October 30, 2014

Excitement level high for Nebraska basketball

Fans got their first chance to see the 2014-15 Nebraska basketball teams on Wednesday night as both the Husker men and women scrimmaged as part of Big Red Tip-Off at Pinnacle Bank Arena. There were a  pair of 15-minute scrimmages and a three-point shooting contest.  Both, men’s coach Tim Miles and women’s coach Connie Yori previewed the upcoming season.

In the men’s three-point contest, Walter Pitchford advanced to the finals with 16 points, making ten straight, but lost in the finals to Emily Cady, 12-11, as Pitchford missed the final shot at the buzzer to tie.

The Husker men closed the event with a 15-minute scrimmage, with the Red squad posting a 50-35 victory. Newcomer Andrew White III led all scorers with 18 points, including four 3-pointers in his Pinnacle Bank Arena debut.

In the 15-minute, women’s scrimmage, guard Tear’a Laudermill and Cady led the Red team to a 24-19 victory. Laudermill scored 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers, while Cady added seven points including a three. Freshman Kaylee Page buried a three while fellow freshman Natalie Romeo added a transition layup to round out the scoring for the Reds.

Ameer Abdullah named Big Ten offensive player of the week. Of course he was

Ameer Abdullah, (photo/Scott Bruhns, NU Athletics)

Ameer Abdullah, (photo/Scott Bruhns, NU Athletics)

Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

•           Produced a school-record 341 all-purpose yards, including 19 carries for 225 yards and three rushing touchdowns, in Nebraska’s victory over Rutgers

•           Added 90 yards on two kickoff returns and 26 yards on two receptions

•           Moved into second place on the Big Ten career all-purpose yardage list, passing Indiana’s Anthony Thompson and Ohio State’s Archie Griffin

•           Records the fifth Offensive Player of the Week award of his career and fourth of the season

•           Last Nebraska Offensive Player of the Week: Ameer Abdullah (Sept. 29, 2014)

Even though he’s seen Abdullah every game for the past four years, Bo Pelini is still impressed with what Abdullah can do on the field.

“I don’t know how he compares to anybody else. Ameer is Ameer, and he doesn’t need to compare himself to anyone else,” Pelini said. “He’s pretty special in his own way.”

Illinois’ upset win over Minnesota tightens up Big Ten West race (AUDIO)

It was quiet week in the Big Ten with several schools on their bye week, but an interesting one nonetheless as it pertains to the division race in the West. The Huskers got a lot of help from Illinois with their upset 28-24 win at Minnesota. The Illini defense scored a late touchdown and had a defensive stand. The loss drops the Gophers to 3-1 in conference play and now in a tying with the Huskers. Wisconsin scored an easy 52-7 win over Maryland. The Badgers Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon rushed for 122 and three touchdowns.

The game next week against Purdue is at 2:15. Then, what a way to finish out the season, with three games against West rivals who are all breathing down the back of the Huskers. Two weeks after the Purdue game, NU travels to face Gordon and the Badgers who are 2-1 in conference play, then at home against Minnesota, Gophers and Huskers tied for first right now and then the season ends the day after Thanksgiving with Iowa hoping to be in the mix as well…they’re at 2-1 in Big Ten play.

So when you look at the schedule you see why Bo Pelini is pushing for perfection. A long way to go to clinching that Big Ten championship berth.

Listen to the Big Red Report

Huskers and Rutgers ready to meet for first time since 1920

Another national leading sellout when NU hosts Rutgers (photo/Huskers.com)

Another national leading sellout when NU hosts Rutgers (photo/Huskers.com)

It will be the 337th consecutive sellout for the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium when the Rutgers Scarlet Knights visit today for an early 11 a.m. kick.

This game ends a string of five straight evening/night games for the Huskers and Bo Pelini has stressed to his players to come out ready to go right away.  Here are some of the key matchups and players to watch.

Ameer Abdullah vs. Rutgers’ defense.

Abdullah is the third-leading rusher in the nation and Rutgers had trouble against Ohio State when it came to wrapping up tackles. Linebacker Quentin Gause is the Knights’ best run-stopper.

Husker wideouts vs. Knights’ secondary.

Nebraska has two wide receivers (Kenny Bell and Jordan Westerkamp) with 27 catches for more than 500 yards and multiple touchdowns, and entrenched starting cornerback Gareef Glashen will need help from Nadir Barnwell, who is there next best.  He may be picked on.  Rutgers DBs also need to worry about quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s running ability.

Blackshirts vs. Rutgers’ tight end Tyler Kroft.  

Can Rutgers use Kroft as their go-to guy in third down situations.  The Preseason All-American candidate has just 10 catches for 109 yards and no touchdowns in seven games.  The Huskers have troubles at times covering the tight end, perhaps the Knights use him more in key situations.

College Football Scout Report

Who: Rutgers (5-2) at Nebraska (6-1).

Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.

When: 11 a.m.

TV: ESPN2.

Series: Nebraska leads 1-0.

Huskers may really need to have Randy Gregory make an IMPACT this week (AUDIO)

Randy Gregory (photo/lottimpacttrophy.org)

Randy Gregory (photo/lottimpacttrophy.org)

If there was ever a week for Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory to make an impact, Rutgers would be the team to do it against. As defensive coordinator John Papuchis likes to point out the Scarlet Knights don’t mind going toe to toe with you in an old-fashioned grind it out type of game.

Gregory is one of 20 defensive players around the country named a quarterfinalists for the 2014 Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy, presented to the nation’s most impactful defensive player. Gregory has 28 total tackles, including six tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks. Gregory also has an interception, a fumble caused, two pass breakups and a team-high nine quarterback hurries.

Gregory is one of two defenders from the Big Ten on the list, joining Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun. Gregory and Calhoun are among six defensive ends on the Lott quarterfinalists list.

Listen to the Big Red Report