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  1. 2009 Jul 24

    Ignoring the Naysayers


    By SMcKewon

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    With the recent release of the 2010 Big 12 men’s basketball schedule and its attendant TV slate, one thing becomes pretty obvious:

    The league, and ESPN, sure doesn’t think much of Nebraska’s chances.

    For now, NU will only appear, it seems, on national TV three times before the Big 12 Tournament. One game – that matchup vs. USC in the Big 12/Pac 10 Challenge - may show up on Fox Sports Network. Otherwise, Doc Sadler’s hustlin’ Huskers just aren’t going to get much exposure beyond Big 12 country.

    That reflects expectations for the team, which, with nine new scholarship players, probably isn’t that high.

    While it’s good to fly under an opponents’ radar, league coaches know too much about Sadler’s coaching skills to take the Huskers lightly. Potentially great wins – unless it’s over Kansas in the first Big 12 home date – might be lost on a national audience.

    Which is too bad, because Sadler finally has some size to work with in 2009-2010, and although no one else much expects it in the tough Big 12 – the best four teams on paper (KU, Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State) could all begin the preseason inside the national top 15 – Nebraska intends to make a run at the NCAA Tournament.

    We know this much: The non-conference slate is enough of an upgrade over last year (and especially two years ago) that a 8-8 and 7-9 in the second-best – or maybe the best – college basketball league in America might be enough for a tourney bid.

    Tags: doc sadler, mens basketball

  2. 2009 May 13

    Do Bigger Athletic Budgets = Winning?


    By SMcKewon

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    That always seems to be prevailing notion, right? The Joneses are the ones always winning the national titles, and athletic departments either keep up, or drop out.

    If you ain't spendin cash, you out the dash, yo. Or something like that.

    Around the nation, athletic departments are up to their gills in fundraising campaigns. Heck, Nebraska, too. NU just finished the fundraising portion for the Student Life/Academic Complex, and has a fat lead gift on a new basketball practice facility.

    And most fundraising projects don't include the meteoric rise in coaches' salaries.

    So, then, does it work? Is there a direct correlation?

    The Knight Commission says no.

    Now, of course, we've got the pudding proof that teams like Ohio State, USC, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU and others have huge athletic budgets. Those programs are absolutely spending. And winning.

    But those programs have also been winning for a half-century. The tradition was established long before the crucial Supreme Court decision in the mid 1980s that opened up college football conferences to negotiate their own TV contracts, which in turn flooded athletic departments with millions of dollars to spend on salaries, staff and facilties.

    What about programs without that tradition? Has Iowa State's athletic complex fixed anything in Ames? That's what the Knight Commission is addressing.
  3. 2009 Apr 15

    Trivia 4/15


    By SMcKewon

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    Which former Nebraska coach went on to help establish the 12th Man tradition at Texas A&M?

    A. Bob Devaney
    B. Bill Jennings
    C. Tad Hatch
    D. Dana X. Bible
    E. Andrew P. Javady

    Tags: trivia

  4. 2009 Apr 15

    Fan Photo of the Day 4/15


    By SMcKewon

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    This comes from the locker of InvictvsRed and his photo album The Family. Enjoy!

    Post your own photos today!

    Tags: fan photo of the day

  5. 2009 Apr 15

    Football 202 set for summer session


    By SMcKewon

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    Nebraska's football program is bringing back Football 202 - an advanced course in NU practice and game strategy - for a second straight season.
    The date: July 31

    The cost: $274

    The special guests: Tommie Frazier, Milt Tenopir, Charlie McBride and Dan Young

    The place to enroll: Right here

    Tags: bo pelini, football 202

  6. 2009 Apr 13

    Quote of the Day, 4/13


    By SMcKewon

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    Here at Husker Locker, we're introducing a new daily staple: Husker Quote of the Day!

    It's here that we'll highlight some famous - and some not-so-famous - quotes from Nebraska football players, coaches and fans, some of whom are pretty well known in their own right.

    The quotes will typically deal with Nebraska athletics - although not every single one of them. Enjoy and if you've got a quote of your own to share...please do so!

    Here's today's quote:

    “Rarely do you have everything come together, a good supporting class and that key quarterback there for three years. Anytime you break in a quarterback, no matter, how talented it's hard to go out and win every game.”

    -Former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne

    Tags: quote of the day

  7. 2009 Apr 13

    Trivia 4/13


    By SMcKewon

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    Here's today's question! Enjoy!

    Prior to Mike McNeiil doing it in 2008, who was the last Nebraska tight end to catch 30 passes in a season?

    A. Tracey Wistrom
    B. Sheldon Jackson
    C. Johnny Mitchell
    D. Junior Miller
    E. McNeill is the first

    Tags: daily trivia

  8. 2009 Apr 13

    Fan Photo of the Day, 4/13


    By SMcKewon

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    This cornhead photo comes from the locker of CoeKohawk and his photo album "Gator Bowl 2009" Enjoy!

    Upload your photos today!

    Tags: fan photo of the day

  9. 2009 Apr 09

    BASEBALL: After Disaster, A Two-Day Shot at Redemption


    By SMcKewon

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    You're not going to find a bigger three-game series in the head coaching career of Mike Anderson.

    Three days after getting embarrassed 15-0 by rival Creighton on statewide televsion - lowlighted by an eight-run eighth inning filled with pitching miscues - Nebraska's baseball team hosts No. 9 Texas. In most years, the Cornhuskers haved owned the Longhorns, winning seven of the last ten series.

    But this isn't most years.

    Nebraska stands at 16-15-1, its young pitching reeling from ugly performances that date back two weeks to a pair of home games with Northern Colorado. The Huskers are in the cellar of the Big 12 at 4-8.

    Texas, meanwhile, is in a logjam right in the middle of the Big 12 pack at 6-6, badly needing a sweep to keep pace with hot-hitting Oklahoma. The Longhorns have the Big 12's best pitching staff (a stellar 2.18 team ERA) and defense (.981 fielding percentage). While UT is the league's worst hitting team (last in home runs, walks and doubles, second-to-last in batting average) NU's young, wild pitchers have a way of waking up opponents.

    Now that Thursday's game has been postponed by rainy, cold weather, a lot of intrigue gets packed into a Friday twinbill.

    The heat is on Anderson. Should it be? We offered our own perspective on that matter last Tuesday. NU's season has taken a sharp turn for the worse since then - five straight losses - but it's not a lost campaign.

    A win over Texas - and maybe two - would certainly keep the dogs at bay, though.

    Tags: mike anderson, baseball

  10. 2009 Apr 07

    We've got a winner!


    By SMcKewon

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    In our NCAA Tournament pool!

    The winner is, well, OK, me. Lucky break, I guess.

    But since I'm ineligible to win the first prize of our Nebraska v. Clemson Gator Bowl DVD, courtesy of Best of Big Red, the prize goes to second place: BlackSheep! He finished second by wisely selecting, like me, North Carolina as the national champion! Good on him and thanks to everyone for participating! Another Final Four in the books!

    Tags: tournament pool, black sheep

  11. 2009 Apr 07

    TRACK AND FIELD: Congrats to Lukas Hulett...


    By SMcKewon

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    He wins Big 12 Male Athlete of the week for his excellent performance at the Jim Click Shootout Tucson, Ariz. last weekend.

    Hulett won the 200-meter and 400-meter sprint, and ran the third leg of Nebraska's winning 4x100-meter relay.

    A tip of the cap to the old mate from Bellevue!

    Tags: track and field, lukas hulett

  12. 2009 Apr 07

    Trivia, 4/7


    By SMcKewon

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    Hey Husker fans...here's today fan trivia! Enjoy!

    Former Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez spoke at NU's recent coaches clinic last week, as did former Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick. Where they did serve as defensive coordinators prior to become head coaches?

    A. Harvard/Yale
    C. Notre Dame/Florida State
    D. Notre Dame/Miami
    E. Miami/Georgia

    Tags: daily trivia

  13. 2009 Apr 07

    Fan Photo of the Day, 4/7


    By SMcKewon

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    This comes from the locker of DennyO, who took this photo before the Nebraska/USC game.

    Upload your own photos today!

    Tags: fan photo of the day

  14. 2009 Apr 06

    A Git R Done 4th of July


    By SMcKewon

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    Dressed in his usual attire – a Nebraska football hooded sweatshirt and camouflage block “N” hat – comedian and NU booster Larry The Cable Guy announced he would holding a comedy concert on the Fourth of July in Memorial Stadium.

    Larry, whose real name is Dan Whitney, attended Pawnee City High School, owns a suite in North Stadium and is a frequent visitor at Nebraska football games and practices.

    “This is gonna be a lot of fun,” he said. “When I was kid, growing up, all I did was listen to Nebraska football in the town square…just to be able to perform in the stadium I grew up listening to all my heroes is a dream come true.”

    The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 4. Tickets will cost $4 – with a $2 handling fee - and can only be ordered online at www.huskers.com starting at 8 a.m. April 7. Initially, tickets will be available to NU season ticket holders April 7-9. After that, tickets will be available to the general public. The limit per household is eight tickets.

    Whitney said the concert will be taped by Comedy Central and aired at a later date. He said it would be the first time a single American comedian has performed a stadium concert.

    “I’ve already thrown up four times,” he joked.

    Paul Meyers, Nebraska Associate Athletic Director for Development, said NU hopes to sell 50,000 tickets.

    “The way the stage is set up on the field only allows us for 50,000,” Meyer said.

    Whitney doesn’t intend to tone down his act much, as most of his jokes, he said, are written to be performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

    “I would consider it very seventh grade, juvenile stupid,” he said.

    The last event of this scale staged at Memorial Stadium was Farm Aid in 1987.

    “I guarantee you I’ll be a lot funnier than Willie Nelson,” Whitney said.

    NU athletic director Tom Osborne called the event “a one-time exception” hosted by the athletic department.
  15. 2009 Apr 01

    BASEBALL: Shocker Home Cookin?


    By SMcKewon

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    Nebraska's pitching woes continued Tuesday night at Wichita State - and Shockers benefited from a key overturned call late in the game - as WSU pulled out a 9-7 win.

    NU closer Mike Nesseth gave up a two-out, two-run single to WSU's Clinton McKeever in the botton of the eighth inning for the final margin. That was after home plate umpire Terry Harrison overturned a foul ball call against Tyler Grimes and awarded him first base. The Shockers' inning stayed alive.

    "Obviously, I am disappointed in the changed call,” NU coach Mike Anderson said.

    The Huskers (16-11-1) and Wichita State (14-10) had battled back and forth throughout the game, trading big blows in the first two innings especially.

    NU took a 2-0 in the top of the first before WSU pummeled starter Joe Broekemeier for four runs in the bottom of the frame before Broekemeier was even able to register an out. He threw only 19 pitches. The Shockers added another run in the first after Brokemeier was pulled.

    But Nebraska tied the game in the bottom of the second with the help two home runs from Jed Hanson and Jake Mort.


    Tags: baseball

  16. 2009 Mar 31

    A Little Perspective on the Boys Over at Haymarket...


    By SMcKewon

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    We've received a little grumbling from Husker baseball fans in the last week over the performance of Mike Anderson's crew - especially a midweek loss to Northern Colorado and the ten-run humdinger Monday afternoon/evening at Oklahoma.

    The general tone of these missives "Is Mike Anderson losing his touch?"

    Some food for thought here.

    In the last two weeks, Nebraska has faced three of the nation's top 20 programs according to Baseball America or the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Arkansas. Eight games, five on the road, and three at OU played in conditions that heavily favor a home team that knows how to hit a ball up into the wind better than the opponent.

    In those eight games, NU is 4-4. That's .500 baseball against teams with more experience, better pitching and a slight home field advantage over that small sampling size.

    Given how young the Huskers' baseball team is - a collection pitchers barely old enough to shave coupled with a potent offense that's still learning how to hit at a collegiate level - are those grumblers suggesting they wouldn't take a mark like that? Arkansas, for one, swept Auburn and Florida and took two from Mississippi State. Oklahoma State split with Cal State Fullerton, generally considered the nation's best team.

    Nebraska also still adjusting to moving its ace, Mike Nesseth, to closer, where, it must be said, NU has to be in position to win before he can make an impact. And in two games vs. OU, Nesseth never got the call, because Nebraska was so far behind. Anderson isn't really making a gamble moving Nesseth to the bullpen - he's one of the nation's best throwers of heat - but the Huskers' starters - other than Jordan Roudales - maybe have missed a beat.

    But when you're playing NU's schedule, which includes three-game series against ranked foes like Texas A&M, Texas and Baylor and a two-game series vs. New Mexico - .500 baseball (well, slightly better than that) gets you comfortably in the NCAA Tournament. Maybe 33 wins doesn't sound that sexy to some NU fans. But, for a team this young and still learning, it'd be a snazzy achievement.

    Tags: baseball, mike anderson, mike nesseth

  17. 2009 Mar 31

    BASEBALL: OU Homers Punch Out Huskers


    By SMcKewon

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    Nebraska's pitching staff experienced another rough day in the gusty conditions of Oklahoma's Dale Mitchell Park, and NU's offense couldn't match the No. 11 Sooners' huge output.

    The Cornhuskers surrendered 15 hits, 7 walks and 7 wind-aided home runs in a 16-6, eight-inning loss to OU Monday. Oklahoma (23-6 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12 Conference) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with the help of a two-run homer and never looked back, winning the rubber match of the series.

    Sean Yost took the loss, giving up five runs in 2 1/3 innings. The Huskers used six pitchers in all.

    “We didn’t do a good job of locating our pitches,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “We had pitches that were designed to be outside into the wind and instead they were inside and went for two and three-run homers. You can’t make those mistakes in conditions like that.”

    NU (16-10-1 and 4-5) notched 12 hits of its own, but left six runners on base. OU turned four double plays and pitcher J.R. Robinson worked his way of out several tight spots, Anderson said, with timely pitching.

    “You have to give their guy some credit,” Anderson said. “He did a good job of pitching to the wind and keeping us off balance. We had a number of hits, but we didn’t capitalize on them.”

    The Sooners opened up a 14-2 lead with the help of two Aaron Baker home runs until Nebraska rallied with four runs in the seventh. Boomer Collins drove in two alone with a single.

    OU added two final runs in the eighth, however, to seal the win.

    Nebraska gets no break, heading to Wichita State tonight for a 7 p.m. game. It's going to be on TV in Omaha, if you have Cox Digital Cable, Channel 122. The Shockers, 13-10, have been playing better as of late, taking 2 of 3 from both Pepperdine and Long Beach State.

    Tags: baseball, boomer collins

  18. 2009 Mar 31

    MBB: Finally, a Power Forward


    By SMcKewon

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    If the reports from a teammate are correct, Nebraska's basketball team has at last landed a big interior body with rebounding skills at the top of his resume.

    According to the Lincoln Journal-Star's story on the recruitment of Lance Jeter, a 6-3 point guard from Polk (Fla.) Community College, Jeter's teammate, 6-7 forward Quincy Hankins, has committed to NU.

    Good news, considering another Nebraska recruit, forward Anthony Harris, left Northeastern Junior College in Colorado to play professional basketball overseas. It wasn't clear whether Harris, a 6-7, 235-pounder, was in position to academically qualify anyway, although his JUCO coach said he was on track.

    Hankins, at 6-8, 240 pounds, averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds for Polk, which finished 26-6 and won the Suncoast Conference Championship. He was recruited by, among other schools, Seton Hall, South Carolina and Hofstra. In the Big 12 Oklahoma showed some interest.

    Hankins hails from Roosevelt, N.Y., which is on Long Island. The best-known basketball player from the Roosevelt area is Julius Erving.

    The most recent Polk player to attend NU was Marcus Neal, who averaged 5.3 points per game for the Huskers in 2004, and 8.6 points per game in 2005.

    Tags: mens basketball, quincy hankins

  19. 2009 Mar 30

    More Great Deals for Locker Pass Members!


    By SMcKewon

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    We wanted to give the Big Red contingency a heads up about our awesome Locker Pass. Not only do you get exclusive insight, photos and scoops with the Locker Pass, but we’ve got a ton of terrific deals In Kearney alone that we think you might love taking advantage of.

    We signed up Grandpa’s Steakhouse, and, with a Locker Pass, you get 25% off your entire ticket every time you stop in! Even if that’s only a couple times a year, what a deal!

    At Hogan’s Sporting Goods, we’re offering 10% off any item in the store.

    At Thunderhead Brewing Company, we’re offering Happy Hour prices on everything, all the time! Pretty sweet!

    At Bico’s Bar and Grill, we’ve got a whole slew of specials, including half-price dinner entrees and 10% off your entire ticket!

    At Fanatics, we’re offering a free appetizer with the purchase of a pizza!

    For the ladies, we’re offering 20% off any retail product at Bang Salon and Spa!

    And if you’re a bike lover, we’ve got a great tune-up deal with the Bike Shed!

    You get all those discounts - and way more! - with a Locker Pass, so you can see…it’s worth it!

    So take a closer look at our Husker Locker Pass…you’re going to love the discounts – and the content!
  20. 2009 Mar 30

    NU Ballclubs Earn Split


    By SMcKewon

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    Cold spring weather - in Nebraska and Oklahoma - forced the NU softball and baseball teams to two games into Sunday. Both squads earn splits: The Huskers' baseball team finished 1-1 in a couple of slugfests with No. 11 Oklahoma, while the softball crew did the same at home vs. Oklahoma State.

    In baseball, NU (16-9-1 overall and 4-4 in the Big 12 Conference) lost 12-9 to OU, then beat the Sooners 11-9 in a lengthy nightcap. Over two games, the teams combined for 12 home runs in windy conditions that blew fly balls out of left field.

    Nebraska hit five of them, and Jeff Tezak hit his two in the first game. But OU (22-6 and 3-2) spanked NU started Casey Hauptman for nine runs in seven innings in staking a 9-3 lead. The Huskers staged a furious rally in the ninth, with Tezak's second home run bringing the game to within three runs. But OU closer Ryan Duke finished out the contest.

    NU turned the tables in the nightcap, jumping out to a 10-5 lead with big fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Nebraska benefited from back-to-back homers by Cody Ashce and Jed Hanson - who just burned his redshirt last Monday. In the fifth, Asche struck again with double, while Tyler Farst and Nick Sullivan added their own big hits.

    Jordan Roualdes (4-1) got the win by controlling OU's hitters through five innings. Mike Nesseth, now Nebraska's ace closer, got a key strikeout in the ninth, ending the Sooners' based-loaded rally.

    The Huskers now play at OU Monday at 3 p.m. No time off after that, either, as they travel to play a young Wichita State team Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

    In softball, Nebraska handed Oklahoma State its first Big 12 loss of the season with a dramatic 6-3 win in the first game at Haymarket Park Sunday. NU used its dramatically improved offense again in the bottom of sixth, as Julie Brechtel hit her third home run of the year to tie the game at 3. Then Meghan Mullin hit a two-out, two-run single to give NU (25-7 and 2-2) a 5-3 pad. Darcy Rutherford's hit then scored Mullin.

    Senior Molly Hill earned her 15th win of the season. For the game Nebraska had nine hits.

    In the nightcap, OSU (26-8) shut down the Huskers in a 2-0 win. True freshman Ashley Hagemann got tabbed with the loss, although Hill gave up the hit that scored the winning run.

    Next up: Creighton, at home.

    Tags: baseball, softball

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