Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bay Area Huskers E-News 12/2/11

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

The inaugural Husker/Hawkeye Heroes match was a great game (and not just because we won…although it helps), and the Huskers looked better than they have in several weeks.  Now we get to wait until the bowl game shuffle gives us a clue as to where we’re going.  Odds makers are betting on either the Capital One or the Outback Bowls, both played in Florida.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Lots of rumors flying about Carl Pelini being considered for a head coaching job at FAU.  News reports are still pretty foggy, but there are articles in the World Herald section and at the Bleacher Report website:

Don’t forget…the Big 10 Championship game between Michigan State will be broadcast on Fox tomorrow night (Saturday Dec. 3rd) at 5 p.m.  This is the inaugural championship game and will be played in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Although the Husker Volleyball team stubbed their toe in their last Big 10 match with Northwestern (a match they should have won easily), they are still the Big 10 Champs and are hosting the first two rounds of the regional NCAA Tourney this week.  See more info below.

There are a couple of upcoming events you should be aware of.  The first is an invitation to help out at a food bank during the holidays along with the Penn State alums in the area.  The second is a opportunity to hear an inspirational speech by our Athletic Director (Dr. Tom) at the “Night of Legends” event in Sacramento in February.  See more info at the end of today’s email for both events.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),


- Nebraska used a stifling defensive effort and school-record performance from I-back Rex Burkhead, as Nebraska picked up its ninth win of the season with 20-7 victory Friday afternoon in the inaugural Heroes Game.

In front of a sellout crowd of 85,595, the 318th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium, and an ABC National audience, Burkhead carried a career-high 38 times for 160 yards and a touchdown to increase his season rushing total to 1,268 yards. His 38 totes broke the school record of 37 by Cory Ross in the 2003 Alamo Bowl, as Burkhead went over 100 yards for the seventh time this season and 11th time in his career.

While Burkhead punished the Hawkeye defense on the ground, the Blackshirts forced two turnovers and held the Hawkeyes to just 270 total yards, including 88 yards on the ground, to hold Iowa to 100 yards below its 2011 season average of 370.4.

Senior Lavonte David led the Blackshirts with eight tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and fumble recovery in his final game at Memorial Stadium. One of 21 seniors in their final home game, the Butkus Award semifinalist now has 122 tackles on the season and 274 during his two-year career at Nebraska.

With the win, Nebraska finishes the regular season with a 9-3 record, its fourth consecutive nine-win season under Bo Pelini and 38th time in the last 42 seasons that a Husker football team has won at least nine games.

After a strong defensive first quarter, the Huskers stuck first, driving 52 yards in 10 plays before Brett Maher’s 40-yard field goal gave the Huskers a 3-0 lead.  Wide receiver Kenny Bell played a major role in the drive, catching two passes for 23 yards, while also drawing a defensive holding penalty to help give the drive some early momentum. With the Huskers facing 3rd-and-6 at its own 30, Bell was held by Iowa’s Tyler Nielsen to give NU a first down at the Husker 40-yard line. Two plays later, Martinez found Bell for a 19-yard completion to get the ball into Iowa territory for the first time in the game. After an Ameer Abdullah 10-yard run, the Huskers were unable to keep the drive going and settled for Maher’s 18th field goal of the season.

Iowa looked like it was going to answer as the Hawkeyes moved into Husker territory after James Vandenberg found Keenan Davis for 16-yard gain to the Husker 35-yard line. But, after an incomplete pass, Husker nickel back Ciante Evans read a wide receiver screen play and tackled Marvin McNutt for a 3-yard loss on second down before solid Husker pass coverage forced Vandenberg to scramble to avoid a sack, as Iowa was forced to punt.

Nebraska then went to the ground attack for a sustained drive, going 80-yards in 15 plays, finished off by a six-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Martinez to Kyler Reed. The catch was Reed’s first touchdown of the season after hauling in eight scoring strikes a year ago. After an Iowa pass interference call, the Huskers pounded away at the Iowa defense, running on 13 of the next 14 plays, as Burkhead carried nine times for 35 yards on the drive. Facing a 4th-and-1 at the Iowa 29, Burkhead kept the drive alive with a two-yard run to move the chains. Facing a 3rd-and-3 at the Iowa six-yard line, Martinez ran a beautiful play fake to Burkhead and found Reed uncovered in the end zone for the score to make it 10-0 with 32 seconds left in the half.
Nebraska controlled the ball in the first half, holding the ball for 17:59 and outgaining Iowa, 196-98 in the opening half.

The Huskers went on another long sustained drive midway through the third quarter before Maher’s second field goal of the game made it 13-0. Nebraska went 82 yards in 12 plays, relying on a punishing ground game along with the big play ability to Bell. The redshirt freshman made a spectacular diving catch on a 20-yard catch to midfield before Martinez found Bell again on a 28-yard catch and run before a horse collar tackle spotted the ball at the Iowa 11-yard line. Nebraska got the ball to the Iowa three-yard line, before settling for Maher’s second field goal of the afternoon.

Bell finished the day by tying his career high in catches with five and a career-high 93 yards through the air. Bell’s 93 yards were the most by a Husker this season, topping Jamal Turner’s 84-yard game against Wisconsin.

On Iowa’s next possession, the Blackshirts came up big, as David stripped C.J. Fiedorwicz and recovered the fumble at the Nebraska 48-yard line, but the Huskers were unable to capitalize on the Hawkeye miscue, keeping Iowa in the game.

Nebraska extended the lead to 20-0 on its next offensive series, going 80 yards in 10 plays as Burkhead went the final two yards for his 15th rushing touchdown of the season. After six straight carries by Burkhead got the ball close to midfield, Martinez found Bell for a 22-yard catch to get the ball into Hawkeye territory. After Burkhead gashed the Hawkeyes for 12 yards, Martinez hooked up with Quincy Enunwa for a 19-yard strike to the Iowa two-yard line before Burkhead cashed in on the next play.

The Hawkeyes were able to escape a shutout late in the fourth quarter with an 80-yard scoring drive over 10 plays. Vandenberg got Iowa into the no-huddle offense and found the endzone in 1:53. After the Huskers were called for pass interference and defensive holding in the endzone over a span of three plays, Marcus Coker got the Hawkeyes on the board with a two-yard run.

Nebraska will now wait until Sunday, Dec. 5, to find out what bowl they will be selected for. A full list of the Big Ten’s bowl affiliates can be found here at

Scoring Summary
Final: #22 Nebraska 20, Iowa 7
Friday, Nov. 25, 2011
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)

First Quarter (Tie, 0-0)
No scoring

Second Quarter (NEB, 10-0)

NEB - 11:22 - Maher 40 FG - 10 plays, 52 yards, 4:40, NEB 3-0
NEB - 0:32 - Reed 6 pass from Martinez (Maher kick) - 15 plays, 80 yards, 5:58, NEB 10-0

Third Quarter (NEB, 13-0)
NEB - 4:42 - Maher 21 FG - 12 plays, 82 yards, 5:08, NEB 13-0

Fourth Quarter (NEB, 20-7)
NEB - 11:25 - Burkhead 2 run (Maher kick) - 10 plays, 80 yards, 4:01, NEB 20-0
IOWA - 3:26 - Coker 2 run (Meyer kick) - 10 plays, 80 yards, 1:53, NEB 20-7

 #22 Nebraska 20, Iowa 7
Attendance: 85,595
Time of Game: 3:06
Game Start: 11:07 a.m. (central)


Nebraska senior linebacker Lavonte David has been honored for his role in Nebraska's dominant defensive effort in a 20-7 victory over Iowa last Friday in Lincoln. David was named co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, along with Minnesota defensive back Kim Royston.

David recorded a team-high eight tackles in the victory, including an 11-yard sack in the fourth quarter. He also caused and recovered a fumble in the third quarter and added a pair of pass breakups. His play allowed Nebraska to hold Iowa scoreless until less than four minutes remained in the game. The Blackshirt defense held Iowa to just 270 total yards, including only 157 through three quarters.

The effort against Iowa gave David a team-leading 122 tackles this season, good for 10th place on the Nebraska single-season list. He also pushed his career tackle total to 274, which places David in fifth on the Husker career tackles chart.

This marks the first time in 2011 that a Nebraska defender has captured the Big Ten weekly honor and the seventh overall Big Ten weekly honor for Nebraska. Nebraska has earned the Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honor four times, including three times by kicker/punter Brett Maher. Ameer Abdullah won both the Special Teams and Freshman honor against Fresno State and quarterback Taylor Martinez won the Offensive POW award for his effort against Ohio State.


Nebraska players earned five first-team spots on both the Coaches and Media All-Big Ten teams announced on Monday evening. Junior Brett Maher was named first-team All-Big Ten as both a place-kicker and punter, and he was joined on the first team by junior running back Rex Burkhead, senior linebacker Lavonte David and senior cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.

Maher, David and Dennard also earned individual awards for their excellence at their respective positions. Maher earned both the Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year Award and the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year. David was honored with the first Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year honor, while Dennard received the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year.
In addition to the four first-team honorees, Nebraska had a pair of offensive linemen earn second-team All-Big Ten honors. Senior center Mike Caputo was a second-team choice by the Big Ten coaches, while sophomore guard Spencer Long earned second-team accolades from the conference media.

Five Nebraska players earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from the coaches, while eight players received honorable-mention accolades from the media. Those earning honorable-mention honors included Caputo (media), Long (coaches), safety Austin Cassidy (media), linebacker Will Compton (coaches, media), tight end Ben Cotton (coaches, media), offensive tackle Marcel Jones (coaches, media), defensive end Cameron Meredith (media), safety Daimion Stafford (media) and defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler (coaches, media).
Additionally, senior defensive tackle Jared Crick was Nebraska's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

The 6-1, 225-pound David became the fourth Nebraska defender in Bo Pelini's four seasons as a head coach to be a two-time first-team all-conference selection, joining Ndamukong Suh, Prince Amukamara and Jared Crick. He is the first Nebraska linebacker to earn back-to-back first-team all-conference honors since Carlos Polk in 1999 and 2000.

David once again led Nebraska with 122 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also has two interceptions, two fumbles caused and two fumble recoveries. In addition to his All-Big Ten honors and the Linebacker of the Year Award, David is one of six finalists for the Butkus Award.

After earning second-team All-Big 12 honors in his junior season, Dennard had a standout year in Nebraska's first year in the Big Ten. After missing the first three games of 2011, Dennard returned to solidify the Nebraska pass defense. After Dennard returned to full health for the final seven games, NU opponents completed just 49 percent of their passes.

Dennard had six pass breakups and was at his best against the league's top receivers, shutting down Iowa's Marvin McNutt, the Big Ten's Receiver of the Year, and Michigan State's B.J. Cunningham. Dennard's selection gives Nebraska five first-team all-conference defensive backs in the past three seasons.

Burkhead was one of the most reliable offensive players in the Big Ten in 2011. The junior from Plano, Texas, has rushed for 1,268 yards and 15 touchdowns, while being on the receiving end of another two scores. He posted seven 100-yard rushing games, including five in Big Ten Conference action, and he scored at least one touchdown in 11 of 12 games in 2011. Burkhead is the first Nebraska running back to earn first-team all-conference honors since Brandon Jackson in 2006.

At the start of the season, Maher faced the difficult task of replacing Alex Henery, who earned All-America honors while handling both the place-kicking and punting duties. Maher was more than up to the challenge, earning first-team all-league honors in both areas. He is the first player in the Big Ten to be first-team all-conference as both the kicker and punter since Purdue's Travis Dorsch in 2001.

A walk-on from Kearney, Maher connected on 19-of-22 field goals, including a perfect 16-of-16 from inside 50 yards. His 19 field goals tie for the second-most in school history and Nebraska now has a streak of 31 straight games without a missed field goal from less than 50 yards. In the punting department, Maher leads the Big Ten with a 45.0-yard average per kick. He has had 24 of his punts downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line and 20 of his punts have traveled 50 or more yards.

Maher is Nebraska's first all-conference punter since Kyle Larson in 2003, and the Huskers' first all-league place-kicker since Josh Brown in 2002. Despite earning first-team All-America honors in 2010, Henery was not a first-team All-Big 12 selection during his Nebraska career.

Nebraska's five first-team selections were the second-most in the Big Ten. Wisconsin had eight first-team selections on the media team and six first-teamers according to the coaches.

Nebraska Honorees 
Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year: Lavonte David
Named for Illinois' Dick Butkus and Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald

Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year:
Alfonzo Dennard
Named for Ohio State's Jack Tatum and Purdue's Rod Woodson

Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year:
Brett Maher
Named for Wisconsin's Jim Bakken and Michigan State's Morten Andersen

Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year
: Brett Maher
Named for Illinois' Dike Eddleman and Michigan State's Brandon Fields

First-Team All-Big Ten (Media and Coaches):
Rex Burkhead, RB; Lavonte David, LB; Alfonzo Dennard, DB; Brett Maher, P/PK

Second-Team All-Big Ten:
Mike Caputo, C (Coaches); Spencer Long, OG


- The Nebraska volleyball team will spend the opening weekend of the postseason at home for the eighth straight season as the NU Coliseum was chosen as one of 16 sites for NCAA first and second-round play next weekend. The Huskers will be making their 30th NCAA Tournament appearance and they will go in as the No. 2 overall seed among the 64 teams.

Play will start on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. when the Kansas State Wildcats (20-10) of the Big 12 Conference take on the Wichita State Shockers (21-10) of the Missouri Valley Conference. Nebraska (24-4) will then take the court during Thursday's second match and will face the Jackson State Tigers (26-9), who recently won Southwestern Athletic Conference title. The Huskers' match will start at 7 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first match.

The second round will take place on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., as Thursday's winners will compete for the right to move on to the Honolulu Regional the following weekend. The winner out of Lincoln will take on Pepperdine, Missouri State, North Carolina or California, who will be playing in Malibu, Calif.

Tickets for the first and second rounds in Lincoln will go on sale Monday morning at 8 a.m. on, by calling the NU Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED or in person at the NU Athletic Ticket Office. All-session ticket prices are set at $34 (reserved) and $30 (general admission) and include the two first-round games, as well as the second-round matchup between the first-round winners.

Nebraska has never faced Jackson State. The Huskers and Kansas State competed 85 times as members of the Big 12 Conference, with Nebraska leading the series 82-3. Nebraska leads the all-time series with Wichita State 11-0.

The 2011 season marks the 27th time that Lincoln has played host to first and second-round competition. Last season, Nebraska hosted the first and second rounds at the NU Coliseum, where they swept Sacred Heart and Auburn to move onto the NCAA Regional in Seattle. The Huskers then lost a four-set decision to Washington.
Nebraska recently won its first Big Ten title in its first year in the league and is 82-26 (.759) in 29 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, ranking second among NCAA schools in both wins and winning percentage.

The Huskers were one of eight Big Ten schools to qualify for the tournament, as No. 3 Illinois, No. 5 Purdue, No. 8 Penn State and No. 13 Minnesota  will also play at home in the first two rounds while Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan will be on the road.

NCAA First and Second Round Schedule
First Round - Thursday, Dec. 1
4:30 p.m.  |  Kansas State (20-10) vs. Wichita State (21-10)
7 p.m.*  |  Jackson State (26-9) vs. Nebraska (24-4)
*- or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the 4:30 p.m. match

Second Round - Friday, Dec. 2
7 p.m.  |  First-Round Winners


Lincoln, Neb. -
The second-seeded Nebraska volleyball opened the NCAA Tournament with a dominating sweep against overmatched Jackson State on Thursday night in front of 4,192 fans at the NU Coliseum. In winning their NCAA opener for the 27th consecutive season, the Huskers had a run of at least seven straight points in every set and trailed for a total of seven rallies in the 25-10, 25-16, 25-13 win.

With the victory, Nebraska (25-4) advances to Friday's second-round match at 7 p.m. (Central) against former conference rival Kansas State, who swept Wichita State in Thursday's first match. Jackson State ended its season with a 29-10 record.

Gina Mancuso and Brooke Delano paced a balanced Nebraska attack with 10 kills each, combining for 20 kills on only 36 swings. Morgan Broekhuis added nine kills on 13 error-free swings, while Hannah Werth recorded seven kills and 11 digs. Nebraska hit .438 in the match, hitting .500 or better in sets one and three.

Defensively, the Huskers limited Jackson State to an .022 attack percentage. Nebraska totaled six blocks, as Jackson State committed 21 errors on the night. The Huskers also tallied 38 digs, with Lauren Cook tying Werth for match-high honors with 11. Cook also added 35 assists. Nebraska was also strong at the service line, recording five aces, including two from Broekhuis.

Christine Edwards led Jackson State with a match-high 15 kills. She was one of only four Tigers to record a kill in the match, and she took 49 of Jackson State's 90 total swings.



Evanston, Ill.- The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team (24-4, 17-3) could not overcome the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday night, dropping the  match 3-1 (20-25, 25-9, 21-25, 23-25).

Four Huskers totaled double-doubles on the night as Lauren Cook notched 38 assists and 15 digs, Gina Mancuso had 13 kills and 17 digs, Morgan Broekhuis recorded 12 kills and 10 digs and Hannah Werth had 15 kills and 14 digs.

Nebraska notched a total of 76 digs on the night, compared to Northwestern's 78. The Huskers out-blocked the Wildcats 11-8, while posting a hitting percentage of .186. The Wildcats hit .099.


Lincoln - Five Nebraska volleyball players were honored Tuesday, as the 2011 All-Big Ten team was announced.
Nebraska and Penn State had a league-best three first-team honorees apiece, as Lauren Cook, Gina Mancuso and Hannah Werth claimed first-team selections, while Morgan Broekhuis and Brooke Delano received honorable-mention accolades. In addition, Brigette Root was selected as a Sportsmanship Award honoree.

It was Werth and Delano's second straight All-Conference honor, while the other three Huskers were recognized for the first time in their careers. 

Mancuso earned a unanimous All-Big Ten award by averaging 3.54 kills and 2.67 digs per set, while ranking ninth in the Big Ten in kills. Mancuso has notched at least 10 kills in 23 matches this season, while posting a career-high of 24 kills against Colorado State.  She hit .300 or better in eight of her 20 Big Ten contests. She was also named the Big Ten Player-of-the-Week two times in 2011.

Lauren Cook put together a strong season in her first full year as a starter. She averaged 10.94 assists, .48 kills and 2.76 digs per set. She ranked fourth in the league in assists while notching a team-best 16 double-doubles (assists-digs). Cook helped Nebraska hit .300 or better in nine matches, including a season-high .413 against Albany on Sept. 3. She totaled 50 or more assists in six matches, including a season-high 54 in a 3-1 win over then-No. 1 Illinois on Oct. 22.

Werth has had an outstanding junior season, with 2.83 kills per set and 3.07 digs per set. She ranks second on the team in total digs with 319 on the season. She tabbed at least 10 kills in 17 matches, while notching at least 10 digs in 17 matches. Werth has produced 10 double-doubles as a junior and was a two-time Big Ten Player-of-the-Week as well as the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Nov. 22.

Broekhuis was the only sophomore selected for honorable mention, as she averaged 3.06 kills and 1.64 digs per set in her second year as a starter. She owns six double-doubles on the year and has a hitting percentage of .246. She has recorded a total of 93 blocks in 2011, while hitting at least .300 in seven matches this season, including a season-best .545 at Michigan State. She tabbed a career-high 22 kills at Michigan on Oct. 1.

Delano capped her senior season with the third-straight All-Conference honors of her career, being named an honorable mention selection. With an average of 1.73 kills per set and a hitting percentage of .306, Delano has continued her impressive string of success in her final season. She has ranked in the top 10 for hitting percentage in the conference throughout the entire season, most recently checking in at eighth. She also ranks fifth in hitting percentage in league play with a mark of .306.

The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees as student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Root received the honor for her contributions this season. She made her first career start against Michigan State on Nov. 5 and notched the first double-double of her career, with 25 assists and 11 digs.


Nebraska men's gymnastics coach Chuck Chmelka has announced the signing of three talented gymnasts for the 2012-13 season. The team will welcome Ethan Lottman, Samual Chamberlain and Austin Epperson to their roster next year, and Chmelka expects to see big contributions out of each recruit.

"We are excited to have these three student-athletes become Huskers," Chmelka said. "We feel they will continue to help our team improve toward our goal of becoming national champions."

A native of Gretna, Neb., Lottman will join the Huskers after training at Cahoy's Gymnastics Training Center under former Husker assistant coach and Olympian Phil Cahoy. Lottman placed fourth in the All-Around at the 2011 Region IV Men's Gymnastics Championships with a score of 81.100, a performance that included a first place finish on pommel horse (14.700). Lottman is also a standout in the classroom and was named a 2011 Academic All-American by USA Gymnastics.

"Ethan is an outstanding student-athlete who excels on pommel horse," Chmelka said. "He will help our team immediately in that event, but we feel he can contribute on as many as four other events in the future."

Chamberlain hails from Franklin, Ohio and trains at The Gymnastics Training Center of Ohio under Don Sellman. Chamberlain is a Level 10 gymnast who has competed in the Junior Olympic Nationals, Ohio State Championships and the Houston National Invitational in multiple events.

"Samual is a very strong, explosive athlete," Chmelka said. "He could immediately help our team score on floor exercise, rings, vault and possibly pommel horse."

Epperson rounds out the recruiting class and will come to Nebraska from Allen, Texas.  Epperson currently trains with Elite Champion Gymnastics as a member of their Level 10 men's team and has also trained with the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy previously. Epperson has competed in the 2011 U.S. Men's Qualifier, the Pacific Coast Classic and the Texas State Team Championships.

"Austin is a physically gifted athlete," Chmelka said. "We feel he will excel on all six events for us in the future."
Four Huskers are on track to exhaust their eligibility after the 2012 season, and these three young recruits will look to help fill the gap left by the departing seniors.

Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini denied a report Thursday night that he had been offered or accepted the job as Florida Atlantic's new head coach. “FAU has not made any decision that I am aware of,” he wrote in a text message. Later, ESPN's Joe Schad reported that Pelini and Florida Atlantic had a “verbal agreement” and that Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne recommended Pelini to the school. Osborne confirmed to The World-Herald that FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos had called him inquiring about Pelini.

Forget the NCAA tournament talk. Even a conversation about the NIT right now deserves a cocked eyebrow if uttered near the Nebraska men's basketball team. The Huskers lost at home Wednesday for the second time in eight days, and it was in ugly fashion to Wake Forest, picked to finish 11th in the 12-team Atlantic Coast Conference. Guard C.J. Harris, dribbling the ball above the key in a tie game, darted past NU defenders Brandon Richardson and Jorge Brian Diaz for an uncontested layup with 3.4 seconds left to give the Demon Deacons a 55-53 win.

Yoshi Hardrick rose slowly from the field, favoring his ankle. The senior left tackle didn't want to miss one play in Nebraska's 20-7 win over Iowa, but this injury seemed as bad as the one he had during a 28-25 loss to Northwestern, when coaches had no choice but to sit him. As he limped to the bench, Hardrick's old Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College teammates — linebacker Lavonte David and wide receiver Brandon Kinnie — met him on the field.

Creighton has trampled its first five opponents, winning by an average of more than 24 points while scoring almost 90 points a game. Those numbers put a smile on Greg McDermott's face. At the same time, they leave the Creighton coach a bit apprehensive should Wednesday night's game at San Diego State go down to the wire. The Bluejays' closest call was a 10-point victory at Alabama-Birmingham on Nov. 16.

Not having the need to prepare for a Big Ten championship game has at least one benefit for the Nebraska football coaching staff. It now has this week to commit fully to recruiting. "You try to make the best out of whatever situation you're in," said NU assistant coach John Papuchis, the Huskers' recruiting coordinator. "If you're in a championship game, you're getting the national television exposure and also get to hang your hat on the fact that you're in that game. If you're not, you've got to make the most out of the week."
You'll feel that pang of loss this week, Nebraska fan, that comes with watching Michigan State, not NU, prepare for a Wisconsin rematch in the Big Ten championship. Don't worry. It'll fade. By the second quarter of Saturday's game, perhaps, when the Badgers take a 14-point lead on the Spartans and you figure out that it might have been pretty ugly if the Huskers were in Indianapolis.

For most college women, the prospect of a trip to Hawaii at the start of a Midwestern winter would elicit ear-to-ear grins. But when the Nebraska volleyball team heard the news as the NCAA tournament brackets were unveiled Sunday, the reaction was decidedly subdued.

Fans of both teams enjoy the start of a Thanksgiving rivalry --- and the chance to trash-talk new friends.

When Nebraska distributed game balls after Friday's 20-7 drilling of Iowa, I hope the honorees included Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz. "Careful Kirk'' gave Husker fans unfamiliar with his work a full-blown tutorial on his playing-not-to-lose theory. In turn, he gave Nebraska, which played close to its best all-around game of the season, little to worry about. And it showed how Iowa has finished the past two regular seasons with the plain-label records of 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten.

There's one constant in the five-year career of Nebraska senior safety Austin Cassidy. Change. "Three different position coaches, two head coaches, two defensive coordinators, two athletic directors, two different conferences," Cassidy said Monday. "Not much is the same around here." Bill Callahan to Bo Pelini. Big 12 to Big Ten. Scout scrub to two-year starter. Cassidy — like several other fifth-year walk-ons among 21 NU seniors — has charted the journey from a guy just wanting a chance to a full-ride scholarship.

Ndamukong Suh hosted a party Sunday afternoon. About 50 people — half from Nebraska — crammed into suites 612 and 613 at immaculate Ford Field. Suh couldn't make it. He was working. His guests mingled. Had a few beers. Munched on dip. Watched the Lions fall behind Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers 24-7 in the second quarter.

Community Event Opportunity December 17 - Alameda Food Bank 1/2 Day Event

Local alumni of Penn State here in the Bay Area have asked us if we would like to join forces for a 1/2 day at the Alameda Food Bank on December 17.  This would be a great time to give back and meet our local Big Ten friends from Penn State.  Please send me an email ASAP if you plan to attend to

Night Of Legends

Capital Christian School (CCS) will proudly host the First Annual "Night of Legends" at the CCS Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 25, 2012. Night of Legends will feature a well-known College Hall of Fame Football Coach (**Tom Osborne); who served our country in Congress. This event is for adults only (21 years and older). No childcare available.

Event Schedule:
7pm – Seated Dinner
7:45pm – Motivational Speech with Q&A
8:25pm – Closing Comments
**(The school was given limitations on pre-event advertising of Coach Osborne’s likeness and name, so you won’t see him mentioned by name at the website for the event.)

The event coordinator has offered our membership a $40.00 individual alumni rate. That rate must be processed through his office (contact info below); or a $10.00 rebate would be given to alumni guests the night of the event.  Say you are with the Bay Area Huskers Alumni Chapter.

Look forward to hearing from your membership soon,
Scott Wasdin
(916) 856-5611 Ext 1775

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.

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