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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