Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bay Area Husker ENews 10-29-09

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Happy Halloween! Lets hope the Huskers concentrate on the treats and not the tricks this Saturday...not sure Big Red fans can stand any more juggling acts or ball bouncing tricks. That was an aggravating loss to Iowa State, and I'm sure the coaches and the team are trying to find a way to use it to their best advantage for the rest of the season. Nuff said...lets keep rooting for the Huskers as they head to Waco this weekend for their matchup against the Baylor Bears.

The Baylor game is going to be broadcast on the Versus channel with coverage starting at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday (before we set the clocks back on Sunday). As I've indicated below in the Watch Parties section, Versus is only available on Comcast cable and Dish Network...not Direct TV. So, unless you get Versus through your cable/satellite provider at home, you will have to find some alternative location to watch the game.

Lots of other stuff to read below and at the end a little painful humor for Husker fans. Enjoy.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Watch Parties:
We have a problem with the ability to watch the game this Saturday. Apparently Direct TV recently parted ways with the Versus Channel and since most sports bars (including 3 of our favorites) only have Direct TV, we will have to find alternatives this week. Legends in Concord, Jack's in Fremont and Final-Final in San Francisco all subscribe to Direct TV so they WILL NOT have the game. Knuckles (Hyatt Hotel) in Monterey told me they WILL have the game on Versus because they also have Comcast. There is no way to find good alternative watch sites on short notice to host our large group gatherings for only one game, so I've listed a few sports bars in the south bay that will have the game, and provided a great website to find others in the Bay Area that may be closer to you.

The following sports bars told me they have either Comcast or Dish with the Versus channel, and will be open early enough to watch the Nebraska vs. Baylor game Saturday morning.
First and Main Sports Lounge 397 Main Street, Los Altos, CA 94022 650-949-1380 open at 9 and has a breakfast menu
Britannia Arms Pub in Cupertino 252-7262
The Old Pro in Palo Alto 650-3261446 Opens at 8:30 and has breakfast menu
Ricky's Sports Theater and Grill, 15028 Hesperian Blvd. San Leandro 510-352-0200 Open at 9 and has a breakfast menu

To find other sports bars in the area that you can contact to see if they have the Versus channel (and be open early enough to watch the game) check out this website:
Next week's game against Oklahoma may also be on Versus, but we won't know until later this weekend (see article below).


The Matchup
Nebraska takes to the road for a Halloween morning matchup against the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas. Kickoff for the meeting at BU’s Floyd Casey Stadium is set for shortly after 11:30 a.m., with television coverage for the game provided by Versus.

The Huskers are coming off a 9-7 loss to Iowa State in Lincoln last Saturday. The setback droppped the Huskers to 4-3 overall, including a 1-2 record in Big 12 Conference play. Despite consecutive home losses to Texas Tech and Iowa State, Nebraska remains in contention in the Big 12 North Division, as only Kansas State has fewer than two league losses.

Baylor enters the contest with a 3-4 overall record, including an 0-3 record in Big 12 play after a 34-7 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday in Waco. The Bears have been an injury-riddled team in 2009, including the loss of game-breaking quarterback Robert Griffin. The Bears opened the year with a 3-1 record, but have dropped three straight to open Big 12 play with losses at the hands of Oklahoma, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

The Series
Saturday’s game will be the 12th meeting between Nebraska and Baylor and the eighth as members of the Big 12 Conference. Nebraska has won each of the first seven games as conference foes and has a nine-game overall winning streak against the Bears, including a 32-20 win in Lincoln last fall. Nebraska is 3-0 at Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium.


Lincoln - Halloween came a week early at Memorial Stadium, as bizarre, strange and odd plays haunted the Husker offense in a 9-7 loss to Iowa State on Saturday afternoon.

The Huskers, 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, were stunned by a school-record negative-eight turnover margin on a school-record-tying eight turnovers, losing five fumbles and throwing three interceptions. Iowa State, 5-3 overall, improved to 2-2 in the league by simply hanging onto the football, despite being outgained by 123 yards (362-239).

The Cyclones did not commit a turnover and converted NU's eight miscues into just nine points. However, four of Nebraska's first five turnovers occurred inside the Iowa State 10, preventing the Huskers from scoring what appeared to be imminent touchdowns or at least field goals.

The barrage of turnovers started on the game's first play from scrimmage, as Roy Helu Jr. fumbled on his first carry, giving ISU the ball at the NU 39. The Huskers held ISU to just four yards, but Grant Mahoney connected on a career-long 52-yard field goal with 13:24 left in the first quarter.

After NU's second drive stalled past midfield, Alex Henery buried the Cyclones at their own 2 on a punt. The Blackshirts forced a three-and-out and took over at the ISU 42. The Huskers cashed in nine plays later on Dontrayevous Robinson's first career touchdown run, covering three yards to give NU a 7-3 lead with 3:26 left in the opening quarter. Robinson finished the day with 77 yards on 15 carries.

While the Huskers appeared to settle into a rhythm after another defensive stop and a long march, the strange plays took over midway through the second quarter.

In a first-half filled with bizarre plays, Iowa State ran to the locker room with a 9-7 lead. The Cyclones scored their lone touchdown on a 47-yard pass from Jerome Tiller to Jake Williams midway through the second quarter. It was ISU's longest touchdown hookup of the season, and it followed a fourth-down conversion on a fake punt that turned into a 20-yard run by punter Mike Brandtner. Tiller finished 9-for-19 through the air for 102 yards, while adding 65 rushing yards on 19 carries.

That drive began with an improbable interception by David Sims, who picked the ball off the legs of NU tight end Mike McNeill and ISU's James Smith while they were lying on the ground battling for possession. McNeill had initially appeared to have hauled in a remarkable 16-yard reception down the middle of the field, after the ball was tipped mid-flight by ISU's Jesse Smith. Sims took the ball from the NU 1 and sprinted to the ISU 17 to start the drive.

The strange play stopped NU's 11-play, 70-yard drive that had consumed more than five minutes, and Iowa State then overcame a 2nd-and-20 by converting on 4th-and-5 with the fake punt on their own 33. Although the Cyclones found paydirt, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh blocked Mahoney's extra-point kick to keep the Huskers within 9-7 with 6:53 left in the half.

After the two teams exchanged punts on their next drives, Nebraska took over at its own 22 with 5:04 left in the half. Robinson opened the drive with a seven-yard gain before being thrown for a two-yard loss on the second play of the drive. On 3rd-and-5 from the NU 27, Zac Lee hit Niles Paul just beyond midfield. Paul streaked down the ISU sideline and appeared to be headed for a touchdown, avoiding being tripped up from behind at the ISU 12. But without being hit, Paul fumbled the ball, then dove and momentarily possessed it at the ISU 2, before the ball went flying toward the middle of the endzone. The fumble was recovered by ISU's James Smith for a touchback, thrwarting another Husker threat.

Paul finished the game with six receptions for 143 yards to lead the NU receivers, while Lee completed 20-of-37 passes for 248 yards. Lee completed 15 of his first 18 attempts on the afternoon. He did throw three interceptions, but two came late in the fourth quarter, including one on 4th-and-10 on NU's final drive.

The odd plays continued in the second half. After the Huskers opened the third quarter with a defensive stop, Nebraska drove inside the ISU red zone. Helu then broke free for a 14-yard gain and was stumbling to the ground at the ISU 2. As he hit the ground, the ball popped free and the Cyclones recovered in the endzone to stop the Husker threat.

The Blackshirts forced another punt on the ensuing drive, and NU took over at the ISU 41 after a 19-yard punt. The Huskers went to the ground game and struck the Cyclone red zone again, before Robinson fumbled at the ISU 5 after fighting for extra yardage after picking up a first down. It was Nebraska's fourth fumble lost and fifth turnover of the game, while the Cyclones were turnover free through the first three quarters.

At that point late in the third quarter, Nebraska had outgained Iowa State, 337-138, but still trailed 9-7.

Nebraska opened the fourth quarter with the ball inside its own 20 and on a 3rd-and-12 conversion attempt, Lee hit Menelik Holt on a quick slant. Holt was hit after the reception and fumbled, which was recovered by ISU at the NU 27. After the recovery, ISU's James Smith was called for a personal foul and ejected from the game. The penalty pushed ISU back and Nebraska's defense held, setting up a 49 ISU field goal attempt. Mahoney, who had hit a 52-yard field goal, had his 49-yard attempt blocked by Suh and scooped up by Sean Fisher, who raced to the Iowa State 35. It was Suh's second blocked kick of the game fifth blocked kick of his career.

But the Cyclones knocked NU back two yards on the drive, and going against the wind, the Huskers elected not to attempt a 54-yard field goal by Henery. Instead, Henery pinned the Cyclones at their own 6 to open the drive with 11:15 remaining in the game. Iowa State possessed the ball for 7:04 but did not reach midfield.

Nebraska took over inside its own 20, then picked up a pair of quick first downs before Lee's pass went through Curenski Gilleylen's hands across midfield and was intercepted by ISU defensive back Michael O'Connell for the Huskers' seventh turnover of the game.

The Blackshirts forced another three-and-out and after taking a pair of timeouts, turned the ball back to the offense with 1:53 left at the NU 18. NU's final turnover came on its last attempt, as Jesse Smith intercepted Lee's pass across the middle on 4th-and-10.


Lincoln--- The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads for two hours Tuesday at the Hawks Championship Center. The Huskers are preparing to hit the road against Baylor on Saturday. Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson discussed how they begin to look for a spark on offense.

"You look for it in personnel," Watson said. "Maybe it is the younger players stepping up and trying different combinations at all positions.

"Watson commented that finding a spark on the offensive side of the ball comes from making sure the players have a clean understanding of what is expected of them.

The coaches have also spent time observing the play of some younger players such as receiver Khiry Cooper.

"You send a message about what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable," Watson said. "You give younger players opportunities and take a good, hard look at them and see if they can bring our game to more detail."

Watson noted that the Huskers' problems in handling the ball against Iowa State came from sloppy play. While the team has been fortunate to handle the ball well in game situations until last week, he said that they focus on fundamental ball-security drills in practice every week
"I think more than anything else, we had sloppy ball handling," Watson said. "That was the big thing, being around piles and getting stripped late. Niles (Paul) had a fluke thing happen to him, but that is fundamental with keeping the ball tight. It is just adhering to the details, bottom line.

"The Huskers will return to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon. Kickoff for the Baylor game is set for 9:30 a.m. and can be seen on Versus.


Crazy Eight is a simple card game where every time you think you have something good going, an eight can set you back and change the entire complexion of the outcome.

That's what happened to Nebraska Saturday when Iowa State, three days after beating the Huskers for the first time ever in volleyball, won a football game in Lincoln for the first time in 32 years.

The "Crazy Eight" for the Huskers were eight turnovers - five lost fumbles and three interceptions - for a minus eight in that critical category that influences more football outcomes than just about anything else.

"Eight turnovers? We could have gotten run out of the stadium," Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini said. "I don't know if I've ever been around that in my coaching career. You can't win a football game like that."

No you can't. Just ask Oklahoma, which lost six of nine fumbles, taking down one of the best Sooner teams in history in the same stadium 31 years ago.

The last of those nine fumbles came when Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims fumbled on Nebraska's three-yard line with 3:27 remaining in the game. "I just fumbled," Sims said. "What can I say?"

Indeed, what can you say when eight crazy turnovers put you behind the eight-ball in a season that seemed so promising just two weeks earlier?

Pelini Poised in Recounting the Game

One thing you can say is Pelini kept his composure every single second with the media after the game.

Asked if he'd been seeing a lot of turnovers in practice, he said simply: "No, I have not."

Asked how he addressed turnovers at half, he said the same way the Huskers address the issue every day. "We didn't handle the ball or protect the football," he said. "It's a classic example where we were our own worst enemy today."

Dropped balls and poor execution did the Huskers in. "We had a chance to have a boatload of points on the board, and we put the ball on the ground," Pelini said. "We were lucky to be in the football game."
That's the paradox. Never in its 120 years of football has Nebraska finished as poorly as minus-eight in the turnover category. Yet the Huskers were never out of the game until Zac Lee's pass was intercepted with 91 seconds remaining.

Think about that. As cruel as that irony is, it may be the one bright spot in an otherwise dark day. Yes, Nebraska could have had - and probably should have had - another 28 points without the four turnovers inside Iowa State's five-yard line.

On its second and third turnovers, Nebraska lost the ball in the end zone, resulting in touchbacks. The fourth turnover happened at the ISU one-yard line and the fifth turnover came at the Cyclone five-yard line.

Worst case scenario, the Huskers lose 28 points in the process, not to mention losing the opportunity each and every time to use the nation's best kicker for a chip-shot field goal, even if the Cyclones would come up with four consecutive goal line stands.

"It's hard to kick a field goal when you don't keep possession of the ball," one longtime Nebraska writer muttered as he watched the clock wind down at the finish.

The day's most disheartening statistic might have been this: The loss ended a streak of 126 straight victories by Nebraska when holding the opposition to 10 points or fewer. Those of us who kept thinking the game would end with the same 10-9 score that Nebraska beat Kansas in Osborne's first season as head coach were left speechless when we didn't get to see Alex Henery even get the chance to make it happen.

Moving Ahead With a Certain Resolve

Simply put, the Huskers, to a man, know they beat themselves more than the Cyclones beat them, and that point is made with all due respect to Iowa State.

That's why the Huskers are moving ahead to Baylor instead of looking back at a game they let get away. They know that football is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.

Tom Osborne, a Hall of Fame coach who lost his share of heartbreakers, would handle a setback like this in the only way he knew how . . . come back to work on Monday with a strictly enforced grading system and an all-out effort to fix the problems that are fixable.

Bo Pelini and his staff will respond exactly the same way, and the player who will be leading the charge might just be the best player in country . . . Ndamukong Suh.

Nebraska's All-America defensive tackle and Outland Trophy candidate took on a small army of Cyclone linemen and still made eight tackles, including one sack and one stop for a loss, giving him at least one tackle for a loss in 17 of Nebraska's last 18 games, including the last 11 straight.

Suh blocked an extra point in the second quarter, and he blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter - his fourth and fifth career blocked kicks.

Suh Continues to Support the Offense

The best thing about Suh, besides his drive and determination, is his unrelenting support of his offensive teammates.

"We know our offense is still potent and will be potent again," he said. "They just need to work out some kinks."

Reporters asked Nebraska's head coach how he rated Lee's performance. "I thought he played well. He was 20-of-37," Pelini said. "I don't think we played well around Zac. I thought he was the least of our problems today."

Pressed about his decision to go with Lee over freshman Cody Green, Pelini said Lee is more prepared. "Cody Green is not quite ready," he said. "He's getting there, but Zac was ready. It's not a difficult decision for me."

Asked if Nebraska's offensive problems are causing frustration, Suh said: "No. You just have to roll with the punches. That's the name of the game."

The next punch and the next game is Baylor in Waco, and if the Huskers can clear that hurdle, Nebraska's goals could remain intact.

"This is a bad hiccup to take," Suh said. "It's something we definitely have to deal with and something we can still move forward from. In the North, we still have Kansas State, Colorado and Kansas. We can take care of business. We need to get ready for this Baylor team, go down there and hopefully pull out a win and come back home and move forward."


The Big 12 Conference has announced that ABC will utilize the second of three six-day selections for the 2009 season for games of Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009.

ABC will televise Big 12 games at both 12:30 and 5 p.m. (PST), and the Nebraska-Oklahoma contest is one of three games in consideration for those windows. ABC has also held Oklahoma State at Iowa State and Kansas at Kansas State for consideration for its telecast windows. Versus will select the game not chosen by ABC for telecast at 9:30 a.m. PT. The game times and television information will be announced either Saturday night or Sunday morning.

In addition to the three games being considered for telecast by ABC, FSN will televise Central Florida at Texas on Nov. 7 with kickoff set for 9 a.m. PT.

Game times and television information for Nebraska's games against Kansas (Nov. 14) and Kansas State (Nov. 21) will be announced six to 12 days in advance. Nebraska's Nov. 27 game at Colorado will be televised nationally by ABC with kickoff set for 12:30 p.m. PT.


Last Saturday was a bittersweet day for Grant Wistrom, one of 18 players and coaches who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in New York on Dec. 8.

A 1997 Lombardi Award winner, Wistrom was presented with a plaque Saturday by the National Football Foundation. The plaque will hang on Nebraska's Hall of Fame Wall with 19 others outside the Huskers' locker room.

Introduced during the second quarter of the Iowa State game, Wistrom said the cheers were so warm and appreciative that he had to fight back tears.

"It's always awesome to come back here, but this is really humbling," Wistrom said. "It's hard not to get emotional when the greatest fans in the country honor you like this."

Wistrom's wife, Melissa, had the same problem checking her emotions and said her husband's Hall of Fame honor has moved him emotionally like no other award, including his two first-team All-America honors, Academic All-America award and two Big 12 Player-of- the-Year awards.

A 1997 captain and a key contributor to the greatest four-year record in Nebraska football history (49-2 with three national championships), watching Saturday's loss was not easy for Wistrom.

But he still saw something that impressed him . . . the relentless effort of Husker All-America defensive tackle candidate Ndamukong Suh.

"Without evaluating film, I thought he played well. He was all over the field," Wistrom said of Suh. "I thought he showed up a lot out there. I'm not a voter, but I definitely think he shows what it takes to win a major award.

"Very few defensive linemen can take control of a game the way that he does," Wistrom said. "He's a good young man and seems to have his head on straight. You can talk all you want about the big plays he makes, but what impresses me most are the tackles he makes downfield."

To Wistrom, that's what separates Suh from other great players. "Getting downfield is something I think is missing from a lot of very talented football players," Wistrom said. "It's called drive and work ethic, and that's something Suh does not lack. He certainly knows how to play with intensity."

That analysis comes from one of the most intense players in Nebraska history.

Wistrom still holds NU's school record for tackles for loss with 58.5 (for 260 yards) and ranks second in Husker history with 26.5 sacks. He is Nebraska's first player to join the College Football Hall of Fame since Mike Rozier was inducted in 2006.

In the NFL, Wistrom started 118 games in nine seasons, including six for eventual Super Bowl champion St. Louis and three for Seattle, which also reached the Super Bowl while he was starting. While in Seattle, Wistrom launched the Grant Wistrom Foundation to help pediatric cancer patients like Kendall Chalmers, a young Husker fan he met while playing for Nebraska.


Lincoln - A total of 14 former Huskers saw action during Week 7 of the 2009 NFL season, while seven players were off with a bye.

Chris Kelsay had a stellar Sunday for Buffalo, as the Bills downed the Carolina Panthers, 20-9. Kelsay led a defensive unit that pressured Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme all day, as Delhomme was sacked twice and threw three interceptions. Individually, Kelsay had four solo stops, a nine-yard sack and one quarterback hurry. The Bills’ defense now leads the league in interceptions with 13, after picking off nine passes over the past two games.

After giving up 24 points in the first half to the Miami Dolphins, Scott Shanle and the Saints’ defense held the Dolphins to just 10 points in the second half. On the other side of the ball, Carl Nicks and the Saints’ offense exploded for 36 second-half points, including 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win, 46-34. Shanle had six solo stops and recovered a Davone Bess fumble with 1:38 left in the second half that resulted in a Saints’ touchdown with five second left in the half. Nicks paved the way for the Saints’ rushing attack to rush for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Drew Brees also threw for 298 yards and one score.

Across the pond in London, former Blackshirt Barrett Ruud totaled six tackles for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they took on the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium. Three interceptions by the Tampa Bay offense doomed the Bucs, as they fell 35-7. The paid attendance of 84,254 was the third-largest crowd for an NFL game at the stadium.



Let's look at a recruiting checklist to see how Nebraska stacked up in college football 30 years ago and how the Huskers would stack up now that Tom Osborne is the athletic director instead of the head coach.

On a weekend when Nebraska is hosting Iowa State, let's use an Iowa native to help us with this checklist on modern-day reality. Let's call the Bay Area in California and talk to the high-stepping Roger Craig.

Craig did, after all, grow up in Davenport, Iowa, before making Lincoln his college home and the San Francisco 49ers his meal ticket in the NFL.

So go ahead, everyone, grab a red marker and play this recruiting game with the younger brother of ex-Husker wingback Curtis Craig.

Listen to this statement and respond accordingly:

When it comes to comparing Nebraska with anyone else in college football recruiting, I would give the Huskers an edge in . . .

Tradition and culture . . . "Check," Craig says.

Strength and conditioning . . . "Check."

Academic support and life skills . . . "Check, check."

Let's see, besides coaches and players, what are we missing here?

Oh, almost forgot.

Game-day atmosphere . . . "Check, check . . . check, check, check!" Craig says five times.

"I almost sound like a quarterback, not a running back," Craig said, laughing at himself.

"But let's be honest here. There aren't any fans anywhere that compare to Nebraska football fans," Craig said. "I mean, I played on three Super Bowl-winning teams, and there hasn't been one stadium or one crowd anywhere that compares to a Nebraska football crowd that shows up every Saturday to fill the house.

Best Game-Day Atmosphere in Football

"Nebraska has the best game-day atmosphere in football - college or pro," Craig said. "They support you whether you're up or down, and they treat the opposing team with more respect than any fans in America. I grew up dreaming of playing in Memorial Stadium, and all I can tell the players who are there now is to enjoy it while you're there, and create your own legacy because you'll never experience anything like it the rest of your life.

"Nebraska lived up to everything I thought it was, but the older I get, the more I realize what made Nebraska more special than anyplace else - it was the fans," Craig said. "To hear that cheer when you come out of the locker room . . . oh my gosh. Other stadiums are not like Nebraska. I've played all over the world and all over the NFL. I've played in London, and I've played in Japan. No one compares. Who else besides Nebraska would put 50,000 in the Rose Bowl or take 40,000 to Hawaii?"

Craig will never forget the 30,000 Nebraska fans who attended the USC game in LA three years ago. "When I got up to leave," he said, "several thousand fans started chanting my name. I couldn't believe it. I'd been gone for 25 years!

"I get goose bumps just thinking about how loyal Nebraska football fans really are," Craig said. "I lived for that cheer, and I still cherish that cheer. Nebraska fans will go anywhere in the world to support their team. I tell my friends here in the Bay Area that if someone ever decided to play a game on Mars, I know Nebraska fans would find a way to get up there and watch it."

As much as he loves Big Red fans, Craig loves his family more. He describes his most memorable moment in life as meeting his wife. "We've been together our whole lives, and she's played a big role in whatever success I've had," he said, adding that a first child graduating from college is also memorable.

Oldest daughter Damesha Craig was a sprinter and graduated from UCLA. Daughter Rometra was a basketball player and graduated from USC. Son Rogdrick played basketball and graduated from Texas Tech. Son Alexander recently received a track scholarship at the University Academy of Arts in San Francisco, where my longtime friend and former Husker, Jamie Williams, is the athletic director. He's moving that school into Division I competition."

The Craigs' youngest daughter, Miajia, "is a miracle child," Roger said. "She's only 12, but she's 5-9 and really excels at volleyball and basketball. Who knows? She may be a college athlete, too, someday. It'll be interesting where she might wind up."

Roger Craig Profile
Name: Roger Timothy Craig
Age: 49
Residence: Portola Valley, Calif.
Family: Wife, Vernessia; Daughters Damesha, 28; Rometra, 26; and Niajia, 12; sons Rogdrick, 23; and Alexander, 18.

Why I chose Nebraska:

I was exposed to Nebraska early because Coach (Tom) Osborne and Coach (John) Melton would come to Davenport (Iowa) to recruit my brother, Curtis. I thought it was so cool to have relationships with guys like that. I also grew up with Jamie Williams, and Nebraska recruited him, too. Jamie and I did everything together. When I broke my leg early my junior season, everyone kept recruiting Jamie. They all sort of wrote me off with one exception. Only one man said he'd be back to get me, and that was Tom Osborne. He told me not to worry about the injury, and he'd come back the next year to get me. That simple piece of encouragement gave me goose bumps all over. In fact, that very day I went home and started working out. I had a cast on my leg, but I started doing leg lifts, hooking them up to my mother's couch, trying to get back in shape. I knew that day where I was going. I took trips to Cal and Arkansas and Iowa and Iowa State, but there was never any doubt about where I was going.

Why Nebraska was a good decision:

Being around the family environment of the Cornhuskers, you dream about legends. My brother would bring home those football media guides, and I would study all the great players. I wanted to live up to the expectations they set - guys like Johnny Rogers, Jeff Kinney, David Humm, Rich Glover and Bob Brown. Reading those guides was like doing homework. I knew how high the bar was. Nebraska was a close-knit family . . . a team that recruited people with character . . . people who knew that the program was bigger than they were . . . people who would max themselves out to be the best they could be. That's what always set Nebraska apart from other schools . . . guys who are always striving to get better as players and as students, so they can become better men. It's all about a code of respect to your coaches, your fellow players and to the best fans in the history of sports.

What I'm doing now:

I'm vice president of business development for Tibco in Palo Alto (Calif.). We sell integration software to thousands of business customers in 40 countries. The cool thing about working for a corporation is you can never take a day off. Business is like football. You're only as good as your last quarter. We have our own versions of offensive linemen, quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, and if we don't all work together, nothing amazing happens. Our engineers are like the offensive linemen. Without them, products don't get created. The marketing team does the promoting, and the sales team gets the glory. Everyone, though, knows where it all starts . . . up front.

Most memorable moment as a Husker:

No question about it . . . my sophomore year, 1980, against Colorado. I went into the game as the third-stringer. Jarvis Redwine went down in the first quarter. Craig Johnson, the backup, went down in the first quarter, too. That's when reading all those media guides paid off. I knew this was my time to step up for the team. I knew my role and my responsibilities and understood it was my time to become a part of Nebraska football history. I told myself to step on the field and play like I've never played before in my life. I was fully prepared. Coach Corgan made our running backs physically and mentally tough. This was my chance to prove it. I ran for 180 yards, scored three touchdowns and was named Big Eight Conference Offensive Player of the Week. We won big (45-7).


Lubbock, Texas – Hannah Werth and Tara Mueller combined for 26 kills, as eighth-ranked Nebraska posted a 3-0 victory over Texas Tech, winning by scores of 25-12, 25-20, 25-20, Wednesday evening.

The Huskers (16-5, 9-3 Big 12) relied on the outside attack against the Red Raiders, as Werth posted her 10th double-double of the season with a match-high 15 kills and 12 digs, while Mueller picked up her sixth double-double of the campaign with 11 kills on .360 hitting and 10 digs. On the night, Nebraska out-hit Texas Tech, .308-.093, as Sydney Anderson dished out 39 assists and added four kills and three blocks and 10 digs for her 13th double-double.

Nebraska also played well defensively, out-digging Texas Tech (2-18, 0-11 Big 12), 55-48, as four Huskers finished in double figures in digs. The Huskers also recorded seven blocks, including a match-high five blocks from Brooke Delano.


Lincoln –Behind a career high 19 kills from Hannah Werth, No. 5 Nebraska got back on its winning track, topping Oklahoma, 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-15) Saturday night at the NU Coliseum.

Werth collected a match-high 19 kills on .342 hitting, breaking her previous best of 17 set twice this season, including in the first matchup with Oklahoma last month. She also added 12 digs for her ninth double-double of the season, as Nebraska improved to 15-5 overall and 8-3 in the Big 12. Her total equaled the most by any Husker freshman since the 2004 campaign.

Werth was one of two Huskers to enjoy season bests against the Sooners, as Lindsey Licht matched her season high with 16 kills on .345 hitting and added six blocks on the night. Kori Cooper was the third Husker to finish in double figures, recording 12 kills on .409 hitting and five blocks, as she reached double figures in kills for the third time in the last four matches.

Sydney Anderson dished out 51 assists and added 10 digs for her 12th double-double, while helping NU hit .225 against a Sooner defense that was second in the Big 12 in opponent hitting percentage at .149. Nebraska also churned out seven aces, including a career-high four from Tara Mueller and two from Kayla Banwarth.

Nebraska, which has won the last 25 meetings with Oklahoma dating back to 1997, was solid defensively, holding the Sooners to just .145 hitting, including the last two sets under .100.

Brooke Delano led NU’s defensive with a match-high seven blocks, while Banwarth scooped up a match-high 20 digs. It marked Banwarth’s fifth straight match and 10th of the year with at least 20 digs. She also moved into 10th place on NU’s career list with 979 digs.


Columbia, Mo. - Following back-to-back triumphs over No. 14 Texas A&M and Kansas, the Nebraska soccer team ran into a tough challenge, as No. 23 Missouri stopped NU's bid for its third-straight victory with a 5-0 win over the Huskers on Sunday afternoon in Columbia, Mo.

With the victory, the Tigers claimed the Big 12 regular-season championship as they hold a 6-0-2 conference record. Nebraska is now 10-4-4 overall with a 4-3-2 league record. The Huskers end their two-game road trip with a 1-1 mark after NU defeated Kansas on Friday, 7-4.

Nebraska was on par with a talented Tiger squad in nearly every statistical category, but could not slow down a Missouri squad aiming for its first-ever regular-season conference title. The Huskers took 16 shots to Missouri's 18, and were edged in corner kicks, 5-4.


Lincoln – A total of 31 contests against NCAA Tournament teams and 26 home games at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park highlight the 2010 Nebraska baseball schedule released Wednesday.

The 54-game schedule includes matchups with College World Series runner-up Texas and Super Regional qualifiers Rice along with home games against Texas A&M, Wichita State, Oklahoma and Creighton. According to Head Coach Mike Anderson, the upcoming schedule will pose a test to the 2010 Husker squad.

“We will be challenged early, there is no doubt about that,” Anderson said. “I think it is going to be as tough as our 2007 schedule, which I thought was the most difficult one we faced here, but that is by design. With a young team, sometimes you look for an opportunity to schedule down, but we saw our schedule as an opportunity to help us get better early. We looked at it as choosing to run toward the fight and didn’t want to back down.”

The Huskers will open the 2010 campaign on Friday, Feb. 19, when Nebraska begins a four-game series at Fresno State, home of the 2008 College World Series champions. The following weekend, the Huskers will head to Houston for the Rice Invitational and a field that includes the host Owls, who reached a Super Regional in 2009, and Elon, which led the nation in homers last year in earning an NCAA Tournament bid.

“We are fortunate to get Fresno State when the NCAA pushed the schedule up a week this year,” Anderson said. “It not only benefits us this year, but also in the future when both Fresno State and UCLA come to Lincoln (as part of home-and-home series). The first part of our non-conference schedule will help us to get ready to open the Big 12 season at Texas. If we can take advantage of that, we can build a pretty good RPI and that will help us be where we want to be at the end of the season.”

The home portion of the schedule begins on Tuesday, March 2, when the Huskers host South Dakota State at 1:05 p.m., before returning to the West Coast for a three-game series at UCLA (March 5-7). It is the first time the Huskers have faced UCLA since the 2004 San Diego State Invitational. The UCLA series ends a stretch where the Huskers play 10 of their first 11 games away from Hawks Field.

The Huskers will spend the majority of the month at Hawks Field with a four-game set against Nebraska-Kearney and Houston Baptist (March 10-14) and a seven-game homestand that features a three-game series with Oklahoma (March 26-28). The only time the Huskers travel in that time is for a three-game series at 2009 College World Series runner-up Texas (March 19-21) to open Big 12 Conference action.

The April slate features a number of Big 12 matchups, including road series at Oklahoma State (April 2-4), Kansas State (April 9-11) and Baylor (April 23-25). The month also features a pair of games against Creighton, including the series opener at Hawks Field on April 6 and the first of two meetings at Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium on April 20. NU also hosts 2009 NCAA Tournament qualifier Wichita State on April 13, and travels to Des Moines, Iowa, for a battle with Iowa at Principal Park, home of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Tuesday, April 27.

The final game of April leads into a home-heavy slate in May, as Nebraska begins a three-game series with Texas A&M on April 30. The only time the Huskers leave the state during the final month of the regular season is a three-game series at Missouri (May 14-16), as the Huskers will host Southeast Missouri State (May 7-9) and Texas Tech (May 21-23) at Hawks Field. The only other non-conference game in the month is the final matchup between the Huskers and Bluejays at Rosenblatt Stadium on Tuesday, May 18.

The postseason begins on Wednesday, May 26, as Bricktown Ballpark plays host to the Big 12 Championship. The NCAA Tournament begins on Friday June 4. The 2010 College World Series – the last one at Rosenblatt Stadium – is set for June 19-30.


On Wednesday, November 4, 2009 the Commonwealth Club’s INFORUM is hosting a special double-feature event, An Evening with The Commonwealth Club: Larry Ellison Then SuperFreakonomics, featuring Oracle’s trailblazer Larry Ellison and Superfreakonomics authors, Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

We’re in the process of getting the word out, and I know that the members of your alumni group would find this event both interesting and an opportunity to enjoy lessons in economics and politics in a real-world setting. Below is a more detailed description of the event. Can you help by putting the event in one of your email newsletters? On your Facebook page? Can you Twitter about it? Let me know if you decide to publicize this event in any way so I can keep track of our outreach, and don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions. For more information, check out the INFORUM website at

An Evening with The Commonwealth Club: Larry Ellison and SuperFreakonomics Double Feature

Part One:

LARRY ELLISON, Co-founder and CEO, Oracle Corporation

ALAN MURRAY, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor Online, Wall Street Journal - Moderator

As co-founder and CEO of the leading supplier of business software and information management, Ellison blazed the IT trail. Over the past three decades, Oracle has met many challenges and remains the largest business software company in the world. Come meet the oracle of Oracle and find out what consistent commitment to innovation means from one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.

Part Two:

STEVE LEVITT, Economics Professor, University of Chicago; Blogger, The New York Times; Co-author, Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics

STEPHEN DUBNER, Journalist; Blogger, The New York Times; Author, Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics

In Conversation with ALAN MURRAY, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor Online, Wall Street Journal

With Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner revealed the good, bad, ugly and super freaky of the world around us. The freakquel is here. Back with more than pop-culture trivia, Inforum's next 21st Century Visionary Award recipients are ready to revolutionize our understanding of causality in an incredibly interconnected world.

Where: Fairmont Hotel, Terrace Room (Larry Ellison), 950 Mason St., Fairmont Hotel, Gold Room (SuperFreakonomics), 950 Mason St.

When: Ellison: 5 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7-7:45 p.m. Double-Feature reception, SuperFreakonomics: 8 p.m. program, 9 p.m. SuperFreakonomics book signing

Standard: $25 members, $40 non-members.
Standard seating with copy of SuperFreakonomics: $50 members, $65 non-members.
Premium (includes seating in the first few rows and a copy of SuperFreakonomics): $80 members, $100 non-members.

RSVP ( OR call 415-597-6719

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to hear about upcoming events at Or, join our Facebook group, which keeps you-to-date on programs and lets you connect with other members.

INFORUM is a division of The Commonwealth Club by and for people in their 20s and 30s, with a mission to inspire debate around civic issues. INFORUM has 2,500 members.

The Commonwealth Club is the nation’s premier public affairs forum. Founded in 1903, the Club has played host to speakers from Teddy Roosevelt in 1924 to Erin Brockovich in 2001. Along the way, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have all given landmark speeches at the Club.

HUSKER HUMOR... (thanks Swannie)

It hurts but its still funny...

Lincoln Police have named Zac Lee and Roy Helu as prime suspects in the Saturday night egging of Coach Pelini’s house. It seems that 8 of the eggs were dropped in the street and of the 12 thrown, only 4 hit the house.

Niles Paul was supposed to be with them but dropped his carton while still in the Hy Vee check out line.

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.

1 comment:

  1. I think a sports bar in Boston is the place to be these days. They keep winning championships in that town and show no signs of stopping.