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Posts of category  "Nebraska football"

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What is Dispatches from Blogfrica? Pretty simple: I ask questions of a blogger for an opposing team; he (or she) answers. A truly revolutionary idea, no? Today: Salt Creek and Stadium from Corn Nation, the finest Nebraska blog around.

1) So, uh, who’s left at quarterback for Nebraska?  Are you guys going to be pulling Bubba Starling out of minor league baseball?  Trying to wring some more eligibility out of Scott Frost? Give us the lowdown on the quarterback position for Nebraska on Friday. 

SCaS: Following Saban’s lead, we dug through the rule book and found an old rule that allows you to bring back players with expired eligibility as long as they aren’t playing the position they played. Since most of our great players are getting on in years, we brought back Taylor Martinez as a safety, but he’ll be taking some snaps at wildcat.

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Nebraska football coach Mike Riley has invited Brenda Tracy to Lincoln, Neb. for an unprecedented visit on Wednesday. Tracy is the survivor of an alleged gang-rape by four college football players in 1998. She’ll meet with Riley one-on-one for the first time since the incident and address his Huskers football team in a private meeting.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines will feature Tracy on Monday’s program. But before that, Tracy wanted to share her thoughts with our readers.

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For the first time since December 2014, discount the Nebraska Cornhuskers are ranked in a major poll.

The Huskers have been ranked 20th by the Amway Coaches Poll on Sunday after their 35-32 victory over the Oregon Ducks. This marks the first time that Nebraska has been ranked in a Top 25 poll since Mike Riley took over the program.

This is also the first time the Huskers have been ranked since December 2014, when they were ranked 25th and took on USC in the Holiday Bowl, the first game after the dismissal of Bo Pelini as head coach. The Huskers lost to the Trojans 45-42 in that game, where the Trojans themselves were ranked 25th.

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The power of today’s young people has never been expressed better than Nebraska linebacker Michael Rose Ivey did on Monday. Ivey, and teammates DaiShon Neal and Mohamed Barry kneeled during the playing of the national anthem before the start of Saturday’s game against Northwestern University. As you can imagine, the backlash has been incredible.

They have received death threats, a litany of racists messages and one Regent members wants them kicked out of school, simply for expressing their freedom of speech.

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Nebraska football never deviated from their scarlet, there white and cream simplicity for decades, but they have begun experimenting with different uniform designs and colors over the last few years. And that will continue in 2016.

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The Cornhuskers can expect a tougher test from Wyoming than they received on opening weekend against Fresno State
Wyoming and Nebraska both got their seasons started off on high notes during opening weekend — albeit in extremely differing fashion. The Cowboys came out on top of an overtime thriller against Northern Illinois, sealing the deal with an incredible quarterback scramble that got plenty of highlight-run nationally.

The Huskers plodded through what was largely a yawner against Fresno State. An obviously conservative Nebraska offensive game plan kept the contest close in the first half, but you never felt like Mike Riley’s bunch was in any real danger. Both teams still have plenty to work on, and each will serve as a measuring stick of sorts for the other in terms of where they are and where they need to be.

Wyoming at Nebraska

Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. ET T
V Channel: ESPN2
Spread: Nebraska -24.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Wyoming running back Brian Hill vs. the Nebraska Front Seven Fresno State didn’t have the horsepower to attack Nebraska up the gut with the run game. As a result, the Blackshirt defensive line and linebacker units went largely untested. Wyoming’s running game — powered by Hill, a future NFL draft pick — is a completely different animal. Cowboy head coach Craig Bohl likes his teams to be physical on the ground — dating back to when he was winning FCS national titles at North Dakota State. Hill is the textbook definition of a workhorse, and he’ll be the perfect tune-up for what Nebraska is going to face throughout the rest of the season. We’ll learn a lot about the Nebraska defense as a result of this matchup.

2. Will Nebraska take shots early? All offseason, Husker Nation clamored for more running and less passing. Last weekend, they got exactly that, and the end result was Fresno State hanging around perhaps a little longer than they should have. As much as the good folks from the Cornhusker state admire a solid rushing attack, the strength of this team is its wide receivers and tight ends. They caught a grand total of five passes last weekend. Look for Riley to have Tommy Armstrong firing more shots down the field early in an effort to do what they should have done last weekend — put the game away by halftime. Nebraska doesn’t want to trade clouds of dust with a Bohl-coached team.

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Nebraska close to contending(Photo: Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports)

When Steve Pederson fired Nebraska head coach Frank Solich back in 2003, after winning nine games that year prior to the Alamo Bowl being played (which the Huskers naturally won for No. 10), the athletic director said he thought the program was slipping into mediocrity.

I guess it was if you call three Top10 finishes and two more Top25 teams in six years mediocre.

For the team of the 1990s, which included three undefeated seasons and three National Champions it obviously wasn’t good enough at the time and Solich was let go.

There’s been a whole of mediocrity since then.

Frustration too.

The Huskers haven’t finished in the Top10 since 2001.

But with Mike Riley there’s hope again. He replaced another nine-win coach that was fired and heads into his second year at Nebraska this fall with a program that could be close to turning that long ago but still very familiar corner. The roster looks close to making a run in competing for a Big Ten West crown and ultimately a College Football Playoff spot.

That’s all more than likely a year away but I can see the development.

In year one under Riley and the new regime Nebraska showed flashes last fall but struggled finishing. There were the exciting wins over Michigan State and UCLA, but there were also the blown leads and or devastating four-quarters against BYU, Miami, Illinois, Wisconsin and Northwestern that still sting.

Perhaps the Huskers will win 10 this season and be in the discussion to win the Big Ten West come this November, but the schedule is a challenge with road dates at Northwestern, at Wisconsin, at Ohio State and at Iowa awaiting. Despite having talent across the board, all their toughest conference games are played away from Memorial Stadium and 8-4 looks more likely.

So next year, that could be the special year.

Through player development, recruiting and transfers, Nebraska’s roster is beginning to look like a real competitor. Riley inherited what Pederson would still call a mediocre program from Bo Pelini. I’d call it stable. Pelini was in Lincoln for seven years, won nine four times and 10 the other three. Last year was a setback but Nebraska is now building for a run.

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The greatest streak in the history of sports? The amazing story of the Nebraska Cornhuskers
Flashback to November 3, 1962: The Nebraska Cornhuskers team took on the Missouri Tigers in a Big-8 Conference game of NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) University football. The Huskers (as they are popularly called), who were the home team in the game played at the Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, went on to lose the game 7-16 to the visitors (after being level 7-7 at halftime). That ended their unbeaten run in the Conference season, but no one at the home ground of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln would have imagined that the game would mark the beginning of a remarkable and fascinating streak which would go on for more than half a century (and is still going strong!).

That 1962 game saw an attendance of a then full capacity crowd of 38 thousand, and it started a staggering run of consecutive sellout matches at the Memorial Stadium. The streak has now gone on for 347 games over an absolutely astonishing period of 54 years and is still going strong, with the Huskers team and fans taking great pride in it and proactively ensuring that they continue to keep raising the record higher.

The greatest streak in the history of sports? The amazing story of the Nebraska CornhuskersFans supporting the Nebraska Huskers at the Memorial Stadium, Lincoln

It is quite incredible that the feat has been achieved in College Football (NCAA football), which can’t come close to rivaling the global popularity of sports like football (soccer, as it’s known in the United States of America) nor does it have the mass appeal of cricket – which is almost considered as a religion in the world’s second most populous country, India. Heck, NCAA is not even the professional league of the sport in the United States –that mantle belongs to the NFL (National Football League).

While the NFL boasts of a professional set-up with contracted players of the very highest level, NCAA football has an amazingly strong following too, with the games being considered an integral part of college life. This concept may seem a bit alien for a country like India, where college sports severely lag behind the professional leagues like Indian Premier League (cricket) and Indian Super League/I-League (football) in terms of fan following, and only a handful number of spectators are seen at college games (and also the prestigious Ranji Trophy cricket games). However, the NCAA football games are a matter of prestige for the college students and alumni alike, who flock to the college grounds to attend the matches in large numbers and cheer for their team.

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska honored fallen former punter Sam Foltz in the first quarter of its season-opening 43-10 win Saturday at Memorial Stadium by lining up in formation without a player at his position.

The Cornhuskers, in a scoreless tie with Fresno State, took a delay-of-game penalty on their first possession after just 10 players took the field to punt from their own 32-yard line with 13:30 on the clock.

The sellout crowd of more than 90,000 responded with a roar as Foltz’s family looked on minutes after an emotional pregame ceremony.

“It was an incredible feeling,” Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. said, “knowing how much he meant not only to us, but to the community and the fans out there.”

Fresno State declined the penalty before freshman Caleb Lightbourn delivered a 29-yard punt.
Nebraska honors late teammate Sam Foltz, lines up without punterNebraska took a delay-of-game penalty on its first possession, when just 10 players took the field as a tribute to former punter Sam Foltz, who was killed in a car crash in July. AP Photo/Eric Olson

Foltz, a 22-year-old senior named in 2015 as the Eddleman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year, died July 23 in a car crash in rural Wisconsin after attending a kicking camp. Former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler also was killed. LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye survived the accident.

Several hundred people attended Foltz’s July 29 funeral in Grand Island, Nebraska, and his legacy continues to grow. A former walk-on, Foltz was known for his dedication to community service and academics.

A sign with Foltz’s last name and No. 27 jersey hung Saturday at field level from the student section in the southeast corner of the stadium. Another sign in the stadium Saturday read “A Season for Sam.”

 

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Kyle Kasun living his dream as a walk-on at NebraskaKyle Kasun had his Rudy moment when he was lifted up on his teammates’ shoulders after a game-saving interception during the spring game. “It’s not like that anymore,” Kasun said recently. But that’s OK. He’s living his dream by being on the Huskers. Courtesy of Nebraska athletics department

LINCOLN, Neb. — Kyle Kasun gave up on football before he got to school last year at Nebraska.

A solid high school defensive back and receiver from Papillion, Nebraska, he turned down an invitation to walk on at South Dakota State and embraced life as a student in Lincoln. Kasun joined a fraternity. He reveled over his luck in scoring a roommate-free dorm room at Neihardt Hall.

He sat in the student section as the Cornhuskers played, though he did not often stay for the whole game.

When he made it to the end of the fourth quarter, Nebraska lost in the final seconds to Brigham Young and Wisconsin. He found it difficult to watch — and not in the same way as most of the 90,000-some fans at Memorial Stadium.

“It made me miss it even more,” Kasun said.

He thought he could help. He wanted to help.

Last Saturday night, Kasun again stayed until the end. He stood on the east sideline in full uniform after 10:30 p.m. as the first wave of Huskers filed toward their locker room under the north end zone seats in the wake of Nebraska’s 43-10 win over Fresno State.

Not bad for a 5-foot-11, 185-pound cornerback who made the team at an open tryout in March, halfway through spring practice.

Kasun did not play Saturday. He likely won’t see the field this week when the Huskers host Wyoming, or Sept. 17 when Oregon visits.

 

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