February 1, 2015

Riley continues to round out his coaching staff

Danny Langsdorf (photo/New York Giants)

Danny Langsdorf, NU’s new offensive coordinator (photo/New York Giants)

Nebraska Head Football Coach Mike Riley added four assistant football including offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf, running backs coach Reggie Davis, defensive line coach Hank Hughes, and secondary coach Charlton Warren, who will return for his second season. Warren helped put together a defense that was pretty solid against the pass. Langsdorf was quarterbacks coach for Eli Manning of the New York this season, but prior to that he was Riley’s offensive coordinator for nine seasons at Oregon State. Reggie Davis worked the last four seasons under Jim Harbaugh at San Francisco. Hank Hughes is a 36 year coaching veteran.

Langsdorf’s Oregon State offenses were regularly among the most productive in the Pac-12 Conference, and nine of OSU’s top 13 single-season yardage outputs came under Langsdorf’s coaching. Langsdorf also worked with Riley at Oregon State in 1997 and 1998, before stints in the professional ranks with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos and the New Orleans Saints.

Warren will be in his second season at Nebraska as the secondary coach in 2015. His 2014 secondary helped the Huskers rank among the nation’s top defense against the pass. Nebraska ranked fifth nationally in pass efficiency defense, and held nine of 13 opponents to less than 50 percent passing and ranked second nationally in opponent pass completion percentage.

Davis spent the 2014 season as San Francisco’s offensive line coach, following three seasons working as the tight ends coach.

Hank Hughes comes to Nebraska after spending the 2014 season as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Cincinnati under Head Coach Tommy Tuberville. A 36-year veteran of the coaching profession, Hughes has served as a defensive line coach for 27 of those seasons.  Hughes’ one season at Cincinnati followed a 13-year tenure on the defensive coaching staff at the University of Connecticut. With the Huskies, Hughes served as the defensive line coach for all 13 seasons and was the defensive coordinator for four years, while he also served as assistant head coach from 2005 to 2010.

Suh emotional after loss, Burkhead breaks big run as both former NU stars lose playoff games

Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh

It was not a good day yesterday for former NU players in the NFL.

Earlier in the day Rex Burkhead and the Cincinnati Bengals were another first round exit team. The Bengals have yet to win a playoff game since 1990. 26-10 loss at Indy. Burkhead had one carry for 23 yards. Also had three catches for 34 including a 26 yard gain. Burkhead had nine carries during the regular for 27 yards. Almost topped his season total with his one playoff run.

In the late game, Detroit let Dallas come back for a 24-20 win. Ndamukong Suh, reinstated after winning his appeal for a one game suspension, had two of the Lions six sacks, two tackles for loss and two hits on Tony Romo. Suh was emotional after the game.

Watch Suh’s press conference

Huskers season ends in high scoring Holiday Bowl loss to Trojans

Tommy Armstrong Jr. accounted for 422 yards of total offense and four touchdowns for the Huskers. Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations

Tommy Armstrong Jr. accounted for 422 yards of total offense and four touchdowns for the Huskers.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations

In a high-scoring shootout between two of college football’s most storied programs, Tommy Armstrong Jr. racked up 422 yards of total offense, but Nebraska came up short on its final two drives of the fourth quarter in a 45-42 loss to No. 24 USC in the National University Holiday Bowl on Saturday night at Qualcomm Stadium.

Both teams finished their seasons with 9-4 records, while teaming up for 1,040 yards of total offense in the game. Nebraska finished with 525 total yards, including 379 passing and 146 rushing, while the Trojans managed 515 yards, including 321 through the air and 194 on the ground.

Armstrong, Nebraska’s sophomore quarterback completed a career-high 32-of-51 passes for a career-best 381 yards and three touchdowns setting NU bowl records for yardage, completions and attempts, but his Hail Mary attempt on the game’s final play was batted to the ground to seal the USC victory. Armstrong added 41 rushing yards on 12 carries, including a 15-yard touchdown run on fourth down midway through the fourth quarter. He followed up his scoring run with a two-point conversion pass to Kenny Bell to cut the USC lead to 45-42 after the Huskers trailed 45-27 late in the third quarter.

Armstrong and Bell also connected on Nebraska’s first touchdown of the night, an 18-yard connection to give the Huskers a 10-7 lead with 8:23 left in the first quarter. Bell finished his Nebraska career with seven catches for 71 yards to push his school-record totals to 181 receptions for 2,689 yards in his four-year career.

NU had opened the scoring with a Drew Brown 34-yard field goal, before USC’s Adoree’ Jackson uncorked a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. [Read more…]

Trojans take 24-17 lead over Huskers into halftime

After an entertaining 30 minutes, Southern California leads Nebraska 24-17 at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

Nebraska got on the board first with a 34-yard field goal from Drew Brown to put the Huskers ahead 3-0 at the 11:05 mark of the first quarter. Southern California didn’t waste any time in their response however, as the Trojans’ Adoree’ Jackson took the ensuing kickoff 96-yards for a touchdown and put the Trojans on top 7-3. Nebraska responded quickly, as Tommy Armstrong’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Bell capped a six-play, 53-yard drive to re-establish the Huskers’ lead at 10-7 with 8:23 left in the opening quarter.

The Trojans would tie the game on a 42-yard field goal from Andre Heidari, but Nebraska pumped in another touchdown on Armstrong’s 9-yard strike to De’Mornay Pierson-El to make it a 17-10 Nebraska lead with 1:25 left in the opening quarter. However, Southern California would respond and own most of the second quarter in overcoming the seven-point deficit and taking a lead into halftime.

Cody Kessler found wide receiver Nelson Agholor for a 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 17-17 with 13:11 left in the second quarter. Nebraska was unable to answer the Trojans’ touchdown, with Southern California re-taking the lead 24-17 after a 2-yard touchdown run by Javorius Allen with 6:39 left before halftime. Nebraska would drive down to the Trojans’ 13-yard line, but Armstrong was intercepted by Su’a Cravens to snuff out the Huskers’ drive to end the first half.

Armstrong finished the first half 14-of-27 for 160 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception for the Huskers, with both Pierson-El and Bell catching five passes. Pierson-El has 69 yards receiving, while Bell has 63. Ameer Abdullah has 13 carries for 32 yards in addition to three kick returns for 120 yards. Josh Mitchell also intercepted a Kessler pass late in the second quarter to prevent the Trojans from adding to their lead.

Kessler is 17-0f-27 passing for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception, as the All-American Agholor has six receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown. Allen leads all players with 14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, with Trojans’ reserve Justin Davis carrying twice for 35 yards on the drive that led to Southern California’s go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter.

Southern California will receive the second half kickoff to begin the final 30 minutes of action.

Husker-USC preview

nebraska_cornhuskers-helmet-logoThe 2014 Holiday Bowl is the first postseason venture pitting a pair of ranked foes against each other, as No. 25 Nebraska takes on No. 24 USC on Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.

Nebraska comes in sporting a 9-3 record (5-3 Big Ten), which by many standards would be considered a success, but to the Cornhuskers and their faithful fans, it meant another season of failed expectations. As a result, and partly due to his somewhat abrasive personality, Bo Pelini was relieved of his duties as head coach after seven solid seasons.

The school has hired a new coach in former Oregon State head man and USC assistant Mike Riley, and while the Huskers will play this game under the direction of interim coach Barney Cotton, Riley has already begun to lay the groundwork for his tenure.

Cotton had a pretty simple message for the team moving forward, four basic things that the team should rely on as it prepares for this game.

“I am basically telling them four things — honor God with your effort. Honor your teammates with your effort. Honor Coach Bo (Pelini) with your loyalty and love and support, along with your effort.” Cotton said. “And let’s reveal our character one last time in the Holiday Bowl.” [Read more…]