Friday, January 26, 2007

Norvell leaving for UCLA, who's next?

It probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise to Nebraska fans that offensive coordinator Jay Norvell was looking to spread his wings and take on more responsibility. Sure, his title with the Cornhuskers was quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, but everyone knows that head coach Bill Callahan is the one calling the plays.

While this may appear to be a lateral move at best, the difference for Norvell is that he'll presumably be able to call his own plays and design his own game plans with the Bruins. It was obvious that Norvell felt he was ready for more back in December when he interviewed for head coaching positions at North Texas, Iowa State and Boston College.

As for a replacement as Nebraska's OC, Callahan shouldn't have to look very far. Shawn Watson, who joined the Nebraska staff prior to the 2006 season as the tight ends coach, served as Colorado's offensive coordinator for six seasons under Gary Barnett. During that time, he showed the ability to adapt the Buffaloes' offensive scheme to the team's personnel strengths.

If that's not enough, remember that Watson was the architect of Colorado's 62-36 "Black Friday" victory over Nebraska in 2001.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, January 26, 2007 || 3 comments

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Recruiting update; Carriker impressing

A couple of Nebraska football related notes from the Web:

First, the Cornhuskers are ranked No. 11 in this week's recruiting rankings, according to The Web site lists Nebraska with 28 total commitments with zero five-star recruits, nine four-star players and 16 three-star athletes.

Rivals' top five: Florida, Tennessee, Texas, LSU and Notre Dame.

In Senior Bowl news, Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker has apparently impressed scouts with his combination of power, speed and intelligence. That probably comes as no surprise to Husker fans as coach Bill Callahan said several times during the final weeks of the 2006 season that Carriker will be a first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, January 25, 2007 || 0 comments

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jay Moore's Senior Bowl journal

It sounds like former Nebraska defensive end Jay Moore is already finding out what life is like in the cut-throat business of professional football. Check out Moore's Senior Bowl Journal on

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, January 23, 2007 || 0 comments

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Looking ahead to 2007

While most hard-core college football fans are totally immersed in recruiting right now, January also finds some especially brave prognosticators taking a whack at picking the preseason top 25 for 2007.

For Nebraska fans, the significant news is that members of the national media have largely pegged the Cornhuskers to check in somewhere between No. 10 and No. 15 when the preseason polls come out in August. Certainly, that’s not a bad position for coach Bill Callahan's crew as being outside of the top 10 helps temper expectations, while still leaving his team within striking distance of the top spot.

Of course, it's not easy banking on a Nebraska team that will lose its entire starting backfield and its entire defensive line, but it seems the potential for what Arizona State quarterback transfer Sam Keller can accomplish in Callahan's West Coast offense has generated some optimistic views of the Huskers for 2007.

A sampling:

Mark Schlabach of ranks Nebraska No. 12. ranks Nebraska No. 13.

Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ranks Nebraska No. 15.

College Football News ranks Nebraska No. 15.

Stewart Mandel of ranks Nebraska No. 18.

Matt Hayes of The Sporting News lists his preseason top 10.

Overall, the consensus seems to be that Southern California will start the season ranked No. 1. That means the Trojans, who open with a Sept. 1 home date against Idaho and are off the following weekend, could easily be the country's top-ranked team when they come to Memorial Stadium on Sept. 15.

The last time a top-ranked team came to Lincoln was Oklahoma in 1978 for a game won 17-14 by a No. 4-ranked Nebraska squad. Hard to fathom, that was nearly 30 years ago.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, January 20, 2007 || 0 comments

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Nebraska-OSU hoops pushed back

Nebraska-Oklahoma State tipoff moved to 7 p.m.
Courtesy: NU Media Relations

After being delayed Friday because of winter weather conditions, the Oklahoma State men's basketball team was still unable to leave Oklahoma City early Saturday morning. The delay has forced the tipoff time for the OSU-Nebraska basketball game to be moved back to 7 p.m.

The Cowboys will not be able to safely make it to Lincoln in a reasonable time frame to be ready to compete at the originally scheduled 12:30 p.m. tip off. However, OSU intends to depart at 1 p.m. this afternoon and make it to Lincoln in time to get ready for a 7 p.m. tipoff Saturday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Nebraska basketball program and Devaney Center gameday staff are planning to start the game in a usual fashion at that time. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and the national championship Husker Volleyball team will be signing autographs beginning at 5:45 p.m. until tipoff.

Because of current weather conditions in Oklahoma, fans are encouraged to check for confirmation of the start time before leaving for the game. Local media Web sites and radio and television broadcasts will also carry any updates throughout the afternoon. If Oklahoma State is unable to travel to Lincoln on Saturday, the game will be postponed until the Big 12 Conference can determine a makeup date that is suitable to both teams.

The game was originally scheduled to be seen regionally as part of the Big 12 Conference syndicated TV package. With the change in tipoff time, the game is being moved out of a Big 12 telecast window and will not be televised. Tickets still remain and can be purchased at the NU Athletic Ticket Office located at the Devaney Center on the North ramp starting 90 minutes before tipoff, or on

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, January 13, 2007 || 0 comments

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Huskers fall out of top 25

After suffering its fifth loss of the season in the Cotton Bowl, it comes as no surprise that Nebraska -- previously ranked No. 22 -- dropped out of the top 25 in both the Associated Press media poll and the USA Today coaches' poll.

Even though four of the Cornhuskers' losses came against teams ranked in the top 10 at the time the game was played, it's clear that Nebraska needed one of those victories -- or to avoid a loss at Oklahoma State -- to finish the year in the top 25. Of course, NU could have -- and should have -- defeated Texas and arguably let one slip away against Auburn in the bowl game. However, you know what they say about "ifs" and "buts."

Despite finishing the equivalent of 27th in both major polls, look for Nebraska to begin next year ranked in the top 25. The Huskers will have to replace their entire defensive line, but some think the team might even be getting an upgrade at quarterback with the Arizona State transfer Sam Keller set to take over for the beloved Zac Taylor.

A final note: It has to be considered a disappointing season for the Big 12 Conference as only No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 13 Texas finished in the top 25. The league needs to have a major bounce-back season in 2007.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, January 09, 2007 || 1 comments

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Monday, January 01, 2007

O-line update

DALLAS -- Just received this info in the pressbox in regard to depth chart changes:

--Lydon Murtha will start at right tackle against Auburn.
--Andy Christensen is the starter at left guard.

There's one change on the Auburn depth chart:

--Patrick Lee will be the starter at right cornerback

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, January 01, 2007 || 0 comments

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Cotton Pickin'

DALLAS -- It's a sunny and crisp early morning wake-up call here at the Cotton Bowl.

While the old stadium certainly isn't the most beautiful stadium you've ever seen, it seems to at least be a passable place to watch a football game. More importantly to the outcome, the field appears to be in excellent condition.

Fans are just starting to filter into the stands, but so far, it looks like a major edge to the Husker faithful. It will be interesting to see if the Nebraska following can keep its reputation intact with a strong showing today.

As for the game, Nebraska's offense and Auburn's defense appear to be a matchup of strength vs. strength. However, the Tigers' offense -- which finally has an almost completely healthy Kenny Irons at running back -- might be a little better than its No. 68 national ranking in total offense may indicate. The Blackshirts are sure to be tested.

Then again, this whole thing could come down to who really wants to be here more -- as is the case with so many bowl games. While disappointed not to be playing in the Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl still represents an upward swing for Nebraska, which stayed home in 2004 and played in the Alamo Bowl last year. For Auburn, a team that started the season ranked No. 4 in the AP preseason poll, it's hard to say if this is a desirable destination.

Give Auburn the edge in talent, but here's guessing Nebraska's desire to beat a top-10 opponent and achieve a 10-win season is the difference.

Staff picks:
Bob Hamar, assistant sports editor: Auburn 24, Nebraska 21
Jeff Apel, correspondent: Auburn 28, Nebraska 17
Terry Douglass, sports editor: Nebraska 23, Auburn 21

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, January 01, 2007 || 0 comments

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