribbon cutting event to be called a success. That perspective is ignorant, if not naïve. We’re not building Wal-Marts over here.

A new four walled school with a solid roof is vast improvement over a mud hut school or where none existed before.

A new generator plant in what used to be an empty desert field may not generate enough electricity to meet all the needs immediately, but it is a vast improvement to no system before.

A new water treatment plant is an incredible accomplishment. And while the last key part of these systems to allow them to be fully utilized may be that final connection into the Iraq home – and that connection may be hampered by the security situation – it does not diminish the fact that coalition heroes have created an opportunity that did not previously exist.

Again, we’re building the blocks for the Iraqis to build upon.

We celebrate thousands of projects but the media, when they do bother to report on construction, usually focus on ones that have problems. At close-out, or near hand-off, there are often items that still need to be fixed (who hasn’t hired a contractor and doesn’t know what ‘punch list ‘ items are?) But the media rally around the problem project like they are a typical representation of the work being accomplished over here. That is not only inaccurate, but unfair to the sweat, tears, and blood, of those who have worked so hard for so long. The effort of those here deserve more than a two minute piece by a news caster who has spend literally only a few weeks reporting from a hotel room, and not taking the time to understand the context of the news they are reporting.

We have completed thousands of projects here. If five percent have issues (incomplete projects, overlooked deficiencies, etc) that may still be 100’s of projects, but it is not representative of the 1000’s of projects that are completed without issue. What also isn’t mentioned is the effort by the forces here to correct those deficiencies and collect restitution from the contractor, or other agent, that overlooked the issue.

All of this is being accomplished in a place where people still shoot at you. Again, we’re not building Wal-Marts.

Moving forward…

Combining projects created by the seized money from Saddam and that initially generated by oil exports and held in trust by the provisional government (Developmental Fund for Iraq - DFI money), or money from the US taxpayers dedicated to Iraqi construction (Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund - IRRF money) and money in individual commanders emergency reconstruction funds (CERP), more than 10,000 projects, big and small, have been started and completed in this country -- some as simple as a new air conditioning unit for a school, some as complex as a new sewage treatment facility for a major city.

We are moving forward.

Now that the Iraqi government is getting its legs underneath itself (remember, it literally just stood up on its own last May), they are working the budgetary systems and rules to allow investment of their own money to pick up the baton and continue the effort. They have their own ‘red tape’ issues to figure out.

If anyone suggests the Iraqis don’t have the resources to do this on their own, then they are ignorant to the wealth, both natural and human, this country posses. According to the World Bank, the Iraqi GDP (in billions) has increased steadily since 2003 from $11.8, to $25.7 in 2004 and $34.5 in 2005. The World Bank estimates the GDP for the country will reach $47 in 2006. What an incredible result of this ‘struggling’ democracy!

Unfortunately, news of that effort is again hampered by the news coverage.

While the Iraqi people are not infants, their government is still in its infancy. It formally stood up only 6 months ago. But I would place its progress next to any forming democracy in the history of man. Regrettably, the ‘bar’ being set by an inpatient American political scene is unrealistic and the coverage of the progress by the western media is superficial at best.

Just last week we helped host a press conference, led by the Government of Iraq. The Deputy Prime Minister led the event, the Mayor of Baghdad, the Provincial Governor, and several high seated Iraqi administrators were meeting to discuss the forward plan to increase development in Baghdad and address the security issues hampering that cause. It was the Iraqi government at work. To the nearly three dozen pan-Arabic media representatives, the importance of this milestone was championed. But to many western media in attendance, this was a ‘ho-hum’ event. The NY Times reporter told us he wasn’t sure he could get anything out of the event. The BBC reporter, mid-way through the conference, walked up and pulled his microphone off the podium and left. Not only was it incredibly insulting to the government official speaking, it was indicative of what drives the focus of the greater western world. Good news doesn’t sell.

The Iraqi people are clamoring for the young government to work through its learning curve and the western media missed seeing that happen.

Apparently, the media would rather celebrate the legacy of a local militant ( The press seems quick to celebrate a militia leader but slow to recognize the sincere reverence our fighters have by the Iraqi people. Where is the balance in this piece that is more propaganda that news? Even in high school journalism I learned that a single point of view story was a “C” at best.


Everything here, the progress, has to be gauged in measured perspectives. In 2004, I equated the environment here to the ‘wild west’. A strong will of the people to find and create a new life, but a handful of thieves and robbers hampering the cause. The good people were working together, and the framework for law and order was being assembled.

To continue that analogy, I would say Iraq is currently experiencing its equivalent of the U.S. Mob era. There are government structures in place, but there are also spots of corruption. The good news is, much as our own government eventually took control of that problem (ok, a cynic says it rampantly still exists in the U.S.), the Iraqi government is doing that as well. Unfortunately, the peaceful citizens of Iraq are caught in the crossfire while that process completes itself – but they fight on. Their will is strong.

Again, it takes time.

When I get my KBR turkey and dressing tomorrow and sit down with my fellow Soldiers, Sailor, Airmen, Marines, Civilians, contractors and local Iraqi patriots, it will be hard to not draw a comparison to another significant Thanksgiving meal a few hundred years ago. While the ‘natives’ and ‘new explorers’ are different, the land is different, and the political reasons for our gathering is different, the simple act of sitting and eating with good people sharing a common cause is inspiring.

I am thankful to be a part of a momentous period in our global life. I am confident that history will accurately record the significance of these times that day to day news reports continue to miss.

Lastly, I am thankful there are people like yourselves who are dedicated to finding out the whole story of the mission here, and making your own value judgments with the benefit of having a more complete picture.

Thank you for your support and have a happy holiday with your own family

You can read more about the construction effort in Iraq in the latest issue of ESSAYONS FORWARD, the field magazine of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq at: (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 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.

Thomas A. O'Hara III

Chief Public Affairs Officer, Gulf Region Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Baghdad, Iraq

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