Thursday, January 29, 2009

Diaz planning to redshirt this season

LINCOLN -- Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said Wednesday night after his team's 68-62 loss to Kansas that 6-foot-11 post player Brian Diaz has decided to redshirt this season.

Sadler said that the 19-year-old Diaz, who arrived from Puerto Rico less than two weeks ago, told him that he didn’t think he was ready and that he wasn’t in good enough shape to be able to help the team at this point

“I told him I disagree with him because I think he can help the team, but ultimately, I didn’t get him in school when I told him I was going to get him into school,” Sadler said. “I got him here late and I’m not going to penalize him, and it’s nobody’s fault. We just didn’t get a test score.”

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, January 29, 2009 || 0 comments

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sadler being praised by Big 12 peers

The coaching job being done by Nebraska’s Doc Sadler so far this season apparently hasn’t gone unnoticed by his peers in the Big 12 Conference.

Sadler, coaching a squad that was recently documented as the shortest team in the country, has the Cornhuskers 12-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play heading into Wednesday night’s 8:05 p.m. (ESPNU) game at No. 6-ranked Oklahoma (17-1, 3-0 Big 12). Nebraska is coming off a 73-51 home victory against Kansas State last Saturday, moving Sadler’s team into a four-way tie for third place.

While NU’s first three Big 12 opponents — Missouri, Iowa State and Kansas State — aren’t necessarily the strongest teams in the league, count Wildcats’ coach Frank Martin among those impressed by what Sadler is getting out of his under-sized crew.

“Doc Sadler has won championships in high school, junior college, won 27 games at UTEP — his teams are going to compete as hard as anybody’s in the country, consistently,” Martin said. “It’s what he does. They’ve got a lot to be proud of up there.”

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Wednesday, January 21, 2009 || 0 comments

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Huskers fall short of top-25 ranking

The final polls came out late Thursday night/early Friday morning and Nebraska was left on the outside looking in at the top 25 of both the Associated Press media poll and the USA Today coaches' poll.

Despite a 9-4 record and a Gator Bowl victory over Clemson, the Cornhuskers wound up No. 29 in the AP poll and No. 30 in the coaches' poll. Four-loss teams that did make the AP top 25 included Mississippi, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Missouri, Iowa, Florida State, Georgia Tech, West Virginia and Michigan State. Those teams and California were four-loss teams that finished inside the top 25 of the coaches' poll.

In the end, after last year's 5-7 season, Nebraska's season probably lacked the kind of signature victory needed to recapture the attention of national voters -- something that could've happened if NU had been able to pull off an overtime upset at Texas Tech. Of the Huskers' nine wins this season, only one of them came with coach Bo Pelini's team as the underdog (Clemson).

Truth be told, Nebraska still has a lot of momentum heading into the offseason with its four-game winning streak and a ranking in the lower part of the top 25 would've been nice for the Huskers, but doesn't take away from what they accomplished.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, January 09, 2009 || 0 comments

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Peterson not discounting Oklahoma defense

Todd Peterson put his personal experiences to work recently as the former Nebraska Cornhuskers’ wide receiver played the role of college football analyst for a national sports magazine.

In a bowl preview for The Sporting News, Peterson provided his analysis of Thursday night’s BCS national championship game between Oklahoma and Florida. Of course, Peterson has first-hand knowledge of the Sooners, who beat Nebraska 62-28 on Nov. 1 in Norman, Okla.

“I played against Oklahoma’s defense and I’d say they don’t really have a weakness,” Peterson told TSN. “They’ve got athletes all across the board.”

Peterson discounts the notion frequently pushed forward by national media types that Oklahoma’s defense is suspect. The Grand Island native contends that the talented offenses in the Big 12 Conference have skewed people’s perception.

“We’ve put up outrageous offensive numbers, and I know the defensive guys don’t like to hear how we don’t play defense in this conference,” Peterson said. “I know Oklahoma played a tough non-conference schedule, and I think they played well defensively in those games.”

Offensively, Peterson told TSN that the Sooners obviously possess a host of weapons — led by Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford at quarterback.

“It will be a fun game to watch because Florida is the same way,” Peterson said. “It’s just a matter of who can limit the big plays because they’re both such explosive offenses.”

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, January 08, 2009 || 0 comments

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Carl Pelini grades his little brother

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After last year's 5-7 record, it's probably safe to say that that most Nebraska football fans -- at least the realistic ones -- would've been thrilled if they were told in the preseason that the Cornhuskers would come back and post a 9-4 record and win a New Year's Day bowl game.

That's exactly where Nebraska stands following Thursday's 26-21 victory over Clemson in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. Considering the rebuilding job that coach Bo Pelini and his staff undertook -- particular with the team's confidence -- it's safe to say that this group has earned high marks in its first season together.

So, what's defensive coordinator Carl Pelini's take on how his little brother, Bo, handled his first full season as a head coach?

“I think he would say that we’re not perfect, but I’ll tell you what, as a program and instilling the qualities that you need to win championships -- the fortitude he talked about, the perseverance, the work ethic, the accountability, the trust -- all those things are in place now as we move forward," Carl Pelini said. “Bo’s a modest guy. He doesn’t have a lot of ego and I think he probably would say that he failed in certain respects at times, but for me, I look at it and say I can’t think of too many things that I wish we had done differently.”

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, January 02, 2009 || 0 comments

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gator Bowl prediction

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The warm weather the Nebraska football team has enjoyed throughout its stay here as given way to slightly cooler temps as it's 57 degrees 10 minutes prior to kickoff at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

The Cornhuskers will be wearing a round black sticker on the back of their helmets, showing the initials "AP" to honor the late Anthony Pelini, who died last week at the age of 85. Pelini was the father of Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini and defensive coordinator Carl Pelini.

While the win would obviously be meaningful for the Pelinis after going through some rough times in the last week and a half, Bo Pelini said Wednesday that winning the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl against Clemson is not about him or his family. Nebraska's players seem to think otherwise. Huskers' quarterback Joe Ganz said he and his teammates would like nothing more than to give their head coach and his brother a victory.

As for the game, it will be a battle of strength on strength when Nebraska's offense takes the field against Clemson's defense. While not statistically impressive, the Husker defense and Tiger offense made improvements in the closing weeks of the season, so that will be worth watching as well.

If there's one matchup that favors Nebraska, most figure it's the Huskers' defensive line against the Clemson offensive line. However, Carl Pelini warned several times this past week that the Tigers have solidified up front and not to put too much stock in the notion.

In the final analysis, this looks like a typical bowl-game toss-up and whoever can make a few big plays and avoid costly turnovers will come out on top. Oddsmakers list Clemson as a 2 1/2-point favorite, but we'll take Nebraska to win 27-24 on an Alex Henery field goal. Why not? After all, it's Henery's 57-yard kick against Colorado that got the Huskers here in the New Year's Day Bowl in the first place.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, January 01, 2009 || 0 comments

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