Sunday, October 09, 2011

Bay Area Huskers E-News 9/29/11

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Well here we are….the first conference game for the Huskers in the Big Ten! And it looks like its gonna be a barn burner. The Badgers are ranked just ahead of us in the polls and the game will be the focus of ESPN’s Game Day coverage tomorrow morning Should be interesting to see which mascot head Corso will pick. Since this is a matchup between two teams that wear Red, the Athletic Department (including Tom Osborne) are asking Husker fans attending the game to wear black so, even though we’re watching on TV, we should all break out our Blackshirts duds for this one. As Randy York says below…even Devaney would be wearing black for this one.

The Husker Volleyball team had a great week after beating Penn State by knocking off another Big Ten rival, Ohio State. Hopefully they will also do well this weekend as they go on the road to play two other Big Ten schools (Mich. St. and Mich) tonight and tomorrow. The Michigan game will be tape delay broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific.

The Soccer Team is also playing the two Michigan schools this weekend but at home. See the info below.

There is a great piece below about the U.S. Flag that the team carries onto the field at the beginning of the games this year…makes you proud and its one of the reasons I sign off with Go Big Red (White and Blue)…keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers. Make sure you read the Randy York articles on Devaney below, and there is a little Husker Humor at the end of the email. Enjoy!

Go Big Red (White and Blue)!

Watch Parties!

This is a big game for Nebraska so come on out to join other “Black” clad Husker fans to cheer on the team as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Coverage is on ABC and kickoff is shortly after 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Head out to your fav watch site (see for more info), grab a good seat and order up some great pub grub for dinner…I hear the grilled Badger is a little tough be mighty tasty!

Big Ten Picnic…

Don’t forget we’re joining the other Big Ten Alums in the Bay Area this Sunday for a picnic at the Little Marina Green in San Francisco from noon til 4. It’s a BYO (food and beverage) type of event, but we’ll have a good crowd there and some tables and Husker stuff there so you can find us. Hope you can join us.



Game 5: Nebraska at Wisconsin
Oct. 1, 2011 | Camp Randall Stadium
Madison, Wis. | 5 p.m. Pacific Time

Game Information
Television: ABC
Brent Musburger, Play-by-Play Kirk Herbstreit, Analyst Erin Andrews, Sidelines

Husker Sports Network
Greg Sharpe, Play-by-Play Matt Davison, Color Lane Grindle, Sidelines
HSN free audio Live stats, blog, game-day information, photos
Satellite Radio Sirius Channel 93 (Nebraska)

Capacity: 80,321
Surface: FieldTurf
Series Record: Nebraska leads, 3-2
In Madison: Series tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: Wisconsin 21-20 in 1974

Record: 4-0
Rankings: Coaches-8; AP-8
Last Game: def. Wyoming, 38-14
Coach: Bo Pelini
Career/NU Record: 34-12/4th year
vs. WIS: first meeting

Record: 4-0
Rankings: Coaches-7; AP-7
Last Game: def. South Dakota, 59-10
Coach: Bret Bielema
Career/WIS Record: 53-16/6th year
vs. NU: first meeting

The Matchup

Nebraska makes a historic road trip this week traveling to Madison, Wis., to take on the Badgers in the Huskers' first-ever Big Ten Conference. The game will be televised nationally on ABC, with kickoff set for shortly after 5 p.m. PT. The game is just the fourth matchup of top-10 ranked teams in college football this season, as the Huskers enter the game ranked eighth in both the AP and coaches polls, while Wisconsin checks in at No. 7 in both polls.

Nebraska is 4-0 following a 38-14 victory over Wyoming in Laramie last Saturday. The Nebraska offense continued to show a powerful rushing attack, topping 300 yards on the ground for the second straight week, and the Huskers lead the Big Ten in rushing. The win also gave NU a 4-0 start and a perfect non-conference season for the second straight year.

Wisconsin has been among the nation's most impressive teams in starting 4-0 in 2011. The Badgers breezed through non-conference play winning by an average of 40 points per game. The Badger offense is one of the nation's most balanced units and has rolled up more than 530 yards per game. Defensively, Wisconsin is allowing just 8.5 points per contest to rank third in the nation in that category.

The Series

Nebraska and Wisconsin are meeting for the first time since the 1974 season and just the sixth time overall. Nebraska holds a 3-2 edge in the all-time series between the schools, and the teams have split the two previous meetings in Madison. Nebraska won both games of a home-and-home matchup in 1965 and 1966, before the teams split in 1973 and 1974 with the Badgers winning the most recent meeting, 21-20, in Madison in 1974.



Laramie, Wyo. - Junior I-back Rex Burkhead rushed for a career-high 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns to carry No. 9 Nebraska to a 38-14 victory at previously unbeaten Wyoming on Saturday night in Laramie.

Burkhead's career-best performance marked his second straight 100-yard rushing effort and sixth of his career and included scoring runs of 45 and 16 yards to power the Huskers to a 4-0 start to the 2011 season. Burkhead's impressive rushing total came on just 15 carries, as NU's most experienced back averaged 11.3 yards per tote on the night against the Cowboys. His previous career high was 129 yards at Iowa State in 2010.

"We got through the preseason undefeated and that's what we set out to do," Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini said after the game. "Now it's time to step it up and get ready for Big Ten play."

As a team, the Huskers rolled up a season-high 333 rushing yards, marking their second straight 300-yard rushing effort and fourth straight game of 200-plus to open the season. Nebraska's ground game powered an offense that finished the night with 490 yards of total offense. In all, five Husker backs rushed for 30 or more yards on the night, including Austin Jones (38), Taylor Martinez (37), Ameer Abdullah (36) and Braylon Heard (33).

Nebraska added 157 yards through the air, as Martinez completed 12-of-21 passes with one touchdown pass. The sophomore quarterback added 37 rushing yards and another score on just nine carries.

Burkhead's big night started early, as he raced 45 yards for a touchdown on the first play of NU's second possession of the game to put the Huskers up 7-0 with 8:29 left in the first quarter.

The two teams went scoreless for more than a quarter before Martinez gave the Huskers a 14-0 edge with an eight-yard touchdown run to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive with 6:28 left in the half.

The Cowboys tried to keep it interesting, as true freshman quarterback Brett Smith hit Mazi Ogbonna on a quick slant that resulted in a 48-yard touchdown pass to cut Nebraska's lead in half to 14-7 with 3:37 left in the half.

The Huskers answered with a solid drive to close the half, giving Brett Maher a chance at a 48-yard field goal attempt as time expired in the half. Maher's kick appeared to squeeze inside the right upright, but the kick was ruled no good and the Huskers went to the locker room with a 14-7 lead.

Despite the first missed kick of his career, Maher continued to stand out on the NU special teams by averaging 53 yards on three punts, including a career-long 61-yard bomb in the first quarter.

Nebraska's defense also played well on the road for four quarters, despite more than 7,000-feet of altitude and a defensive line that was without All-America candidate Jared Crick at defensive tackle. Crick missed the game with an injury that snapped a streak of 31 straight starts for the senior from Cozad, Neb.

While the Blackshirts were without Crick for the first time in three seasons, they regained the services of defensive back Alfonzo Dennard, who made his first start of the year after missing the first three games with an injury.

The Husker defense held the Cowboys to 305 yards of total offense, including 168 passing and 137 rushing. Wyoming freshman quarterback Brett Smith completed 17-of-33 passes for 166 yards with one interception, but the youngster did throw a pair of touchdown passes.

The Huskers seized control of the game early in the third quarter. Nebraska started the second half with the kickoff after winning the toss and deferring to start the game.

Wyoming's kick was short and Tim Marlowe caught it on the run and returned it to the NU 44. Nebraska's great starting field position got even better with a personal foul tacked on the Wyoming coverage team gave NU the ball at the Wyoming 41. Things got worse for the Cowboys with an offsides penalty on the Huskers' first play from scrimmage that moved the ball to the 36.

Four plays later, Burkhead capped NU's short drive with a 16-yard scoring run to make it 21-7 just 1:21 into the second half.

After the Blackshirts picked up a stop, Maher made it 24-7 with a 20-yard field goal with 8:06 left in the quarter.

While the NU defense was shutting out the Cowboys in the third quarter, the offense marched 80 yards in 10 plays capped by Kenny Bell's first career touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter to give the Huskers a 31-7 lead. Martinez found Bell on an eight-yard scoring strike with 13:55 left to take their biggest lead of the night.

Wyoming continued to fight, answering with a 14-play, 80-yard march that consumed 5:42 and was capped by Smith's 10-yard touchdown pass to Robert Herron with 8:13 left.

Although Burkhead called it a night on the ensuing drive, Nebraska's freshman running backs continued to run the ball right at Wyoming. Abdullah, Green and Heard rotated at I-back on the drive until Heard found the end zone on a one-yard plunge. Heard's first career touchdown capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive to make it 38-14 with 3:57 to play.

P.J. Smith notched the first interception of his career on Wyoming's next drive, closing a strong effort that included a team-leading seven tackles.

After Smith's pick, Brion Carnes took the controls at quarterback for the Huskers and the Big Red running game kept rolling with Jones. The senior I-back carried four times for 38 yards on NU's final drive, including a career-long 22-yard run.

Jones pushed Nebraska past the 300-yard rushing mark for the second straight game and took the Huskers down to the Wyoming 3-yard line, before NU closed the contest with class by taking a knee.

Nebraska hits the road to play its first-ever Big Ten Conference football game next Saturday, when the Huskers take on Wisconsin in a battle of unbeaten top-10 teams. Kickoff with the Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison is set for 7 p.m. with a primetime kickoff on ABC.

Scoring Summary
Final: #9 Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
War Memorial Stadium (Laramie, Wyo.)

First Quarter (NU, 7-0)
NU - 8:29 - Rex Burkhead 45 run (Brett Maher kick) - 1 play, 45 yards, 0:09, NU 7-0

Second Quarter (NU, 14-7)
NU - 6:28 - Taylor Martinez 8 run (Maher kick) - 8 plays, 80 yards, 2:50, NU 14-0
WY - 3:37 - Mazi Ogbonna 48 pass from Brett Smith (Daniel Sullivan kick) - 7 plays, 80 yards, 2:51, NU 14-7

Third Quarter (NU, 24-7)
NU - 13:39 - Burkhead 16 run (Maher kick) - 4 plays, 44 yards, 1:21, NU 21-7
NU - 8:06 - Maher 20 FG - 5 plays, 50 yards, 2:12, NU 24-7

Fourth Quarter (NU, 38-14)
NU - 13:55 - Kenny Bell 8 pass from Martinez (Maher kick) - 10 plays, 80 yards, 3:51, NU 31-7
WY - 8:13 - Robert Herron 10 pass from Smith (Sullivan kick) - 14 plays, 80 yards, 5:42
NU - 3:57 - Braylon Heard 1 run (Maher kick) - 11 plays, 80 yards, 4:16

Final: #9 Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14
Attendance: 32,617
Time of Game: 3:07
Game Start: 6:38 p.m. (central)



The Nebraska football team hit the practice field for the final time Thursday afternoon before heading north to take on the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday night. The Huskers practiced in helmets only for 90 minutes in the Hawks Championship Center and on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields northeast of Memorial Stadium.

After practice, Head Coach Bo Pelini said he was happy with the way his team came out and prepared for the Huskers' Big Ten Conference opener this weekend.

"I thought it was a good week," Pelini said. "We had a good week of practice. We'll find out Saturday. We have to execute. It'll be a fun game to be a part of."

Saturday's game marks the first Big Ten game for the Huskers and a ruckus crowd is expected at Camp Randall Stadium to cheer on the two top-10 teams. Even with all the surrounding hype, including College GameDay, Pelini said his players have kept the same mentality all week.

"Our approach doesn't change," Pelini said. "It's the next game. Our approach hasn't changed, so I don't have many worries about that."

The Husker defense will receive a boost this week as Alfonzo Dennard and Jared Crick are both expected back on the field after both missing time earlier this season. Pelini said he believes his whole defense will continue to gel as the season progresses.

"I think chemistry comes as the year goes on," Pelini said. "Hopefully all of our guys feed off of each other. When you execute, and guys are doing what they are being taught to do and we're playing the way we're capable of, we're pretty good. When we don't, you are going to struggle. I thought we had a good week of practice, and we'll see where we are on Saturday."



Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch helped the Detroit Lions erase a 20-point halftime deficit against the Minnesota Vikings to lead former Huskers in the NFL during week 3. Suh recorded five tackles and added a sack for the second consecutive week, while Vanden Bosch had two tackles and a sack of his own.

On Monday night, running back Roy Helu continued his impressive rookie campaign by rushing for 15 yards on five carries, while bringing in two passes for 17 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. On the season, Helu has rushed for 91 yards on 16 carriers to go along with five receptions for 55 yards.

Chris Kelsay had two assisted tackles and a pass defended in the Buffalo Bill's last-second victory over the New England Patriots, while former All-American kicker Alex Henery accounted for 10 of the Eagles 16 points in their loss to the N.Y. Giants.



Lincoln -- Former Husker greats Will Shields and Roger Craig are among the 103 modern-day candidates for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as the 2012 candidates were announced Wednesday.

Shields, one of 11 first-year eligible candidates this year, was a 12-time Pro Bowler and nine-time All-Pro selection for the Kansas City Chiefs during his playing career. He started 231 consecutive games for the Chiefs, spanning 14 seasons, and was the 2003 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community work with his Will to Succeed Foundation.

Craig, who was one of 15 modern-era finalists in 2010, played for the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders and Minnesota Vikings during a decorated career. A four-time All-Pro selection, he won three Super Bowl titles with the 49ers, and was the 1998 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. In 1985, he was the first NFL player to gain 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. He finished his 11-year career with 8,189 rushing yards, 566 receptions and totaled 73 touchdowns (56 rushing and 17 pass receptions).

The list will be trimmed down to 25 semifinalist nominees and will be announced in mid-November with the 15 finalists announced in early January.



In my office hangs a large piece of composition art, showing Nebraska Hall-of-Fame Coach Bob Devaney, wearing his red Nebraska jacket with a white N and his red Nebraska cap with another white N. Devaney's countenance emerges among the clouds over Memorial Stadium. In bold capital letters popping out from the bottom of this piece of art is BOB DEVANEY and this tagline: He built it ... and they came.

Devaney, who died in 1997, signed the limited edition series, and I feel lucky to have it. I do, however, often wonder how fate took Devaney from Michigan State assistant to his first head coaching job at Wyoming when he was 43 years old and then on to Nebraska when there were still 56 months left on his second 60-month contract in Laramie.

I finally decided that fate drives every man to his own destiny, and Devaney is proof that the only imperative is to follow that fate and accept it no matter where it leads him.

Consider, if you will, that Devaney never thought much about taking the job at Wyoming, Nebraska's Saturday night non-conference opponent in Laramie. In fact, one night in his Lincoln home, Devaney told three Lincoln Journal-Star sportswriters (Mike Babcock, the late Virgil Parker and me), plus NU SID Don Bryant, that he was going to get the head job at Missouri when Don Faurot retired as MU's coach after the 1956 season.

Don Faurot Promised Devaney the Job

"They promised me the job at Missouri," Devaney said, adding that Faurot, the athletic director whose name still graces Mizzou's home field, told him: 'The job's yours. Just go home, get your staff organized, and we'll call you.' I started asking people about going down to Columbia with me, and I never heard from Faurot again, so I called him. He said, 'Oh, there's nothing to worry about; just get your staff together.'"

The next time Devaney called, Faurot told him he didn't have much say in the matter, and Mizzou was hiring Frank Broyles, who lasted one year in Columbia, then left for Arkansas.

A year later, Devaney chose the Wyoming job over another offer from Colgate, then spent five years in Laramie and led the Cowboys to a 35-10-5 record, including a 1958 Sun Bowl win and a 9-1 record in 1959 (a team that was not bowl eligible).

Devaney, perhaps rationalizing, thinks fate paved a smoother road from East Lansing to Laramie and finally, to Lincoln. "I knew the Wyoming job probably wasn't quite as good a job as the one at Missouri," Devaney said. "I mean, I didn't like the town at all. I didn't like anything about it. To me, it was just such a contrast to where I came from and where I had lived all my life. People were stilted in Columbia. They didn't seem like the kind of people I wanted to be around. I learned to love Wyoming. They wanted to win at Wyoming."

Devaney Followed His Heart to Lincoln

Nebraska, of course, beckoned next when Bill Jennings was fired, and Devaney followed his heart here, too, even though the Huskers had experienced only three winning seasons in the previous 21 years before he arrived.

Bryant, a.k.a. "The Fox" and Nebraska's sports information director emeritus, will explain Wyoming's reluctance to release Devaney from a new contract and the mystery surrounding Devaney's arrival in Lincoln in Friday's N-Sider Blog.

Just remember that Devaney's 11 years in Lincoln produced a record of 101-20-2 with seven outright Big Eight Conference championships, one shared title, a 32-game unbeaten streak, and back-to-back national championships in 1970 and '71.

Makes you wonder how life might be different today in both Lincoln and Columbia if Don Faurot had been allowed to hire the man he really wanted to hire in the first place.

Tigers Passed Not Just Once, But Twice

Here's the real kicker. Missouri not only selected Broyles over Devaney in 1956, but passed on him again when Broyles bolted in '57. The second time around, the Tigers hired fellow Michigan State assistant Dan Devine instead of Devaney.

Letting history be the judge, you would have to score that decision as Wyoming's gain and Nebraska's eventual double gain ... nothing against Devine, but definitely, Missouri's loss.



We all know how sportswriters will track airplane numbers to find out what coaches certain universities are interviewing and trying to hire, proving that one covert action can be trumped by another. Well, you'll get a kick out of Don "Fox" Bryant's undercover work on trying to track down Bob Devaney in Lincoln 55 years ago, but first, we need to set the stage for the secrecy surrounding Devaney's private interview that led to his departure from Wyoming.

Four months earlier, the ever popular Devaney had signed a second five-year contract with Wyoming - strong reason for officials and fans not wanting to release him.

"The whole thing dragged on for a month-and-half," Devaney told those of writing a book 30 years ago in a private interview in his house. "The sportswriters were doing stories every day. The regents were mad. Everybody in Laramie was mad. They felt like guys should honor commitments, which I guess I can understand."

"Lifetime" Contract Lasted Just Four Months

To put Devaney's impending departure in perspective, Bowden Wyatt was a good coach that left Laramie. So were former Texas coach Freddie Akers and Auburn coach Pat Dye. Both used Wyoming as a stepping stone. "They got especially mad when I left," Devaney said, "because they had presented me one of those "lifetime" contracts that sounded pretty good. I hadn't had any interest in leaving before the Nebraska thing came up, and Wyoming people were reluctant to let me go to a neighboring state."

"The Fox", Nebraska's Sports Information Director Emeritus and eventual longtime Devaney confidante, was sports editor of the Lincoln Star when Nebraska decided it was going to hire an existing head coach instead of assistants like Pete Elliott and Bill Jennings, the Huskers' previous two head coaches.

"We all knew one was in town for an interview, but we had no idea who he was or where he was at," Fox said this week, remembering how Devaney's name wasn't even on the radar. "Well, Bob came into Lincoln on the train under an assumed name, Mr. Roberts. He stayed at the house of Joe Soshnik, who was the comptroller at the time under Clifford Hardin, our chancellor. I was a newspaper guy trying to find out who the next coach would be, where he's coming from and who he's bringing with him."

Three Days Later, He Found Out He Was Close

Clueless was the word that best described Fox's search for truth.

"Here I was looking all over Lincoln, and Bob Devaney was staying and sleeping three houses down the street from me as Mr. Roberts, and I never found him," Fox said with healthy laughter.

"I found out I wasn't much of a bird dog like reporters are today," Fox said. "Joe Soshnik always teased me how he hid Bob from me for three days from three houses down the street. The next time Devaney came, he brought Jim Ross with him on the train for the first official press conference. They both became longtime friends."

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that Inspector Bryant didn't find his man. He could have screwed up an already delicate situation even more.

One Grad Assistant Became a Hall-of-Famer

John Melton followed Devaney and Ross to Lincoln. Then Carl Selmer. Mike Corgan stayed in Laramie to see if he or Lloyd Eaton would get the Wyoming job. Corgan finished second and joined Devaney shortly thereafter. Devaney retained Clete Fischer and George Kelly from the existing staff after Jennings was fired. Devaney's last two hires were two graduate assistants - Dallas Dyer and Tom Osborne.

You all know the rest of the story.



Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium is the perfect setting to write the first chapter in Nebraska's Big Ten history book. Jim Delany and his staff established the plot when they announced the schedule, and the most beautiful thing about it is no one knows if this is your classic ambush or a power premiere for a tradition-rich Husker program that respects everyone, but fears no one.

As the first new member in the nation's oldest conference in two decades, where else would you start? It's almost genius to ask an athletic program headed by an All-Big Eight linebacker from Nebraska to be the consummate host for a school he reveres, yet would most like to beat.

I mean, Barry Alvarez played for Bob Devaney, was mentored by Bob Devaney, became a Hall-of-Fame coach like Bob Devaney and turned a football program completely around like Bob Devaney. Both even followed their Hall-of-Fame coaching careers with successful stints as athletic directors at the schools they turned around. Alvarez, in fact, has calculated every move he's made with Devaney-like skill and precision. He's mastered the fine art of empowering, equipping and enabling excellence everywhere around him, just like the head coach who convinced him to leave the Keystone State of Pennsylvania for the discipline and regimen of Nebraska.

Devaney Would Be Wearing a Blackshirt Saturday

Barry Alaverez even stole Tom Osborne's blueprint for walk-ons to fill in the Badgers' recruiting gaps and develop the heart to match Wisconsin's soul. But make no mistake. As much as Bob Devaney respected, admired and loved Barry Alvarez and as much as Barry Alvarez loved, admired and respected Bob Devaney, even Devaney would pull a Blackshirt over his red sweater for this game.

I think Nebraska and Wisconsin will be one of the best rivalries in the storied Big Ten, even though they won't play each other every year. The Huskers and Badgers have the same colors, the same look, the same work ethic, the same values, the same dreams and the same love affair with college football.

My guess is most Big Ten fans will be rooting for one of the oldest members of their family in this early-season showdown on national television, and I completely understand that thought process.

Which Defense Can Stop a High-Octane Offense?

D-Day has finally arrived, and everyone is excited. When I say D-Day, I'm not talking war, I'm talking which defense is going to stop the other team's explosive offense. The only reason I use the term is because this historical launch into the Big Ten requires the Huskers to invade someone else's turf instead of defend their own. It's a tall order, to be sure, and everything must be in synch for a successful launch.

As historically significant as this first football game as a member of the Big Ten Conference is, I'm also looking forward to next weekend's first league game in Memorial Stadium because perenniel Big Ten power Ohio State will visit our house and play in front of our fans.

Win or lose in Madison, Nebraska fans will take on the same personality that Wisconsin fans undoubtedly will exhibit this weekend. Just change the names of the school. Next week, Big Red fans will be saying "Welcome to Nebraska" and, deep down inside, they will be thinking what Badger fans have been thinking all week: "I sure hope you get your cans kicked!"



No. 7 Nebraska at Michigan State • Friday, Sept. 30 • Jenison Field House 6 p.m.
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Web Video:
Live Stats:

No. 7 Nebraska at No. 17 Michigan • Saturday, Oct. 1 • Cliff Keen Arena 6 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 (Tape Delay on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m.)
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Live Stats:

The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team makes its first Big Ten roadtrip this weekend as the Huskers take on Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. and face off with No. 17 Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. The Huskers' match against Michigan State will air via Student U on, while NU's match against the Wolverines will air via tape delay on ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m



Lincoln, Neb. - The tenth-ranked Huskers (9-1) advanced to 2-0 in Big Ten Conference play with a 3-1 win over No. 24 Ohio State Saturday night at the NU Coliseum. In front of 4,061 fans, Nebraska honored a true Husker legend as Nancy Metcalf's jersey was retired. Metcalf became just the seventh Husker volleyball player to have her jersey retired at the Coliseum.

Hannah Werth notched a season-high 13 kills on the night to lead and NU and pace Gina Mancuso and Morgan Broekhuis to double-figure kills as well, as both tabbed 11. Lauren Cook led NU defensively with 14 digs in addition to 41 assists. Lara Dykstra had 13 digs for the Huskers.

Nebraska hit .342 for the match, while holding Ohio State to a .134 hitting percentage and only six blocks. The Buckeyes also committed 29 errors on the night.

The Huskers and Buckeyes tied eight different times in the first set, last at 23-23. Ohio State jumped ahead early with a service ace to make it 5-4. Nebraska tied it at six on a kill by Delano and again at 10 on another kill by Broekhuis. The Huskers took a 16-13 lead on an attack error by Ohio State and then went up 19-15 on a kill by Cook. A kill by Mancuso made it 21-18 late in the first set, before Ohio State tied it up at 23 all. Nebraska then pulled away to take the first set on an error by the Buckeyes. Nebraska won the first set 25-23 and led the match 1-0.



Lincoln- Junior Gina Mancuso was named Co-Big Ten Player-of-the-Week for the first time in 2011 on Monday after leading Nebraska to wins over two top-25 opponents, No. 5 Penn State (3-2) and No. 24 Ohio State (3-1), last week.

Mancuso averaged 3.7 kills per set with a .319 hitting percentage, along with 1.6 digs and 0.4 blocks per set in the Huskers' back-to-back wins. She recorded a double-double against the Nittany Lions with 22 kills and 10 digs, marking the fifth double-double of her career. She also tied her career-high mark for attacks against Penn State.

The honor marks the first conference player-of-the-week award for Mancuso and makes her the first Nebraska volleyball player to earn a Big Ten weekly award. She is averaging 3.82 kills per set and 2.46 digs per set in her junior season, while leading all NU hitters in kills. Her efforts have helped NU to a 9-1 record on the season, while starting 2-0 in conference play.

The Huskers hit the road this weekend for matches at Michigan State on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. and at Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. Nebraska's match with the Wolverines will air via tape delay on ESPN2 on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m.



Lincoln - The Nebraska softball team swept past its competition on Sunday at the Husker Fall Classic, defeating Colorado State and UNO at Bowlin Stadium. NU opened the day with a 9-2 win over the Rams, before closing the tournament with a 10-0 victory over the Mavs.

The Husker offense came alive in the two victories, exploding for 19 runs and 28 hits. Nebraska hit three home runs in the wins, including two from junior Gabby Banda and one from sophomore Kylee Muir. Nebraska hit .453 as a team on the day with seven extra-base hits.

In the circle, Nebraska allowed only two runs on the day, including a two-hit shutout from senior right-hander Ashley Hagemann against UNO. Senior right-hander Haley Workman worked 3.0 scoreless innings against Colorado State, while sophomore right-hander Tatum Edwards earned the win with 4.0 innings against the Rams.



Lincoln - The Nebraska softball team split a pair games with Colorado State to open its fall exhibition schedule on Saturday afternoon at Bowlin Stadium. The Huskers won the opener by a score of 6-4, before falling in game two, 5-3.

Junior right-hander Ashley Hagemann earned a complete-game victory in game one after ranking 10th nationally with 31 victories last season. Sophomore right-hander Tatum Edwards took the loss in game two. Senior right-hander Haley Workman kept Nebraska in the game with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief in the nightcap. The pitching staff struggled with its control on the day, as walks contributed to big innings for the Rams in both games.

In game one, Hagemann walked the bases loaded in a three-run inning, before Edwards walked the bases loaded in four-run inning in game two.

Offensively, Nebraska's freshmen hitters produced three doubles, including two from Mattie Fowler and one from Jordan Bettiol. The Huskers out-hit Colorado State in both games.

Nebraska returns to action tomorrow at the Husker Fall Classic. Colorado State and Nebraska-Omaha open play followed by Nebraska and Colorado State and then the Huskers and UNO (see above for scores).



Game 11 - Michigan State (9-2-0, 2-1-0)
Series History - First Meeting
When - Friday, Sept. 30 (4:30 p.m.)
Where - Nebraska Soccer Field
Live Video - (Premium)
Live Radio - (Free)
Live Stats -

Game 12 - Michigan (6-3-2, 1-1-1)
Series History - Tied, 1-1-1
When - Sunday, Oct. 2 (1 p.m.)
Where - Nebraska Soccer Field
Live Video - (Premium)
Live Radio - (Free)
Live Stats -

Lincoln - Following a split last weekend with Purdue and Indiana on the road, the Nebraska soccer team (5-4-1, 2-1-0 Big Ten) will be back in Lincoln on Friday and Sunday for a pair of games with Michigan State and Michigan.

The Huskers started conference play with a pair of wins over Northwestern and Purdue, before dropping their first league game to Indiana. The loss to the Hoosiers marked the first time in eight games that junior Morgan Marlborough was held without a goal.

Friday's game with the Spartans will be the first ever meeting between the two programs. MSU was on an eight-game winning streak before its 2-1 loss to Wisconsin in East Lansing this past Friday. The Spartans got back on the winning track with a 3-0 win over Minnesota on Sunday. Friday's game in Lincoln is set for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Huskers and Wolverines will each have a chance to break the tie in the series history between the two programs on Sunday when they meet at 1 p.m., as the series record is even at 1-1-1. The two teams last met at a tournament in Wisconsin during the 2003 season, which resulted in a double-overtime 1-1 tie.

Both games will be streamed live on (premium), while free live radio and live stats will also be available on



Bloomington, Ind. - A pair of Indiana goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation resulted in the Nebraska soccer team's first Big Ten Conference loss on Sunday afternoon at Armstrong Stadium by a score of 2-1. After winning its first two conference games over Northwestern and Purdue, the Huskers now hold an overall record of 5-4-1 and a 2-1-0 record in league play.

The two teams matched each other back-and-forth in the first half and went into the locker room tied at 0-0. Nebraska got off seven shots and Indiana attempted six, while each goalie had two saves.

The Huskers were first to strike in the second half, as Stacy Bartels scored her fifth goal of the season and her first conference goal at 49:14. After notching a pair of hat tricks in NU's last two games, Morgan Marlborough crossed to Bartels, who put in the header at the back post. Nebraska continued to hold a 1-0 lead over the next 20 minutes until Orianica Velasquez put in the equalizer.

Carly Samp started the goal with a chip shot that got over the Husker defense, which Orianica gathered and then beat NU goalie Emma Stevens high to tie the game. The Hoosiers stuck once again at 80:30 on a rebound shot. Lisa Nouanesengsy blasted a shot that Stevens was able to block, but not hold onto, resulting in an easy goal for Devon Beach.

Nebraska would get off three shots in the final 10 minutes in an attempt to tie the game, but were unable to remain unbeaten in league play.

The Huskers will now return to Lincoln for a pair of games against Michigan State and Michigan. The Spartans will visit the Nebraska Soccer Field on Friday, Sept. 30, at 4:30 p.m., while NU will host the Wolverines on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m. Check later this week for more information.



Former Husker Dan Johnson's ninth-inning home run last night with two outs and two strikes helped the Tampa Bay Rays complete a comeback over the New York Yankees to secure the American League Wild Card following a loss by the Boston Red Sox to the Baltimore Orioles. Johnson, who had been in the minors for most of the season, put Cory Wade's 2-2 changeup over the right field wall to tie the game at 7-7.

"I kept thinking, 'Stay fair. Stay fair,' " Johnson said. "When it did, I thought, 'I can't believe it happened again.' "

A consensus first-team All-American for the Huskers in 2001, Wednesday night's homer was not Johnson's first dramatic blast in a Rays' uniform. During the Rays' miraculous worst-to-first season in 2008, Johnson joined the Major League club on Sept. 8 after spending most of the season at Triple-A Durham. The following day with a 1 ½ game lead over the Red Sox for first place in the AL East, the Rays took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth, but a two-out two-runner homer by Jason Bay gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead heading into the top of the ninth and closer Jonathan Papelbon on the mound. Johnson led off the inning for Tampa Bay by pitch hitting for Justin Ruggiano and watched Papelbon's first five pitches before jumping on a fastball to tie the game. Tampa Bay would add another run off Papelbon later in the inning and would go onto to win its first division title and make the World Series for the first time in club history.



Typically I have no use for sports analogies to war. Sports are not war. Sports are entertainment. But in the case of Jack Riggins' American flag, I'm happy to make an exception. Riggins is a veteran Navy SEAL from Fremont, Neb. His official title is "Executive Officer for Naval Special Warfare Unit." He spent the past decade in Afghanistan fighting terrorists. There are football heroes. Riggins is a real hero. Riggins is currently back in Afghanistan, but last month Riggins was back in his native Nebraska.

He was invited to speak to the Nebraska football team. He did. And how. According to players who were in the room, Riggins' speech blew them away. He was brutally honest. He told war stories. Real war stories. He talked about growing up a Husker fan. He compared some of the missions he served on to some of the great victories in Nebraska football history. He fired up the Unity Council, saying, "As the Unity Council goes, so goes the 2011 season." He fired up the whole room and by the end of it, the entire team wanted to follow him out the door.

Riggins left the Huskers one gift. An American flag. And not just any flag. He presented them the flag that he personally carried around Afghanistan for 10 years. That's the flag you saw Jared Crick and Austin Jones carry out to the field the past two home games. "He let us know that that flag bagged a lot of terrorists,'' said NU senior safety Austin Cassidy, who helped carry the flag out for the season opener. "He told us to do what we wanted with the flag, just don't let it touch the ground."

The Unity Council met with Assistant Athletic Director Jeff Jamrog and decided to make the flag the Huskers' flag for 2011. The team will carry it out to the field in both home and away games. During games, it's on the team sideline, in a stand. During the week, it hangs in the locker room. "It's a cool reminder that there are a lot bigger things going on," Cassidy said. "His talk was one of the best talks I've ever heard in my life. We have some very proud Americans on our team. They are very patriotic. That fired up everyone."



NU-Iowa: Picking a corny trophy
The new Big Ten rivalry between Nebraska and Iowa apparently will be so intense that it will demand two trophies --- "the official" one and the student body one.

Big Red coaches share more than team colors
They remember it even though the football season they spent together was 20 years ago. Bo Pelini was a graduate assistant at Iowa trying to launch a coaching career in 1991. Bret Bielema was a junior defensive lineman in the process of going from walk-on to captain by his senior season. Pelini recalls Bielema as tough and hard-working, an important part of the Hawkeye program and someone who played with great intensity.

Kaipust: O-line ready for UW's size, strength
The perception is that Wisconsin is the prototypical Big Ten defense. Big, tough, rugged . ready to take on all comers. That raised the topic of Saturday night potentially setting up for some power vs. power when Nebraska has the football, and it was obvious Monday that Husker lineman Yoshi Hardrick liked the idea by the way he repeated it, almost for emphasis. "Power vs. power," Hardrick said. "Best man wins.

Barfknecht: Alvarez used Big Red blueprint
If you see a lot of similarities between the football programs at Nebraska and Wisconsin, it's because you're supposed to. Barry Alvarez planned it that way. "The foundation of my beliefs comes from what I learned at Nebraska,'' said the former Husker linebacker under Bob Devaney and now the athletic director at Wisconsin.

McKewon: On night of adjustments, Rex NU's constant
Burned timeouts. Missed tackles. Blown coverages. Awry throws and dropped passes. Ill-timed penalties. Different setting. Different opponent. Same frustrating first half for Nebraska's football team. But halftime remains an oasis where the young Huskers sit, settle, listen — and learn. That's how NU turned a 14-7 halftime lead into a 38-14 runaway road win Saturday night over penalty-and-pratfall-prone Wyoming.

Big 12 commish Beebe out
The Big 12 dumped its embattled commissioner Thursday and said nine schools had pledged to give their TV rights to the conference for the next six years, a step intended to preserve a fractured league that has lost two members in the past year and expects to lose another by next summer. “The bottom line is we achieved substantial reforms,” Oklahoma President David Boren said after school presidents met by telephone for more than an hour. “We feel extremely good.”

Chatelain: Before NU, Devaney's Cowboys rode high
Have you heard the story about Bob Devaney's Thanksgiving night in a jail cell? It was 1957, Devaney's first season as a college head coach. His Wyoming Cowboys hit the road to face rival Denver University. They lost, 14-13. That night, two of his players come stumbling into the hotel. The security guard gives 'em a hard time. A scuffle starts. The guard ends up on the ground. And a bullet from a policeman's gun ends up in the ceiling.

Nebraska farm income 'through the roof'
It's a big reason the state's economy is forecast to hold its own.



* Nebraska football: On to Wisconsin and the Big Ten

Where did it start, all that stupid preseason talk about Nebraska
being a freshman contender for the Big Ten title?

* Nebraska Football: Crouch shares his thoughts about NU's Martinez

Think of Eric Crouch and you’re almost certain to think “Heisman
Trophy.” But if you think back a little further, you will recall
he had some difficulties at NU early on. So, he has some thoughts to
share with young Taylor Martinez.

* Former Husker Ahman Green turns analyst for Big Ten Network

Former Nebraska I-back Ahman Green has closed out his professional
football career and will work this fall as a sideline analyst for the
Big Ten Network. And he'll be working Nebraska's season opener, too.


HUSKER HUMOR…(thanks Shari!)…


The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the
first woman president, who happens to be from Nebraska. A few days after the
election the president-elect, whose name is Susan, calls her father and
says, 'So, Dad, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?'

'I don't think so. It's an 12 hour drive."

'Don't worry about it Dad, I'll send Air Force One. And a limousine will
pick you up at your door.'

'I don't know. Everybody will be so fancy. What would your mother wear?'

Oh Dad," replies Susan, 'I'll make sure she has a wonderful gown
Custom-made by the best designer in Washington .'

'Honey,' Dad complains, 'you know I can't eat those rich foods you eat.'

The President-to-be responds, 'Don't worry Dad. The entire affair will be
handled by the best caterer in Washington , I'll ensure your meals are salt
free. You and mom just have to be there.'

So Dad reluctantly agrees and on January 20, 2017, Susan is being sworn in
as President of the United States . In the front row sits the new
president's Dad and Mom. Dad noticing the senator sitting next to him leans
over and whispers, 'You see that woman over there with her hand on the
Bible, becoming President of the United States .

The Senator whispers back, 'You bet I do.'

Dad says proudly, "Her brother played football at Nebraska......."

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