Thursday, December 03, 2009

Bay Area Husker ENews 12-03-09

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

That really felt good. Some tasty Thanksgiving leftovers along with some fresh cut Buffalo steaks was a great way to end the regular season as the Huskers chocked up their 5th "W" in a row last Friday. In the first half it looked like the Huskers were gonna walk away with it, but the Buffs came back in the second half to make it close until a late game touchdown put it out of range. Now the team is focused on the Big 12 Championship game against Texas this Saturday in Dallas. Lots of questions about which bowl game the Huskers will be going to and of course it really depends on how this game goes. The Huskers are seen as a spoiler for the BCS right now, and if we happen to beat Texas it will really upset the apple cart for the pollsters (but we'd all be dancing in the streets!). If we lose, right now it looks like we'll be heading to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, but anything is possible. See the article about Bowl game tickets going on sale this weekend below. Although the odds are against us being the next Big 12 Champs, the Huskers defense could be the deciding factor in this game. If they get a few sacks and some key turnovers it could really make it difficult for Colt McCoy and Co. to score like they have against other teams this year. Keep your fingers crossed!

The volleyball team is hosting the first two levels of the NCAA championship rounds. Games start tomorrow, and the final round should be over before the football game starts. Video on

And I think Ndamukong Suh is up for more awards than all the rest of the Big 12 players combined. And you have one more chance to vote for him as a write in candidate for the Heisman at the ESPN website (see info below). He was ahead a few days ago, so keep those votes coming. Even if he doesn't win the trophy, it would be amazing just to see them feel obligated to invite a lineman to NYC for the awards ceremony!

And don't forget...if you want to order tickets for the Larry the Cable Guy performance at the HP Pavilion next Thursday night (December 10th), let me know ASAP. I need to let the ticket office know how many Husker fans are coming to the show. If you need the details I'll send the invitation information again.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),


Even though the Big 12 Championship game is going to be broadcast on ABC Sports (Saturday at 5 p.m.), lets all gather at our favorite watch sites to cheer on the Huskers and have some fun. I checked and Jack's Brewing Company in Fremont will once again cook up one of their DELICIOUS prime ribs for hungry Husker fans to help entice you to come out. Hope you can join us...wear red and cheer loud.


The Matchup

Nebraska returns to the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship Game for the first time in three seasons and the fifth time in conference history this Saturday evening. The Cornhuskers will battle third-ranked Texas at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas with the game set to kick off shortly after 7 p.m. in front of a sold-out crowd and an ABC national television audience. A victory would give Nebraska its first Big 12 crown since 1999.

Nebraska enters the game with good momentum having won its last five games, the longest winning streak in Big 12 play for the Huskers in eight seasons. The winning streak has boosted Nebraska's overall record to 9-3, including a 6-2 mark in conference play. The Huskers have also re-entered both major national polls, ranking 21st in the Associated Press Poll and 20th according to the coaches.

Texas enters the contest with a perfect 12-0 record and a 16-game overall winning streak. The Longhorns are ranked third in this week's BCS rankings, third in the Associated Press Poll and second according to the coaches.

The Series

Texas owns an 8-4 edge in the all-time series between the two schools, including victories in the past four meetings with three of those victories by three or fewer points. The Longhorns own a 7-1 edge in the series since the formation of the Big 12 Conference, however Nebraska's lone victory in that period came in the 1999 Big 12 Championship Game in San Antonio. Texas defeated Nebraska in the inaugural Big 12 title game in 1996.

The Coaches

Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, '90) owns a 19-7 record in his second season with the Huskers. Pelini has guided Nebraska to nine wins in each of his first two seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich in accomplishing that feat. Prior to taking over as the Huskers' head coach, Pelini served as defensive coordinator at NU, Oklahoma and LSU. Previously, he had stints as an NFL assistant with San Francisco, New England and Green Bay.

Texas: Mack Brown (Florida State, '74) is in his 12th season as Texas' head coach and owns a 127-26 record with the Longhorns. He has guided Texas to at least 10 wins in nine straight seasons. Brown has a 213-100-1 record overall in his 25th season as a college head coach. Brown is 6-1 against Nebraska.

Nebraska and Texas Share Long History of Success

Texas and Nebraska rank second and fourth, respectively, in all-time victories and are two of just seven schools to record at least 800 wins in program history. The two schools have combined for nine national championships, 70 conference championships and 93 bowl appearances.

Since the start of Big 12 play in 1996, the schools have combined for four league titles and 10 Big 12 Championship appearances.

NU Set for Fifth Big 12 Championship Appearance

Nebraska earned a trip to the Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game for the fifth time in the 14-year history of the Big 12 Conference. The Huskers' 17-3 win over Kansas State on Nov. 21 clinched the North Division crown and NU improved to 6-2 in league play with the win at Colorado, winning the North by two full games.

- Nebraska has also played in the Big 12 title game in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2006. The five Big 12 title game appearances are the most for any North Division school, and tie Texas for the second-most appearances in the game. Only Oklahoma (7) has played in more Big 12 title games. Nebraska is 2-2 in its four previous title game appearances winning the league crown in 1997 and 1999.

- In addition to its appearances in the conference title game, Nebraska has also tied for the North Division crown in 2001 and 2008, giving Nebraska at least a share of the North Division crown in seven of 14 years of the Big 12.

- The Nebraska-Texas matchup will be the third in five conference title games for Nebraska (also 1996 and 1999).

The Nebraska-Texas matchup is the most-played game in league title history. Three other matchups have occurred two times. NU has also faced Texas A&M (1997) and Oklahoma (2006) in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Nebraska Looks to Continue Win Streak Against Big 12 Teams

Nebraska enters Saturday's matchup with a five-game winning streak in Big 12 action, having defeated Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado in successive weeks since a two-game losing streak in October. The five-game conference winning streak marks Nebraska's longest in conference action since winning seven straight in 2001. Under Bo Pelini, Nebraska has had two winning streaks of at least four games against Big 12 competition.

Huskers Strong Away from Lincoln

Nebraska completed Big 12 Conference regular-season play with a 6-2 record, thanks in large part to a perfect 4-0 record in conference road games. Nebraska has won five straight Big 12 road games, including last year's road finale at Kansas State and is 6-2 on the road in Big 12 play under Bo Pelini.

- The five-game conference road win streak is NU's longest since winning its first eight road games when the Big 12 Conference was formed in 1996 and 1997. Nebraska won 19 straight league road games from 1992 to 1997 (Big Eight and Big 12).

- The 4-0 record in Big 12 road games was the first for Nebraska since 1997.

- Each of the victories in Nebraska's five-game Big 12 road win streak has been by at least eight points.

- Nebraska is one of just 13 teams nationally to own a perfect conference road record in 2009. NU is joined in that club by Texas, Florida, Alabama, Penn State, Ohio, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, TCU, BYU, Troy, Boise State and Cincinnati.

- In Big 12 Conference history, there has been only nine times when a Big 12 team has won all of its league games away from home, including three times by Nebraska and twice by Texas. Of the seven previous conference teams to win all of its games away from home, four went on to win the Big 12 Championship (Nebraska-1997, Oklahoma-2000 and 2004, Texas-2005).

Nebraska Looks to Trip up Highly ranked Longhorns

Nebraska enters this Saturday night's game ranked 20th and 21st in the national polls, while Texas comes into the game ranked in the top three in all major polls. The Huskers will be looking to end a long streak of frustration against top-10 opponents, dating back to a victory over No. 2 Oklahoma in 2001.

- Since that victory in Lincoln, Nebraska has dropped 12 straight games against top-10 foes, including two losses to Texas-a three-point setback against No. 7 UT in 2002 and a two-point loss to the fifth-ranked Longhorns in 2006 in Lincoln. Of the 12 straight losses, seven have come against top-five foes.

- Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is 2-4 against nationally ranked teams (AP), including wins over Missouri and Oklahoma this season. Three of the losses are to teams ranked in the top seven (MU, OU, TT in 2008).

Huskers Have November to Remember

Last season, Nebraska clearly played its best football in the month of November, winning its final three regular season games against Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado.

In 2009, Nebraska again hit its stride as fall began to turn to winter. The Huskers have won five straight games, including a perfect 4-0 record in November, with wins over Oklahoma, Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado.

- Nebraska owns a 7-1 record in games played in November under Head Coach Bo Pelini. Nebraska's lone November loss under Pelini was at No. 4 Oklahoma on Nov. 1, 2008.

- NU is 9-1 under Pelini in games played on or after Nov. 1, including last year's Jan. 1 Gator Bowl victory and the 2003 Alamo Bowl win over Michigan State when Pelini was the interim head coach.

Nebraska's seven-game November win streak is the program's longest since winning 19 straight games in November from 1992 to 1998.


Boulder, Colo. - Nebraska produced a touchdown in all three phases of the game and the Huskers never trailed while picking up their fifth straight victory with a 28-20 win over the Colorado Buffaloes on Friday at Folsom Field.

The win completed a perfect 4-0 conference road record in 2009 for the Huskers, who improved to 9-3 on the season. Nebraska has now won five straight league games on the road, while Colorado ended its season with a 3-9 record.

In building a 21-7 halftime lead, the Huskers scored on a 58-yard punt return by Niles Paul, a 24-yard touchdown pass from Zac Lee to Ben Cotton and a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown by Matt O'Hanlon. NU led 21-14 in the fourth quarter before coming up with big plays on both sides of the ball.

Colorado drove inside the red zone on three straight possessions in the second half but the Blackshirts held them off the scoreboard each time. Offensively, NU put the game out of the reach with a clutch 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive midway through the period that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by freshman Rex Burkhead.

Burkhead rushed 18 times for a career-high 100 yards, as the Huskers ran for 144 yards. Lee completed 9-of-14 passes for 73 yards as Nebraska totaled only 217 yards. But the offense only turned the ball over once, while the Blackshirts forced three Colorado turnovers to offset a season-high 403 yard of total offense gained by the Buffs.


Lincoln - Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini met the media on Tuesday at Memorial Stadium to discuss the No. 21 Huskers' upcoming showdown with No. 3 Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday.

Kickoff between Nebraska (9-3, 6-2 Big 12 North Champion) and Texas (12-0, 8-0 Big 12 South Champion) is set for shortly after 5 p.m. (Pacific) at Cowboys Stadium with live national television coverage by ABC.

Pelini said facing Texas presents a great challenge and opportunity for the Huskers.

“It takes your absolute best effort to win any game. We know we’re playing a good football team. We’re going to have to play well in all phases," Pelini said. "They’re well-coached in all phases. They’re a very talented football team. It will be a great challenge for our football team.”

Pelini also said he was proud of the strides Nebraska's defense has made in his two seasons as the Huskers' head coach. On Tuesday, four Husker Blackshirts earned first-team All-Big 12 honors, led by Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Ndamukong Suh.

“I’m proud of how far we have come on defense. We’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time. It’s nice to see that our guys were recognized for it," Pelini said. "It’s been a lot of hard work and perseverance by that group, by the whole group. I’m talking about everybody on defense, not just the guys that got recognized with first-team honors. We’ve come a long way.”


Regardless of which bowl selects the Huskers, the University of Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office will begin selling bowl tickets on only, beginning Sunday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m.

Athletic donors had first chance to order their tickets, and Nebraska Athletic Ticket Manager Holly Adam said the remaining tickets from the Nebraska allotment will now be made available to the general public.

The Athletic Ticket Office, located on Stadium Drive, will open Monday morning at 8 a.m., but no bowl tickets will be held back to guarantee over-the-counter sales or phone sales on Monday, Adam said.

Information for Fans Regarding Cowboys Stadium Gates

With additional security measures in place for the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game, fans are encouraged to arrive at Dallas Cowboys Stadium early on Saturday. The gates will open 2½ hours prior to kickoff, giving fans ample time to get to their seats. Nebraska's will-call windows will be located between Gates F and G on the southwest corner of the stadium.


NDOMUKONG SUH FOR HEISMAN! - Keep voting...he's in the lead but we need to keep him there...

Everyone knows that Ndomukong Suh is the best player in college football. Everyone except ESPN it seems. As a write-in candidate in ESPN's Heisman voting, Suh is just a few votes ahead of C.J. Spiller for #1. That's as a write-in candidate. Here's what you can do to help:

1. Visit ESPN's Heisman poll page:

2. Type Ndomukong Suh, DT, Nebraska in the write-in box, check the circle at left and press the VOTE button.

3. Forward the link to every Husker fan and/or reasonable college football fan you know.


Senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was named a finalist for another major award on Wednesday, as he was selected as one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2009 Player of the Year award.

Suh was the only defender among the five finalists. The four other finalists included quarterbacks Colt McCoy (Texas), Case Keenum (Houston) and Tim Tebow (Florida), along with Alabama running back Mark Ingram.

A native of Portland, Ore., Suh is the fifth Husker – and first Blackshirt – to be a finalist for the Walter Camp Award. Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Rodgers (1972), Mike Rozier (1983) and Eric Crouch (2001) each won the Walter Camp Award, while Tommie Frazier was a finalist in 1995.

The Walter Camp Player of the Year award is voted on by the Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. The 2009 recipient will be announced live on Thursday, Dec. 10 during the 5 p.m. Central edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter. The winner will be presented with the trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 at Yale University.

The award is named in honor of Walter Camp, “The Father of American Football.” Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to 11 men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and continue the tradition of selecting an annual All-America team.

In addition to being a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award, Suh is also a finalist for the Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Outland Trophy and the Bronko Nagurski Award. He was also named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year on Tuesday in a vote of the league’s coaches.

2009 Finalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
Case Keenum, QB, Houston
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Suh’s Award Possibilities
Walter Camp Award  (awarded to the player of the year; one of five finalists)
Outland Trophy (awarded to the nation’s top collegiate interior lineman; one of three finalists)
Lombardi Trophy (awarded to the nation’s top collegiate lineman; one of four finalists)
Chuck Bednarik Award (awarded to the college defensive player of the year; one of three finalists)
Bronko Nagurski Award (awarded to the collegiate defensive player of the year; one of five finalists)
Lott Trophy (awarded to the nation’s top defensive player; one of four finalists)


Nebraska senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was one of 25 players selected as a member of the 2009 American Football Coaches Association Coaches' All-America team. The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and the team is selected by the nation's head coaches.

The selection of Suh as a first-team All-American represents Nebraska's first All-America pick since defensive back Josh Bullocks and punter Kyle Larson earned first-team honors in 2003. Suh is the 93rd Husker to earn first-team All-America honors from a major national service, including 14 double winners for a total of 107 first-team All-America selections in school history.

Nebraska is among the all-time leaders in AFCA All-Americans with 44 players earning 49 first-team All-America awards from the AFCA. Only five schools have earned more AFCA All-Americans.

Suh has been the leader of one of the nation's most dominant defensive units in 2009. The 6-4, 300-pounder has 70 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He also has a team-high 24 quarterback hurries, 10 pass breakups and three blocked kicks, making him one of the most impactful defenders in college football in recent years.

Suh is also a finalist for six major national awards, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year as announced on Wednesday. Suh is the only defender among the five finalists and just the third defensive player to be named a finalist since 2001. Only two defensive players have captured the Walter Camp Player of the Year.

Suh was one of six Big 12 players named to the AFCA All-America team, including three from Texas and one each from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.



Nebraska senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been named the 2009 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, the conference office announced on Tuesday morning. Suh also captured Big 12 Defensive Lineman-of-the-Year honors.

The Big 12 Conference announced all of its major award winners and all-conference selections on Tuesday morning. The individual award winners and all-conference teams were selected by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches.

Suh was chosen in July as the preseason choice as Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Year and the postseason hardware comes as no surprise after Suh's dominant senior season. The 6-4, 300-pounder leads Nebraska with 70 total tackles, including 7.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. He also paces the team with 10 pass breakups, three blocked kicks and 24 quarterback hurries, while adding his fourth career interception.

A native of Portland, Ore., Suh is also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Outland Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Lott Trophy. The winners of each of those awards will be announced next week.

Suh is the second Nebraska player to win Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors, joining Grant Wistrom who won the award in the first two years of the conference (1996, 1997). Suh is also Nebraska's second winner of the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in the past four seasons, joining Adam Carriker who won the award in 2006. Suh is just the second player in league history to win the Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year award in the same season (Brian Orakpo-Texas, 2008).

Suh also headlines four Huskers named to the All-Big 12 first team defense, as he joined Texas quarterback Colt McCoy as the only unanimous selections to the all-conference team. Other Huskers who earned first-team All-Big 12 honors included fellow defensive tackle Jared Crick, junior cornerback Prince Amukamara and senior safety Larry Asante.

Nebraska's four first-team picks tied Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State for most first-team All-Big 12 picks.

Crick leads Nebraska with nine sacks and has 14 tackles for loss, while posting 67 total tackles. He is the first sophomore to earn first-team all-conference honors for Nebraska since tight end Matt Herian and offensive lineman Richie Incognito in 2003.

Amukmara ranks among the Big 12 leaders in passes defended with 10 breakups and four interceptions, helping Nebraska rank third nationally in pass efficiency defense. Asante is tied for the team lead in tackles with 70 tackles, including seven games with at least six tackles. He also has a pair of interceptions in his senior season.

In addition to the four first-team picks, Nebraska had three players chosen to the All-Big 12 Second Team and another eight players receive honorable-mention accolades.

The second-team picks included junior I-back Roy Helu Jr., who has rushed for 1,111 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, while averaging a Big 12-best 5.4 yards per carry. Place-kicker Alex Henery has continued his stellar special teams work, hitting 16-of-20 field goals this fall, with just one miss inside 50 yards. Linebacker Phillip Dillard has been among Nebraska's steadiest players since the start of conference play. Dillard is tied for the team lead with 70 tackles and has eight or more tackles in five of the past seven games.

Henery was also chosen to the honorable-mention list as a punter and was joined on that list by center Jacob Hickman, tight end Mike McNeill and wide receiver Niles Paul on offense, as well as defensive backs Dejon Gomes, Eric Hagg and Matt O'Hanlon and defensive end Barry Turner.


Lincoln - A total of 20 former Huskers saw action during Week 12 of the 2009 NFL season, with at least one Husker playing in all three games on Thanksgiving Day.

Following a four-game skid, the Denver Broncos got back on the winning track with a 26-6 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night. The Broncos received a balanced attack from former Husker Correll Buckhalter and rookie Knowshon Moreno as the pair combined for 139 yards and one touchdown on 39 touches. Buckhalter had a team-high 20 carries for 51 yards, and also caught a pass for five yards.

Now on a five-game winning streak, after dropping the first six games of the year, the Tennessee Titans and Kyle Vanden Bosch were able to hold off Ralph Brown’s Cardinals at home, 20-17. Vanden Bosch totaled three tackles, including a three-yard sack, as the Titans’ defense held the Cardinals’ potent offense to 75 yards on the ground and 220 yards through the air. For the Cardinals, Brown added two solo stops and a pass deflection.

On Monday Night Football, Carl Nicks kept the Patriots’ defense away from Drew Brees as the signal caller threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-17 win over the Patriots in the Superdome. The Saints are now 11-0, marking the first time since 1991 that they have won a total of 11 games in a season.



Lincoln -- The Nebraska volleyball team will spend the opening weekend of the postseason at home, as the NU Coliseum was chosen as one of 16 sites for NCAA first and second-round play next weekend. Nebraska will make its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance, and will go into NCAAs as the No. 10 overall seed among the 64 teams.

Action begins Friday, Dec. 4, at the NU Coliseum when the Washington State Cougars (18-12) of the Pac-10 Conference take on the Northern Iowa Panthers (30-2) of the Missouri Valley Conference at 4:30 p.m. Nebraska (23-6) will play in the evening’s second match and will take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (20-13) of the Big South Conference beginning at 7 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first match.

Nebraska has never faced Coastal Carolina, as the Chanticleers’ appearance in Lincoln marks the second straight year that the Big South champion has opened the tournament in Lincoln. Nebraska is 4-0-1 all-time against Northern Iowa, as the teams have not met since the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Nebraska has played Washington State only once, a 3-0 sweep in 1988.

The second round will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 5 p.m., as Friday’s winners will square off for a right to compete in the Omaha Regional the following weekend. Tickets for the first and second rounds in Lincoln will go on sale Monday morning at 8 a.m. on, by calling the NU Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED or in person at the NU Ticket Office. All-session ticket prices are set at $32 (reserved) and $28 (general admission) and include the two first-round games, as well as the second-round matchup between the first-round winners. Both reserved and GA seating will be on sale.

The Huskers enter the NCAA Tournament with a 23-6 record, including a 16-4 Big 12 mark. Nebraska has won its last seven matches – all by sweep and will be making their 28th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

The 2009 season marks the 25th time that Lincoln has played host to first and second-round competition. Last year, Nebraska hosted the first and second rounds at the NU Coliseum before advancing to the NCAA National Semifinals in Omaha. Nebraska is 77-24 (.762) in 27 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, ranking second among NCAA schools in wins and winning percentage.

The Huskers were one of six Big 12 schools to qualify for the tournament. In addition to the Huskers, Texas (No. 2) and Iowa State (No. 7) were national seeds, while Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas A&M all advanced to the NCAAs.

NCAA First and Second Round Schedule
Friday, Dec. 4
                       4:30 p.m. First Round: Northern Iowa (30-2) vs. Washington State (18-12)
                       7 p.m.* First Round: Nebraska (23-6) vs. Coastal Carolina (20-13)
*- or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the 4:30 p.m. match

Saturday, Dec. 5
                      5 p.m. Second Round: First-Round Winners


Lincoln -- The University of Nebraska Athletic Department announced Tuesday afternoon that all three matches from this weekend’s NCAA Volleyball Tournament will be available for free on and

The action begins Friday at 4:30 p.m., as Northern Iowa takes on Washington State before the Huskers take on Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m. Friday’s winners will meet in the second round Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Omaha Regional next weekend.

Additional viewing options for this weekend’s matches could be announced as soon as Wednesday.

In addition, all of the Nebraska’s matches can be heard on the Husker Sports Network, including flagship stations B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on


Lincoln – Five Nebraska volleyball players were honored Monday afternoon, as the 2009 All-Big 12 team was announced. Nebraska and Iowa State had a league-best five honorees apiece, as Kori Cooper, Brooke Delano and Sydney Anderson claimed first-team selections, while Kayla Banwarth and Hannah Werth received honorable-mention accolades.

It was Cooper and Anderson’s second straight All-Big 12 honor, while the other three Huskers were recognized for the first time in their careers. Werth was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, the first Husker honored since Jordan Larson in 2005. Werth is the fifth Husker freshman to receive the Big 12’s top rookie honor.


Lincoln – Lindsey Licht totaled a match-high 10 kills, while Kori Cooper celebrated senior night in style, as No, 8 Nebraska closed out the regular season with a 3-0 sweep (25-16, 25-11, 25-11) of Colorado Saturday evening in front of a sellout crowd of 4,189 at the NU Coliseum.

Licht, who has led the Huskers in kills in six of the last eight matches, paced a balanced attack with 10 kills on a season-best .625 hitting, as the Huskers finished the regular-season on a seven-match win streak. The Huskers, who are now 23-6 overall and 16-4 in the Big 12, went 9-1 during the second half of the Big 12 season, as Licht averaged 3.52 kills in that stretch.

Cooper, the lone Husker senior, was greeted with thunderous applause throughout the night and thrilled the 133rd consecutive sellout with another strong effort, totaling nine kills on .600 hitting. It was the third time this season Cooper hit .500 or better, as she leads the Big 12 with a .378 hitting percentage.

In all, Nebraska’s middle blocking trio of Cooper, Jordan Wilberger and Allison McNeal combined for 19 kills on .633 hitting, as Wilberger totaled seven kills and tied her career best with a .700 hitting percentage.

Sydney Anderson helped NU hit .300 or better for the fifth time in seven matches, dishing out 36 assists and added nine digs and five kills, as all six starters finished with at least five kills. Nebraska also had five aces and just one service error, the Huskers’ lowest error total in a decade.

While NU’s attack turned in a solid night, the Husker defense held Colorado to .104 hitting and out-dug the Buffaloes, 53-31. Hannah Werth totaled a match-high 16 digs, while Kayla Banwarth added 13 and helped the Huskers hold its fifth consecutive opponent without an ace. Banwarth is now second on NU’s single-season digs list with 492 and became the fifth Husker to collect 1,100 digs in a career, as she now has 1,108 in three seasons.



It doesn't seem possible, but it really was 15 years ago when the player who's featured with Tom Osborne on the statue in front of Nebraska's North Stadium entrance had his miracle game in a Husker uniform.

"Brook Berringer played a great game against Colorado in 1994," recalled Osborne, the former Hall-of-Fame coach and now Nebraska's athletic director. "Colorado had the Heisman Trophy winner and four or five first-round draft picks that year. They probably had more overall talent than we did."

But Berringer, who helped Nebraska control nearly 39 minutes of the clock on that pivotal day en route to the Huskers' first of three national championships under Osborne, "played almost a perfect game," Osborne said.

"Brook really emerged as a national quarterback that day," said Ron Brown, Nebraska's tight end coach who was the lead recruiter for what he calls "the quiet, Kansas range boy" who was "a competitive rascal" and "a salt-of-the-earth kind of young man" ... a Husker legend who died in a private plane he was piloting days before the NFL draft and about a month before he was to graduate from college.

Berringer's legacy is immeasurable. We all know, of course, how he came out of nowhere to take over for the injured Tommie Frazier earlier in the season, but that Oct. 29 afternoon against Colorado was his coming out party ... his date with destiny ... the game that he used to prove to everyone that the Huskers had what it takes to win it all.

"That kid had something inside that began to emerge into something really special," Brown recalled. "I mean, he was developing into one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Eight Conference and, in fact, made second-team All-Big Eight that year."

Brown: Berringer 'The Star' of a Sensational Show

The Colorado game solidified Berringer's place in Husker history. "He became the catalyst on our football team that day," Brown said. "He became the charge guy. You could see the spirit in him, and it really culminated in that game."

Among others, the Buffs had future NFL stars Kordell Stewart at quarterback and Michael Westbrook at wide receiver. They also had running back Rashaan Salaam, the 1994 Heisman Trophy winner.

"But Brook was the star that day," Brown said. "He was sensational."

Because of Colorado's style of defense, Nebraska designed passes for the tight end over the middle of the field that day. Berringer was so technically efficient that he was able get CU's linebackers to suck up on the fake, so he could connect with tight ends Mark Gilman and Eric Alford.

Four minutes into the third quarter, CU bit again, and Berringer and Alford hooked up on a 30-yard touchdown pass to give Nebraska a shocking 24-0 lead (24-7 was the final score).

"Brook was just lighting up the sky with short, persistent possession-type throws," Brown recalled. "The traps were going well with Cory Schlesinger. The option game was working. It was a fabulous, beautiful day, and Brook was on center stage in front of a nationally televised audience against some of the best players in America.

"It was fun to see," Brown said. "We knew there was something special there, and after that game, we knew, if we could keep going, despite all the injuries and all the setbacks, that somehow, someway, we were going to get to the national championship game."

For the Rest of the Story, Watch New Husker Videos

No doubt the Brook Berringer Story goes far beyond one almost perfect football game, and we could write that story right here, but it just wouldn't do it justice.

Instead, we offer something much more compelling ... Tom Osborne and Ron Brown remembering Brook Berringer 15 years after a game that showed the nation why Nebraska could still win a national championship with its backup quarterback.

Brown, who gave the eulogy at Berringer's funeral, took the time in his demanding schedule en route to a possible Big 12 championship, to paint a particularly poignant picture of the life and the legacy of one of Nebraska's all-time favorite players.

Take the time to watch Brown's four video installments linked at the top of this column, as well as Osborne's remembrances of Berringer.

Then, after you've watched all of those, hit the play button at the top of this column and watch Berringer describe that memorable day against CU on the Tom Osborne Show from 1994.

Make sure you stay to the end of the highlight reel. You'll see a certain pass that Berringer executed to perfection against CU that day - a pass that has been reworked into the Husker playbook.

Enjoy the videos and let us know how you remember Brook Berringer ... who he was, what he stands for and why he is as relevant now as ever in a program that's going back to its roots.

The Life and Legacy of Brook Berringer

Born: July 9, 1973, in Scottsbluff, Neb.

Died: April 18, 1996, at age 22 in crash of small plane he was piloting near Raymond, Neb.

Funeral: Goodland, Kan., where Brook lived from age 7 through high school graduation. Brook, sisters Nicoel and Drue and mother Jan moved to Kansas after their father and husband, Warren Berringer, died of cancer. "Brook's death had more impact on our football players than any other single event that I can think of," said Tom Osborne, his former head coach and now Nebraska's athletic director. "When you're 19, 20 and 21-years-old, you think you're bullet-proof. You think you're going to live forever. That's what our guys were thinking in 1996, and then, all of a sudden, here's this guy who was admired by virtually everyone and was young and was on the threshold of possibly an NFL career. He was engaged to be married to a beautiful young lady and was about to get his college degree. Then, all of a sudden, he's gone. I think it hit home - first, the brevity of life and secondly, the legacy he had as a Christian with a very strong spiritual base. Almost all of our team attended the funeral, and a lot of players re-examined their lives and their stance on faith. As we went down to Goodland, I remember seeing all of those people in both Nebraska and Kansas standing along the roadside as the hearse rolled along. There are not many players who would draw that kind of attention. Brook had a great impact on lots of people, including me. When you lose someone like that, it's almost like losing a member of your own family."

Memorial service: April 20, 1996, at Memorial Stadium. Attendance: 48,659.

Primary recruiter: Ron Brown. He delivered Brook's eulogy, which was broadcast live statewide. Brown and Osborne first saw Berringer at the Nebraska Summer Football Camp, where he impressed both with his arm and overall athleticism. Kansas and Kansas State also offered scholarships, but Brook's Nebraska roots simplified the recruiting process.

Primary athletic legacy: Becoming Nebraska's starting quarterback in Nebraska's 1994 national championship season for Tommie Frazier, who developed blood clots in his leg and missed eight straight games. Huskers did not lose any games with Berringer at the helm.

Career highlight: Oct. 29, 1994, Nebraska's 200th consecutive sellout against Colorado. "Brook played a great game," Osborne recalled. "Colorado had the Heisman Trophy winner and five first-round draft picks. They probably had more overall talent than we did. Brook threw a touchdown pass to give us a 24-0 lead, and we won, 24-7, after holding the ball for almost 40 minutes. Brook played almost a perfect game."

Competitive savvy: "The thing that was particularly memorable about Brook was that in spite of what he did in 1994, when 1995 came and Frazier was healed up, he certainly had as much claim to be the starting quarterback as Tommie. The only difference was that during preseason scrimmages, Brook had one interception, and Tommie had none. Tommie graded a little bit better, but not much. It was close."

Maturity that belied his age: "Brook could have been bitter. He could have been divisive. He could have caused a fracture within the team," Osborne said. "But he didn't do that. He was supportive of Tommie. He was a consummate team player. He always said the right thing and always did the right thing."

Inspiring figure: From former Chicago Bear and now Denver Bronco starting quarterback Kyle Orton, who remembers getting Brook's autograph as a seventh grader while growing up in Iowa: Orton told Sports Illustrated: "I liked how Brook handled himself as a player. He played well when they won the national title, and then Tommie Frazier came back and got the job back. Brook could've tanked, but he showed what he was made of as a backup. Ever since then, I've worn 18 (in junior high, high school, at Purdue and with the Bears. Orton wears No. 8 with the Broncos because 18 is one of Denver's three retired jersey numbers). I met Brook's mother (Jan). She saw me mention Brook in an interview, and she tracked me down. It was cool. I thought we would talk for 10 minutes, but we spent a lot of time talking about him. It wasn't even about football. It was about the kind of guy he was."

Reason that Brook Berringer is an equal part of the Tom Osborne statue at the front entrance to the North Stadium: "When approached, I didn't want a personal statue," Osborne said. "Some have wondered why there isn't a generic player, and I can understand that reasoning. But in a sense, Brook's spirit epitomizes the sacrifices that so many small-town kids have made to make this program great. He was not a walk-on, but he symbolizes the efforts of so many of those kinds of players. His impact has been great. He embodies a lot of the things that we're trying to get done here ... good student ... good person ... unimpeachable character ... well-liked ... well respected ... good leader. As a result, like so many others before him and after him, he made his mark here."



The Huskers are on their way to Dallas to take on the Texas Longhorns. The Sidetrack Band will be making the trip and will be appearing at Humperdink's in Arlington on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Pictures from the Colorado concerts are here. My commentary is located here. Thank you to all that attended. It was a great time.

Details and registration for Dallas are at this link.

Another event at the Big 12 Championship Game is the Alumni Association Husker Huddle. It is open to all ages. The Sidetrack Concerts are for adults only.

Order Huddle tickets here.

The limited edition six Heisman winner footballs are approaching a sellout. There are only 75 remaining of the 1,000 authorized by the Heisman committe. Get yours now before they are gone. Orders will be shipped on Dec. 8th in time for Christmas.

Click here to order.

The CyberMonday offer of Johnny Rodgers autographed Game of the Century DVDs sold out. I have 15 copies of the Johnny Rodgers Musical Portrait of a Heisman DVD which is offered as a combo with a Game of the Century DVD. The portrait DVD is autographed. Great stocking stuffer.

Click here to order. (The link will be removed once all 15 are sold)

Thanks again for your support of HuskerPedia and GO BIG RED!!

David Max


AMERICA'S FASTEST-RECOVERING CITIES....Omaha at the top of the list!

Diversified industry and relatively stable housing give residents in these metros a measure of economic security.

Though Omaha, Neb., seems second-rate to some, Warren Buffett may have been on to something when he chose it for the headquarters of his massive holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. According to our research, the city has hit upon a formula to weather the economic downturn better than any other in the country.

While no region has escaped the recession, in Omaha, three Texas metros, a handful of Northeastern manufacturing bases and select southern cities, diversified industry and relatively stable housing fundamentals have provided local residents with comparatively secure standards of living.

Omaha has had a healthy 1.3% gross metropolitan product (GMP) growth in the past year, and a low foreclosure rate (only one in every 3,246 housing units is in foreclosure), but it sails to the top spot on our list because of its unemployment rate: At 5%, the lowest of the metros we surveyed. Omaha's economy is less dependent on manufacturing than other Midwestern cities, and is boosted by a strong agriculture sector and growing biofuels industry. And while the city has a big stake in the financial industry--a factor that nearly spelled ruin for metros like New York--it doesn't specialize in the types of institutions that took big risks and chased exotic financial structures. Instead, it's home to roughly 30 insurance companies and regional banks like Mutual of Omaha.

For the rest of the article go to:

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