Lincoln, Neb. - Adrian Martinez accounted for more than 300 yards of total offense and had a hand in three touchdowns, while Dedrick Mills rushed for 116 yards and a score on just 11 carries, as Nebraska rolled to a 44-8 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday night.
Playing in front of the 370th consecutive sellout with 89,593 fans at Memorial Stadium, Martinez completed 16-of-27 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns, and added 44 yards and another score on the ground to finish with 301 yards of total offense. Nebraska closed non-conference play with a 2-1 record, while Northern Illinois slipped to 1-2 on the season.
Martinez and Mills led a balanced Big Red offense that put up 525 yards of total offense, including 287 passing and 238 rushing yards. Northern Illinois managed 350 total yards, but just 74 on the ground, as the Blackshirts kept the Huskies out of the end zone, surrendering just a pair of field goals on the night.
In an action-packed first half that featured big plays and blocked kicks, Nebraska powered its way to a 30-5 halftime lead.
Nebraska struck quickly, winning the toss and taking the opening drive 58 yards in eight plays capped by Isaac Armstrong's 36-yard field goal to give the Huskers a 3-0 lead just 2:29 into the game.
The Big Red made it 10-0 on Maurice Washington's 21-yard touchdown catch on a short forward pass with 6:22 left in the opening quarter. Washington's score on a pass from Martinez was the only play of a short drive that was set up by heavy pressure by Nebraska's punt-block unit. NIU punter Matt Ference felt fierce pressure from Isaiah Stalbird and dropped the ball to the turf without punting it. The fumble was recovered by tight end Austin Allen to set up the score.
Nebraska kept the explosive plays going in the second quarter, as Washington raced 60 yards for a touchdown with 12:20 left in the half to give the Huskers a 16-0 lead. However, Armstrong's extra point try was blocked. Washington finished the night with three receptions for 18 yards, while adding 57 rushing yards on just two carries.
Northern Illinois got on the board with 7:58 left in the half on John Richardson's 45-yard field goal to cut Nebraska's lead to 16-3. The Huskies then tried to surprise the Big Red with an on-side kick. The attempt failed and set Nebraska up again with a short field. It took just four plays and 39 seconds for the Husker offense to capitalize, as Mills scampered 24 yards to the end zone to extend Nebraska's margin to 23-3 with 7:19 left in the half. Mills' touchdown was set up by a 26-yard pass from Martinez to Mike Williams to convert on 3rd-and-10.
The teams exchanged block kicks over the next five minutes - with Stalbird blocking a Ference punt to set the Huskers up inside the NIU 20. The offense was unable to capitalize, as a 32-yard Armstrong field goal attempt was blocked by the Huskies.
The Blackshirts stopped the Huskies on the ensuing drive, and instead of putting another Ference punt in harm's way, quarterback Ross Bowers booted a 46-yard punt that pinned Nebraska at its own 4. On the next play, Jordan Cole took down Washington in the end zone for a safety on a completed pass to cut the Husker lead to 23-5 with 1:49 left in the first half.
The defense shut down NIU on the ensuing drive and forced another Bowers punt. Martinez and the Big Red offense took over at the NU 13 with just 44 seconds left. Five plays later, Martinez connected with Kanawai Noa for his first touchdown catch as a Husker - a spectacular 27-yard grab in the back corner of the end zone that sent Nebraska to the locker room with a 30-5 edge.
Noa ended the night with three receptions for 51 yards.
Nebraska averaged 11.2 yards per play in the first half, rolling up 369 yards of total offense on just 33 plays, including three first-half receptions for 73 yards from JD Spielman, who finished the game with four catches for 76 yards. The Blackshirts held Northern Illinois to 144 first-half yards on 43 plays.
NIU opened the second half with the ball and methodically marched 66 yards on 12 plays in 5:13, but had to settle for Richardson's 27-yard field goal to cut the Big Red lead to 30-8. Nebraska's offense sputtered early in the half, before Martinez capped a seven-play, 48-yard drive with his 10-yard touchdown run with 3:00 left to send the Huskers to the fourth quarter with a 37-8 advantage.
The Blackshirts made their final stand midway through the fourth, holding the Huskies out of the end zone on a 4th-and-inches from inside the 1. Martinez and the offense were able to drive out of the shadows of their own goal post before Armstrong's punt left Northern Illinois with a long field and time running short.
Redshirt freshman Braxton Clark then grabbed his first career interception to set the Husker offense up at the NIU 42 with 6:32 left in the game.
Noah Vedral then took the reins of the Husker offense and marched the Big Red to end zone, capped by his own three-yard touchdown run with 4:04 left to complete the scoring. Freshman running back Rahmir Johnson carried three times for nine yards on the drive, while Darien Chase (13 yards), Kurt Rafdal (9) and Jaevon McQuitty (8) added key receptions on the drive.
Mohamed Barry led the Blackshirts with 10 tackles, while fellow linebacker Will Honas contributed six stops. Defensive tackle Carlos Davis was also a disruptive force in the middle, notching six tackles, including 1.5 sacks, while adding a pair of breakups with deflections at the line of scrimmage.
Stalbird starred for the Husker special teams, finishing the game with three tackles, including two for loss, a forced fumble and a blocked punt.
Nebraska opens Big Ten Conference play next week by traveling to Illinois for another 7 p.m. kickoff. The Fighting Illini enter the game with a 2-1 record.
LINCOLN, Neb. - Behind a career-high 23 kills from Lexi Sun, the No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team rallied from a 31-33 first-set defeat to beat Loyola Marymount in four sets (31-33, 25-19, 25-20, 27-25) on Saturday in front of a crowd of 8,037 at the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Devaney Center on Saturday.
Sun, who was named the tournament's MVP, added 14 digs to go with her 23 kills. She also had three blocks and served a pair of aces. Jazz Sweet tallied a season-high 14 kills on .387 hitting and had three blocks.
The Huskers (7-0) had a .256 to .221 hitting advantage, and NU had seven aces on the day, five more than LMU (4-5). Nebraska trailed by at least three points in all four sets, but the Huskers powered through to win the final three sets.
Nicklin Hames, also an all-tournament selection, had 51 assists and 17 digs, and Madi Kubik had 15 digs with eight kills. Libero Kenzie Knuckles had 13 digs.
The Huskers reached double-digit blocks for the second straight match, recording 11. Lauren Stivrins, the Huskers' third all-tournament team selection, had seven blocks and nine kills, hitting .316. Callie Schwarzenbach had four kills with a season-high seven kills.
Rose Booth had 20 kills and 11 digs for LMU. Savannah Slattery had 19 kills and 14 digs. Slattery was named to the all-tournament team.
Set 1: Loyola Marymount jumped out to a 7-5 lead after kills on four straight rallies. LMU led 10-7, but the Huskers chipped away with a kill by Sun and an ace by Hames to tie the score at 11-11. Kills by Sun, Sweet (twice) and Kubik put the Huskers back in front, 15-12. The Lions responded by coming back to take a 20-17 lead after three straight Husker miscues, an ace serve by Slattery and a kill by Emma Johnson. Kubik tipped a kill to get the Huskers out of the rotation, and she served an ace to pull NU within one, 20-19. Loyola remained in front, 22-20, but Sun placed a kill down the line and then tooled a block to tie the score at 22-22. But LMU got a kill from Rose Booth and benefited from a Husker hitting error to earn set point at 24-22. Sun terminated to keep the Huskers alive, and LMU hit wide to tie the set again, 24-24. Hames and Knuckles provided some athletic digs to keep the next rally alive, and Sweet posted a kill to give NU set point at 25-24. But Sun's next serve hit the net, and LMU's Meredith Teague served an ace to flip the score to LMU's favor, 26-25. Then the teams traded service errors before Sweet extended the set with another kill to make it 27-27. Serving continued to haunt both teams, as they each committed service errors. Booth gave LMU set point once again with a kill on the next rally, but Sun answered. Slattery put LMU back in front, 30-29, with her sixth kill, but the Lions then committed a net violation. LMU hit wide of the antenna to put the Huskers up 31-30, but Teague answered for LMU. Slattery followed with back-to-back kills to end the set in LMU's favor, 33-31. It was the highest scoring set NU has played since the 25-point rally-scoring era began in 2008.
Set 2: The Huskers fell behind 4-0 and had to play catch up throughout the early portion of the set. LMU led 14-12 when Stivrins and Hames stuffed an attack to cut it to 14-13. Sun then pounded her 10th kill to the set at 14-14 for the first time since 0-0. Two more kills by Sun put the Huskers in front, 16-15. Back-to-back kills by Sun and Schwarzenbach put the Huskers up by two, 18-16, and LMU took a timeout. The Lions took another timeout after the Huskers went up 20-18 on a kill by Sun and a block by Sweet and Schwarzenbach. Sweet then recorded three straight kills, and a two-hit violation on LMU and a block by Sweet and Stivrins gave NU the set, 25-19.
Set 3: Once again, a slow start had the Huskers playing from behind as LMU built a 7-4 lead with five early kills. Sun then took over with three kills and a block with Schwarzenbach on the next four rallies, putting NU in front, 8-7. The Huskers extended the lead to 16-9 with a 7-0 run served by Knuckles. Sweet had a pair of kills during the run, and Stivrins added a block and a kill. Stivrins continued her strong set with another block and a kill to take the Huskers to a 19-11 advantage. Kubik served an ace to make it 22-12 and gave NU a 24-15 lead with a kill. After LMU ripped off five points in a row, Schwarzenbach finally finished the set off, 25-20.
Set 4: The Lions bolted to an 11-6 lead. A pair of mental mistakes by LMU helped the Huskers slice the deficit to 13-10, but LMU answered with a pair of kills from Booth to go back up by five, 15-10. Schwarzenbach and Sweet answered with kills for Nebraska, and kills by Sweet and Kubik cut it to two, 16-14. LMU went up 19-15, but Sun terminated and Stivrins served an ace before Schwarzenbach and Hames produced a block to make it 19-18. Loyola tied the set at 23-23, 24-24 and 25-25, fending off Husker set points three times. But Stivrins added her ninth kill of the day before Booth hit wide for LMU, giving the Huskers the 27-25 win.
Up Next: Nebraska plays No. 1 Stanford on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Devaney Center. The match will be televised on BTN and streamed on FoxSports.com and the FoxSports app. Husker Sports Network radio affiliates will broadcast the match statewide, as well as on Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
14-Sep-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
LINCOLN, Neb. - The second-ranked Nebraska volleyball team swept its second match of the day on Friday, topping Denver 25-23, 25-17, 25-12 in front of a crowd of 8,177 at the Devaney Center on Friday night. Earlier in the day, the Huskers swept High Point in their first match of the Ameritas Players Challenge.
Nebraska (6-0) finished its win over Denver (6-2) with a dominant 25-12 third set, just as it did against High Point (25-8) in the morning. The Huskers tallied 11 blocks in the match, their most in a three-set match since 13 against Ohio State on Nov. 23 last season. Lauren Stivrins had six blocks to go with six kills, and Jazz Sweet had four blocks and five kills. Nebraska held Denver to a -.021 hitting percentage, also its best defensive performance since Nov. 23 against Ohio State last year.
Lexi Sun and Madi Kubik each posted seven kills and three blocks for the Big Red. Nicklin Hames set the Huskers to a .207 hitting percentage with 21 assists and seven digs.
Libero Kenzie Knuckles had a match-high 11 digs.
Set 1: The teams went back and forth early with neither team able to gain a two-point advantage until a Denver net violation made it 10-8 Huskers. Sweet tipped a kill to the floor and Denver hit long to extend NU's lead to three, 12-9. Kills by Schwarzenbach and Stivrins increased the margin to four, 15-11, and forced Denver's second timeout. The Huskers led 19-14, but Denver ran off a 4-0 run to get within 19-18. After a Denver four-hit violation, Sun stuffed a Denver attack to make it 21-18 Big Red. The Husker defense came up big again with a block by Stivrins and Sweet for set point at 24-20. Denver fought off three set points before the Huskers sealed the set, 25-23, on a Stivrins kill. Both teams committed eight attacking errors, with the Huskers holding a slight edge in hitting, .135 to .083.
Set 2: The Huskers scored a 13-2 run on Megan Miller's serve after Denver opened the set with the first two points. The Pioneers committed six unforced errors during that stretch, and Stivrins had three blocks and one kill. Hames added a pair of kills to take the Huskers to the 13-4 lead. After Denver got within 13-7, Kubik tacked on a couple of kills and Sun had one as well as the Huskers went up 20-11. Denver cut it to six, 22-16, after a 5-2 spurt. But Sweet put down a kill and Denver hit wide to make it 24-16. Kubik finished the set at 25-17 with her fifth kill of the night. NU held Denver to .000 hitting in set two.
Set 3: The Husker defense picked up where it left off, posting five blocks to open the third set with an 8-2 spurt. Sweet, Stivrins, Schwarzenbach and Sun were all in on two each. NU pulled away with a 7-0 run that made it 21-7. Sun served the run, and Kubik, Schwarzenbach and Sweet all had kills during that stretch. The Huskers finished off the 25-12 win for the sweep, hitting .444 in the final frame while limiting Denver to -.161 hitting.
Up Next: Nebraska wraps up the tournament against Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 1 p.m. The final match of the tournament - Denver vs. High Point - is Saturday at 5 p.m.
13-Sep-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln - Pinnacle Bank Arena will be rocking on Friday, Sept. 27, as the Nebraska Ticket Office announced Friday afternoon that Opening Night with Husker Hoops is officially sold out.
Approximately 12,500 tickets have been reserved by fans eager to see the Huskers and first-year coach Fred Hoiberg take the PBA court for the first time. To accommodate initial fan demand for the event, the 200 and 300-levels of Pinnacle Bank Arena were opened up last month, but seats in those sections have now been completely reserved, two weeks prior to the event.
“There is a lot of excitement for the start of basketball season, and selling out Pinnacle Bank Arena for Opening Night is a credit to our fans,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We hope to make Opening Night an annual tradition for Husker basketball program, and our team will be excited to perform in front of a sold-out crowd in two weeks.”
The Sept. 27 Opening Night festivities will be the largest preseason basketball event in Pinnacle Bank Arena since the Huskers moved in the building, nearly doubling the open house when the arena opened in 2013.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with the event starting at 7 p.m. The night includes introductions of the men’s and women’s teams, a 20-minute men’s scrimmage on the new Pinnacle Bank Arena court and other contests before hip-hop recording star Rick Ross will close the evening with a performance.
Opening Night with Husker Hoops begins a busy weekend on campus, as the Husker football team takes on Ohio State in Memorial Stadium the following day.
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team opened the Ameritas Players Challenge on Friday afternoon with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-8) win over High Point.
Nebraska (5-0) hit .349 and held High Point to a .033 hitting percentage. The Huskers posted eight blocks and were blocked only once by the Panthers (2-6).
NU was led by 14 kills on .650 hitting from junior Lexi Sun. She also added eight digs and three blocks. Madi Kubik had nine kills and seven digs, and Lauren Stivrins had seven kills and four blocks. Callie Schwarzenbach chipped in six kills and four blocks while hitting .364.
NU had a 41-30 edge in digs with Kenzie Knuckles and Nicklin Hames recording eight each. Hames had 31 assists for the Big Red. Anezka Szabo sparked the Huskers in the dominant third set with a pair of kills and a block. In the 25-8 third-set win, NU hit .462 with 13 kills and just one error on 26 swings, while High Point hit -.125.
Set 1: The Huskers doubled up the Panthers, 10-5, with five kills by five different players. High Point pulled within four at 13-9, but the Huskers reeled off a 5-1 run to go up 18-10, sparked by a solo block and kill by Stivrins. NU led by as many as 10 at 23-13 before High Point strung together three points in a row. The Huskers earned the first-set win at 25-16 with four kills apiece from Kubik and Stivrins. High Point was held to a .065 hitting percentage.
Set 2: A kill by Stivrins on the slide broke an 8-8 tie in the second frame, and Sun hammered a kill before Schwarzenbach and Hames posted a block for an 11-8 lead. High Point cut it to one, 13-12, but a kill by Schwarzenbach and an error by the Panthers led to a 15-12 Husker advantage at the media timeout. The Panthers scored three in a row after the break, including back-to-back aces by Maggie Salley, to tie the set at 15-15. Sun produced three kills for the Huskers to put NU ahead 20-17 and force a timeout by High Point. But the Panthers roared back to tie the set at 21-21 with their fourth ace of the set. A service error by High Point, and back-to-back Panther attacking errors gave NU set point at 24-21. Kubik terminated a kill to finish off the set, 25-22.
Set 3: The Huskers got off to their best start of the match, taking a 5-1 lead on a Szabo kill. Another kill by Szabo, and a combined block between her and Stivrins increased NU's lead to 7-2. The Huskers continued their strong play with Stivrins and Hames stuffing a High Point attack following two kills by Sun for a 14-4 lead. Schwarzenbach and Hames blasted kills, and Sun and Schwarzenbach teamed up for a block before Sun's 13th kill made it 21-6. Nicole Drewnick subbed in to set for the Huskers, and she assisted Sun's 14th kill of the match, as the Huskers finished the sweep, 25-8.
Up Next: Nebraska faces Denver on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Denver defeated Loyola Marymount, 3-2, in the early match on Friday.
13-Sep-2019 / Associated Press
Beatrice 45, Ralston 14
McCool Junction 67, Santee 14
Medicine Valley 24, Wauneta-Palisade 22
13-Sep-2019 / Associated Press
Amherst def. Ravenna, 27-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-15
Aquinas def. Shelby/Rising City, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 22-25, 15-5
Hartington Cedar Catholic def. Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur, 2-1
Wakefield-Allen def. Pierce, 25-23, 25-22
Laurel-Concord/Coleridge def. Homer, 25-23, 25-20
Lutheran High Northeast def. Laurel-Concord/Coleridge, 25-18, 25-11
Ponca def. Lutheran High Northeast, 25-21, 25-19
Ponca def. Homer, 25-16, 25-20
Weeping Water Triangular
Southern def. Weeping Water, 25-20, 25-14
Southern def. Heartland, 25-18, 25-15
Omaha Christian Academy def. Walthill, 25-11, 25-21
Winnebago def. Walthill, 25-12, 25-19
13-Sep-2019 / UNK Athletics
Kearney, Neb. – The Central Oklahoma Bronchos scored 21 fourth quarter points and recovered an onside kick with 47 seconds remaining to rally past Nebraska-Kearney, 28-23, Thursday night at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field.
UCO (1-1) improves to 4-1 all-time in Kearney and bounces back from a last second loss to No. 23 Pittsburg State. UNK (1-1), dating back to last year, has lost its last four games by a combined 23 points.
“I think we battled. What it boiled down to, especially there early in the fourth quarter, was the big plays. They got two long passes … our punter did a good job of pinning them down and we let them out of jail with a couple of big passes,” UNK head coach Josh Lynn said. “On the other side we had a couple of drops that should’ve been caught and that would’ve changed the outcome of the game.”
UNK’s option offense was humming along for three quarters and entered the final 15 minutes with huge advantages in time of possession and offensive plays ran. While the Lopers were ahead 17-7 at this time, several drives had stalled and resulted in either field goals, missed field goals or turnover on downs.
The ‘Chos offense scored a touchdown on its first possession of the night but then was forced to punt five straight times. However, after UNK missed a 42-yard field goal to start the fourth, UCO came alive and went 80 yards in 12 plays and then 93 yards in eight plays to suddenly lead 21-17 with 5:09 remaining. UNK then fumbled on its next offensive play and that led to another short TD run by backup quarterback Chandler Garrett.
“We got to put points when we’re down in the red zone. A few times we walked away with no points … we got to finish drives. Give UCO credit; they buckled down when they needed to,” Lynn said.
The Lopers didn’t go quietly, getting a defensive stop with 1:55 remaining and then going 62 yards in six plays. Senior QB Alex McGinnis (Crete) completed four passes on the quick drive, the last being a six-yard scoring strike to senior slot Luke Quinn (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
UNK then setup for an onside kick and was planning to go to the left side of the field. However, UCO called timeout and flipped their hands team to the opposite side. Senior Kendall Raschein (Red Bluff, Calif.) laid down a beauty of a kick towards the right side of the field that got batted backwards and a scrum for the ball ensued. The officials ruled UCO recovered the ball in what was a pile up of players.
“They said they saw with their own eyes a UCO player had the ball in a swarm of people,” Lynn said.
Kearney outgained UCO 504-379, running 15 more plays and having a seven minute advantage in time of possession. But the Lopers had five drives end inside the UCO 30-yard line that resulted in a total of three points.
UCO was led by junior QB Will Collins who went 13 of 24 for 200 yards, two TD’s and no INT’s. He also had several crucial scrambles on third or fourth down to the tune of 59 yards on seven attempts. Next, junior back T.J. Roberts had a big second half to end up with a team-high 98 yards on 18 carries with All-MIAA receiver Dustin Basks at 85 yards on four catches. His acrobatic 29-yard reception helped jumped start the ‘Chos offense early in the fourth. He then added a 40-yard catch to get the next drive going.
“We have to put our guys in the right position and then it boils down to making plays. It starts with coaches and then the players have to make plays,” Lynn said.
UNK was led by senior receiver Sedarius Young (Orlando, Fla.) who amassed 160 receiving yards on just four catches. This is the second most receiving yards by a Loper in the MIAA era (2012-pre.), trailing only the 161 yards Preston Foley had in a 2015 loss att UCO. That total also came on four grabs.
McGinnis finished 10 of 21 for 231 yards, one TD and no INT’s while rushing nine times for 39 yards. The UNK ground game averaged 4
12-Sep-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln – For the second straight year, Nebraska will be on the road for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, as the Huskers will travel to Atlanta, Ga., for a matchup with Georgia Tech. The game at McCamish Pavilion will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The game will be televised on ESPNU with a 6:15 p.m. (central) start time, as ESPN announced start times for all 14 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games Thursday morning.
This will be only the second-ever matchup between the Huskers and Yellow Jackets, as the teams have not played since a 66-49 win by Georgia Tech on Dec. 28, 1983.
The Huskers have played well on the road in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, posting a 3-1 mark following a 68-66 win at Clemson last season. NU also posted road wins at Wake Forest (2013) and at Florida State (2015).
Nebraska is 5-3 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge since joining the conference in 2011-12. Five of Nebraska’s eight games have been decided by five points or less, including all three losses. In all, Nebraska is 9-6 all-time in conference challenge games, including the Gavitt Games and the former Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Challenge. The Big Ten is 5-12-3 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, but is an impressive 5-2-3 over the last 10 years. Last year, the teams split the 14 games which allowed the ACC to keep the Commissioner’s Cup.
Nebraska Head Coach Fred Hoiberg is no stranger to conference challenge events in his time at Iowa State, going 2-1 in three such events, including a perfect 2-0 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Fans can get their first look at the 2019-20 Huskers under first-year coach Fred Hoiberg at the Opening Night with Husker Hoops on Friday, Sept. 27. As of Thursday morning, just 400 tickets remain for the event which will include a 20-minute scrimmage, introductions of the Husker men’s and women’s teams and a special performance by hip-hop superstar Rick Ross.
11-Sep-2019 / Associated Press
Archbishop Bergan def. Arlington, 3-0
Aurora def. Columbus, 25-16, 25-15, 22-25, 25-17
Bellevue East def. Omaha Benson, 25-8, 25-5, 25-10