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Published Friday, September 21, 2001

Husker notes

Last modified at 12:40 a.m. on Friday, September 21, 2001

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Rushing leader

-Nebraska junior I-back Dahrran Diedrick may have missed the first game of the season, but he hasn't missed a beat since getting his first career start against Troy State in Nebraska's second contest of the year. The Scarborough, Ontario, native was leading the Husker rushing attack with 310 yards on 57 carries while adding a team-high five touchdowns prior to the Rice game.

- Against Rice, Diedrick faced a bigger challenge as the Owls entered the game ranked 18th in the nation in rushing defense. Rice had allowed just 73 yards rushing per game in their first two contests of the season. Although he was held below the 100-yard mark for the first time, Diedrick finished with 74 yards on 13 carries.

Charting Crouch

- Senior quarterback Eric Crouch improved to 28-5 as a starter in his career at Nebraska. He had easily his best game of the season, completing 9-of-11 pass attempts for 165 yards and three touchdowns. The Millard North graduate also rushed for a team-best 97 yards on 12 carries.

- With 5:52 to play in the second quarter, Crouch had a 12-yard gain that gave him 2,536 yards rushing and allowed him to become the all-time leading rushing quarterback in Big 12 Conference history, passing Missouri's Corby Jones. Crouch also moved up to eighth on Nebraska's all-time rushing charts. He now has more than 6,000 total yards in his career.

Staying put

- Freshman place-kicker Sandro DeAngelis continued to hold on to the starting job over junior Josh Brown. DeAngelis, who kicked his first and second field goals of his career on Sept. 8 against Notre Dame, earned his second consecutive start and third of the season. He was 5-of-5 on point-after attempts against Rice.

- Brown also saw action, converting his only PAT attempt. He had another opportunity, but a bad snap led to a missed conversion for the Huskers. Neither DeAngelis or Brown had a field-goal attempt against Rice.

Husker firsts, bests

-Nebraska's Mike Stuntz had a career-best 25-yard run after mishandling a lateral overhead pass from Crouch.

- Husker fullback Judd Davies scored his first touchdown of the season on a 3-yard run to give NU a 14-0 lead with 8:34 left in the first quarter. It marked Davies' second career TD run.

- Third-team I-back Josh Davis got his first carries of the season. He rushed five times for 14 yards.

- In his first career start, Nebraska true freshman rover Philip Bland finished with two tackles. Bland is the first true freshman to start in the secondary since current NU senior Erwin Swiney started the last nine games of the 1997 season.

- Of the 118 players suited up by Nebraska, a season-high 102 saw action against Rice.

- Defensively, Nebraska sophomore free safety Jerrell Pippens had a team-best and career-best eight tackles, including five solo stops. True freshman middle linebacker Barrett Ruud added seven tackles.

Extra Points

- Rice fullback Robbie Beck had a 54-yard run against Nebraska in the second quarter. It was the longest rush allowed by the Huskers this season.

- Nebraska got its first blocked kick of the season as DeJuan Groce blocked Brandon Skeen's 41-yard field goal attempt. It was the first blocked kick of Groce's career at NU.

- The Huskers have had at least two sacks in every game, including three against Rice. Nebraska also had 11 tackles for 37 yards in losses. NU has had at least eight tackles for loss in each game this season.

- The Owls finished with 194 rushing yards, which was the most allowed by Nebraska this season. The Huskers came into the game ranked second nationally in rushing defense, allowing 24.7 yards per game.

New recruit

- The Nebraska football program added another recruit for the 2002 season last weekend. The Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star reported Thursday that Lincoln Southeast's Dane Todd, a 5-foot-11, 230-pound fullback, has committed to Nebraska and will sign a national letter of intent in February.

- Other members of Nebraska's 2002 recruiting class include: offensive lineman Kurt Mann of Grand Island Senior High; receiver Mark LeFlore of Omaha Central; linebacker Jay Moore of Elkhorn; tight end Matt Herian of Pierce; and quarterback Curt Dukes of Stony Point, N.C.

--Terry Douglass

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