Friday, October 05, 2007

Bay Area Husker ENews 10-05-07

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

It was another one of those weeks for us Husker fans. The defense was having its issues and the offense at times could not keep hold of the ball. Fortunately both sides of the ball did come to life with Bo Ruud's interception for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Blackshirts may have given up allot of plays but they came up with some big plays when it counted and ultimately the team was able to seal their 4th win of the season and first in the Big Twelve North race. Next up the Missouri Tigers.

This week's game against Missouri will be shown on ESPN with a Kickoff of 6:15 PST. So be sure to join fellow Husker Fans at one of our local watch party sites as we look to tame the tigers and celebrate a win and then remember the unbelieveable finish that occurred 10 years ago with the now famous kick and timely catch by Matt Davidson.

Next weeks game against Oklahoma State will be on FSN PPV and is set to start at 9:30 AM. I will post information as it becomes available but at this point I would assume that we will be showing the game at the normal watch sites and then asking for donations to help off set the cost to the establishments we meet at each week.

Go Big Red

Brian Webmaster

Big Plays Key NU Win over Iowa State in Big 12 Opener

Nebraska rallied from a 10-0 second-quarter deficit with 28 unanswered points and went on to a 35-17 victory over Iowa State on Saturday in the Big 12 opener for both teams. In a game that featured plenty of crucial changes of possession on turnovers, senior linebacker Bo Ruud made the game’s biggest play with his 93-yard interception return late in the third quarter that keyed the win for the Huskers.

Ruud’s interception was created by a breakup by cornerback Cortney Grixby inside NU’s 10-yard line, and helped NU improve to 4-1. Grixby’s assist on Ruud’s huge return was one of many big plays for the senior from Omaha. With Iowa State leading 10-0 in the second quarter, Grixby changed momentum with a 51-yard kickoff return. The Husker offense cashed in quickly, as Marlon Lucky threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Sean Hill to cap a seven-play, 47-yard drive and pull NU within 10-7 with less than five minutes to play in the half.

After getting the ball back on its own 18-yard line, NU marched 82 yards on 10 plays to give the Huskers their first lead of the day on Sam Keller’s six-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Lawson. The catch was the first of Lawson’s career. The Blackshirts forced another three-and-out on ISU’s last possession of the first half, and the Huskers appeared poised to capitalize, but the first-half clock ran out with the Huskers threatening to add to their lead.

Although Nebraska was unable to extend the lead before half, it took less than one minute to take a 21-10 edge after halftime. Lucky capped the drive with a 41-yard score to give the Huskers a comfortable edge. Lucky finished the day with 107 rushing yards for his third 100-yard performance this season.

Iowa State appeared poised to stay in the game late in the third quarter, driving deep into NU territory, before Grixby and Ruud teamed up for the play of the day. Ruud was escorted by a bevy of Blackshirt blockers on his 93-yard jaunt to the end zone.

The Cyclones sliced the lead to 28-17 midway through the fourth quarter and held a sliver of hope for the upset until Grixby stepped into a passing lane and picked off an ISU pass for the second time. He returned the pick 41 yards to the ISU 3 to set up Lawson’s second touchdown reception of the day to ice NU’s 18-point win.

Grixby finished with a 140 all-purpose yards, including 87 yards on two kickoff returns, a 12-yard punt return and 41 yards on his two interception returns. The four turnovers by the Blackshirts were key in determining the outcome after ISU had capitalized on three NU turnovers in the first eight offensive snaps.

NU Continues History of Success in League Openers

Nebraska has a long-standing tradition of opening conference play on a positive note and that continued with Saturday’s 35-17 victory over Iowa State in Lincoln. The Huskers have now won 32 of their past 33 conference openers since 1975, with the only blemish a 2002 loss at Iowa State. Saturday’s victory was NU’s fourth straight to open Big 12 play under Coach Callahan, and ended a streak of two consecutive years of opening league play with an overtime victory.

In addition to its overall success in league openers, Nebraska has won its last 30 conference home openers since a 24-21 setback against Iowa State to begin the 1977 home Big Eight campaign. Nebraska is 92-18-2 all-time in conference openers, including a 42-6-1 mark in Lincoln. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Nebraska is 11-1 in league openers.

Huskers Make Second ESPN Appearance

Nebraska’s appearance on ESPN against Missouri marks the Huskers’ second apperance on the network this season. Nebraska also played on ESPN in a 20-17 victory at Wake Forest on Sept. 8. The national TV appearance marks the Huskers’ third national TV airing it its first six games. In addition to the Wake Forest contest, the Nebraska-USC game was televised nationally in prime time by ABC. Additionally, the Huskers’ season opener against Nevada was carried by ABC on a regional basis.

The second ESPN appearance in 2007 marks the first time NU has had two regular-season games on the network since 1992 when the Huskers played three times on ESPN. The Nebraska-Missouri game will also mark the first time Nebraska has played a conference game on ESPN since a Thursday-night contest at Oklahoma State to open the 1995 season.
Nebraska has a history of success on ESPN, posting a 26-5-1 all-time record on the network, including victories in its past four games on ESPN.

Husker Offense Finds Success in Red Zone

Nebraska has been extremely efficient in the Red Zone the past two seasons. A year ago, the Huskers finished the season with an 86 percent efficiency rate in the Red Zone (44-of-51), including 41 touchdowns. At one point in the season, Nebraska was perfect in the Red Zone for seven straight games.

The 2007 Husker offense is showing the same ability to convert scoring opportunities into points. Through five games, Nebraska has an 87 percent (20-of-23) Red Zone conversion rate. The Huskers have scored 17 touchdowns and connected on three field goals after moving inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Nebraska had failed Red Zone opportunites at the end of the game against Nevada and the end of the first half against Iowa State, and also committed a turnover on the ISU 1-yard line.

Nebraska ranks sixth in the Big 12 in Red Zone efficiency. Missouri has also been efficient when moving inside the opposing 20-yard line, converting 15-of-17 Red Zone opportunities.

Ruud Continues to Show Knack for Big Plays

Nebraska senior linebacker Bo Ruud continues to show his knack for providing big plays for the Husker defense. Against Iowa State, Ruud intercepted a third-quarter Bret Meyer pass and raced 93 yards down the sideline for a touchdown that gave the Huskers a comfortable 28-10 lead. The interception return for a score marked the second straight week Ruud had found the end zone. A week earlier, Ruud intercepted a Ball State pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown to help fuel Nebraska’s come-from-behind victory.

The interceptions the past two weeks give Ruud five career interceptions, including three that he has returned for touchdowns (also 2005 vs. Maine). Ruud has made the most of his five interceptions, returning them a total of 208 yards and each of them at least 14 yards. The three interception returns for touchdowns are a record for a Husker linebacker.
The 93-yard interception return against Iowa State was the longest ever by a Nebraska linebacker and the third-longest in school history. Ruud also became the first Nebraska linebacker to score two touchdowns in a season since Julius Jackson had a fumble and an interception return for a score against Southern Miss in 1999. Ruud’s two interception returns for touchdowns in a season ties a Nebraska linebacker record.

In addition to his interception stats, Ruud has also consistently been around ball-carriers during his career. The Lincoln native has forced six fumbles in his career, while recovering four others.

Ruud is in his third season as a starter for the defense. He lined up at WILL linebacker the past two seasons before moving to the SAM linebacker spot in 2007. Ruud ranks third on the team with 31 tackles, including a season-high 14 stops against Iowa State. The 14 tackles were one off his career high of 15 stops at Colorado in 2005. Ruud, a 2006 All-Big 12 pick, has 193 career tackles and has joined his father, Tom, and brother, Barrett, in the top 30 on the NU tackle list. Barrett is the Huskers' all-time leader with 432 tackles, while Tom is nine tackles in front of Bo’s career tackle total.

Huskers Tackle Tigers in Top 25 Showdown
Courtesy: NU Media Relations

Nebraska at Missouri Game Notes

Nebraska travels to Columbia to take on Missouri in NU's Big 12 road-opener this Saturday.

Nebraska will take to the road for its second matchup of the season against a nationally ranked opponent, taking on No. 17 Missouri in a key Big 12 North Division matchup. Game time at Mizzou’s Faurot Field is set for 6:15 p.m. PST on Saturday and the game will be televised to a national audience by ESPN.

The Huskers enter the contest with a 4-1 overall record and a 1-0 Big 12 Conference mark after a 35-17 victory over Iowa State on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, completing a three-game homestand. The win marked the 32nd time in the past 33 seasons that Nebraska has opened league play with a victory and gave the Huskers 15 straight victories over Iowa State in Lincoln.

Saturday’s victory over Iowa State kept the Huskers in this week’s national polls. Nebraska enters the matchup in Columbia ranked 25th in the Associated Press Poll and 23rd in the USA Today Coaches poll.

Missouri enters Saturday night’s tilt with a perfect 4-0 record. The Tigers were idle last weekend after using a high-octane offensive attack to cruise through non-conference play without a blemish. Missouri has scored at least 38 points in all four games this season and ranks fifth nationally in total offense.

Nebraska enters its game at Missouri as the winner of eight straight games against Big 12 North Division opponents, its longest winning streak against divisional foes since winning nine straight from 1998 to 2000. In order to continue the winning streak the Huskers will need to end a two-game slide against the Tigers in Columbia. A victory would also mark the highest ranked team Nebraska has defeated since a win over No. 2 Oklahoma in 2001. Nebraska lost its first game of the season against a ranked opponent, dropping a 49-31 contest against No. 1 USC on Sept. 15 in Lincoln.

No. 1 Huskers Head to Colorado

Match Preview: Nebraska at Colorado

Husker Q and A: Rachel Schwartz

Christina Houghtelling Interview

Nebraska (13-0, 6-0 Big 12) at Colorado (5-9, 0-6 Big 12)
Sat., Oct. 6 • Boulder, Colo. (Coors Event Center) • 7:30 p.m.
Television: None
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and on
Video: HuskersNside (subscription required)
Live Stats:

Top-ranked Nebraska looks to extend its win streak to 24 matches, as the Huskers venture to Boulder, Colo., this weekend to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. First serve from the Coors Event Center is set for 7:30 p.m. (Central) and fans can listen to all of the action on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and on In addition, HuskersNside subscribers can watch Saturday’s match against CU.

The Huskers (13-0, 6-0 Big 12) continued to roll along, sweeping No. 17 Kansas State Wednesday night at the NU Coliseum. Sarah Pavan had 16 kills and a season-high five blocks, while Kori Cooper added 11 kills on .688 hitting and a season-best seven stuffs in helping the Huskers hit .387 against a solid Wildcat defense. The Huskers lead the country with a .350 hitting percentage and have been even better in conference play, hitting at a .379 clip through their first six league matches. A team has hit .350 or better in a season just seven times in NCAA history, a feat which has been done by only five programs (Hofstra, Penn State, St. Mary’s, Florida A&M and Long Beach State), while the conference single-season record is .331 by the Huskers back in 1986.

Colorado (5-9, 0-6 Big 12) has been snakebit in Big 12 play, dropping five of its six matches in five games, including matches against nationally ranked Kansas State and Oklahoma. In all, seven of CU’s nine losses have been five-game setbacks. The Buffaloes also have one of the most impressive non-conference wins by a Big 12 team this season, a sweep of No. 11 Cal in Boulder in September. Last season, the Huskers swept CU in Lincoln before the Buffaloes came back with a five-game win in Boulder, snapping a 17-match losing streak to the Huskers.

Huskers Volleyball Team Matches Home Mark with Sweep of K-State

Photo Album


John Cook Postmatch Interview

Kori Cooper and Jordan Larson Postmatch Interviews

Sarah Pavan totaled 16 kills and five blocks in NU's sweep of K-State.

Lincoln – Sarah Pavan’s 16 kills led three Huskers in double figures, as the top-ranked Nebraska volleyball team rolled to a 30-16, 30-16, 30-25 sweep of No. 17 Kansas State Wednesday night at the Nebraska Coliseum.

Pavan totaled 16 kills on .364 hitting and a season-high five blocks, as the Huskers improved to 13-0 overall and 6-0 in Big 12 action with their 11th consecutive sweep. Pavan’s 16 kills also equaled her highest total in conference play, as she also had 16 in the Huskers’ Big 12 opener against Texas.

Wednesday’s win was NU’s 63rd straight home triumph, matching the school mark originally set between 1999 and 2002. It is now the third-longest home winning streak in NCAA Division I volleyball history.

Pavan, the reigning AVCA National Player of the Year, was one of three Huskers to eclipsed season bests against K-State. Sophomore Kori Cooper continued her string of impressive efforts, as she totaled 11 kills without an error on 16 swings and paced NU with a team-high seven blocks. Cooper’s blocks were not only a season best, but the highest total by any Husker in 2007. In addition, Christina Houghtelling paced NU with a season-high three aces and paced the Huskers with 13 digs while adding seven kills in the victory.

After winning the first two games comfortably, the Huskers were challenged in game three, falling behind by as much as five points and trailed 21-17 before regrouping behind Pavan, who had two kills and a block as part of NU’s 7-1 spurt to regain the lead at 24-22. Kansas State (13-4, 5-2 Big 12) ran off two straight points to tie the score at 24 on a Natalya Korobkova kill, but could not stay with the Huskers, who closed the match with a 5-1 run. Cooper, who has reached double figures in kills in each her last three Big 12 matches, had three kills and combined with Pavan on a block in the spurt, helping NU wrap up its 12th sweep in 13 contests this season.

Nebraska Head Coach John Cook was pleased with how his team handled the adversity in game three.

“I was interested to see how our team would respond,” Cook said. “Kansas State upped their level of play. They started digging balls, and they were serving very tough. You have to give K-State credit for really battling because they could have packed it in.”

“You could see the crowd was getting a little antsy, and we were getting a little antsy,” Cook said about the third game. “I could see their competitiveness start coming out and their determination. I was really pleased with how our team responded and was really competitive when we got down. We haven’t been in that situation in a couple of weeks and it was fun to see that.”

Cook had plenty to smile about early on, as the Huskers were precise during the first two games. NU hit well over .400 in each of the first two games, while holding the Wildcats, who led the Big 12 in aces per game, without an ace heading into the intermission.

The Huskers used a strong start and great serving from Rachel Holloway to key NU’s 30-16 victory in the opener. Holloway served 10 of NU’s 30 points, including a run of six straight points to open the contest, and dished out 14 assists in helping the Huskers hit .424 as a team.

While Holloway carved K-State up with her serving, Jordan Larson capitalized with three kills and a block in a four rally sequence, slamming home a pair of overpasses in the process. KSU got to within 9-5, but NU ran off four straight points to force the Wildcats to used their second timeout after Larson’s shot found the corner and gave the Huskers a 13-5 lead. The Huskers continued to expand the lead and never led by fewer than eight points in cruising to 14-point win.

Nebraska continued the momentum in game two racing out to a 9-3 lead in posting another 30-16 victory. The Huskers hit a blistering .457 as a team with Houghtelling, Pavan and Larson adding four kills apiece. Nebraska continued to blister the Wildcats with strong serving, pushing the lead to 12-4 after consecutive aces by Houghtelling. The Wildcats eventually whittled the lead to 15-9, but a Holloway kill keyed a 4-1 sport that made it a 19-10 lead and essentially took the visitors out of the game.

Korobkova led Kansas State with a match-high 19 kills, but the Wildcats were held to .117 hitting, well under their .272 team average entering Wednesday’s contest.

The Huskers, who have won 23 straight matches dating back to last season, now travel to Boulder, Colo., to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. (Central) on Saturday and fans can listen on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and on

Lady Soccer Huskers Drop 4-0 Game to Buffaloes

Box Score

Brittney Lanier produced three shots against Colorado on Friday in Boulder.

Boulder, Colo. – Nebraska allowed four first-half goals as Colorado notched a 4-0 win in front of more than 900 fans at Prentup Field on Friday.

The loss dropped the Huskers to 4-4-3 and 1-2 in Big 12 play, while the Buffaloes improve to 5-3-3 and 1-1-0 in the conference.

Nebraska outshot CU, 16-13, but the Buffs placed eight of their shots on goal. The Huskers managed four shots on goal on the afternoon.

Colorado jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, as junior midfielder Nikki Keller found the back of the net. NU goalkeeper Jessica Mills deflected a Michaela DeJesus shot, and Marshall put the rebound home. The Buffs struck again just two minutes later as freshman forward Mel Hicks found sophomore forward Nikki Marshall on a cross from the left. Marshall one-touched the ball and put CU up 2-0.

Freshman defender Kym Lowry and Hicks combined on a give-and-go to beat Mills in the 20th minute on a Lowry shot, before junior midfielder Alex Cousins dropped a ball over the NU defense to Marshall in the 32nd minute for Marshall's second goal of the game.

NU’s best scoring opportunity came in the 58th minute off an Anna Caniglia corner. The sophomore defender curled a pass into the box that senior midfielder Jessie Bruch headed off the post. Sophomore defender Carly Peetz put the rebound in the back of the net, but the goal was called back for an NU foul prior to the shot.

Sophomore forward Brittney Lanier led the Huskers’ offense with three shots, including one on goal, while five Huskers recorded two shots.

Mills made four saves on the day, but CU goalkeeper Kara Linder matched that effort with four saves of her own.

The Huskers, who were shut out for the second straight game, played without junior forward Aysha Jamani who suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the week. Jamani was one of NU's top offensive threats on the year, leading the Huskers in shots on goal through the first 10 games.

Sophomore forward Shay Powell also missed the majority of the first half with an injury. Powell did return in the second half and managed two shots in the second period.

The Huskers return to action on Sunday at 1 p.m., as they face No. 3 Texas in Austin.

Turning Potential Into Production: Five Keys to Missouri

Huskers need to stare down tough crowd and take control of Big 12 North
by Samuel McKewon
Judging by the mood on the message boards, in the streets and around the bars, Nebraska fans are in the basement padding their televisions and hiding any PTOs. Potential Throwing Objects. Meanwhile, at the long dining room table .

Monday Column: Go Beyond Raw Numbers to Measure Blackshirts' Improvement

Grixby, better linebacker play help Nebraska's defense while Oklahoma and Texas struggle
by Samuel McKewon
Good morning from the center of the universe, where, suddenly, Nebraska's struggles don't look so bad. It's like every good college football team entered the "Cheers" bar at once. You know, where .

Harvest Begins

Anyone driving along Nebraska's highways and county roads this weekend, know that harvest is getting into full swing. The crop looks good. With a corn crop forecast at 1.51 billion bushels, 29 percent above last year, loaded .

Fahey unveils plans for new College World Series ballpark

Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey officially announced his plan to build a new ballpark for the College World Series Friday, saying it would bring more than $1 billion to Omaha over the next 20 years.

Patrol tickets 50 speeders in I-80 effort

The Nebraska State Patrol troopers handed out 50 speeding tickets within 2 1/2 hours during a special enforcement effort in a construction zone on Interstate 80.

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