FS Josh Bullocks

2003 Statistics

Coach: Bill Callahan
1st year
2003 Record: 10-3
at Southern Miss WON 38-14
at Missouri LOST 24-41
at Texas LOST 7-31
at Kansas WON 24-3
at Colorado WON 31-22
Michigan State WON 17-3

2003 Final Rankings
AP-19, Coaches-18, BCS-20

2004 Outlook

It's all about new head coach Bill Callahan and his debut. They really do not like coaching changes at this institution. Many of the maizen are in the breath-holding stage, waiting to see what kind of game-plans Bill and his heavily-weighted professional staff will incur. The norm of his past has been to air it out first, in pseudo-west coast schemes that smack of pass-first play-calling. Oh, the faithful are turning plaid with anticipation.

But this cannot be a short-term, quick-fix character the core fans are expecting to see in approach or result. Callahan and his chosen staff are master recruiters that have a plan of multiple years to build this program back into the juggernaut it once was, not the second-tier mediocrity they have become. The fans have to realize this and let 2004, with its new starting QB and other talent-position finds, develop naturally. This will include allowing the team to have a few close games to build character. So, even if a few of these close ones are losses, the fans have to see this as a positive building block for things to come. Remember, wins in '03 were blowouts, but so, primarily too, were the three losses. Earning some battle scars in a close game or two will pay off in the end, trust us.

Early tilts against Southern Mississippi and (at) Pittsburgh will be tough for the new QB. The campaign works through games at Kansas State and Oklahoma, and then at home with Missouri in the midst of this four-week run, so some losses will occur. Fortunately, the important conference games are towards the end, so the engine can adjust its timing in those first challenges to then hum when the rivals come calling.

Fans in Lincoln are savvy enough to realize the subtlety of the above claim, and will, accordingly, not panic if things start slow this season. But as the signs of growth graduate to real developments that equal wins against quality foes, the Cornhusker nation will boast once again of their future and its lovely, red glow. Oklahoma had better watch out at home November 13th…

Projected 2004 record: 9-2
QB - 2 DL - 3.5
RB - 3 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 4.5
OL - 4.5 ..

Passing: Joe Dailey, 14-9-2, 117 yds., 2 TD

Rushing: Cory Ross, 130 att., 575 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Matt Herian, 22 rec., 484 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: David Dyches, 14-21 FG, 32-32 PAT, 74 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: David Dyches, 14-21 FG, 32-32 PAT, 41 long

Tackles: Barrett Ruud, 149 tot., 78 solo, 13 TFL

Sacks: Barrett Ruud, 2.5 sacks

Interceptions: Josh Bullocks, 10 for 154 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Jack O’Holleran, 2 ret., 13.5 avg.

Punt Returns: Cory Ross, 6 ret., 10.3 avg.


TE Matt Herian


OFFENSE: Josh Sewell-C, Dan Vili Waldrop-OT, Jammal Lord-QB, Judd Davies-FB, Josh Davis-IB
DEFENSE: Ryon Bingham-NT, Patrick Kabongo-NT, Trevor Johnson-DE, T.J. Hollowell-BUCK, Demorrio Williams-WLB, Jerrell Pippens-FS, Pat Ricketts-CB, Kyle Larson-P

No matter what is said, the approach here is going to be as conventional as wearing red to work on Fridays. Sophomore speedster Joe Dailey has had a bit of backup time in real games, but has shown little besides guts. He had two TDs, but also two INTs in his brief '03 exposure, but bet Dailey will fall into the mold of all of the great run-pass combo threats Lincoln has produced. But also realize this means he will have mediocre numbers as he leads his men to victory. We're sure this will be OK with the Cornhusker faithful, especially with the sophistication offensive-mind coach Callahan brings to the table. Dailey has an arm, but expect it to be marginally cocked as creative draws and play-action become fashionable in Nebraska's offense.

Running Back
Junior Cory Ross is a smallish speedster that can slip under big defensive linemen for extra inside yards as well as he can bounce outside and break one. This guy will be a team leader with his work ethic and strong approach to the game's facets. His backup will see loads of reps - David Horne, another junior ready to make a leadership impact, is bigger and just as quick. The two should one-two punch Nebraska's running game into the 5 yards-per carry average as a team for '04. The option of Dailey, these guys, or senior all-academic FB Steve Kriewald will make ground-loaded play-calling a no-brainer and for very few plays that will lose yards, if chosen.

Wide Receiver
Juniors mean the WR crew is experienced enough to give Dailey solid route-runners and good short-range targets for his quick-release needs. Starter Ross Pilkington returns, and he brings needed speed to the outside. Fellow-junior Mark Leflore also returns, and he and Z-slot man Isaiah Fluellen make this trio worthy of Callahan's attention for more than just 192 throws, 2003's total of passes attempted. Look for these guys and others to become a valued dimension not seen for quite some time in Lincoln.

Tight End
Junior Matt Herian adds to the above claims as to how well the passing game will be anticipated. This shining star has averaged well-over 20 yards per catch his entire Nebraska career, and is the co-leading receiver from '03. His numbers aren't quite enough to get him all-American honors, but his ability to tie up LBs and safeties will open up all kinds of lanes and angles for the ground game and other underneath routes. Look for senior Dusty Keiser to bust opposing defenses' outside containment as he lines up opposite Herian. Dusty has hands, too.

Offensive Line
Much is needed and expected from this crew, and they will deliver. Ironically, opposing linemen will definitely know who junior Richie Incognito is, especially if they find out the painful way that he totaled the second-highest pancake total in school history as a freshman! With sausage grinders like the ones Nebraska produces on a regular basis, that says much, huh. Richie can play center, too, so look for much from this 2003 Outland watch-lister. While in this breakfast analogy, look for pancakes galore from senior guard Mike Erikson. He and fellow-senior Jake Anderson (team-best squat of 600-lbs.) will "guard" the inside well, regardless of the opponents. Enough dimensions are covered by these agile giants that they should again rank in the top 10 for yards per game on the ground.

First-year offensive coordinator Jay Norvell comes in with Callahan from Oakland. His experience in most of his college settings has been to instigate an air-born approach to the offense. Callahan has to be ready to temper this and make the talent he has work with what they do best, and especially what they were recruited to do, and we all know that is to primarily run. If anyone is going to let QBs air it out with good strategies, it'll be Callahan. Look for one-in-three plays to be a pass, a huge change from their usual one-in-four or -five ratio traditionally employed here. Growing pains with the entire personnel will occur. But will they again perform practically mistake-free ball under new head coach Bill Callahan (ranked first in all I-A for TO-ratio in '03)? Strategy is open, and opponents need to pay attention to what develops/happens on this side of the ball to win against the Cornhuskers.


OT Richie Incognito


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Joe Dailey-So (6-0, 205) Mike Stuntz-Jr (6-1, 205)
FB Steve Kriewald-Sr (5-10, 245) Dane Todd-So (5-10, 235)
IB Cory Ross-Jr (5-6, 200) David Horne-Jr (6-0, 195)
Tierre Green-Fr (6-0, 195)
WR Ross Pilkington-Jr (6-0, 185) Mark LeFlore-Jr (5-11, 190)
WR Isaiah Fluellen-So (6-0, 180) Willie Amos-Sr (6-0, 190)
TE Matt Herian-Jr (6-5, 240) Dusty Keiser-Sr (6-3, 250)
OT Darren DeLone-Sr (6-5, 310) Mike Erickson-Sr (6-4, 300)
OG Brandon Koch-Jr (6-3, 310) Gary Pike-Jr (6-4, 320)
C Richie Incognito-Jr (6-3, 290) Kurt Mann-So (6-3, 285)
OG Jake Andersen-Sr (6-1, 295) Jared Helming-Jr (6-3, 300)
OT Sepo Evwaraye-Jr (6-5, 300) Nick Povendo-Sr (6-3, 300)
K David Dyches-So (6-1, 200) Sandro DeAngelis-Sr (5-8, 200)
Steve Kriewald....KREE-wald
Brandon Koch....COE
Sepo Evwaraye....SEP-oh Ev-vwah-AYE-yea
David Dyches....Dikes
Tierre Green....Tee-AIR
Dusty Keiser....KIE-ser
Nick Povendo....Poe-VEN-doe



Defensive Line
Nebraska will miss three incredible linemen from their 24th-ranked run-defense of '03, but the talent drop off looks to be minimal with two starters returning and agile monsters will clamor for the vacancies. The thing this unit has to be aware of is letting opponents again tally 3.5 yards per rush for the entire campaign. LeKevin Smith has gotten back to his same quickness levels from before his blowing out of each knee successively in his freshman and then sophomore years. His 29-inch vertical leap is complimented by the athleticism of his fellow stuffers. Finding a NT will be top priority as spring ball ensues. End Bernard Thomas, a senior, will again disrupt and affect pass plays, even as a short-coverage man. With such a strong back-seven, this dimension cannot, and will not, allow opponents to frequently penetrate past their initial wall.

There is no doubt the defense will rely on MLB Barrett Ruud to again rule over all proceedings. His nose for the ball is only outshined by the anomalistic, across-the-board statistical results he earns. Chad Sievers (4.0 in Business Admin.) and Ira Cooper both will make much of their senior campaigns - each is the most-experienced of the returners here. They are both adaptable to any position, and will have to be with inexperience behind them. If injuries occur to these few standouts, look for much from the incoming newbies.

Defensive Back
This was the number one pass-efficiency defense of '03, and that unit returns three starters. Junior Fabian Washington will again be a shut-down level corner, and teams will assuredly aim the other way, whichever way he isn't. The other corner, Lornell McPherson, is almost as good, and will show much as he gets balls galore, for sure. And when we talk about NU safeties in '04, all we can say is - Bullocks! Twins Josh and Daniel Bullocks play on the same page, to say the least. By having played in back together going now on two years, only the most sophisticated of passing schemes will make 2004 any different. Strong safety Josh wins the ball-hawking title of these four starters (10 INTs). Expect much from them, like again holding foes to under 6 yards per pass and again allowing somewhere near 10 (or under) passing TDs.

The one stat we failed to reveal was NU's #2 ranking nationally in scoring defense. New-DC Kevin Cosgrove comes in from Wisconsin. He was also a LB coach there, and he brings a balanced, conservative approach to the defense. He enjoys having stingy crews when points are up for grabs, so expect the Cornhuskers to again give them up with an eyedropper. The secondary will predictably help out the run-stoppers early, until they feel it, too. But Cosgrove cannot allow quick Big 12 foes into the secondary when they cheat eight in the box this way. A few early foes may hurt the stat department in a few categories, but the secondary will surely keep the play in front of them enough to assure wins in those contests. They may not finish as the 11th-ranked defense again, but they will be close, and just as effective.


LB Barrett Ruud


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Benard Thomas-Sr (6-4, 265) Jay Moore-So (6-4, 260)
DT Titus Adams-Jr (6-3, 285) Brandon Teamer-So (6-5, 280)
DT LeKevin Smith-Jr (6-2, 310) Brandon Greeson-So (6-3, 290)
DE Adam Carriker-So (6-6, 270) Wali Muhammad-Jr (6-1, 245)
SLB Stewart Bradley-So (6-4, 240) Bo Ruud-Fr (6-3, 215)
MLB Barrett Ruud-Sr (6-2, 240) Ira Cooper-Sr (6-2, 225)
WLB Chad Sievers-Sr (6-3, 230) Mark Brungardt-So (6-2, 225)
CB Fabian Washington-Jr (5-11, 180) Adrain Turner-Fr (5-9, 180)
CB Lornell McPherson-Sr (5-9, 180) Titus Brothers-Fr (5-11, 195)
Kellen Huston-Sr (5-11, 195)
SS Daniel Bullocks-Jr (6-1, 205) Shane Siegel-Jr (6-2, 220)
FS Josh Bullocks-Jr (6-0, 205) Andrew Shanle-So (6-1, 205)
P Sam Koch-Jr (6-1, 235) Tyler Kester-Fr (6-1, 195)
Barrett Ruud....RUDE
Sam Koch....COOK
Bo Ruud....RUDE
Andrew Shanle....SHAN-lee




Sophomore David Dyches will again be inconsistent. He has to take that turn to the next level, or NU risks losing a few close ones. That will happen, too, and due to this dimensions deficiencies.

The Cornhuskers will be damn consistent here, though. Punter/PK (kickoffs) Sam Koch is the designated inheritor of the spot, and he will not likely live up to the past job done. But NU ranks in the top ten for net results, and with a dense dose of hungry defensive backups, this will continue. He need only hit in the 42-yard range on average for Nebraska to win field position battles.

Cory Ross will step in here. He is going to have company, but he and whoever else will do well, regardless. There are just too many magicians in this department for this squad not to have a burner each time. Coverage of opponents' returns on KOs has to step up to be on par with the other special teams areas, save placekicking.


A school-record (for a spring game) 61,417 fans showed up for the final spring scrimmage. Think the Husker fans are anxious to see what Bill Callahan (or is that Beau Bridges?) can do? It used to be unheard of for 11 different Nebraska receivers to touch the ball throughout the season, but that was the number of varying pass-catchers in the Red-White game. New QB Joe Dailey completed 29-of-49 passes for 241 yards and four TDs, while WR Ross Pilkington and TE Matt Herrian combined for 11 catches totaling 107 yards. Yes, this is less than ten yards per catch by either the QBs or these two WRs, but they have to start somewhere. TB Cory Ross has surfaced as the quality back this offense demands, garnering admiration from his offensive coaches. Callahan says Dailey is progressing nicely with his understanding of this offense. Overall the offense is getting very near where Callahan expects them to be for the start of the season. Junior OT Seppo Evwaraye was the most improved player this spring, earning a spot at right tackle on that Husker line. The overall status of the line is still a work in progress. This is a group so used to consistently firing off the ball in their run-dominated offense. Once they grasp the technique of mixing it up with west-coast pass blocking, their versatility will make this offense that much more dangerous. All-star OT Richie Incognito was found guilty of assault this off-season. Callahan says he will be disciplined "within the program" - yeah, but it's not like any illegalities go away from running laps or being benched. While no specifics have been given, we expect him to miss some game time.

Soph DE Adam Carriker has won the praise of coaches and teammates with his desire, dedication and drive, both on and off the field. Those virtues have paid off so far, helping lead him to an outstanding spring. He's the most valuable member on that line and will give opponents fits with his play. Coaches really tried to shore up the goal line defense by creating situations that will instill a stiff red zone mentality. Overall, coaches are pleased at where this defense is in all phases. The defensive line is creating good push up front, the LBs are capable of running downhill and hitting, and the secondary is very versatile and athletic. They also have one of the better D-coordinators in the game in Kevin Cosgrove (formerly of Wisconsin) running the show. A player unlikely to get his name printed in any publication this summer is special teamer Brandon Rigoni. Rigoni will serve as a gunner on special teams and will be an exciting player to watch. Hey, Brando, Nationalchamps.net has your back!

QB Jordan Adams (so)
OT Lydon Murtha (fr)
WR Terrence Nunn (fr)
WR/KR Nathan Swift (fr)