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  1. 2011 May 21

    Crick for Heisman?


    By thehooch36

    Nebraska sits 100-plus days from the season opener versus UT-Chattanooga on Saturday, September 3.

    The Cornhuskers are also one month removed from the Spring Game in which senior defensive tackle Jared Crick did not participate. The reasoning is understood. Why aggravate a slight injury to the anchor of the D-Line. Pundits such as ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit didn’t let that detract them from tossing around the idea that “Jared Crick could be Ndamukong Suh-like this year” as he did on May 11, 2011’s episode of ESPN College Football Live.

    Of course Crick “could” have a similar senior season to Suh. That word leaves the end result open to any potential outcome for Crick, but let’s say that he does put up similar numbers to Suh in 2011. It's a possibility, at least. In his sophomore and junior seasons, Suh combined for 110 tackles (59 solo), eight sacks, and two interceptions. Nebraska fans often include the statistic of “Buffalo quarterbacks ran over” - one.

    In his senior campaign, Suh had 82 tackles (47 solo), 12 sacks, and one pick. In his two previous seasons as a Cornhusker, Crick tallied 140 tackles (64 solo) and 18.5 sacks. It would be easy to say that his success as a sophomore was because opposing offensive lines were keying on Suh, but Jared had the same amount of tackles in 2010 and even more solo stops than the year before.

    He totaled two sacks versus Oklahoma in the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game. That could bode very well for the senior from Cozad as he prepares to take on the bigger offensive lines of the Big Ten. Interestingly enough, the mascot for Cozad High is “the Haymakers”. How fitting as Crick can deliver that knock-out punch.

    The key for Crick’s success will be who steps up and produces at the other defensive tackle spot to keep the opposing offensive linemen honest and not let them double or triple-team him. Conventional wisdom and history would lead us to believe that Baker Steinkuhler will be the Blackshirt lining up next to Jared.

    The two look to continue the inside domination that has recently spoke volumes of Bo and Carl Pelini's defense. However, Terrence Moore has made the most of his opportunities and could be in for about 35 percent of the plays. Depending on who is producing more when it matters, that percentage could change.

    If Jared Crick can increase his production as he has the past two seasons, maybe pick up a few more tackles and increase his sacks by a small amount, shouldn’t he be a legitimate contender for the Heisman Trophy?

    Better yet, shouldn’t he pack a bag for New York much like his running buddy did only a couple of years ago?

    Greg Mehochko
    Twitter: @thehooch36

    Tags: huskers, nebraska, blackshirts, jared crick, ndamukong suh, heisman, big ten, ncaa, football, defensive tackle, bo pelini, carl pelini, baker steinkuhler, terrence moore, cozad haymakers, oklahoma sooners, espn, kirk herbstreit

  2. 2010 Oct 25

    Martinez shines in 51-41 thriller, but vaunted Husker D' gives NU fans some grey hairs and Missouri awaits


    By sportsvoice

    Nebraska Cornhusker fans have been hearing about freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez's throwing ability since before the season. But until Saturday they hadn't really had a chance to see it.

    That's because Martinez hadn't needed to use his arm in most games due to his blazing foot speed, and when he did need to throw he looked raw and his receivers looked incompetent. For all of T-Mart's ultra successful ground game, it looked like his aptitude in the aerial attack was little more than speculation.

    Well, there's no more need for speculation. Not after Martinez detonated his explosive arm all over the hapless Oklahoma State secondary, brutalizing their defensive backfield for 5 touchdowns, 323 yds. and no picks while completing 25 passes in 35 attempts.

    It was a good thing for the Huskers that his arm caught fire when it did. Saturday's 51-41 track meet may have been a one sided affair in the Pokes' favor had it not. The Cowboys torched a 'Skers defense that came into the game touted as one of the best in the country and left with their tails between their legs.

    The blackshirts looked almost as bad as Oklahoma State's sad squad, who came into the contest ranked 114th nationally against the pass. Not that the they can be faulted too much for that. Saturday was OSU wide reciever phenom Justin Blackmon's heisman coming out party. Coming into the game he led the nation in both touchdowns and receiving yards, and he didn't miss a step on Saturday.

    Many experts thought that an ordinarily stout blackshirt secondary might slow him down and rivals.com tagged the match up between him and Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara as the best wide receiver quarterback matchup of the year. That ended up being pretty anti-climactic, Blackmon caught more passes against Amukamara (5) than Amukamara had allowed in every game combined leading up to the showdown in Stillwater.

    Amukamara and the rest of the blackshirts better shore up that secondary in a hurry. They'll face Blaine Gabbert when the 7th-ranked Missouri Tigers come to town next week, and while the offense he leads might not be as potent as Oklahoma State's, it still packs a lot of punch. The Tiger's defense is an intimidating group. If Nebraska gives up 41 points again, it's hard to see how Taylor Martinez will be able to bail them out.

    Tags: taylor martinez passing stats, 5 touchdowns, osu wrapup, justin blackmon, blackshirts, heisman coming out party, prince amukamara, tmart, blaine gabbert, missouri, football, cornhuskers

  3. 2009 Apr 26

    Quote of the Day 4/27


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    “Don't cuss. Don't argue with the officials. And don't lose the game” -John Heisman

    John Heisman, for whom the Heisman Trophy was named, was a forceful defender of the soul of football. A pioneering coach, he also acted as the game’s conscience. John Heisman saw potential in the young game. Heisman advocated the forward pass in football. Without a forward pass, the game would probably have faded into oblivion.

    Heisman pushed to divide the game into quarters and created the center snap. The ball had previously been rolled on the ground. Heisman introduced the first vocal signals and the first audible at the line. He wanted fans to understand play-calling; he made it easier for them to follow the downs and yardage needed by erecting something else new at games: a scoreboard.

    Tags: bo pelini, john heisman, quote of the day, husker football

  4. 2009 Apr 25

    Quote of the Day 4/26


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    “I had pro offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, who were pretty hard up for linemen in those days. If I had gone into professional football the name Jerry Ford might have been a household word today.” –President Jerry Ford

    Born in Omaha, President Gerald Ford played center and linebacker and helped the Michigan Wolverines to undefeated seasons and national titles in 1932 and 1933.

    The following year, 1934, was not an outstanding year for Michigan football. Ford was quoted as saying, “During 25 years in the rough-and-tumble world of politics, I often thought of the experiences before, during, and after that game in 1934. Remembering them has helped me many times to face a tough situation, take action, and make every effort possible despite adverse odds.” His teammates later voted Ford their most valuable player.

    Tags: gerald ford, michigan football, heisman trophy, quote of the day

  5. 2009 Apr 19

    Quote of the Day 4/20


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    “Winning the Heisman is the same kind of fine line as aging,” Crouch said. “You get to a point where you appreciate it more and more as you get older. You appreciate the things that it has brought you and the knowledge that you’ve gained over the years. Just being a part of it every single year is an honor. It’s amazing how fast this has gone for me. It seems like yesterday when I was up there myself, but it’s been seven years almost to the day. It's gone by incredibly fast, and I wouldn’t take anything back for the world.” -Eric Crouch

    Eric Crouch was the 2001 Heisman Trophy Winner; also won the Davey O’Brien Award; Walter Camp Award; and, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. He was Nebraska’s all-time leader in total offense (7,915 yards). Couch had total TD’s of 88; rushing yards by a quaterback of 3,434 yards; rushing attempts by a quarterback of 648; longest run from scrimmage of 95 yds; and, 35 wins as a starter. One of three quarterbacks in NCAA history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in a career. NCAA record for most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (59).

    “I never thought anything like this would ever happen in my life,” Crouch said. “It’s been such a great experience."

    Tags: eric crouch, heisman trophy winner, quote of the day

  6. 2009 Apr 18

    Quote of the Day 4/19


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    “All my front line guys went first round, and they were all corn-fed, all from Nebraska. Back in the day, the line was from Nebraska, and the skill players were from Texas and New Jersey.” -Mike Rozier, 1983 Heisman Trophy Winner

    Mike Rozier had an outstanding collegiate football career, which included one of the greatest single-season rushing performances in NCAA history. Rozier led the nation in rushing in 1983 with 2,148 yards. He was the second player in NCAA history to break the 2,000 yard mark in a single-season.

    These performances won Mike Rozier the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and recognition as Walter Camp Player of the Year in 1983. He was a two-time First Team All-America selection 1982 and 1983. He set numerous NCAA single-season rushing records including yards per game (179.0) and rushing touchdowns (29).

    A two-time BIG-8 Offensive Player of the Year, Rozier was an All-Conference First Team Performer three times and led the Cornhuskers to a perfect 21-0 conference record and three titles. His career rushing record is 4,780 yards.

    Drafted second overall in the first round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, Rozier played eight seasons in the NFL with the Oilers and Atlanta Falcons.

    Tags: mike rozier, heisman trophy, national championships, quote of the day

  7. 2009 Apr 16

    Quote of the Day 4/17


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    “Our biggest claim to fame was that we made very few mistakes. In the Oklahoma - Nebraska Game Of The Century I think there was one penalty called in that whole game. That was an offsides penalty against one of our guys. Other than that we didn't have any mistakes. We played mental football as well as physical football and we played some serious physical football.

    Rich Glover, John Dutton, Larry Jacobson…Monte Johnson, you stack those puppies up and you get stuff done. You had any one of those guys I just named, Willie Harper, Spider Adkins, any one of those guys could play now. They could start for anybody just like they did then.

    And they knew the football game. They didn't just play football, they knew football.”
    -- Johnny Rodgers

    Johnny Rodgers played football in high school for Omaha Tech. He played three years at wingback at Nebraska, won three Big 8 Conference titles and was national champion in 1970 and 1971. Rodgers was all-conference three times, consensus All-America in 1971 and unanimous All-America in 1972. Also in 1972, he won the Heisman Trophy.

    He carried the ball 130 times and averaged 5.7 yards a try. He caught 143 passes and averaged a gain of 17.3 yards. He had 133 kick returns and averaged 17.8. When the stats are combined into a category called all-purpose running, they show 406 plays and an average of 13.8, a record.

    In 1971 Nebraska-Oklahoma Game of the Century the two teams were ranked 1 and 2. Oklahoma led 31-28 late in the game. Rodgers made a 72-yard punt return. Nebraska won 35-31. The Orange Bowl matched Alabama against Nebraska. Rodgers had a 77-yard punt return. Johnny Rodgers went on to play pro football with Montreal in the Canadian Football League 1973-76, and San Diego in the NFL 1977-78.

    Tags: johnny rodgers, heisman trophy, quote of the day

  8. 2009 Apr 15

    Quote of the Day, 4/16


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    John Heisman, (for whom the Heisman trophy is named) had a talent for a commanding locker-room oratory. Meeting new recruits, he would hold a football above his head and ask:

    “What is this?” He would then answer his own question, “It is a prolate spheroid in which the outer leather casing is drawn tightly over a somewhat smaller rubber tubing.” He would pause for what seemed an eternity, then instructed: “Better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.”

    Heisman was a forceful defender of the "soul" of football, and a tireless advocate of its potential. A pioneering coach, he also acted as the game’s conscience. Without John Heisman, there might not be a forward pass in football, and without a forward pass, the game would probably have faded into oblivion.

    Heisman pushed to divide the game into quarters and created the center snap. The ball had previously been rolled on the ground. Heisman introduced the first vocal signals and the first audible at the line. He wanted fans to understand play-calling; he made it easier for them to follow the downs and yardage needed by erecting something else new at games: a scoreboard.

    Tags: john heisman, heisman trophy, quote of the day

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