Friday, January 26, 2007

Bay Area Husker ENews 1-17-07

Happy New Year Bay Area Husker Fans!

Sorry its been so long since the last email. I've included some delayed articles about the disappointing loss to Auburn in the Cotton Bowl, mixed with some fresh stuff about other sports events (including a special ceremony for the National Championship Volleyball team this weekend), a pitch to start thinking about our annual Founders' Day Brunch and a little Husker Humor at the end. Enjoy the reading.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),


FOUNDERS' DAY BRUNCH COMING SOON (Sunday February 25th)...

SAVE THE DATE! Our annual Founders' Day event is just around the corner, and we are excited to have another great speaker for our brunch event. Former Husker star (TE '79-'82, from Davenport Iowa) and 49er great (#81 TE '89-'93), Jamie Williams, will speak to us about his football career and his involvement in the film industry and sports entertainment. I will be sending a separate email shortly with more details, but you can check out the events page on our chapter website for more information about Jamie Williams and the event at: .


The Husker volleyball team will be honored at Saturday's game against Colorado.

Lincoln – The Nebraska Athletic Department will honor the 2006 NCAA Champion Husker volleyball team on Saturday, Jan. 20, during halftime of the men’s basketball game against Colorado.

The event was originally scheduled to coincide with the men’s basketball game against Oklahoma State last Saturday, but was postponed, along with the game, because of ice storms that prevented the Cowboy men’s team from traveling over the weekend.

Fans who had purchased single-game tickets for last Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State to participate in the autograph session can exchange those tickets for best-seat available tickets to this Saturday’s 5:05 p.m. game against the Buffaloes in one of two ways.

The Husker volleyball team, which will be honored during a halftime ceremony, will sign autographs for fans from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Northwest Concourse of the Devaney Center. Fans will also have an opportunity to purchase a limited edition Huskers’ national championship poster for $5 and other NCAA national championship merchandise. In addition, fans can also have their picture taken with the national championship trophy prior to Saturday’s game.

A limit of one item to be autographed per person is in effect and fans must have purchased tickets to Saturday’s basketball game to participate in the autograph session.

The Husker volleyball team went 33-1 en route to the program’s third NCAA title. NU, which was ranked No. 1 the entire season, defeated No. 2 Stanford, 3-1, in front of an NCAA record crowd of 17,209 at the Qwest Center in Omaha last month. Led by four AVCA All-Americans including national player of the year Sarah Pavan, the Huskers won the school’s ninth Big 12 title in 11 years with a 19-1 Big 12 record.


Ola Dagunduro will play in the East-West Shrine Game, one of six Huskers set for all-star games over the next two weeks.

Six members of Nebraska’s 2006 senior class are scheduled to participate in post-season all-star games over the next two weekends. Three Huskers will take part in this Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game in Houston, Texas with another three players set to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala.

The West squad for the Shrine contest includes quarterback Zac Taylor, tight end Matt Herian and defensive tackle Ola Dagunduro. The West team will be coached by former Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves. The East-West Shrine Game will be played at Reliant Stadium and will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 6 p.m. (CST).

Taylor completed his two-year Nebraska career with nearly every Husker passing record. The 6-2, 210-pound Taylor threw for 5,850 yards and 45 touchdowns in his career and was named the 2006 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Herian left Nebraska as the school’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yardage among tight ends. The 6-5, 245-pound Herian completed his career with 12 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns as a senior.

Dagunduro was a key cog in an impressive Husker front seven. Dagunduro completed the 2006 season with 31 total tackles, including nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

The Senior Bowl will feature three Husker defenders who spent three seasons as members of the Blackshirts—defensive ends Adam Carriker and Jay Moore and linebacker Stewart Bradley.

Carriker was chosen as the 2006 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, following a season in which he recorded a team-leading seven sacks and 16 tackles for loss. He finished his career in sixth place on the Nebraska career sacks list (20.5) and fifth on the tackles for loss chart (41).

The 6-4, 280-pound Moore lined up opposite Carriker each of the past two seasons and gave Nebraska one of the nation’s top end tandems. As a senior, Moore had a team-leading 17 tackles for loss, including six sacks, and finished his career with 38 career tackles for loss.

Bradley led Nebraska in tackles from his SAM linebacker spot, finishing the year with 76 tackles, including 41 solo stops. The 6-4, 250-pound Bradley had four games with seven or more tackles in 2006, including 10-tackle efforts against USC and Kansas State.

The Senior Bowl will be played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., and will be televised on the NFL Network, with kickoff at 3 p.m. The coaching staffs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers, including head coaches Jon Gruden and Mike Nolan, will serve as the coaches for the Senior Bowl.

Senior defensive tackle Barry Cryer participated in the Inta Juice North-South All-Star Classic in Houston on Saturday, Jan. 13.


Brandon Jackson finished his Nebraska career with 1,431 rushing yards, including 989 yards in 2006.

Nebraska I-back Brandon Jackson announced on Monday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility at Nebraska and make himself eligible for the 2007 National Football League Draft.

“Coming off a good year at Nebraska, I felt like the situation and timing was right for me to advance to the professional level. My decision was not based on the last game of the season. It was based on the opportunity in front of me to play at the next level in the NFL.

“I want to thank Coach Callahan and the rest of the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play Division I football at Nebraska and helping make me a better player. I have had a great three years there and this has been a hard decision to make because I have always tried to put the team first. I also want to thank the athletic administration and especially my academic advisors, Dennis (Leblanc) and Kim (Schellpeper) for helping me out along the way. I will come back to Nebraska and finish my degree.

“Finally, I want to thank the Nebraska fans for cheering me on and being the best fans in America. I will be a Husker for life and I hope to represent Nebraska in a great way in the National Football League.”

A native of Horn Lake, Miss., Jackson played in 33 games during his three-year Nebraska career and made 11 starts. He finished his career with 1,431 career rushing yards to rank 35th on the Huskers’ career charts. Jackson ran for 989 yards and eight touchdowns in 2006 en route to earning first-team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press. Jackson had four 100-yard rushing games in 2006, and also caught 33 passes from 313 yards out of the backfield.

Coach Bill Callahan statement on Brandon Jackson:
“We have been made aware of Brandon Jackson’s decision enter the NFL Draft. I want to thank him for his contributions to the Nebraska football program and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. We were hopeful that he would choose to stay at Nebraska to complete his eligibility and, most importantly, continue to pursue his college degree.”


Marlon Lucky led the Huskers with 88 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving in the Cotton Bowl.

Big Red Review is your source for a complete postgame recap of Nebraska's 17-14 Cotton Bowl loss to the Auburn Tigers on Monday in Dallas. provides a complete game story, stats, notes, quotes and photos.

Nebraska vs. Auburn Recap
Nebraska vs. Auburn Final Game Statistics
Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan Quotes
Nebraska Player Quotes
Nebraska Postgame Notes
Auburn Postgame Notes
Cotton Bowl Notes
Auburn Postgame Quotes
Audio Highlights from the Husker Sports Network
Nebraska Season Statistics
2006 Season Photo Gallery Cotton Bowl Photo Gallery

Published Wednesday
January 3, 2007
THE FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAMDALLAS - As Nebraska coach Bill Callahan spoke in the postgame press conference tent immediately following the Cotton Bowl on Monday, police sirens whined in the background, coming closer and closer.

Some Cornhusker fan, I figured, must have turned the coach in for malfeasance and total incompetence, and they were coming to take him away.

Then again, if he'd really been smart, the disgruntled fan would have made that call before the game.

Note to Jerry Jones: Do yourself a favor and scratch Callahan from your list of potential replacements for Bill Parcells.

Callahan spent most of Monday's Cotton Bowl making Jones' buddy, Al Davis, look like a genius for firing him as the Raiders' coach three years ago. Nebraska couldn't overcome Callahan's repeated bad calls and Auburn prevailed 17-14 in a game that wasn't nearly as exciting as it sounds.

Somebody had to win it after Callahan refused to let his Cornhuskers take "yes" for an answer.
Most incriminating on Callahan's résumé on Monday was a "what's-he-doing?" second-quarter fake punt attempt that blew up in his face and a fourth-quarter snub of a potentially game-tying 47-yard field goal with just 3:48 to play.

Those were just the lowlights, straight out of a "Three Stooges" episode. The game was littered with questionable calls by Callahan, whose Huskers dominated the first half, only to spend intermission scratching their heads at a 14-14 scoreboard.

Finally realizing that Callahan was simply glad to be here and had no intention of actually playing to win the game, the 10th-ranked Tigers woke up long enough to make some defensive adjustments. After that, all it took to put the Cornhuskers away was a simple 42-yard third-quarter field goal.

It didn't have to be this way.

A CFL scout - and Auburn grad - sitting beside me in the press box predicted that Nebraska would win by two touchdowns, "maybe three." Don't let the final score fool you. The scout knew what he talking about.

What he couldn't predict was how Callahan's ineptitude would keep Auburn in the game.

The Tigers had countered Nebraska's game-opening 80-yard march, capped by Zac Taylor's 13-yard pass to Nate Swift. Karibi Dede's interception of a deflected Taylor pass and 52-yard return set up a 9-yard TD pass from Brandon Cox to Carl Stewart.

That was followed by Callahan's brain-lock early in the second quarter. First, there was a questionable call of a slant-pass on third-and-one from their own 29 when the Huskers had been gouging out good yardage on the ground. When the pass caromed away, incomplete, Callahan sent out his punting unit. Inexplicably, he called for the fake and a reverse from up-back Dane Todd to safety Andrew Shanle coming around. They never connected on the handoff and the delighted Tigers pounced on the loose ball at the Nebraska 14.

"It didn't work, obviously, but it was early enough in the ballgame that we felt we were still in position to come back," Callahan tried to explain. "We fumbled the exchange and that cost us some critical yardage.

"That was my fault. I take full responsibility for that."

He has to, and in a three-point game, that's seven points the head coach just flat gave away.
But if that call seemed strange at best, he had a worse one yet to come.

Trailing 17-14 in the fourth quarter, fate and their defense handed the Cornhuskers one final chance to win a game they should have already salted away much earlier.

With Auburn trying to run out the clock, Stewart Bradley blitzed on a third-and-12 play and rattled the ball loose from Cox. Bradley smothered the ball, giving Nebraska a golden opportunity at the Auburn 42.

The Huskers punched it as deep as the Auburn 27 before being shoved back to the 30, where they faced a fourth-and-11 with 1:36 to play. It would have been a 47-yard field-goal attempt into a slight north wind for Jordan Congdon, whose longest of the season was 41 yards.

Still, the alternative - trying to convert the fourth-and-11 play - was an even worse long shot, at best.

Congdon never made it onto the field. Taylor tried to hit Frantz Hardy on the right sideline, but the ball sailed far too high. It wasn't even close.

It would have been a difficult kick under extreme pressure, but who knows what adrenaline might have done for Congdon.

"We felt it was out of his range," Callahan said. "When we come out in the pregame, we check the distances and figure out a yard line from where we think he can make it and from that determine a cutoff point. So we made a decision to go for it on fourth down instead of attempting the field goal."

When some had trouble buying that answer, Callahan persisted.

"I'm just telling you it was out of range, and we just decided as a staff what the cutoff was," he said. "Jordan knew exactly where the cutoff was and the staff and everybody was on the same page. That's a decision that we live with."

Or in this case, die with.

If Cotton Bowl officials had handed out an MVP ballot, instead of just offensive and defensive players of the game, I'd have had to pencil Callahan in on mine.

Auburn couldn't have done this without him.


Senior Jason Wassung the Nebraska men's gymnastics team take on Oklahoma and Air Force this weekend.

The Nebraska men’s gymnastics team gets its second crack at dethroning No. 1 Oklahoma this weekend, as the Huskers head south to face the Sooners and Air Force in triangular action on Saturday, Jan. 20 in Norman, Okla.

The meet, which begins at 1 p.m. CST, is the second consecutive clash between the three programs. Last weekend at the Rocky Mountain Open, Oklahoma took the top seed behind a score of 207.35 and the Huskers are eager to rebound this weekend and break a losing streak to the Sooners that dates back to the 2000 season.

The meet is the second of three straight road contests for Nebraska, which finishes its road stretch with a trip to the Stanford Open in Palo Alto, Calif., on Jan. 26-27. Despite opening the season with a month on the road, the Huskers will actually be back in Lincoln sooner than normal, as their home-opener is on Feb. 2, nearly two weeks sooner than any of the last three seasons.

Nebraska’s trip to Norman will be a homecoming for one NU newcomer as freshman Josh Rusler returns to the Sooner state to compete for the Huskers. Rusler had a big debut at the Rocky Mountain Open last week, leading Nebraska on both the vault (8.60) and high bar (8.45), and looks to improve on those performances in front of a hometown crowd on Saturday.

Sophomore T.J. Schmidt also handed down a breakout performance for Nebraska to open the season, setting or tying his career-high marks on the floor exercise (8.20), pommel horse (8.55) and still rings (8.65) and earning the first event title of his career on pommel horse. A similar showing from Schmidt against Air Force and Oklahoma could make the difference for Nebraska.


Colorado Springs, Colo. – The Nebraska men’s gymnastics team finished second (189.70) among four teams at the 22nd annual Rocky Mountain Open hosted by the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday. Top-ranked Oklahoma finished first with a score of 207.35 with Air Force (175.30) and Arizona State (172.35) placing third and fourth, respectively.

Nebraska was led by senior co-captain Jason Wassung, who finished second in the all-around with an overall score of 48.05. Wassung was followed by junior Stephen Tétrault, who finished third with a score of 46.15.

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Behind a strong performance from sophomore T.J. Schmidt, the Nebraska men’s gymnastics team turned in a strong performance in the individual event finals of the Rocky Mountain Open Saturday afternoon.

Schmidt led the Husker contingent by capturing his first career event title, winning the pommel horse with a score of 8.55. Schmidt, who led NU to a runner-up finish in Friday night’s team competition, became the second Husker in as many years to capture the Rocky Mountain open pommel horse title, as Jason Wassung won the event in 2006.

Schmidt tied or set career bests in two of the three events he competed in on Saturday, matching his career best of 8.55 on pommel horse for the second straight day, while also tying for third on floor exercise with a mark of 8.30. The Blair, Neb., native also picked up his third top-three finish of the afternoon, as he placed second on the parallel bars with an 8.30.

Two other Huskers garnered top-four finishes in Saturday’s event finals. Jason Wassung placed third on parallel bars with an 8.15, while true freshman Josh Rusler finished fourth on the high bar with an 8.45, the best score by any Husker on the apparatus during the two days of competition.

"It’s a typical first meet of the season, especially with a young team," Nebraska Coach Francis Allen said after the meet. "We saw a lot of good things and also a lot of things we need to work on for next week."
PHOTOS OF RECENT ICE STORMS IN NEBRASKA (thanks to Mary Ann Hruska and a bunch of others in the group for sending me the link)

Amazing photography of the damage done (and beauty created) by the ice storms that passed through western Nebraska over the holidays.


* Record Crowd Sees Bluejays Defeat Drake, 79-56

How about them Bluejays? Go Creighton!

* Federal Funds Will Help Recovery From Winter Storms

Good news for 57 Nebraska counties. Thousands of people are still without power.

* After the Outage: Be Careful Cooking, Storing Food

Good advice

* UNL And Wesleyan Updating Sprinkler Systems In Residence Halls

Good news. Too bad it took the death of a NWU student to get things moving.

* White Leads NU Past Western Kentucky, 82-71

A nice performance leading to this week's Big 12 opender against Iowa State.

* Electricity Outage Could Last A Month For Some

Speaking of energy. Some Nebraskans are going to have to do without it for awhile. Wherever you are, this story links to local coverage around the state.

* Thousands Without Power In Storm's Wake

This wrapup will connect you will all manner of local storm coverage from all around the state.

* New Year's On Ice

A wonderful essay from a first-time correspondent. We hope to hear from her a good deal in the future.

* Auburn's Winning Cotton Tale Based On Nebraska Errors

A couple of Nebraska whoopsies were all that Auburn needed.

* "Our players poured their hearts out today ..." Callahan

NU's coach wasn't in the very best of moods after getting chopped in the Cotton Bowl.

* Cast-off Horseshoes Become Works Of Art

Young people doing interesting things.



Here is the email the publisher sent to our Chapter Prez, Dave Pegg...

Dear David,

I am a research assistant working on a book "For Nebraska Fans Only," and I need your help alerting your chapter members that they could be a part of this book. The author, Rich Wolfe, is the number one sports’ author in America the last six years. We are looking for interesting, funny, poignant, and unique stories from Husker fans. Possible topics for these stories might include growing up as a Cornhusker fan, experiences in Memorial Stadium, tailgating, traveling to games both in Lincoln and out of state, meeting players, meeting coaches, favorite announcers, etc. The book will be published next summer. The book will be written in Denver, CO and Phoenix, AZ. Lone Wolfe Press is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. We have done similar books on Iowa, Notre Dame, and most recently the Denver Broncos.

Any fans with stories can contact me at Their subject line should read Nebraska fans. Thanks for any help.

Kenan Peterson
Research Assistant

Husker Humor...

Politicians and Banty Roosters...

John the farmer was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called "pullets" and eight or ten roosters, whose job was to fertilize the eggs. The farmer kept records and any rooster that didn't perform went into the soup pot and was replaced. That took an awful lot of his time so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone so John could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.

The farmer's favorite rooster was old Butch, and a very fine specimen he was, too. But one particular morning John noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all! John went to the henhouse to investigate. The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover. But to Farmer John's amazement, Butch had his bell in his beak so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on apullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

John was so proud of Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair and Butch became an overnight sensation among the judges.The result... The judges not only awarded Butch the No Bell Piece Prize but they also awarded him the Pullet Surprise as well. Clearly Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention?

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors.

Say hello today, email us, sign up for our newsletter, and become a member of the Bay Area
Huskers Alumni Chapter.

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