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Husker notes

The Grand Island Independent
Posted Oct 25, 2008 @ 11:43 PM
Last update Oct 26, 2008 @ 01:14 AM

For starters

Nebraska improved to 5-3 overall with Saturday's 32-20 victory over Baylor, including a 2-2 record in Big 12 Conference play.

The Cornhuskers improved to 10-1 all-time against the Bears, including 8-1 in Lincoln. Saturday was Nebraska's ninth consecutive win over Baylor.

The Huskers also won a home game in the month of October for the first time since 2005 when they beat Iowa State 27-20 in double-overtime. Prior to Saturday's victory, Nebraska had dropped six straight October contests at Memorial Stadium.

Superior Swift

Not only did Nebraska wide receiver Nate Swift surpass Johnny Rodgers' school record for career receptions, but Swift's 11 receptions set a career high.

The 11 receptions tied Maurice Purify (at Colorado, Nov. 23, 2007) and Marlon Lucky (vs. Ball State, Sept. 22, 2007) for third on the Nebraska single-game receptions list. Swift's previous career high in receptions was nine against both Missouri and Oklahoma as a redshirt freshman in 2005.

Swift's 121 receiving yards marked his seventh career 100-yard receiving game, second only to Rodgers' 10 games topping the century mark in receiving yards. Swift increased his career receiving yards total to 2,242. He is 237 yards from Rodgers' school-record total of 2,479 career receiving yards.

Ganz's goodies

Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz completed 32-of-46 passes for 336 yards and three TDs against Baylor. Saturday's game marked the 10th time in 11 career starts that the fifth-year senior has thrown for at least 200 yards and seventh career 300-yard passing game, including each of the past three weeks.

Ganz increased his career passing total to 3,860 yards, moving him within 140 yards of becoming the fifth player in Nebraska history with 4,000 career passing yards. Ganz increased his season passing total to 2,303 yards, good for fourth on the NU season passing list. Ganz moved up four spots on the list in Saturday's game. He needs just 119 yards to catch Sam Keller (2,422, 2007) in the No. 3 spot on the NU single-season chart.

The three TD passes for Ganz Saturday increased his career total to 34 moving him into a tie for fourth on the Nebraska career TD pass list, alongside Turner Gill. Saturday marked the fifth time in his career that Ganz has thrown three or more TD passes. Ganz passed Jerry Tagge and Vince Ferragamo in Saturday's game. Both players finished their careers with 32 career TD passes.

Lucky strikes

Nebraska's Marlon Lucky rushed 16 times for 83 yards and a TD. The senior I-back has at least one TD in five of eight games this season and has three games with multiple TDs (WMU, NMSU, ISU).

Lucky's 83 rushing yards moved him up three places to 17th on the NU career rushing list. In Saturday's game, Lucky passed Bobby Reynolds, Doug DuBose and Jeff Kinney on the list. Lucky now has 2,331 career rushing yards.

In addition to his 83 rushing yards, Lucky caught three passes for 82 yards, including a career-long 69-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Lucky accounted for 165 all-purpose yards against the Bears, increasing his career total to 4,179 yards. Lucky's 69-yard reception from Ganz in the fourth quarter was Nebraska's longest play from scrimmage this season.

Playing keep-away

Nebraska continued to control the clock against Baylor. The Huskers held the ball for 19:19 in the first half and 38:37 for the game.

NU held the ball for 40:12 at Texas Tech two weeks ago and for 37:11 last weekend at Iowa State. The Huskers have had the ball for at least 16:30 in seven straight halves dating back to the second half of the Missouri game.

Nebraska ran 83 offensive plays in Saturday's game, while Baylor had just 53 snaps. Over the past three games, Nebraska has had 241 offensive snaps, compared to just 155 for the three opponents.

In the past three games, Nebraska has had nine scoring drives of four minutes or longer, including two in Saturday's game. In the first five games of the season Nebraska had seven drives of four minutes or longer.

Third-down threats

Nebraska converted 11-of-17 third-down attempts against Baylor and has been efficient in that area the past three weeks.

The Huskers have converted 25-of-42 third downs over the past three weeks for a .595 conversion percentage. Nebraska has converted 50 percent of its third-down attempts this season.

On the flip side, the Husker defense held Baylor to 0-for-10 on third-down conversions Saturday.

Defensive deeds

The Huskers also recorded three sacks for 22 yards in Saturday's game. The three sacks are the most by the Nebraska defense since also recording three against New Mexico State. Nebraska has 16 sacks this season after recording a total of 13 sacks in 12 games last season.

Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh blocked a second-quarter extra point, marking the Huskers' third blocked kick of the season. Defensive end Zach Potter blocked a field goal against New Mexico State and an extra point at Texas Tech. The block was the second blocked extra point of Suh's career (also vs. Texas A&M, 2007). 

Husker huddle

  • Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said that X-rays on the ankle of middle linebacker Phillip Dillard were negative. He said he wasn't certain of the status of wide receiver Menelik Holt, who also appeared to suffer an injury in the game.
  • Nebraska completed passes to eight receivers in Saturday's game. The Huskers have had at least seven different receivers catch a pass in all eight games this season.
  • The Huskers continued their red-zone efficiency in Saturday's game. Nebraska converted 4-of-5 red zone chances Saturday and scored on 15 straight trips into the red zone before a fourth-quarter fumble. For the season, Nebraska is 31-of-36 in the red zone.
  •  Place-kicker Alex Henery missed an extra-point attempt in the fourth quarter ending a streak of 77 straight made to begin his career.
  •  Nebraska's game captains for Saturday game were: senior receiver Nate Swift, senior defensive end Zach Potter, junior safety Matt O'Hanlon and junior safety Rickey Thenarse.

 -- Independent News Services


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