December 22, 2014

Huskers hand out football awards; Abdullah named team, offensive MVP

Running back Ameer Abdullah catches a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Armstrong late in the first half  PHOTO COURTESY: HUSKERS.COM

Running back Ameer Abdullah catches a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Armstrong late in the first half

Senior I-back Ameer Abdullah led the way in team awards announced on Thursday. Abdullah was named the overall Team Most Valuable Player for the second straight year, and also earned Offensive MVP honors.

Abdullah was also selected as the winner of the Guy Chamberlin Trophy. The award dates back to 1967 and is voted on by members of the media, and honors a senior player who has the qualities and dedication of the great Cornhusker tradition.

One of five team captains, Abdullah became Nebraska’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards this season and ranks No. 2 on the career rushing list.

A pair of Husker sophomores shared Defensive MVP honors for the 2014 season. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins recorded 12 tackles for loss on the year, along with 3.5 sacks. Safety Nate Gerry was the second-leading tackler for the Huskers and also ranked among the Big Ten leaders with five interceptions, all in league play.

Freshman standout De’Mornay Pierson-El earned the Huskers’ Special Teams MVP award. Pierson-El was an electrifying punt returner, scoring three touchdowns on returns while averaging 17.8 yards per return to rank third in the nation.

Senior linebacker Trevor Roach was honored as the winner of a pair of awards. Roach received the Tom Novak Trophy. The oldest of Nebraska’s senior awards, the Novak Trophy dates back to 1950. Roach also was named the winner of the Pat Clare Award. [Read more…]

Huskers head coach Mike Riley announces four assistant coaching hires

Mike Riley announces assistantsUniversity of Nebraska Head Football Coach Mike Riley announced on Thursday the hiring of four assistant football coaches that will help lead the Husker football program into the future. All four assistant coaches worked for Riley at Oregon State, and all have proven track records as great coaches, teachers, mentors and outstanding recruiters.

The full-time coaches announced on Thursday include defensive assistants Mark Banker and Trent Bray, offensive assistant Mike Cavanaugh, and one of the nation’s most respected special teams experts in Bruce Read. No coordinator designations, other than special teams, have been made to this point.

The staff members Coach Riley added on Thursday have a combined 97 years of coaching experience and a combined 45 years working with Riley, including time at Oregon State and the San Diego Chargers.

“I am excited to have the first pieces in place regarding our staffing,” Riley said. “I’m very excited about the coaches that are on board right now. I’ve worked with them and trust them and know the kind of work they do. They are excited to represent the University of Nebraska and our football program, and we are fortunate to have them on staff.”

Mark Banker has worked with Riley for 18 seasons, including 14 seasons together at Oregon State, where Banker served as defensive coordinator. Banker worked strictly as defensive coordinator since 2012, but also spent time coaching the Beaver linebackers and safeties during his time on Riley’s staff. [Read more…]

Nebraska jumps out to lead, holds off Creighton for women’s college basketball win

Emily Cady (NU Athletics)

Emily Cady (NU Athletics)

Emily Cady notched her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Rachel Theriot added 16 points and nine assists to power No. 12 Nebraska to a 60-57 women’s basketball win at Creighton on Thursday night.

Nebraska improved to 8-1 on the season, while Creighton slipped to 4-5.

Cady, a 6-2 senior forward from Seward, Neb., added three blocked shots and a pair of assists while going 8-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-3 from three-point range. She had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half alone.

Theriot, a 6-0 junior point guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, had 10 points and six of her season-high nine assists in the first half to help the Huskers run to a 33-17 halftime lead in front of 1,411 fans at D.J. Sokol Arena and a Fox Sports 1 national television audience.

While Theriot helped the Huskers get out to a strong start, she also hit a pair of key jumpers in the final five minutes to allow Nebraska to escape with a win over the hot-shooting Jays. [Read more…]

Huskers volleyball advances in NCAA Tourney with win over Hofstra

NUVBBehind a big block, the 14th-seeded Nebraska volleyball team swept Hofstra, 3-0, Friday evening in a first-round NCAA Tournament match at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Despite the sweep, the Huskers had to work to win their opening NCAA Tournament match for the 31st consecutive season. Nebraska survived late Hofstra rallies in each of the first two sets, winning the opener 27-25 and taking set two, 25-23. NU closed out the match with a 25-16 victory in set three, but the Huskers did not secure the win until their fifth match point.

With the win, Nebraska (21-9) advances to Saturday’s second-round match against No. 20 Utah, which swept Kansas State in Friday’s first match. First serve between the Huskers and Utes is set for 7 p.m. and the match will air live in the state of Nebraska on NET. The television broadcast will also be streamed for free on and on BTN2GO.

Hofstra ended its season with a 28-6 record, tying for the sixth-most victories in school history and the program’s highest total since 1989. [Read more…]

Bluejay volleyball bows out of NCAA Tournament in loss to Oregon State

CUVBOregon State rallied late in each of the first two sets and rode that momentum to a 3-1 win over Creighton Volleyball on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Scores of the match, held at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan., were 25-21, 26-24, 19-25, 25-21.

Oregon State improves to 20-12, while Creighton finishes its season with a 25-9 record.

Oregon State won a tight first set, 25-21, The teams were tied 7-7 before OSU went on an 8-2 burst, including a 5-0 service run by Tayla Woods. CU would trail 18-13 before Maggie Baumert served a 7-0 run that featured a pair of aces and put the BIG EAST champs in front, 20-18. OSU regrouped after a timeout. Four straight kills from the Beavers gave OSU the lead for good, clinching the set on a tip from Arica Nassar. Kate Elman made her return to the libero spot and had eight digs for CU in the first set, while Maggie Baumert had eight assists and seven digs for the Jays. [Read more…]