Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bay Area Husker ENews 11/24/10

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't want to spoil everyone's holiday too much by dwelling on the happenings last Saturday, but suffice it to say that I feel like Turkey Day came a few days early for Nebraska, and the Huskers were the main course. Always hard to beat A&M at their "Home of the 12th Man", but its even harder when they have 5 extra folks on the field acting on their behalf. Although Pelini is apologetic and contrite (see below) about yelling at the officials, I believe he had the right to be upset (maybe he shouldn't have been quite as vocal on the field) about what appeared to be a one sided officiating job during the game, with a couple of critical calls that gave A&M scoring opportunities they might not have had without the calls. Call it sour grapes but this was a critical game for the Huskers and the Big 12 and shouldn't have the shadow of poor officiating hanging over the outcome.

Some good recruiting news for the softball and baseball teams below and some good info from the UNL Foundation at the end of the email.

Enjoy the reading and...

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Watch Parties:

The game against Colorado on Friday is set for a 12:30 start and will be a national ABC we don't have to worry about ESPN Gameplans or PPV anymore. Although there will be a triptophan induced desire to just hang around the house on Friday for the game and eat leftovers, there's nothing like gathering with other Husker fans at our watch sites to enjoy the game. All of the pubs/sports bars will be open and ready for a crowd, so get there early, grab some lunch and watch the Huskers beat the Buffs one last time.


The Matchup

Nebraska closes out the regular season with its traditional Friday after Thanksgiving matchup with Colorado at Memorial Stadium. The game will be the final Big 12 regular-season contest for both schools as Nebraska is set for a move to the Big Ten Conference and Colorado to the Pac-12 in 2011. Game time for Senior Day at Memorial Stadium is set for 12:36 p.m. PT with the game televised nationally on ABC.

The Huskers enter the game with a 9-2 overall record and a 5-2 mark in the Big 12 Conference after a 9-6 loss at Texas A&M last Saturday. Nebraska enters the matchup with Colorado in need of a victory in order to secure a spot in the Dec. 4 Big 12 Championship Game. Nebraska enters the final weekend of the regular season tied with Missouri for the North Division lead, but the Huskers hold the tie-breaker with their head-to-head win against the Tigers.

The loss to Texas A&M dropped NU to 16th in the AP poll, 15th according to the coaches and 15th in the BCS standings.

Colorado is playing its best football of the season over the past two weeks. The Buffs improved to 5-6 overall with their 44-36 win over Kansas State in Boulder on Saturday. CU knocked off Iowa State the previous week and can become bowl-eligible with a win over Nebraska.

The Series

Nebraska owns a 48-18-2 all-time edge in the series between the two schools. The Huskers have won four of the past five meetings against the Buffs. The series has featured a number of tight games, with eight of the past 14 games decided by 10 or fewer points.


College Station, Texas - The Blackshirts produced a strong performance, but No. 18 Texas A&M managed one more field goal than the No. 9 Nebraska could muster in the Huskers' 9-6 loss at Kyle Field on Saturday night.

With the loss, Nebraska slipped to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12, while maintaining the edge in the Big 12 North Division race. Texas A&M improved to 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 South with the victory.

In a near statistical dead heat, Nebraska produced 306 yards of total offense, including 164 (17-28-2) passing and 142 rushing yards on 37 carries. Texas A&M managed 310 yards, including 172 through the air (19-29-0) and 138 yards on the ground. NU held a time of possession edge of 31:13-28:47, while A&M ran 70 offensive plays, compared to 65 for the Huskers.

Neither team found the end zone on Saturday night, as Alex Henery kicked a pair of field goals for the Huskers. The Lou Groza Award candidate booted a 48-yard field goal with 8:53 left in the first quarter to give Nebraska a 3-0 lead.

Randy Bullock answered with a 29-yard field goal with 9:08 left in the second quarter to send the two teams to the locker room tied at the half.

After a scoreless third quarter, Bullock gave the Aggies their first lead with a 28-yard field goal with 14:33 left in the game, before Henery tied the score (6-6) with a 29-yard boot with 8:31 remaining.

However, the Aggies were able to answer with a 19-yard Bullock field goal with 3:02 left to secure the winning margin.

Texas A&M's winning drive was extended by a roughing the passer penalty on Husker safety Courtney Osborne. On 3rd-and-11, Osborne came off the edge on a blitz and hit A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with his right shoulder in the stomach as Tannehill threw the ball incomplete in the direction of Kenric McNeal.

Instead of 4th-and-11 at the NU 49, A&M moved on the edge of field goal range with a 1st-and-10 at the NU 34. Cyrus Gray covered 32 yards on five consecutive runs for the Aggies until the Blackshirts forced a 4th-and-Goal at the NU 2.

Osborne's penalty was the 15th of a school-record 16 called on the Huskers on Saturday night in an ABC primetime telecast in front of a school-record 90,079 fans at Kyle Field. NU's 16 penalties forced 145 yards to be marched off against the Huskers - the highest total in school history. Texas A&M was flagged for just two penalties for 10 yards. The 14-penalty and 135-yard penalty margins were the largest in a Nebraska game in the history of the Big 12 Conference.


Nebraska senior cornerback Prince Amukamara has been named one of three finalists for the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award as announced on Monday afternoon. The award is given annually to the nation's best college defensive back, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 9 at the ESPNU College Football Awards Show in Orlando.

Amukamara is joined by Texas Christian senior Tejay Johnson and LSU junior Patrick Peterson in the group of finalists. The 6-1, 205-pound Amukamara ranks among the national leaders in pass breakups with 11, and has also recorded 48 tackles and a sack. Amukamara's play has helped Nebraska lead the nation in pass efficiency defense, while ranking second in passing yards allowed per game.

Amukamara, who has 25 career pass breakups, is Nebraska's first-ever finalist for the Thorpe Award. In addition to his on-field accomplishments, Amukamara is scheduled to earn his undergraduate degree next month, finishing in just 3 ½ years.


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)Nebraska coach Bo Pelini tried to tamp down the frenzy surrounding his program Monday, apologizing for his sideline tirades and assuring fans that his star quarterback hasn't quit the team.

Pelini's volatile behavior became the story line of Saturday's 9-6 loss at Texas A&M, more so than the fact the 16th-ranked Cornhuskers now probably have to beat resurgent Colorado on Friday to win the Big 12 North after starting the season with national championship hopes.

Pelini's foul-mouth berating of the officials and quarterback Taylor Martinez made for must-see TV for ABC, but it also drew an admonishment from Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and criticism from fans who say Pelini embarrassed the state and program.

"I always believe it's OK to disagree with a call," Pelini said. "It's not OK to make it personal. At times during that game, probably in my quest to fight for the kids on our football team, I let it get personal. For that, once again, I'm sorry. I regret that."

Pelini's sideline rants have been scrutinized since he took over in 2008, but his rage seemed to peak in the A&M game as the Aggies (8-3, 5-2 Big 12) shut down the Huskers (9-2, 5-2).

Officials drew his ire for calling 16 penalties for 145 yards, both school records. Among them were seven personal fouls,including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Pelini.

Martinez left the game with five minutes in the first quarter after aggravating his right ankle sprain, and he didn't escape Pelini's wrath, either.

Martinez, who returned to play the second half, was on the sideline in the second quarter when Pelini approached him. The redshirt freshman showed no emotion as the coach yelled at him, pointed his left index finger at him and poked him just above the collar.

Pelini declined to say what prompted the exchange, which was captured by ABC cameras and was viewed more than 109,000 times on YouTube in the 24 hours after the video was posted. Martinez does not speak to the media except after games, and then not always.

"My policy is I don't talk about what happens in our family," Pelini said. "I can say this: the things that are out there speculating over what that was (about) are completely off base. Taylor is with the football team. He and I are on the same page and there are no issues there. We put all that behind us."

Pelini acknowledged that Martinez was not with the team for its Sunday "shakeout," which he described as a short jogging session that helps players loosen up after the previous day's game. Martinez's absence sparked Internet rumors that he had quit the team.

Pelini said Martinez's absence was excused and that he wouldn't have been able to jog anyway because of his injury.

Pelini said Martinez would play against Colorado if he's healthy.

Perlman, the chancellor, on Sunday called Pelini's behavior "unfortunate" and said it did not represent the university or the football program well. Pelini and Perlman discussed Saturday's chain of events, and the coach said he has the administration's full support.

"We're on the same page," Pelini said. "I have total respect for him, the administration, the job they have to do."

Pelini said he told the chancellor he would tone down his behavior.

"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "Believe me, I assured him it won't happen again."

Perlman declined to comment Monday.

Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda said Pelini would face no disciplinary action from the league. Burda said beyond in-game penalties that could be assessed, the conference leaves it up to the institution to address matters relating to sideline decorum.

Pelini has a reputation for his temper. He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for haranguing an official in the 2008 game against Virginia Tech. That same season, he blew up during the Oklahoma game, cursing and yelling at officials, assistant coaches and players, grabbing one by the facemask.

"Perception is reality, so that;s something I've got to fix,"Pelini said the week after the ,08 Oklahoma game. "I understand that. I'm a highly emotional guy. I've got to be careful."

Last year, after one second was put back on the clock for Texas to kick the game-winning field goal in the Big 12 championship game, Pelini flew into a rage, shouting that the Longhorns were given special treatment so they could play in the BCS title game.

Pelini said fans who disapprove of his behavior should consider the integrity with which he has rebuilt the program and that his players generally stay out of trouble.

"You hope they look at the heart of who you are and what you've done and what you've built up over a certain amount of time, and you hope people are in your corner,"he said. "I bust my butt each and every day for this program, and for the kids and the university. If I embarrassed anybody by what I did, I'm sorry. That's as far as I can go. I didn't do it intentionally."

Tight end Ben Cotton said Pelini's passion is appreciated.

"He wants the best for his team, he wants to win just like we do, he wants to see us succeed," Cotton said. "We all know he's coming from the right intentions, and we've got his back just like he's got ours."

The disparity in penalties between Nebraska and Texas A&M,16 to 2, has led to allegations among Husker fans that the Big 12 is conspiring against Nebraska in its last year in the league, before it leaves for the Big Ten.

Asked if he thought that were true, Pelini hesitated, then said he didn't think that was the case.

Pelini was asked how, if he changed roles with officials, he would react to having a coach constantly in his ear. Would he give the offending coach a break?

"Probably not," he said. "When you get animated, you don't approach it the right way. Sometimes you do yourself a disservice. I might have done that the other night. I regret it. I'm sorry about it."


Randy York's N-Sider...

Friday's Nebraska-Colorado football game will become a footnote in Big 12 Conference history ... a final meeting between two universities heading to different conferences in different parts of the country.

Next summer, Nebraska will become an official member of the Big Ten Conference, headquartered in Chicago, and Colorado will become an official member of the Pac-Ten Conference, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif.

You can't help but see irony in two schools that will play in a 15th straight nationally televised post-Thanksgiving game while preparing to leave the same conference at the same time.

Nebraska, no doubt, would like to thank the Big 12 for the memories, and Colorado probably wouldn't mind saying goodbye yellow brick road at this stage of the game either. Both schools, after all, will pursue their intercollegiate dreams in conferences they believe fit their respective cultures better than the Big 12 has.

Even though NU and CU look at their rivalry against each other through decidedly different lenses, the truth is the Huskers and Buffs have given ABC Television and college football fans some dramatic games since Nebraska beat CU in 1996, the year the Big 12 was formed.

Games Were Memorable and Evenly Matched

Nebraska won the head-to-head matchup against CU the first five times they met in the Big 12, but each game was memorable and evenly matched. The Huskers won by scores of 17-12, 27-24, 16-14, 33-30 in overtime and 34-32. Those five straight wins continued Nebraska's series-long dominance over CU, but that mastery could not prevent one of the greatest oddities in college football history from happening.

Friday, Nov. 23, 2001, is a day that will live in infamy among Nebraska fans. Led by Heisman Trophy winner, Eric Crouch, Nebraska lost to CU, 62-36, but somehow still secured a Rose Bowl spot in the BCS National Championship Game against Miami.

Talk about quirks in the BCS system at the time. The math that can qualify a team for a national championship appearance when that same team can't even qualify for its own conference championship game, was simultaneously analyzed and apologized for, scrutinized and neutralized, and finally, after much debate, revolutionized with a clause to make sure a similar scenario would never happen again.

In another interesting twist to this series, Shawn Watson, CU's offensive coordinator for that explosive offensive display in 2001, is now Nebraska's offensive coordinator. And Ted Gilmore, the receiver coach on that '01 Buff staff, is now the Huskers' receiver coach and recruiting coordinator.

Both ex-Buffs love being on the Nebraska sideline in a series that shows the Huskers with 48 wins, 18 losses and two ties overall. Since the launch of the Big 12, Nebraska has won 10 of the 14 games in the new era of the series.

Osborne Teams Occupy Four Spots in Top 10

Even though Tom Osborne coached in only the first two years of the Big 12 Conference, four of his teams' games are on our all-time Big 12 Husker win chart. Nebraska's 54-15 win over Texas A&M in the 1997 Big 12 Championship Game ranks No. 1 all-time.

The Huskers' 45-38 overtime victory at Missouri that same year ranks No. 3. The Huskers' 39-3 thumping of Kansas State in 1996 ranks No. 6, and the Huskers' 56-26 win over an 11-1 Wildcat team in '97 ranks No. 9.

Frank Solich and Bo Pelini each coached in three games that made our Huskers' 10 Best Big 12 Wins chart.

Solich's Big 12 championship win over Texas in 1999 ranks No. 2 on the chart, followed by his memorable 20-10 win over Bob Stoops and Oklahoma in 2001 - a game that ranks No. 4 on the chart. The Huskers' 34-32 triumph over Colorado in 2000 - on a Josh Brown walk-off field goal - ranks No. 7 on the chart.

The three Pelini-coached games that made the chart are: 1) Nebraska's 40-31 win over CU in 2008 when Alex Henery made a record 57-yard field goal with the game on the line; 2) Pelini's 10-3 upset of Oklahoma friend/former boss Stoops in 2009 in Lincoln; and 3) this year's 31-17 triumph over Missouri when the Tigers rolled into Lincoln unbeaten and ranked seventh nationally. Those three Pelini-coached wins rank 5th, 8th and 10th on our Big 12 best-win chart.

A 2010 Championship Would Top This Chart

The list is fundamentally solid, but in dire need of a modern-day makeover. Given the timing, context and circumstances, Pelini would move to No. 1 overall if the Huskers would play and win their first Big 12 football title in 11 years at Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 4. After last year's 13-12 heartbreaking loss to Texas in the same stadium, can anyone imagine a better way to exit from the Big 12 than stage left and into, perhaps, the most beautiful sunset you've ever seen?

Please check out our Top 10 List of Nebraska's best wins in Big 12 history and then take your own trip down memory lane and tell us what games and plays you treasure the most.

Respond to Randy

Nebraska's 10 Best Big 12 Wins

1. Nebraska 54, Texas A&M 15, Dec. 6, 1997, San Antonio, Texas

Quarterback Scott Frost set the tone for a national championship Orange Bowl rout of Tennessee with a 54-15 cruise past the Aggies in the Big 12 Championship Game. Frost rushed for 79 yards, passed for another 201 (on 12-of-18) and scored two touchdowns.

2. Nebraska 22, Texas 6, Dec. 4, 1999, San Antonio, Texas

The Blackshirts sacked quarterback Major Applewhite seven times and intercepted three of his passes to dominate the rematch and avenge Nebraska's only loss of the season with a 22-6 mastery of Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game at the Alamodome.

3. Nebraska 45, Missouri 38, (overtime), Nov. 8, 1997, Columbia, Mo.

Everyone remembers Matt Davison's diving catch off Shevin Wiggins' miracle foot to send this game into overtime. But the end was equally fitting as Missouri natives Grant Wistrom and Mike Rucker converged on Corby Jones to finish off this all-time thriller.

4. Nebraska 20, Oklahoma 10, Oct. 27, 2001, Lincoln, Neb.

It took a signature Heisman Trophy moment with six minutes left - a gadget pass play from Mike Stuntz to quarterback Eric Crouch, who raced 63 yards to the end zone - to upset the defending national champion Sooners and end their 20-game win streak.

5. Nebraska 40, Colorado 31, Nov. 28, 2008, Lincoln, Neb.

Call it the kick that defined Nebraska's season. Who can forget sophomore Alex Henery's record 57-yard field goal with 1:37 remaining to give Nebraska a 33-31 lead, followed by Ndamukong Suh's clinching 30-yard interception return for a touchdown?

6. Nebraska 39, Kansas State 3, Oct. 5, 1996, Manhattan, Kan.

DeAngelo Evans was booed every time his name was announced, but the Wichita, Kan., freshman rushed for 168 yards to help 7th-ranked Nebraska beat the 16th-ranked Wildcats a 28th consecutive time in the Big 12 Conference debut for Nebraska.

7. Nebraska 34, Colorado 32, Nov. 24, 2000, Lincoln, Neb.

Josh Brown's 29-yard field goal as time expired lifted eighth-ranked Nebraska to a 34-32 walk-off win over Colorado. The game-winning kick marked the first time since play-by-plays were on file in 1960 that the Huskers had won a game on the last play.

8. Nebraska 10, Oklahoma 3, Nov. 7, 2009, Lincoln, Neb.

In a defensive slugfest, Bo Pelini earned his biggest win by combining a dominant defense with a conservative, ball-control offense. It was the fewest points ever scored by a Bob Stoops-coached team and the first time OU did not score a touchdown in 11 years.

9. Nebraska 56, Kansas State 26, Oct. 4, 1997, Lincoln, Neb.

Ahman Green rushed for 193 yards and four touchdowns to rout a Wildcat team that finished 11-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl by 17 points. No other conference team came within single digits of KSU, which won its seven league games by an average of 20 points.

10. Nebraska 31, Missouri 17, Oct. 31, 2010, Lincoln, Neb.

Senior Roy Helu Jr. raced untouched on three long touchdown runs of 66, 73 and 53 yards to finish with a school-record 307 rushing yards to power Nebraska to a win over No. 7 Missouri - the Huskers' second straight victory over an unbeaten top-15 team.

Share your favorite Nebraska Big 12 games and plays with


Nebraska junior safety Austin Cassidy has been named a 2010 ESPN Academic All-America Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. The honor continues Nebraska's nation-leading tradition of producing academic All-Americans.

Cassidy was one of 25 first-team selections in the University Division, and one of just four defensive backs honored nationally. A psychology major, Cassidy carries a 3.88 cumulative grade-point average.

The Lincoln Southwest graduate becomes Nebraska's 69th all-time first-team academic All-American, and the Huskers' first since Kurt Mann and Dane Todd were honored in 2005. Cassidy's honor gives Nebraska a nation-leading 103 ESPN Academic All-Americans in football when including second- and third-team choices. As an athletic department, Nebraska has a nation-best 279 academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports.

In addition to the first-team academic All-America selection, Cassidy has received numerous academic honors throughout his career. He is a two-time ESPN Academic All-District VII selection and a two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 honoree. He has also been named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll each of the first six semesters of his college career.

On the field, Cassidy has moved into a starting role with the Huskers over the past month. He has 36 tackles this season, and also had a 29-yard interception return for a touchdown at Iowa State. Cassidy has been one of Nebraska's special teams leaders each of the past two seasons.

Cassidy originally joined the Nebraska program as a walk-on before being awarded a scholarship prior to the 2010 season.

Cassidy is one of three first-team members from the Big 12 Conference, joining Texas defensive end Sam Acho and Texas A&M linebacker Michael Hodges.


Four Huskers were named to the Associated Press' all-time, all-Big 12 team announced on Wednesday, as the conference prepares for its final weekend of regular-season play as a 12-team league. Ndamukong Suh, who will have his No. 93 jersey retired Friday during the Nebraska-Colorado game, highlighted Nebraska's selections by being chosen as the top defensive player in Big 12 history.

Suh was joined on the four-player defensive line by another Husker great, Grant Wistrom. Suh received 16 of the 20 votes to earn the spot as the top defensive player, while Wistrom received one vote. On the offensive line, Dominic Raiola was named the all-time all-Big 12 center, while Aaron Taylor also earned a spot on the line. Oklahoma topped the list with seven selections, while Texas had six players named to the squad. Nebraska's four selections ranked third as no other school had more than two players named to the team.

Suh was the 2009-10 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year and was also the first defender ever to be named the AP Collegiate Player of the Year. Wistrom was the 1997-98 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year when he helped lead Nebraska to an undefeated season that included a Big 12 and National Championship. Raiola was the 2000 winner of the Dave Rimington Award as the nation's best center, while Taylor was the 1997 Outland Trophy Winner while teaming up with Wistrom to win three national championships in four years. All four Huskers who earned a spot on the list have had their jersey retired.

Several other Huskers earned votes but came up shy of earning a spot on the team. Offensive linemen Chris Dishman, Toniu Fonoto and Richie Incognito all received one vote, while I-back Ahman Green and place-kicker Alex Henery also received one vote each. Defensively, safety Mike Brown earned four votes, while safety Mike Minter and linebacker Carlos Polk each earned one vote.

The team was chosen by a panel of 20 voters from newspapers across the league's seven states. The complete team and voting results can be found here.


Nebraska placed 23 football players on the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Football Team, the league office announced Thursday. The 23 honorees for Nebraska led all conference schools and included 13 first-team selections, with another 10 student-athletes earning second-team honors.

The group of first-team selections includes 11 active members of the 2010 football team. Among those honorees, three players earned academic all-conference honors for the third time, including senior linebacker Thomas Grove, senior place-kicker Adi Kunalic and junior tight end Ryan Hill.

Two-time selections include junior safety Austin Cassidy, sophomore tight end Ben Cotton, senior quarterback Zac Lee, junior fullback Tyler Legate and junior tight end Jay Martin. Sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Brent Qvale were first-time honorees. Past members of the team who were honored included offensive lineman Cruz Barrett and linebacker Blake Lawrence, who carried a 4.0 grade-point average the previous year.

Among second-team honorees, Lance Thorell is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 pick, while defensive backs Justin Blatchford and Eric Hagg were honored for a second time.

Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the football academic all-league squad consisted of 100 first team members combined with 70 on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.


No. 5 Nebraska (25-2, 17-1) vs. Baylor (15-14, 8-10)
Wednesday, Nov. 24 • NU Coliseum • 7 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Web Video: (Premium Subscription Required)
Live Stats:

The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team (25-2, 17-1 Big 12) hosts the Baylor Bears (15-14, 8-10 Big 12) on Wednesday night at the NU Coliseum. The Huskers will honor seniors Sydney Anderson, Kayla Banwarth, Lindsey Licht and Tara Mueller as it will be their last regular-season match at the NU Coliseum.

The Huskers sit atop the Big 12 Conference with two matches remaining, while the Bears rank sixth. The NU Coliseum has been a tough on opposing teams as ever this season as Nebraska is 12-0 at home and has swept its last six opponents at home dating back to a sweep of Missouri on Oct. 2.

Nebraska enters the night on a six-match winning streak after its loss at Texas on Oct. 27, including sweeps in all six matches.

Baylor is coming off a 0-3 loss at home to Missouri and has a 3-3 record in the month of November. The Bears have played better away from Waco this season with a 7-5 road record, but just a 6-7 record at the Ferrell Center.

There will be no TV coverage of the match, but a live stream will be available on with a premium subscription. Fans can also listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Dianne Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the network will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on


Sophomore forward Morgan Marlborough has been named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-America Women's Soccer Team, one of 33 student-athletes on the prestigious list selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Marlborough earned Third Team accolades after excelling both on the field and in the classroom in her first two years at Nebraska.

A pre-elementary education major from Lee's Summit, Mo., Marlborough's award adds to a lone line of success that has seen the University of Nebraska produce a nation-leading 278 Academic All-Americans across all sports. Marlborough is only the 12th student-athlete in school history to gain the honor as a sophomore and the first to do so since volleyball standout Sarah Pavan in 2005. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her institution and be nominated by the school's sports information director.

Marlborough holds a 3.50 GPA and was named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll both semesters as a freshman before she earned 2010 First Team Academic All-Big 12 honors in early November. She has been equally impressive on the field, gaining back-to-back Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year awards while leading Nebraska to 24 wins and a pair of top-four conference finishes. In 2010, Marlborough ranked among the top five in NCAA scoring throughout the season, while her 18 goals, 12 assists and 48 points made her the first player in Big 12 history to lead the league in all three categories. After two seasons under head coach John Walker, Marlborough already ranks seventh in goals (39) and points (97) and fifth in game-winning goals (8) on Nebraska's all-time charts.

Two weeks ago, Marlborough was one of three Huskers named to the ESPN Academic All-District VII Team, along with teammates Jordan Jackson and Katie Goetzmann. By gaining national ESPN Academic All-America honors, Marlborough joins former NU soccer student-athletes Meghan Anderson (2001), Shannon Tanaka (2001) and Shay Powell (2009), while Breanna Boyd (2002) was named an Academic All-American by the NSCAA.


Lincoln - Head Coach Mike Anderson and the Nebraska baseball program have announced the signings of 10 high school seniors and one junior college player that have signed their National Letters-of-Intent to play baseball at Nebraska beginning in the 2012 season. The recruiting class features players from eight states, including three in-state signees and two Texas natives.

"This is a very diverse group of signees that really fit some specific needs for our team," Anderson said. "We feel again that we have signed a very talented class, but also a class that has strong integrity and character. I appreciate the work of assistant coaches Dave Bingham and Eric Newman and our entire staff in finding quality young men that fit our Nebraska culture."

Name                    Pos   Ht.   Wt.  B/T Hometown (High School)
Taylor Anderson   INF   6-2   200  S/R Lincoln, Neb. (Southwest)
Aaron Bummer     LHP  6-3   185   L/L Peoria, Ariz. (Sunrise Mountain)
Austin ChristensenLHP  6-5   205  L/L Cedar Rapids, Iowa (John F. Kennedy)
Austin Darby        OF    6-3   200  R/R Colorado Springs, Colo. (Chey. Mountain)
Blake Headley       INF   6-2   190  L/R Omaha, Neb. (Millard South)
Travis Huber        RHP  6-3   230  R/R West Jordan, Utah (College of S Idaho)
Patrick Kelly         SS    5-11  170  R/R Red Wing, Minn. (Red Wing)
Kyle Kubat           LHP  6-1   170  R/L  Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep)
William Polley      P       6-5   220  L/R  River Forest, Ill. (Oak Park-River Forest)
Jeffrey Stovall      RHP  6-1   155  R/R  Irving, Texas (Irving)
Kevin Terry          C      6-1   190  R/R  Dallas, Texas (Jesuit)



Lincoln : Three talented high school softball players signed National Letters of Intent to play softball at Nebraska next season, Head Coach Rhonda Revelle announced on Monday, Nov. 15.

The Huskers, who graduate three seniors this spring, signed players from three states, while picking up an infielder, an outfielder and a pitcher. Jordan Bettiol, an outfielder from College Station, Texas, is the second prep player from Texas to sign with Nebraska in the past three seasons. Mattie Fowler, an infielder from Tucson, Ariz., is the third Arizona high school star to sign with Nebraska in the past 10 seasons. Rounding out the class is right-handed pitcher Emily Holt from Woodland, Wash. Holt is the third Washington native to sign with Nebraska in Revelle's 19 seasons in Lincoln.

Each of the three signees will complete their high school careers this spring, and all three have already earned at least one all-state award, while Fowler and Holt have both won a state championship. Given their individual and team success, Revelle is excited about the newest Huskers.

"The 2011 class adds a talented Husker athlete to the outfield, infield and pitcher's circle," Revelle said. "Not only are they winners on the field, they are all great students who we anticipate to have meaningful and highly successful careers in the classroom and on the playing field."

The Campaign for Nebraska. Unlimited Possibilities

Longtime UNL engineering professor makes cancer gift in memory of long-loved wife

They lived in a one-room apartment in Lincoln at first. It shared a bathroom with another apartment. Money was tight. Jerry Varner studied hard for his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and became a professor at the university. Carrie Varner worked hard at home, raising their two kids.

Some days, they got upset with each other.

"But no matter what the day brought ,and in 50 years together, there's bound to be difficult days "we never went to bed where we didn't kiss each other and say, "I love you,"Jerry says.

Read more about how longtime electrical engineering professor Jerry Varner decided to honor his wife and give to UNMC cancer research.


Gift of Buffett portrait supports UNO and Girls Inc.

While Omaha native and Minneapolis businessman John Morgan is typically helping others, five young people who have benefited from his generosity recently had the opportunity to return the favor.

Earlier this month members of Girls Inc. in Omaha serenaded Morgan before helping him present one of his latest contributions to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, his alma mater.

A gift, Morgan hopes, will provide inspiration to UNO business students.

Read about John Morgan's gift and its unique journey to UNO's Mammel Hall.


UNO's 3,500-ft. classroom

Flying scares people.

It makes them peer into the cockpit before the door closes and pray the pilots know what they're doing with all those levers and lights.

Flying inspires people. It makes them look up into the sky and see the possibilities of human invention and human guts.

And for many people, like University of Nebraska at Omaha junior Tyler Klingemann, it can do both. He was 8 when he first stepped on an airplane. Destination: Disneyworld. The night before the trip, he cried. He couldn't sleep. The thought of flying churned his guts.

But it wasn't because he thought the plane would crash.

Find out why he was so frightened, and how flying helps him and other members of the Flying Mavs Aviation Team become safe, skilled pilots.


Blacksmith's gift helps those who will help others

She didn't learn much about him other than what she'd read in a short bio - that he'd been a blacksmith in Gresham, Neb., and had left money for scholarships to the University of Nebraska.

But she says she'll never forget his name: Walter Schmitt.

Thanks to the Walter Schmitt Scholarship, Lindsey Oldaker, who earned a doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in May, didn't have to get a second job and had more time to study.

The 25-year-old now works at Valley County Health Systems in Ord, Neb. "I would just thank him over and over," she says.

Read about that man, and how his scholarships are helping NU students like Oldaker.

JFK adviser never forgot NU roots

He remembers riding up the elevator and thinking, "Wow. I'm about to meet Ted Sorensen."

That was September 2007. Steve Hill, a director of gift planning for the University of Nebraska Foundation, had flown to New York City to interview Sorensen at his apartment for the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities.

Hill wondered what he'd have in common with Sorensen, one of the greatest alums in the history of the university and its law school, a man who had advised President John F. Kennedy as a speechwriter and inner-circle friend and had helped write the letter to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that ended the Cuban missile crisis - the closest the world has come to nuclear war.

"This is crazy," Hill thought.

He remembers the door opening.

Click here to learn more about what happened that day, and about Sorensen's NU legacy.


Campaign for Nebraska. Unlimited Possibilities

Raising $1.2 billion to help students, faculty and the university in general is a lofty goal. It will only be reached through the generosity of many. No gift is too large or too small. To learn more about the Campaign for Nebraska, or to contribute, go to


The University of Nebraska Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that has been raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 70 years. The foundation has locations in Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney and Scottsbluff. Last year, $107.3 million was transferred to the university to support students, faculty, academic programs, research, and for campus capital improvements. More information is available at
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.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bay Area Husker ENews 11/18/10

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Not exactly the most exciting offensive game we've seen this year, but the defense was awesome and a win is a win. I was fortunate to be there in person...lots of fun but brrrrr, it was a cold night at Memorial Stadium! Glad the game wasn't played the night before because it was snowing in Lincoln most of Friday evening. Glad to be back in sunny California but it looks like we're going to have a wet weekend in the Bay Area.

The Huskers are headed to College Station for a big game against the Aggies. Hopefully their undefeated road game record will hold, and then the Huskers will only have one last home game against the Buffs to top off a great season. Fortunately the game this Saturday won't be another PPV broadcast, and should be available at all of our watch sites (more info below).

The Volleyball team is doing great and beat the Sooners in straight sets last night. Check out the articles below. There is a nice piece from the Alumni Association below as well.

One of the reasons for going back for the KU game was to attend the first ROTC reunion at UNL...a great event with over 100 attendees. They had a wonderful dedication ceremony in the entry to the ROTC building honoring General Pershing. We were also hosted to a Football Friday event at the Alumni's Wick Center...a fabulous event for all alums who are in town for a home game. And we capped it off with a nice evening social gathering at the Champions Club. They hope to make it an annual if you are an ROTC alum check it out.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Watch Parties:

The game this Saturday against Texas A&M will be a regional ABC broadcast, and as usual the ABC/ESPN map below shows that we won't be able to watch it on normal TV here on the west coast, unless you have the ESPN broadcast package. Fortunately all of our watch sites have it, so this is a great opportunity to get together one last time before Thanksgiving and cheer on the team with fellow Husker fans. Its a late start time (5 p.m. Pacific) so its also a great opportunity to grab some great pub grub for dinner during the game. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)



The Matchup
Nebraska takes to the road for the final time in 2010, traveling to College Station, Texas to take on the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. Game time for the matchup of nationally ranked teams is set for 7 p.m. CT, with television coverage provided on ABC. Both teams enter the game with four-game winning streaks, longest in the conference.

Nebraska enters the contest with a 9-1 overall record and a 5-1 mark in Big 12 action, following a 20-3 victory over Kansas last Saturday in Lincoln. The victory put Nebraska within one win of earning its second straight trip to the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas next month. Nebraska remained firmly inside the top 10 in this week's polls, checking in at No. 9 in the coaches and AP polls, ninth and eighth in the BCS standings.

Texas A&M comes into the game as one of the nation's hottest teams. The Aggies have won four straight contests to improve to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 Conference play. Last week A&M rallied from a 30-14 deficit to post a 42-30 win at Baylor to extend its winning streak to four games and remain in contention for the South Division crown. Texas A&M is ranked 18th in the AP poll and 19th according to the coaches in this week's polls, and the Aggies' three losses this season have come against teams that are a combined 25-5 on the year.

The Series
Nebraska holds a 10-3 edge in the all-time series between the two schools, including a 2-1 edge at Kyle Field. Nebraska has a 5-2 advantage in games between the two schools as members of the Big 12 Conference.


Saturday night's game with Texas A&M will be televised regionally on ABC beginning at 5p.m. Pacific Time. A coverage map of the areas receiving the game will be available later in the week. The appearance on ABC will be Nebraska's sixth of the year, with a seventh ABC appearance set for NU's Nov. 26 regular-season finale against Colorado (12:30 p.m, PT - national broadcast).



Lincoln - The Blackshirt defense flexed its muscles by holding Kansas to just 87 yards total offense, as No. 9 Nebraska notched its ninth win of the season with a 20-3 victory over the Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Playing in front of an NCAA-record 309th consecutive sellout crowd of 85,507 fans, and an FSN Pay-Per-View audience on Saturday night, Nebraska improved to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the Big 12. KU slipped to 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the league.

The Huskers used a balanced offense and a suffocating defense to secure its third straight nine-win season under third-year head coach Bo Pelini.

Freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez returned to the starting lineup to guide an NU offense that rolled up 397 total yards, including 230 on the ground and 167 through the air.

Senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. led Nebraska with 18 carries for 85 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead added 19 carries for 77 yards, including NU's first touchdown in the opening quarter.

Martinez contributed 71 rushing yards of his own on 11 carries, while completing 14-of-26 passes for 167 yards. He did throw one interception.

Nebraska's Blackshirt defense made sure the first-half touchdown runs by Burkhead and Helu were more than enough for the victory. The Huskers shut down KU quarterback Quinn Mecham, limiting him to just 15 yards on 3-of-13 passing with one interception. NU also sacked Mecham six times for 28 yards in losses. It was Nebraska's best passing defense total since shutting out Nicholls State through the air on Sept. 9, 2006.

The Huskers were also tough on the ground, holding KU to just 72 yards on 34 carries, as Brad McDougald led the Jayhawks with 27 yards on four carries. James Sims managed 24 yards on nine carries.

The 87 total yards allowed by the Blackshirts marked the best total by a Bo Pelini-coached Nebraska defense. It was the fewest yards allowed since the Huskers held Baylor to just 84 yards on Oct. 21, 2000.

Nebraska's offense wasn't flashy against the Jayhawks. Each of NU's four scoring drives lasted at least nine plays, covered at least 40 yards and lasted at least 3:40, for the normally explosive Husker offense.

Burkhead opened the scoring with a four-yard touchdown plunge with 33 seconds left in the first quarter. The short run capped a nine-play, 54-yard drive that lasted 4:11 and gave the Huskers a 7-0 lead.

Helu added a spectacular 20-yard scoring run that included a couple big cut, a few jukes and a tip-toe down the NU sideline into the end zone with 3:05 left in the first half. Helu's highlight reel run capped another nine-play drive that covered 75 yards in 3:40 to give the Huskers a 14-0 halftime lead.

Nebraska's lead grew to 17-0 after Alex Henery's 42-yard field goal capped a third nine-play drive that covered 55 yards in 3:51. The Blackshirts lost the shutout on Jacob Branstetter's answer with a 42-yard field goal of his own. Branstetter's kick came with 3:36 left in the third quarter, allowing KU to capitalize on a Husker fumble.

Henery closed the scoring with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter, after the Huskers consumed 6:28 of the clock in the final quarter with a 12-play drive. For the game, Nebraska won the time of possession battle, 36:28-23:32, while running 28 more plays from scrimmage than the Jayhawks.


Lincoln - The No. 9 Nebraska Cornhuskers practiced in full pads Tuesday afternoon for just over two hours as they prepare to face off against No. 18 Texas A&M in College Station. A win for the Huskers this Saturday would clinch the North Division and send NU to the Big 12 Championship game for the third time in the past five years. Redshirt offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirels said winning the North title is a "big thing" for the Huskers.

"This is the week to go out there and clinch the North," Sirles said. "You never want to leave it up to the last game. You never want to leave it up to anything."

The Huskers are 4-0 on the road this season and are making their last trip to College Station. Sirles says he's excited to play in front of the 12th Man, a place where Nebraska clinched the 2006 North Division with a last-second 28-27 victory over the Aggies.

"We've shown our testament on the road that we can play well with the noise," Sirles said. "I'm excited. It will be a good experience."

The Huskers will continue to prepare for the Aggies on Wednesday afternoon.


Nebraska placed 23 football players on the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Football Team, the league office announced Thursday. The 23 honorees for Nebraska led all conference schools and included 13 first-team selections, with another 10 student-athletes earning second-team honors.

The group of first-team selections includes 11 active members of the 2010 football team. Among those honorees, three players earned academic all-conference honors for the third time, including senior linebacker Thomas Grove, senior place-kicker Adi Kunalic and junior tight end Ryan Hill.

Two-time selections include junior safety Austin Cassidy, sophomore tight end Ben Cotton, senior quarterback Zac Lee, junior fullback Tyler Legate and junior tight end Jay Martin. Sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Brent Qvale were first-time honorees. Past members of the team who were honored included offensive lineman Cruz Barrett and linebacker Blake Lawrence, who carried a 4.0 grade-point average the previous year.

Among second-team honorees, Lance Thorell is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 pick, while defensive backs Justin Blatchford and Eric Hagg were honored for a second time.

Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the football academic all-league squad consisted of 100 first team members combined with 70 on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.


The University of Nebraska Athletic Department has announced that Ndamukong Suh will have his No. 93 jersey retired in a special ceremony at halftime of the Nebraska-Colorado game on Friday, Nov. 26. Suh will join 16 other all-time Cornhusker greats to have their Nebraska jerseys retired.

All major national award winners at Nebraska automatically have their jerseys retired, however their numbers are still available to active Huskers.

Suh is a worthy addition to Nebraska's elite club. The Portland, Ore., capped a dominant Nebraska career with a 2009 season that ranks as one of the best ever by a college football defender. Suh won the Outland Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. He was also named the Associated Press College Player of the Year and finished fourth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.

As a senior, Suh led the Huskers with 85 total tackles, including 24 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He also posted a remarkable 10 pass breakups, an interception, 26 quarterback hurries and three blocked kicks. His play was the key to a Nebraska defense that led the nation in scoring defense at 10.4 points per game.

Suh finished his career with 215 tackles, 57 tackles for loss, 24 sacks, six blocked kicks, 15 pass breakups and 38 quarterback hurries, while also scoring three touchdowns. He ranks second in school history in tackles for loss and third in sacks.

"We are proud to add Ndamukong Suh to our group of retired football jerseys," Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne said. "It is certainly an elite group of football players that have the honor of having their jersey retired, and Ndamukong undoubtedly deserves that type of honor. He was one of the all-time great defensive players we've had here, and an outstanding individual as well."

Nebraska's game against Colorado on the day after Thanksgiving was the first opportunity to retire Suh's jersey. Suh will take part in the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day game against the New England Patriots before heading to Lincoln. Suh is having a standout rookie season with the Lions. Suh leads all NFL interior defensive linemen with 6.5 sacks and his 33 total tackles are the fourth-most among all defensive tackles. Suh was honored as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in October.

In addition to his play on the field at Nebraska, Suh was successful off the field as well. He earned his degree in construction management in December of 2009. In April, Suh made an unprecedented gift of $2.6 million to the University of Nebraska, including $2 million to Athletics and $600,000 to the UNL College of Engineering to endow a scholarship. His donation to the Athletic Department has allowed for renovations and updates in the newly named Ndamukong Suh Strength and Conditioning Center, as well as the Nebraska football locker room.

Suh joins an impressive list of players to have their jerseys retired, including: #7 Eric Crouch, #15 Tommie Frazier, #20 Johnny Rodgers, #30 Mike Rozier, #34 Trev Alberts, #50 Dave Rimington, #54 Dominic Raiola, #60 Tom Novak, #64 Bob Brown, #67 Aaron Taylor, #71 Dean Steinkuhler, #72 Zach Wiegert, #75 Larry Jacobson, #75 Will Shields, #79 Rich Glover and #98 Grant Wistrom. Suh's name and jersey number will be added to the display directly below the HuskerVision video screen on the north end of Memorial Stadium.

Several members of Nebraska's retired jersey club are expected to be on hand to take part in the Suh jersey retirement ceremony.


Nebraska Athletics announced today that they will participate in the recently launched Facebook Deals, which lets people discover and claim specials from participating organizations by checking into Facebook Places from a smartphone. Facebook Places gives people the ability to easily share where they are with friends on Facebook, find friends who are nearby and discover new places. With Deals, Nebraska Athletics fans can now find a special offer at this Saturday's football game vs Kansas.

Nebraska Athletics was one of 22 organizations to participate in the initial launch of Facebook Deals. At the Nebraska football game vs. Kansas this Saturday, November 13, the first 200 fans to check into Memorial Stadium after halftime on their smart phone's Facebook application or at will receive the opportunity to attend an autograph session with legendary Huskers quarterback Tommie Frazier for themselves and one guest. The session will include complimentary Valentino's pizza and Aquafina products. Details on the location and time of this autograph session will show up on their smart phones after fans checks-in so they can claim their deal.

Former Huskers quarterback and 1995 Johnny Unitas Award Winner Tommie Frazier led the Huskers to back-to-back national titles in 1994 and 1995 and captured most valuable player honors in both national championship games. Fans that qualify for this autograph session deal will be able to bring one item to be signed. Autograph cards will be also be provided.

"Our participation in this program is just another way that we can recognize and thank the 75,000 fans that we have on Facebook," Assistant Director of Athletic Marketing Ethan Rowley said. "We're always looking for ways to give back and engage with our fans and Facebook Deals gives us this opportunity."

Nebraska fans are encouraged to become a fan of Nebraska Athletics on the official Facebook Fan Page of the Huskers by visiting

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.


Lincoln - The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team (25-2, 17-1) stayed perfect at home in 2010 with a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-23, 25-14) of the Oklahoma Sooners (19-9, 11-6). The Huskers are now 12-0 at home this season and haven't dropped a set at the NU Coliseum since Oct. 2 when they beat Texas, 3-1.

"The match went just like I thought it would tonight," Head Coach John Cook said. "Oklahoma played really well and we struggled a bit early but we found a way to win the first two sets."

The duo of Sydney Anderson (22) and Lauren Cook (18) combined for 40 assists, while five Huskers had five or more kills, including 10 from Brooke Delano as well as nine each from Lindsey Licht, Hannah Werth and Morgan Broekhuis. The Huskers also put away five aces, including two each from Cook and Tara Mueller.

"I thought our serve was the difference," Cook said. "We did a great job of controlling their defense."

Defensively for the Huskers Werth tallied a match-high 17 digs, one shy of her season high, and Kayla Banwarth added 10 digs. Delano led all players with four blocks, while the Huskers committed just one receiving error compared to the Sooners' five.

Nebraska will now have a bye on Saturday and will next be in action next Wednesday when they host the Baylor Bears at 7 p.m. It will be Senior Night at the NU Coliseum as the Huskers will honor Sydney Anderson, Lindsey Licht, Kayla Banwarth and Tara Mueller. There will be no TV coverage of the match, but it will be streamed online at Fans can also listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Dianne Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the network can find the audio stream for free on


Lincoln - Five members of the Nebraska volleyball team were honored on Tuesday as members of the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 team, released by the conference office. Jordan Wilberger, Lindsey Licht, Allison McNeal and Gina Mancuso were all first-team selections, while Kayla Banwarth was a second-team honoree.

A first-team selection for the second straight year, Wilberger has been a major contributor for the Huskers at middle blocker this season. While excelling with a 3.758 GPA as a middle grades education and English as a second language major, Wilberger ranks in the top 10 of the Big 12 in both hitting percentage and blocks. The Scottsbluff, Neb., native is hitting .321 (7th) and is putting up 1.17 (6th) blocks per set.

The first honor of her career, Licht carries a 3.268 GPA as an elementary education major. The senior from Aurora, Colo., is having a career year with 2.94 kills and 1.13 blocks per set, the eighth-best mark in the Big 12 this season. Licht is also hitting a career-best .305 which ranks tenth in the league.

McNeal has been in the rotation at middle blocker, playing in 53 sets. The Schulenberg, Texas, native carries a 3.793 GPA as an elementary education major. On the court, McNeal averages 1.38 kills and 0.92 blocks per set, while posting a .367 hitting percentage.

One of three Huskers to share the outside hitter position, Mancuso is averaging 1.83 kills and 1.65 digs per set during her sophomore season. In the classroom she had not declared a major, but holds a 3.592 GPA.

Banwarth earned second-team honors for the second straight year as an English major with a 3.128 GPA. The senior from Dubuque, Iowa was named a team captain for the Huskers this season and is in her fourth year as the starting libero. Banwarth recently set the NU career digs record with the 1,569th dig of her career in a 3-0 win at Texas Tech.

Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the volleyball academic all-league squad consisted of 38 first team members combined with 13 on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.


Big 12 Conference Championship

If the Huskers qualify for the final Big 12 Conference Football Championship, the Nebraska Alumni Association will partner with the Nebraska Athletic Department to offer the only official University of Nebraska ticket and travel package for Husker alumni and fans, Dec. 3-5. Click here for more information.

Official Bowl Game Info

The Huskers are bowl eligible and wherever they land, the Nebraska Alumni Association will partner with the Nebraska Athletic Department to offer the best available ticket and travel packages for our fans and friends. Get the most up-to-date information here.

Welcome Ozarks Huskers

The Ozarks Huskers, the 64th alumni chapter of the Nebraska Alumni Association, was granted an official charter Nov. 1, 2010. Gabriel Cline, ’09, life member of the alumni association, is planning an inaugural meeting for southwest Missouri area Nebraskans interested in joining the chapter. Details about the newly formed chapter and the meeting are posted on their Facebook page. For more information about all of our alumni chapters, visit

Go Big Red for the Holidays

Become a fan of the official University of Nebraska Alumni page on Facebook and enter our holiday photo contest! Send us a photo of a Nebraska or UNL-themed holiday decoration. One item per photo, please! Remember to include your full name, graduation year and current place of residence. The top five winners will receive a University of Nebraska holiday ornament, and the grand-prize winner will receive two tickets to a 2011 non-conference home football game of his or her choice. For more information, visit our event and “like” our page!

Bon Voyage

Be a part of the alumni association's first-ever European tour designed with young alumni and current UNL students in mind! This 10-day trip is both affordable and fun, with popular destinations for young adults and knowledgeable, entertaining guides from Lincoln-based TenDot Corporate Travel. The early bird deadline is Dec. 31, 2010. Read more.

UNL Student Appears on 'Jeopardy!'

Timothy Relihan, a UNL senior majoring in international studies and history, is competing in the two-week college championship tournament of "Jeopardy!" airing nationally Nov. 8-19. The Stromsburg native landed a spot on the popular game show after performing well on an online test and an audition that included a written test, a mock game and an interview. While more than 10,000 people took the online test, just 15 students were selected to be on the show. Read more.

First U.S. Exhibit of Antique French Quilts at UNL

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum at UNL will present the first U.S. exhibition exclusively devoted to the French needlework tradition, "broderie de Marseille," Nov. 13-May 22. "Marseille: White Corded Quilting" will demonstrate the qualities that make French whole cloth quilted and corded needlework unique, review the origins and development of the tradition, and describe its influence on quilted needlework traditions over three centuries on five continents. Learn more.

NUtech Connects Academia with Industry

NUtech Ventures’ new website, launched in August, is designed to bring academia and industry together in innovative partnerships. The website reflects NUtech’s focus on long-term research collaboration instead of short-term transactions with companies. A blog and integration with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all seek to engage academic and industry partners in conversations about innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Fahie to Receive Lott IMPACT Trophy

Although he’s not a household name, Tyrone Fahie will earn recognition on Dec. 12 when he receives an Honorary Lott IMPACT (Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity) Trophy. The oldest walk-on in Nebraska football history, the 28-year-old served two tours of duty in Iraq before enrolling at Nebraska. Only two other Lott IMPACT trophies have ever been given – to former Arizona State star Pat Tillman (posthumously in 2004) and Boston College's Mark Herzlich last year. Read more.


Pick from various cheese and sausage packages available at their website:

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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bay Area Husker ENews 11/10/10

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

A number of fans told me after the ISU game, "Yikes...that was a nailbiter". Due to the Huskers departure from the conference next year, it appears most of our Big 12 rivals have an extra motivation to try and beat the Huskers this fall. Virtually every game we've been able to watch this fall (especially the away games) had a number of opposing fans wearing special "Beat Nebraska" shirts. And so it was at the Iowa State game last Saturday. If you watched the crowd shots on TV, there were a lot of ISU fans sporting various versions of that message on their T-Shirts...lotsa sour grapes if you ask me. Anyway it probably means that the rest of the games this fall won't be as easy as they might have been in previous years. Although we can expect a real tough battle against Texas A&M in a couple weeks, lets hope the KU game this Saturday and the CU game on the 26th are a little easier than the ISU and OSU games were.

Although the Soccer team lost to OSU in the Big 12 Tourney, they hope to get into the brackets for the NCAA Tourney. The Volleyball team is still undefeated at home and are playing the KU Wildcats tonight in the Coliseum.

There's a great Randy York article toward the end of the email and a fun offer to help the Mission Chamber Orchestra raise funds at the Stevens Creek Barnes and Noble this Sunday...check it out.

Enjoy the offerings below and...

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Watch Parties...

The KU game is set for a 4 p.m. (Pacific Time) kickoff and will only be available on Pay Per View this Saturday. So come on out to our big three watch sites (Jacks in Fremont, Final-Final in San Francisco, and Legends in Concord) to watch the game with other Red-Clad Husker fans. We will be passing the hat at all three locations to help the proprieters cover the $450 PPV fee. As an added incentive, Jack's is going to throw a prime rib into the roaster for us, so if you want a mouth watering slice of beef for dinner at half time, order it when you get there to make sure you get some.

You can find directions and info about our watch sites at our fantastic website:
Hope to see you there!


Nebraska returns to Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening to take on Kansas in the final installment of the nation's longest continuous series. The teams have met every season since 1906, a streak of 105 consecutive years. Game time is set for 4 p.m. PT at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis by FSN.

Nebraska will head into the contest with an 8-1 overall record after surviving a 31-30 overtime scare at Iowa State last Saturday. The Huskers stopped an Iowa State fake extra point attempt in overtime to improve to 6-1 all-time in overtime contests. The victory put Nebraska in command of the Big 12 North Division with a 4-1 conference record. The Huskers need to win two of their final three contests to secure their second consecutive trip to the Big 12 Championship Game. The win at Iowa State helped Nebraska move to No. 8 in the coaches poll, remain ninth in the AP poll and check in at eighth in the BCS standings.

Kansas will come to Lincoln with momentum after a scintillating 52-45 win over Colorado in Lawrence. The Jayhawks scored 35 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 28-point deficit and post the largest comeback victory in school history. The win was KU's first in five conference games and the Jayhawks improved to 3-6 overall.

The Series

Nebraska holds a dominant 90-23-3 edge in the all-time series between the two schools, including a 43-15-2 advantage in Lincoln. Nebraska has won each of the past 20 meetings at Memorial Stadium since a 23-13 loss in 1968.

The Coaches

Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, '90) owns a 28-9 record in his third season. Pelini has guided NU to nine or more wins in each of his first two seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich in accomplishing that feat. Pelini is the first coach in Big 12 history to guide his team to at least a share of division titles in each of his first two seasons.

Kansas: Turner Gill (North Texas, '90) is in his first season as the Jayhawks' head coach and his fifth season overall as a collegiate head coach. Gill is 3-6 with Kansas and 23-36 overall as a head coach. Gill was one of the top quarterbacks in Nebraska history from 1980 to 1983, and was a Husker assistant coach from 1992 to 2004.

Nebraska Football

Nebraska is 835-342-40 all-time, one of just eight schools with 800 all-time victories - Nebraska has won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997). - The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships. - Nebraska's 46 all-time bowl appearances rank fifth nationally. - Since 1970, Nebraska has 401 wins, 26 more than any other school. - Nebraska's 98 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation. - The Huskers have had 107 All-Americans in school history.

For the rest of the article go to


Ames, Iowa - A long-time theme park in Des Moines is called Adventureland. The No. 9 Nebraska football team and Iowa State might has well have played Saturday's Big 12 North showdown on one of the roller coasters at the park.

Instead, the Cornhuskers (8-1 overall, 4-1 Big 12) survived a scary overtime thrill ride against the Cyclones (5-5, 3-3) with a 31-30 victory in front of 51,149 fans at Jack Trice Stadium and an ABC television audience.

Saturday's thriller included injuries at quarterback on both sidelines, blustery winds worthy of the Cyclones' nickname, a Husker I-back regularly running out of the Wildcat formation for the first time all season, and a leaping interception by Eric Hagg to stop a two-point conversion attempt on a fake PAT by ISU after the Cyclones appeared ready to send the game to a second overtime on its home field.

Noting Game 9...Nebraska 31, Iowa State 30 (OT)

-Nebraska improved to 8-1 for the first time since 2001, when NU opened with an 11-0 record.

-The win was NU's eighth straight win in the month of November, dating back to a Nov. 1, 2008 loss at Oklahoma.

-Nebraska extended its road winning streak to eight games, its longest since winning 10 straight road games from 1996 to 1998. The win was NU's eighth straight Big 12 road victory, its longest streak since 1996 and 1997. Nebraska is 9-2 on the road in Big 12 play under Head Coach Bo Pelini.

-Nebraska owns a 6-1 all-time record in overtime. The Huskers won their first five overtime games - including a 27-20 double-overtime victory over No. 23 Iowa State in Lincoln in 2005 - but lost its only previous overtime game under Bo Pelini, 37-31 at No. 7 Texas Tech in 2008.

-The win was NU's first one-point victory since a 41-40 win over Ball State in 2007, and was Nebraska's first win under Pelini in games decided by three or fewer points.

-Nebraska trailed 10-7 at halftime, but rallied for a 31-30 overtime victory. The win improved the Huskers to 4-8 under Pelini when trailing at halftime. Nebraska last overcame a halftime deficit for a win at Missouri last season (NU trailed 9-0 at half in a 27-12 victory).

-Sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead had a career-high 20 carries for career-best 129 yards and two touchdowns, including a 19-yard TD run in overtime. His 129 yards bettered his career high of 104 yards at Washington earlier this season, and marked Burkhead's third career 100-yard game. Burkhead had a season-long 29-yard run in the first quarter on a direct snap from center.

-Nebraska senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. rushed 22 times for 99 yards and a six-yard first-quarter touchdown. Helu became the sixth player in Nebraska history to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards. Helu now has 3,065 yards, good for fifth on the Nebraska career rushing list.

-Junior safety Austin Cassidy had a 29-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter to give Nebraska a 17-10 lead. The pick was the first of Cassidy's career. It was Nebraska's fourth interception return for a TD this season, one off the school record. Nebraska had two INT returns for scores against Idaho (Gomes, Thenarse) and one at Washington (Dennard).

-Cassidy had a career-high 12 tackles, including eight before halftime. His previous career high was six tackles a week earlier against Missouri in his first career start.

-Senior safety Eric Hagg intercepted an ISU pass in the third quarter for his team-leading fourth interception of the 2010 season. Hagg also picked off a pass in overtime on a fake extra-point attempt (not an official interception).

-Nebraska converted three Iowa State turnovers into 21 points. Before the game, Nebraska had not converted an opponent turnover into points since the Washington game. Nebraska increased its interception total to 15, and has had at least one interception in eight of nine games.

-Senior cornerback Prince Amukamara finished with seven tackles to tie his season high. He had a nine-yard sack, his first of the season and fourth of his career.

-Freshman cornerback Ciante Evans made his first career start in place of the injured Alfonzo Dennard.

-The game marked just the third time in nine games Nebraska did not score on its opening possession (South Dakota State, Texas). It was also the third time Nebraska has not scored in the opening quarter.

-Senior Alex Henery boomed a season-long 69-yard punt in the first quarter.

-Sophomore tight end Kyler Reed caught a career-high three passes for 52 yards. Reed has had multiple catches in each of the past three games.

-Sophomore defensive end Cameron Meredith set a career high with 10 tackles, and tied his career best with two tackles for loss.

-Junior linebacker Lavonte David recorded 10 tackles for his fifth double-figure tackle game of the 2010 season.



Lincoln - Coach Bo Pelini and the Huskers met with the media at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday to discuss Saturday's Big 12 North battle with Kansas.

The No. 9 Huskers (8-1 overall, 4-1 Big 12) play host to the Jayhawks (3-6, 1-4 Big 12) at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. PT with live coverage provided by FSN pay-per-view.

Nebraska will try to move one step closer to securing the Big 12 North Division title, while also locking up its third straight nine-win season in Pelini's third season as the Husker head coach.

The Huskers will also try to end its 105-year continuous series with the Jayhawks on a winning note. Kansas Coach Turner Gill will also try to continue a streak of his own on Saturday. The former Husker quarterback and assistant coach is 18-0 lifetime in Nebraska's series with Kansas. Saturday's game marks the first time he will be on the Jayhawk sideline.


The Big 12 Conference announced on Monday that Nebraska's Nov. 20 game at Texas A&M will kick off at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be televised by either ABC or ESPN2, with the announcement on the network carrying the game set to be made next Sunday.

The Oklahoma at Baylor game will also be televised in the same time slot on the network that does not carry the NU at A&M game. If the game is selected for an ABC telecast it would give Nebraska seven appearances on the network in 12 regular-season games, including six Big 12 games. Nebraska also appeared on ESPN at Kansas State.

This week's Nebraska contest with Kansas will be televised on a pay-per-view basis through FSN. Kickoff time for the contest is 4 p.m. PT from Memorial Stadium. The Huskers' Nov. 26 regular-season finale with Colorado in Lincoln will be televised nationally by ABC with kickoff set for 12:30 p.m. PT.


Senior cornerback Prince Amukamara picked up another national honor on Wednesday, when he was named one of eight semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy is presented annually to the defensive player who has the biggest IMPACT on his team, on and off the field. IMPACT stands for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. Amukamara was one of four defensive backs on the list and one of three players from the Big 12 Conference. Four finalists will be named around Thanksgiving, with the winner announced on Dec. 12 at a banquet at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif.

Earlier this week, Amukamara was also named one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh won the Bednarik Award last season and was a finalist for the Lott Trophy. Amukamara was also named one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award earlier this month. That award is presented to the nation’s best defensive back.

A native of Glendale, Ariz., Amukamara is among the nation’s leaders with 10 pass breakups this season. Opponents have been shy about testing the 6-1, 205-pound corner, allowing only 11 pass completions. He is a major reason why Nebraska ranks in the top five in pass efficiency defense for the second straight season. Amukamara has also added 36 tackles, including his first sack of the season last week at Iowa State.


No. 5 Nebraska (22-2, 14-1) vs. Kansas State (10-15, 4-10)
Wednesday, Nov. 10 • NU Coliseum • 7 p.m.

TV: NET Lincoln - (Time Warner: SD-12/HD-112 DirecTV: 29 DISH: 12)
Omaha - (Cox: SD-12/HD-712 DirecTV: 379  DISH: 26)
CBS College Sports Lincoln - (Time Warner: SD-305/HD-125 DirecTV: 613 DISH: 152) Omaha - (Cox: 234 DirecTV: 613 DISH: 152)
Metro Sports Lincoln - (Time Warner: 232)
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on

Web Video: (Free Video)
Live Stats:

The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team (22-2, 14-1 Big 12) will host the Kansas State Wildcats (10-15, 4-10 Big 12) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night at the NU Coliseum. Nebraska owns a 79-3 all-time record over Kansas State, including a 31-2 record in Lincoln.

Fans should have no problem finding TV coverage of the match as it will be shown on NET, Metro Sports and CBS College Sports. will also provide a free live video stream.

The Huskers enter the match as the Big 12's top team and are a perfect 10-0 at home this season, including 7-0 in league matches. Nebraska's wins at the Coliseum have come in dominant fashion as of late as the Huskers have swept their last four matches at home.


Nebraska forwards Morgan Marlborough and Jordan Jackson each earned a spot on the 2010 Big 12 All-Tournament Team, while Marlborough was also named the Offensive Most Valuable Player, released Sunday by the league office following the 2010 Big 12 Championship in San Antonio.

Marlborough and Jackson led the Huskers to the semifinals and nearly gained a spot in the championship final when NU fell to 10th-ranked and eventual champion Oklahoma State in a 3-2 overtime battle Friday night. Nebraska advanced past the first round Wednesday afternoon with a 4-1 win over Missouri.

In the tournament, Marlborough had two goals, as she netted the game-winner against the Tigers and also converted a penalty kick versus the Cowgirls to give Nebraska a 1-0 halftime lead. Jackson, a 2010 All-Big 12 First Team selection, had a pair of goals as well, including possibly NU's biggest of the tournament in the semifinals, as her header with 8:39 remaining gave the Huskers a 2-1 lead over Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls, however, netted a penalty kick two minutes later and added the game-winner in overtime to escape with a 3-2 win.

Marlborough and Jackson's appearance on the Big 12 All-Tournament Team is the first time Nebraska has been represented on the squad since 2005, which was previously the last time the Huskers had advanced to the semifinals. Marlborough, the 2009 and 2010 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, is the first Nebraska player to earn a Big 12 Tournament MVP honor since 2002 when both Christine Latham (Offensive) and Christy Harms (Defensive) gained the award.

The scoring duo of Marlborough and Jackson have combined for 30 goals and 21 assists this year while leading the Huskers to a 13-7-1 season. Nebraska is currently awaiting to hear if it will be part of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, as the 64-team bracket is announced Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.


San Antonio, Texas - Nebraska (13-7-1) held a 2-1 lead under 10 minutes remaining but No. 10 Oklahoma State (17-3-1) scored the game-tying goal on a penalty kick at 83:21 and then netted the game-winner third minutes into overtime to defeat the Huskers, 3-2, in the semifinals of the 2010 Big 12 Championship on Friday night in San Antonio.


Nebraska's incoming baseball recruiting class is among Baseball America's Top 25, checking in at No. 23 in the publication's 2010-11 rankings. The Huskers are one of three Big 12 teams in the top 25, joining No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 21 Oklahoma.

Stanford is ranked No. 1, followed by LSU and UCLA. The Huskers host the Bruins in a three-game series March 4-6 at Hawks Field.

This year's incoming group includes a pair of pitchers who were drafted in the first 11 rounds of the 2010 MLB Draft in left-hander Logan Ehlers (Nebraska City, Neb.) and right-hander Jon Keller (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). The two faced off in Game 3 of Nebraska's Red-White Series last week at Hawks Field, as Ehlers struck out 10 batters in six innings while giving up only four hits and an unearned run. Keller struck out four hitters as he went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits.

At the plate, freshman Tanner Krietemeier (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) hit .250 with 2 RBIs, including a 2-for-4 day with one RBI in the finale.

Three weeks ago, the Husker recruiting class was ranked No. 15 by Collegiate Baseball. Nebraska opens the 2011 season Feb. 18 with four games at the Texas State Tournament in San Marcos, Texas. The home opener is March 2 against Nebraska-Kearney.


The Omaha Night Hawks will playing the Sacramento Mountain Lions on November 13th in Sacramento (UFL) at 8 p.m. at Cal-State University. If you would like to head up for the game, contact Cindy Chodera of the Sacramento Huskers group for more info at 916-759-9622 or 916-773-3096. See the flyer at the Bay Area Huskers Facebook page

Rany York's N--Sider

Turner Gill's friend - one, in fact, that Gill calls his "good luck charm" - will be in Lincoln Saturday night to see the last game in the nation's longest continuous football series ... Nebraska vs. Kansas for an NCAA record 105 consecutive years.

Talk about an ironic farewell to the 117th and last time that these two programs will meet as conference rivals. Who would have envisioned one of Nebraska's most beloved players leading Kansas onto the field for that final chapter in the third most played game in NCAA history?

Jeff Smith, a Kansas native who made the decision to become a Husker shortly after Gill and Irving Fryar made the same choice in the early 1980s, figures this will be the only game in his life when he will not be pulling for his former teammate to win.

"I love Turner, but I'm not crazy. I'll be supporting Nebraska," Smith said, acknowledging that Gill gave him his "good-luck charm" nickname earlier this season when Smith drove from hometown Wichita to Lawrence for KU's 28-25 upset win over then ranked and defending ACC champion Georgia Tech.

That was Gill's first victory as a Big 12 Conference head coach. His only other two wins this season have been a 42-16 cruise past New Mexico State and last Saturday's 35-point fourth-quarter explosion that transformed a 45-17 deficit into a 52-45 triumph over Colorado - the biggest comeback in KU history.

Gill: Saturday's Game is About the Players

Gill downplays Saturday night's Pay-Per-View game against his alma mater. "The game is not about me. It is about the players, and that is the truth of it all," Gill said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. "I have tremendous respect for Nebraska and the people, coaches and everything about it. This is about Nebraska playing Kansas, and we are trying to do the best we can to go out and win a football game."

Nebraska, no doubt, will give Gill a warm and appreciative welcome, but the first-year Kansas head coach will be oblivious to the surroundings and focusing strictly on the task at hand.

Just like Tom Osborne would do. Osborne, after all, recruited Gill, coached him and still mentors him on life issues whenever asked. Osborne said he strongly considered Gill when Nebraska's head coaching job opened up before deciding the program needed a defensive-minded head coach.

Last year, when Kansas pursued Gill, Osborne was listed as a character reference on Gill's resume.

Monday, Osborne called Gill, left a message and then they talked later. Gill said the two talk periodically, but the only Nebraska coach he chats with on a regular basis is tight ends coach Ron Brown. "We talk about life. We talk about football. We talk about spiritual things," Gill said.

Some relationships are inextricably linked, and Gill's and Smith's friendship is no different. It goes back a quarter century when they came within inches of celebrating a national championship together.

You might remember Smith coming in for injured Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier and rushing for 99 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull unbeaten and top-ranked Nebraska within 31-30 of once-beaten Miami in the 1984 Orange Bowl.

While Nebraska made scoreboards pop like pinball machines on steroids that season, Smith emerged from Rozier's long shadow to play a pivotal role in the stretch drive of the Huskers' biggest game. His fresh legs created 15 minutes of fame that wove Smith into the fabric of the Huskers' most debated football game ever.

Smith scored a short touchdown with 6:55 remaining in the game and then electrified the Orange Bowl crowd, taking a pitch from Gill and sprinting 24 yards for another touchdown.

A Frozen Clock, a Pre-Determined Decision

When Smith scored that second TD, only 48 seconds remained on a clock that will forever be frozen in history. Smith's run meant the only thing standing between Nebraska and Osborne's first national title was an extra point that would enable the highest scoring offense in NCAA history to finish as the nation's only unbeaten team.

Colleague Mike Babcock and I stood next to each other on the sidelines near the end zone, a few yards from the live action. The second Smith scored, we looked at each other and almost simultaneously said: "Coach Osborne will go for two instead of one". Not surprisingly, the team, to a man, felt the same way.

Nebraska, you see, doesn't believe in backing into anything.

Many of you know the rest of the story. Osborne went for two, and at the last second, Miami defender Ken Calhoun deflected Gill's pass intended for Smith and ended Nebraska's furious comeback.

"It was the same play we practiced all week - a play that worked well all week long," Smith said last week. "There's no way you can simulate game speed. Their DB got a finger on the ball, and it brushed my back shoulder pad."

Still, in perhaps the greatest game that Nebraska didn't win, Osborne and the Huskers earned mountains of respect for a courageous effort that fell seconds, and inches, short of succeeding in its final mission.

To this day, Gill remains one of Nebraska's all-time favorite players not only because he chose Osborne and Nebraska over Barry Switzer and Oklahoma, but because he became the quintessential leader that exudes the same class and represents the same values as the Hall-of-Fame coach who recruited him. Osborne served as a groomsman in Gill's wedding, and Gill - in his 1992-to-2004 stint as a fulltime Husker assistant coach - served as the quarterback coach for Osborne's three national championship teams.

Gill is 109-9 All-Time at Memorial Stadium

Counting his days as both a Nebraska player and Husker coach, Gill has been a part of 118 games at Memorial Stadium, which is, coincidentally, one more game than Nebraska and KU will have played against each other after the curtain goes down Saturday night.

As an All-Big Eight quarterback, Gill led Nebraska to three undefeated Big Eight Conference seasons. He was also a second-team All-American and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting as a senior.

Gill was 3-0 against the Jayhawks as a player, 14-0 against KU as a part of Nebraska's coaching staff and 109-9 overall all-time at Memorial Stadium (28-2 as a player and 86-7 as a coach).

Now 48 and in his 18th straight year as a Kansas state probation officer, Smith relishes his friendship with Gill and said his trusted teammate "just needs more time to recruit what he needs, so he can build a team on the kind of character he's always believed in."

Smith knows what goes into the recruiting process because he was a highly recruited athlete himself. As a senior at Wichita Southeast High School, he weighed offers from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and UCLA against the one he valued most - Nebraska's.

"I ran the I-formation at Wichita Southeast and wanted to run the same formation at Nebraska with all of those big blockers in front of me," Smith said, acknowledging that he was able to add 40 pounds to his 5-foot-10 frame and get faster at the same time he got stronger in Lincoln.

He also learned how to be patient, backing up Rozier and eventual multiple Super Bowl champion Roger Craig as a sophomore and then playing behind Rozier again as a junior.

A Victim of the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx?

Perhaps you remember how Smith's senior season started. In his first three weeks that season, he led the nation in rushing and on Oct. 1, 1984, he became the ninth Nebraska-related Sports Illustrated cover after the Huskers gashed UCLA, 42-3, in Pasadena.

The words promoting him were simple and straightforward: "Jeff Smith of No. 1 Nebraska" in the lower left corner to go with a familiar refrain in the upper right corner: "The Big Red Machine".

Unfortunately, Smith sprained his ankle and could not play the following weekend when the top-ranked Huskers traveled to the East Coast and were hijacked by Syracuse, 17-9, in the Carrier Dome.

Although Smith never fully recovered from that ankle injury, he became a consensus All-Big Eight choice and led the conference in all-purpose yardage.

Nebraska finished 10-2 in 1984 and beat LSU, 28-10, in the Sugar Bowl.

Smith then spent two years with the Kansas City Chiefs and two more with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before returning to Wichita.

"I came back to my roots," he said. "Wichita is home to me, but Lincoln is still my football home."

A member of the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, Smith rushed for 1,992 yards on only 315 carries as a Husker. His 6.32-yard average per rushing attempt ranks fifth on the Huskers' all-time career yards per-carry chart, trailing only Rozier (7.16), Jarvis Redwine (7.11), Calvin Jones (6.84) and Ahman Green (6.76).

Homecoming with Daughter, Coach, Friend

Saturday is a homecoming of sorts for Smith. He will visit his daughter, Jade, 21, who works at a Lincoln hospital, He will say hi to Osborne, and he will find Gill to extend his best to someone he trusts implicitly.

The Smith-Gill handshake will not be awkward because a legendary quarterback understands why a former teammate would side with his alma mater. Words, though, can't describe how much a Husker cares about a certain Jayhawk and how much a relatively new Jayhawk cares about a certain Husker.

Next year - and every other year that Gill coaches at KU - will be better for Smith because he says he will never have to root against Turner's team again.

Smith catches himself, knowing that "never" is too strong a word. What if Nebraska and Kansas schedule a non-conference game with each other? What if the two schools end up meeting in a bowl game someday?

If and when either possibility becomes reality, Jeff Smith just might decide to vacation in Tahiti.

And really, who would blame him?


Music and Language give us power!

On Nov. 14, this number will unleash the power: 10330058

Music and language make us human, and together, they can inspire, energize and entertain us. Shakesperare, the world's greatest wordsmith, knew that when he wrote, "Music hath charm to soothe the savage breast." We'll join music and words this Sunday, Nov. 14, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Barnes and Noble store on Stevens Creek Blvd. in Santa Clara. Small ensembles from the orchestra will perform as you browse through the store or enjoy refreshments at the cafe.

You can help Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose as you buy books, CDs, DVDs, or a "Nook" for yourself or for those on your holiday gift list. Mention the music or present one of the attached vouchers when you make your purchase and the orchestra will receive a percentage of the sale. If you can't make it to the book fair, order at Use the book fair ID number on the voucher for your purchase any time from Nov. 14 to 19, and the orchestra will receive a percentage of the sale. Treat your friends to this opportunity: Forward this email or the attached flyer/vouchers to friends or relatives; ask them to shop for themselves or for those on their holiday gift list.

Give us the power to bring great music to the Silicon Valley as you enjoy an afternoon at Barnes and Noble.


Use the magic number: 10330058

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.