WR Terrence Nunn

2005 Statistics

Coach: Bill Callahan
13-10, 2 years
2005 Record: 8-4
at Baylor WON 23-14
at Missouri LOST 24-41
at Kansas LOST 15-40
at Colorado WON 30-3
vs. Michigan WON 32-28

2005 Final Rankings
AP-24, Coaches-24, BCS-UR

2006 Outlook

This is one of those interesting seasons. Nebraska beams as they return many players with starting experience. The North Division should still be easy pickings with Colorado and Kansas State trying to usher in new regimes, but don’t count on that in this ever-changing conference half. Iowa State looks like trouble again, so there will be no weeks off for NU.

To achieve their goals, Nebraska must quickly assimilate the multiple JUCO players it has garnered in the last two recruiting classes. Junior college player contributions will be important at offensive line, receiver, defensive line and safety. Of the 24 players in Nebraska’s 2005 recruiting class, eight are JUCO players. Most recruiting sources ranked the Cornhusker’s current class toward the bottom because it lacked big name high school players, like the crew one year prior. Nebraska has been successful in the quality of junior college players it brought in, so do not discount the experience they bring to an already seasoned group.

Most looking at Nebraska’s schedule will note the looming appearance of last year’s national championship combatants, USC and Texas. While the losses of stars like Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Vince Young make those teams more vulnerable, Nebraska will not be able to bridge the overall talent gap between the teams. Expect Nebraska to play better than expected, but go 0-2 against the Trojans and ‘Horns. That means team in the Big XII North are their main marks for Ws, though how competitive they are versus UT and the Trojans will likely reveal how far they nationally throw themselves.

More important is the October road stretch when Nebraska spends three out of four weeks outside Lincoln. The Cornhuskers start out with consecutive road games at Iowa State and Kansas State. Then after its showdown with Texas in Lincoln, Nebraska plays Oklahoma State on the road. Nebraska should see the first two teams coming and more likely will end up with a loss against the Cowboys or Texas A&M later that season.
The non-conference schedule aside from USC should be a cakewalk for the ‘Huskers unless the bird flu breaks out in Lincoln. Nicholls State and Louisiana Tech will give the Big Red a chance to warm up for the Trojans, and Troy should be a nice sandwich in between USC and the Big 12 opener against Kansas. But a rerun to the levels of past (championship) years looks unlikely.

Still, this is the year when Nebraska gets to regain some of its national prominence and measure itself against two of the best teams of the past five years. So Bill Callahan is, in fact, doing a good job if he can compete against them and make fans believe the team’s surge back toward the top is in full swing. Fickle NU fans have dealt decent coaching efforts to the bottom of the proverbial deck before (Solich), so there are no job guarantees even if this squad produces. But the fans will have to be patient as the Cornhuskers regain a national foothold slowly but surely.

After 2006 Nebraska fans will be able to be proud once again.

Projected 2006 record: 8-4

C Kurt Mann

QB - 3.5 DL - 4
RB - 2.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Zac Taylor, 430-237-12, 2653 yds., 19 TD

Rushing: Cody Glenn, 45 att., 131 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Nate Swift, 45 rec., 641 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Jordan Congdon, 19-23 FG, 31-32 PAT, 88 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Jordan Congdon, 19-23 FG, 31-32 PAT, 88 pts.

Tackles: Corey McKeon, 98 tot., 61 solo

Sacks: Adam Carriker, 9.5 sacks

Interceptions: Corey McKeon, 3 for 57 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Marlon Lucky, 15 ret., 20.9 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Cortney Grixby, 32 ret., 10.4 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Cory Ross-IB, Cornealius Fuamatu-Thomas-OT, Brandon Koch-OG, Seppo Evwaraye-OT
DEFENSE: Wali Muhammad-DE, LeKevin Smith-NT, Titus Adams-DT, Adam Ickes-SLB, Daniel Bullocks-SS, Blake Tiedtke-FS, Sam Koch-P

Nebraska fans haven’t been able to feel this confident about their team’s returning starter since Eric Crouch trotted back on the field in 2001. Taylor overcame an early season slump and bad protection from his offensive line to look like a polished leader by the season’s end. This guy stand and delivers, he is not any kind of traditional NU running QB. Head coach Bill Callahan made a crucial decision to burn backup quarterback Harrison Beck’s redshirt last season to win a game against Kansas State, and Beck will counted on to improve this season. If he is going to lead this offense in the future he will have to develop during mop-up duty this season. Behind these two is plethora of mediocre quarterbacks.

Running Back
The position loses a lot of experience this season, but will not lack for depth. Sophomores Marlon Lucky and Cody Glenn should battle for the starting spot, but neither were awe inspiring in their freshman debuts. Lucky is a speedster that must learn to block and Glenn is a bruiser that needs to be better receiver. Both could be pushed by junior Brandon Jackson, but it’s doubtful. Lucky and Glenn saw more field time than Jackson as freshman, so the junior could be lacking in some areas. Callahan added to the position by adding Zac Taylor’s JUCO teammate Kenny Wilson. Wilson shined in a west coast style offense at Butler, and his experience with Taylor and receiving skills could trump the raw talent of the incumbent Cornhusker runners. Competition can only bode well. Fullback Dane Todd (former prep Gatorade Player of the Year, in-state; 7.9 per carry) was solid as a junior, and he will see more touches if Callahan is smart. But he should be the gold standard of the Nebraska backfield.

Bill Callahan finally found the playmakers he wanted at receiver. Terrance Nunn is good all around receiver than can pick up tough yards or stretch the field. Nate Swift became the deep threat that Nebraska has lacked in recent years. Both are big enough to get what comes their way(s), regardless of the DB playing them. After the top two receivers the position falls into a logjam, in which players will need to improve their skills to separate themselves from the pack. Despite catching balls from Zac Taylor in junior college, Frantz Hardy had problems with timing and catching the ball in ‘05. Seniors Grant Mulkey and Isaiah Fluellen have experience in the west coast offense, but faded into anonymity as last season went on. The ‘Huskers are hoping that junior college transfers Tyrell Spain and Maurice Purify will contribute immediately, and that sophomore Chris Brooks lives up to his potential. This is a good unit that will win games for Nebraska.

Tight End
Most NU fans missed the emergence of J.B. Phillips as a viable threat in this west coast offense. They missed Herian, who is the shizz, but was injured. Phillips has great ability to get upfield on screen passes and find the sideline for first downs. Phillip’s play sets up a showdown with a healing Herian for the top spot. Herian could again be a deep threat (as he was in 2003-04). If he is completely healthy he should unseat Phillips rather quickly. Behind them are Clayton Sievers and Josh Mueller, who were effective in two-tight end sets as bodies on LBs/DEs. The experience and ability of this foursome will allow Callahan to toy with some interesting bunch sets.

Offensive Line
Sometimes when a team loses starters it’s a good thing. This is one of those times. After allowing only 16 sacks in 2004, the ‘Husker line turned Zac Taylor to a rag doll in 2005, allowing 38. The Cornhuskers also went from having averaging 4.7 yards per rush in 2004 to 2.7 the next season. Nebraska’s pass blocking improved toward the end of the 2005 season as younger players like Lydon Murtha, Matt Slauson and Chris Patrick got a chance to play. Murtha will likely find himself starting at right tackle, while Patrick will start at right tackle. Murtha improved after being beaten off the block repeatedly in his first few starts. Slauson moves inside from tackle to start at right guard. Kurt Mann returns for what seems like his eighth year at center and is the vocal leader in the Cornhuskers’ locker room. Academic all-conference Greg Austin rounds out the lineup at the starting right guard position and is ready from his backup roles to floor. Offensive line coach Dennis Wagner relies on a rotation with several players and will expect contributions from other quality returning players, too. JUCO transfer Victory Haines will likely earn playing time immediately. This line has talent and will likely now have the understanding necessary to keep defenders off Taylor & Co.

Nebraska has its answer at quarterback in Zac Taylor, and the calls for Bill Callahan’s head on a platter have subsided. Now there is the opportunity for the offense to stop worrying (about not failing) and to instead start focusing (on succeeding). Taylor was prolific at times in 2005, but most importantly was always efficient. He made the interception machine (a.k.a. Joe Dailey) fade from memory with his 20 TD/13 INT effort. The biggest focus of this season will be improving the play of the offensive line and therefore the running backs. Cory Ross was no slouch in his career, so the blame of the ‘05 running game fiasco has to fall on the offensive line. Younger has thus far proven to be better, but the JUCO recruits that Callahan is putting so much stock in should play well quickly. One running back has to emerge and be Nebraska’s calling card on the ground. As Marlon Lucky can do so, Cody Glenn will focus on tough yards and Kenny Wilson on catching passes. From a play calling standout Callahan was often questioned for passing too much inside the five yard line. The offensive has good short yardage receiving threats, but has to become a grittier team when attacking the goaline. The remnants of the old regime are gone, and now the new system’s players will be polished. Husker fans can expect to see them shine often this season.


DE Adam Carriker


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Zac Taylor-Sr (6-2, 210) Joe Ganz-So (6-1, 200)
FB Dane Todd-Sr (5-11, 235) Matt Senske-Jr (6-3, 240)
TB Marlon Lucky-So (6-0, 210) Cody Glenn-So (6-0, 230)
Brandon Jackson-Jr (5-11, 210)
WR Nate Swift-So (6-2, 195) Frantz Hardy-Jr (6-1, 180)
WR Terrence Nunn-Jr (6-0, 185) Isaiah Fluellen-Sr (6-0, 190)
Todd Peterson-So (6-4, 210)
TE Matt Herian-Sr (6-5, 245) Josh Mueller-Jr (6-5, 260)
J.B. Phillips-Jr (6-3, 245)
OT Chris Patrick-Jr (6-4, 290) Lydon Murtha-So (6-7, 315)
OG Greg Austin-Sr (6-1, 290) Andy Christensen-So (6-3, 300)
C Kurt Mann-Sr (6-4, 290) Jordan Picou-Jr (6-2, 300)
OG Mike Huff-So (6-4, 305) ..
OT Matt Slauson-So (6-5, 335) Carl Nicks-Fr (6-5, 325)
K Jordan Congdon-So (5-11, 175) ..



Defensive Line
Defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove promised to improve the pass rush of the Blackshirts. Cosgrove is a man of his word. Nebraska led the nation in sacks in 2005 with 50, doubling its prior total. The fierce pass rush was led by defensive ends Adam Carriker and Jay Moore. Carriker was forced to bulk up last spring to play a new base end position, but it didn’t hurt his sack total (nine). Moore shook off doubters and played the part of a prototypical speedy Nebraska rush end. Both return this season and figure to be just a productive. Freshman Barry Turner and JUCO transfer Dontrell Moore are brought in for long yardage situations and have a knack for getting to the passer. In the middle, Barry Cryer and Ola Dagundaro should serve as more than suitable replacements for what was. Dagundaro is a slippery bursting ball of power, while Cryer is a player Callahan once compared to John Randle. Announcers will struggle with soph. Ndamukong Suh’s name, but may have to say it pretty often. Suh is one of only in-state walk-ons to ever earn a letter here, so realize his huge potential. Brandon Johnson, a JUCO tackle from Compton, will also contribute. This is a well-rounded unit that will keep up with foes (UT, OU) superior in-conference lines.

The biggest problem with this group seems to be how to get them all on the field at once. Nebraska returns five players with starting experience, including second team all-Big 12 middle linebacker Cory McKeon. McKeon is the sparkplug that leads the defense, but could be overshadowed by his flankers Stewart Bradley and Steve Octavien. Bradley has a knack for covering tight ends and making picks, while Octavien has the largest upside of any player on the team. The Husker coaches are convinced Octavien will be a first team all-Conference star. Bo Ruud is probably the nation’s biggest insurance policy as he backs up Octavien, and Lance Brandenburgh and Phillip Dillard provide strong depth. Defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove has said the team will keep its 4-3 base defense, but Husker fans are sure to see more 3-4 alignments this season.

Defensive Back
This unit is in great shape at the corner, but in peril at the safety spots. Cortney Grixby returns for his third starting role, and despite being undersized Grixby continues to be an effective cover man, especially when the defense is in zone. On the other side of the field is former No. 1 JUCO player Zackary Bowman. Bowman is the large, athletic lockdown corner Nebraska has lacked since for some time. Behind them is converted running back Tierre Green, who needs to make more big plays, though solid as a nickel back. Titus Brothers saw time as a dime back and can do whatever, whenever (Alamo Bowl game-saving tackle). At safety the cupboard is bare. Andrew Shanle and Brandon Rigoni made some big hits as special teams players last season, but questions remain. Rigoni has heart (two FFs), but is small (5’6”). Odds are Nebraska will start Shanle at the strong spot. At the free spot Nebraska will give looks to Andre Jones, who Rivals ranked No. 7 in JUCO, converted running back Leon Jackson, and Ricky Thenarse, a newcomer from Los Angeles. Green and Brothers could also move from corner, but expect Jones to earn the spot. It isn’t like they have no potential and/or talent overall, but how the back four come together as a unit will likely be the level of the entire defense.

Despite the gaping holes at the safety spots, this is easily the most solid defense in the Callahan era, and likely the best since the Osborne era. Nebraska allowed about 20 more yards rushing per game in 2005 than the previous year, but made that up in sacks and pass coverage (allowing 267 yards passing per game in ‘04 to 207 last campaign). If it can be imagined, Nebraska’s pass rush should be better with the return of four DEs and three DTs. The linebacker corps will be the best in the conference. If Steve Octavien proves to be the player coaches think he is, the linebackers will be amongst the best in the nation. The cornerback group is physical and won’t cower to the big time receivers of USC and Texas. The biggest focus of the defense will be to develop its young safeties and to get off to better starts in games (against Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Missouri, lost all three games after letting each surge early). Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove will rally this group as well as any, so the sky is the limit for the Blackshirts in their wide open conference half.


LB Corey McKeon


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Jay Moore-Sr (6-4, 280) Barry Turner-So (6-3, 250)
NT Ola Dagunduro-Sr (6-2, 300) Ndamukong Suh-So (6-4, 320)
DT Barry Cryer-Sr (6-2, 280) Ty Steinkuhler-So (6-3, 275)
DE Adam Carriker-Sr (6-6, 295) Zach Potter-So (6-7, 275)
SLB Stewart Bradley-Sr (6-4, 245) Lance Brandenburgh-Jr (6-1, 230)
MLB Corey McKeon-Jr (6-1, 225) Phillip Dillard-So (6-1, 250)
WLB Steve Octavien-Jr (6-0, 240) Bo Ruud-Jr (6-3, 230)
CB Cortney Grixby-Jr (5-9, 170) Andre Jones-Jr (6-0, 192)
CB Zackary Bowman-Sr (6-2, 195) Titus Brothers-Jr (5-11, 190)
SS Tierre Green-Jr (6-1, 200) Ben Eisenhart-Jr (5-11, 200)
FS Andrew Shanle-Sr (6-1, 210) Brandon Rigoni-Sr (5-6, 185)
P Dan Titchener-So (6-0, 195) ..




Jordan Congdon has lived up to the hype he was given when he signed last spring. The sophomore set a school freshman record for field goals. He needs to work on his leg strength and will be trusted more and more in longer yardage situations. Coverage units for any kind of kick should continue to be a strength for this NU squad, meaning field position battles will usually be won.

Dan Tichener backed up Koch last year and will be the likely favorite to replace him, though how do you replace a guy who allowed the team to rank second in the nation for net results? Tichener is a former two time all-state player from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Nebraska failed to land a recruit at the position this season and unless a walk on emerges Tichener will earn the job.

Return Game
The nightmare of the 2004 receiving game was erased by the promising results of last season. Terrance Nunn and Cortney Grixby combined to be one of the best punt return groups in the Big 12, averaging 14 yards per return as a duo. Marlon Lucky affords his biggest team contribution as a KR, though Tierre Green is the team’s star kick return man. Both return to solidify a strong overall runback game for Nebraska.