Wednesday, August 31, 2005

ESPN's "50 in 50" hits Nebraska

Just got back and filed a story on ESPN's "50 States in 50 Days" taping today on the east side of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. It was a decent turnout of about 1,000 -- most of them Big Red fans and students.

SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris, who hosted the Nebraska "50 in 50" stop, seemed to be an extrememly nice guy. He played to the crowd and took time to sign every autograph and take every picture that was requested after he was finished. Harris said he didn't really get to see much of the state, but was impressed by the enthusiasm of the Big Red fans. Before he left, he was headed for a tour of Memorial Stadium.

You have to give those folks behind the set credit. They broke into wild cheering on command -- something they had to do several times as the ESPN crew worked through several takes. I felt real sorry for the dudes trying to hold their buddies up on their shoulders to get a little air time.

A few humorous moments:

--Some rowdies broke out in a "Lawrence Phillips, Lawrence Phillips" chant before being booed down.

--Everyone jumped in on an "OU sucks" chant.

--One guy tried to throw a cornhead hat to Harris on the set, but it fell well short of the target. Of course, someone yelled "Joe Dailey threw that!" Ouch.

I thought the segment went well. The Nebraska volleyball team got big props -- Huskers' coach John Cook couldn't have paid for a better recruiting video than that. Plus, Grand Island native Tom Rathman, a former NU fullback who played in the NFL and is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Lions, also got some air time in a feature on homegrown Nebraska fullbacks.

It's definitely worth checking out.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Wednesday, August 31, 2005 || 0 comments

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

TSN ranks the Big 12 coaches

Just got a chance to check out the Sept. 2 edition of The Sporting News and noticed that they ranked every NCAA Division I-A football coach in the country, according to conference.

In the Big 12, TSN ranked Nebraska coach Bill Callahan in a five-way tie for seventh along with Mike Gundy of OSU, Mark Mangino of KU, Dan McCarney of ISU, Guy Morriss of Baylor and Gary Pinkel of Mizzou. All five coaches were rated as a "three" on a one-to-five scale.

The top three: Mack Brown of Texas, Bill Snyder of K-State and Bob Stoops of Oklahoma. Gary Barnett of Colorado, Dennis Franchione of Texas A&M and Mike Leach of Texas Tech all tied fo fourth with a "four" rating.

Brown was ranked the highest nationally among Big 12 coaches, checking in at No. 8. USC's Pete Carroll was No. 1.

Interesting that TSN would pick Brown above Stoops, considering that OU has owned Texas the past five years. Plus, here's a vote to rank McCarney a notch higher -- he does a very nice job with what he's got at Iowa State.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, August 30, 2005 || 1 comments

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Here's the depth chart

LINCOLN -- Nebraska coach Bill Callahan unveiled the depth chart today during his weekly press conference and it seems most of the projections everyone had made from fall camp were on the money.

On offense, about the only mild surprise to me was that Brandon Jackson, who is coming off shoulder surgery and wore a green jersey to limit contact much of the fall, is the No. 2 I-back ahead of super-hyped recruit Marlon Lucky. However, Callahan made it sound like all four I-backs (Cory Ross, Jackson, Lucky and Cody Glenn) will see action Saturday against Maine.

Other members of the media I spoke with today seemed to be a bit surprised that Clayton Sievers had ascended to the No. 2 tight end spot and that Seppo Evwaraye had been switched back to right tackle with Cornealius Fuamatu-Thomas taking the left tackle spot. Callahan noted that he wanted to put people in the sports where they were most comfortable, but also wants flexibility on the O-line.

Defensively, Steve Octavien won what was considered tight battle with Bo Ruud for the starting spot at weakside linebacker. However, Callahan said Ruud will play plenty and is a starter in the nickel package. Ruud was also slowed by a hip injury the final days of fall camp.

Another position of note is cornerback where Cortney is listed No. 1 on the left side ahead of Zackary Bowman -- another highly touted recruit. Again, Callahan said to expect to see plenty of Bowman in passing situations.

At place-kicker, incoming freshman Jordan Congdon won the job over returner David Dyches. Grixby is No. 1 on punt returns.

As for Tuesday's press conference, it was fairly routine. The Kansas City Star was in attendance as well as Craig Sager from TBS, which is televising NU's game with Wake Forest.

For the Nebraska media, starting middle linebacker Cory McKeon was a treat -- one of the best interviews I've sat in on in years. The kid is a great quote and very funny, joking about replacing Barrett who? And later said he'd be very disappointed if Barrett doesn't have him out to his beach house in Tampa after the season is over.

Nebraska vs. Maine Depth Chart
TE (Y): 85 J.B. Phillips*, 6-3, 255, So., Colleyville, Texas
88 Clayton Sievers, 6-4, 240, RFr., Elkhorn, Neb.

LT: 79 Cornealius Fuamatu-Thomas, 6-5, 315, Sr., Honolulu, Hawaii
68 Jordan Picou, 6-2, 320, Jr., Rialto, Calif.

LG: 65 Greg Austin**, 6-1, 290, Jr., Cypress, Texas
73 Jared Helming*, 6-3, 295, Sr., Springfield, Mo.

C: 50 KURT MANN*, 6-4, 290, Jr., Grand Island, Neb.
65 Greg Austin**, 6-1, 290, Jr., Cypress, Texas

RG: 75 BRANDON KOCH**, 6-4, 310, Sr., Gothenburg, Neb.
61 Mike Huff, 6-4, 300, RFr., Ralston, Neb.

RT: 77 SEPPO EVWARAYE**, 6-5, 320, Sr., Laurel, Neb.
70 Matt Slauson, 6-5, 340, Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.

WR (X): 7 Frantz Hardy, 6-0, 175, So., Miami, Fla.
87 Nate Swift, 6-2, 195, RFr., Hutchinson, Minn.

WR (Z): 83 TERRENCE NUNN*, 6-0, 185, So., Houston, Texas
84 Grant Mulkey**, 5-11, 180, Jr., Arlington, Texas

FB: 41 Dane Todd**, 5-10, 235, Jr., Lincoln, Neb.
33 Grant Miller, 6-0, 225, Jr., Peabody, Mass.

IB: 4 CORY ROSS***, 5-6, 195, Sr., Denver, Colo.
32 Brandon Jackson*, 5-11, 205, So., Horn Lake, Miss.

QB: 13 Zac Taylor, 6-2, 210, Jr., Norman, Okla.
8 Joe Ganz, 6-1, 200, RFr., Palos Heights, Ill.

OPEN END:44 Jay Moore*, 6-4, 270, Jr., Elkhorn, Neb.
55 Wali Muhammad*, 6-1, 255, Jr., Bloomfield, N.J.

NT: 66 Le KEVIN SMITH***, 6-2, 305, Sr., Macon, Ga.
54 Ola Dagunduro, 6-2, 290, Jr., Inglewood, Calif.

DT: 96 TITUS ADAMS***, 6-3, 300, Sr., Omaha, Neb.
94 Barry Cryer, 6-2, 275, Jr., Marrero, La.

BASE END:90 ADAM CARRIKER**, 6-6, 280, Jr., Kennewick, Wash.
43 Ty Steinkuhler, 6-3, 260, RFr., Lincoln, Neb.

SAM: 34 STEWART BRADLEY**, 6-4, 240, Jr., Salt Lake City, Utah
49 Adam Ickes*, 6-2, 225, Sr., Page, Neb.

MIKE: 13 Corey McKeon, 6-1, 225, So., Naperville, Ill.
38 Phillip Dillard, 6-2, 250, Fr., Tulsa, Okla.

WILL: 15 Steve Octavien, 6-0, 235, Jr., Naples, Fla.
51 Bo Ruud*, 6-3, 230, So., Lincoln, Neb.

LCB: 2 Cortney Grixby*, 5-9, 165, So., Omaha, Neb.
1 Zackary Bowman, 6-2, 190, Jr., Anchorage, Alaska

FS: 25 Blake Tiedtke*, 5-10, 190, Sr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4 Tyler Fisher, 5-11, 195, Sr., Grand Island, Neb.

SS: 14 DANIEL BULLOCKS***, 6-2, 210, Sr., Chattanooga, Tenn.
8 Andrew Shanle** 6-1, 205, Jr., St. Edward, Neb.

RCB: 30 Tierre Green*, 6-1, 200, So., Omaha, Neb.
35 Chris LeFlore, 5-10, 210, So., Omaha, Neb.

PK: 29 Jordan Congdon, 5-11, 180, Fr., San Diego, Calif.
27 DAVID DYCHES**, 6-1, 180, Jr., Spring, Texas

P: 37 SAM KOCH**, 6-1, 225, Sr., Seward, Neb.
17 Todd Peterson, 6-4, 205, RFr., Grand Island, Neb.

LSNAP: 92 LANE KELLY**, 6-4, 270, Jr., Omaha, Neb.
55 Nathan McBride, 6-1, 205, Fr., Scottsdale, Ariz.

KOR: 30 TIERRE GREEN*, 6-1, 200, So., Omaha, Neb.
20 Marlon Lucky, 6-0, 210, Fr., North Hollywood, Calif.

KOR: 32 BRANDON JACKSON*, 5-11, 205, So., Horn Lake, Miss.
7 Frantz Hardy, 6-0, 175, So., Miami, Fla.

PR: 2 Cortney Grixby*, 5-9, 165, So., Omaha, Neb.
83 Terrence Nunn*, 6-0, 185, So., Houston, Texas

H: 37 Sam Koch**, 6-1, 225, Sr., Seward, Neb.
8 Joe Ganz, 6-1, 200, RFr., Palos Heights, Ill.

Injured (Not on Depth Chart)
WR 9 Mark LeFlore***, 5-11, 195, Sr., Omaha, Neb.
TE 11 MATT HERIAN***, 6-5, 240, Sr., Pierce, Neb.
WR 23 Chris Brooks, 6-2, 195, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.
WR 28 Isaiah Fluellen**, 6-0, 185, Jr., Ramstein, Germany
OL 62 Andy Christensen, 6-3, 300, RFr., Bennington, Neb.
OL 76 Lydon Murtha, 6-7, 315, RFr., Hutchinson, Minn.
LB 40 Lance Brandenburgh*, 6-1, 230, So., Overland Park, Kan.
DE 89 Kevin Luhrs, 6-1, 255, So., Omaha, Neb.

Key: *indicates letters earned; returning lettermen are in boldface; players in ALL CAPS are returning starters; New depth chart will be released each Tuesday

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, August 30, 2005 || 0 comments

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Monday, August 29, 2005

The wait is almost over


Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said Monday during the Big 12 Conference coaches' call that he will release the Cornhuskers' depth chart to the media at noon on Tuesday.

Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but this year at Nebraska, it has been quite a topic of interest. You see, no one outside of the program has seen an actual depth chart since April -- and we all know that plenty has happened since then.

With so many talented newcomers to the program, it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Members of the media have been trying to piece together a speculative depth chart for most of the month of August. Tuesday, we get to see how close we were.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, August 29, 2005 || 0 comments

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