LB Bo Ruud

2006 Statistics

Coach: Bill Callahan
22-15, 3 years
2006 Record: 9-5
at Southern California LOST 10-28
at Iowa State WON 28-14
at Kansas State WON 21-3
at Oklahoma State LOST 29-41
at Texas A&M WON 28-27
vs. Oklahoma LOST 7-21
Auburn LOST 14-17

2006 Final Rankings
AP-27, Coaches-27, BCS-23

2007 Outlook

Though patience and consistency are needed when building a champion, fourth-year head coach Bill Callahan's seat has to be getting hot after Nebraska again failed to reach double-digit wins under his tenure. Predecessor Frank Solich, the school's fifth all-time best coach, was jettisoned for going 10-3 just four years ago, so 2007 had better see NU back amongst the conference's/nation's elite for Callahan's sake. Enter new OC Shawn Watson, ex-CU coordinator who takes charge of Callahan's already-successful "west coast" approach. Step one is finding the right guy behind center, and enough potential is there so that only a few steps back (if any) will be needed due to all of the other offensive units coming back in full. But offensive woes haven't been the only reason(s) for Nebraska's recent struggles - their great collection of defensive talent needs to find more consistency for the Cornhuskers to reestablish themselves as perennial members of the top 10. The new-look DLine will go just as far as the new QB(s) in defining 2007. NU will again beat lesser teams; it will come down to how well they do against their tough slate of foes outside the Big 12. Nevada, (at) Wake Forest and Southern Cal - all three bowl teams with two of them being BCS-conference champs - constitute one of the country's top non-con slates. Factor in back-to-back games with major South division foes (at) A&M and Texas, and the fact that three of their last four are away, and you get another tenuous prospect for Nebraska’s season. Unfortunately, this could again be the nation's best four- or five-loss team, but that won't mean much when Callahan exits and another rebuilding effort equals more lacking campaigns before NU even gets back to where they are now.

Projected 2007 record: 9-3

WR Maurice Purify

QB - 3.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 4.5
WR - 4 DB - 4
OL - 4.5 ..

Passing: Joe Ganz, 7-13-0, 122 yds., 3 TD

Rushing: Marlon Lucky, 141 att., 728 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Terrence Nunn, 42 rec., 597 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Jordan Congdon, 5-7 FG, 55-56 PAT, 70 pts.

Punting: Dan Titchener, 66 punts, 39.3 avg.

Kicking: Jordan Congdon, 5-7 FG, 55-56 PAT, 70 pts.

Tackles: Andre Jones, 74 tot., 52 solo

Sacks: Ndamukong Suh, 3.5 sacks

Interceptions: Bo Ruud, 2 for 54 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Marlon Lucky, 8 ret., 19.1 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Terrence Nunn, 18 ret., 8.5 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Zac Taylor-QB, Dane Todd-FB, Matt Herian-TE, Greg Austin-OG, Chris Patrick-OT, Brandon Jackson-IB (NFL), Jordan Congdon-K (transferred)
DEFENSE: Jay Moore-DE, Ola Dagunduro-NT, Barry Cryer-DT, Adam Carriker-DE, Stewart Bradley-SLB, Andrew Shanle-FS

Getting a new offensive coordinator and new starting QB in the same year can obviously have its pitfalls. But that doesn't mean it can't work, and new man-behind-the-scenes Shawn Watson will have a huge hand in picking and procuring the next Cornhusker signal-caller since he is also coaching the QBs (Callahan as an ex-QB doesn't hurt, either). From what we can discern, coach Callahan has picked up offseason practices right where the offense left off, so the "west coast" approach will probably be in vogue again here. Arizona State-transfer Sam Keller has three inches on last year's backup Joe Ganz and likely has the inside track due to his extensive I-A experience, but junior Ganz has that extra rushing dimension Keller lacks. Either is capable of running this offense, but will need time to make it hum like it did to end '06. At least the running game looks to be as strong with basically the entire line returning. What was just last season a bunch of first-time starters is now a group of juniors and seniors who know each other, what to do and when to do it in this subtle-yet-complicated scheme. Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year (2003) Lydon Murtha and state prep wrestling champ Andy Christiansen are the two newest starters. This is a top notch unit that will keep up with the best the conference has to offer. Juniors Lucky Marlon and Cody Glenn will be tough to stop as these 200+lb. I-backs rotate to stay fresh-legged. Fullback Matt Senske needs to get some touches to keep things "west coast" authentic and keep defenders guessing. Speaking of "west coast", you will know how much those words truly apply when you also see how much they (continue to) use their bevy of capable tight ends, often two and three at a time. The receivers come back three-deep - all are over six-foot and all can get YAC as well as they get open downfield. The new signal caller will have all of the advantages of a developed corps. Still, replacing the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year (Zac Taylor) and their coordinator likely means what was the 14th-ranked offense doesn't perform at quite the same efficiency until some time mid-season.


RB Marlon Lucky


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Sam Keller-Sr (6-4, 230) Joe Ganz-Jr (6-1, 200)
Beau Davis-Jr (6-4, 180)
FB J.B. Phillips-Sr (6-3, 245) Matt Senske-Sr (6-3, 245)
IB Marlon Lucky-Jr (6-0, 210) Cody Glenn-Jr (6-0, 230)
Kenny Wilson-Sr (6-0, 220) - inj.
WR Terrence Nunn-Sr (6-0, 185) Frantz Hardy-Sr (6-1, 180)
WR Maurice Purify-Sr (6-4, 230) Nate Swift-Jr (6-2, 195)
Todd Peterson-Jr (6-4, 210)
TE Josh Mueller-Sr (6-5, 265) Hunter Teafatiller-Jr (6-3, 220)
Sean Hill-Sr (6-3, 250)
OT Carl Nicks-Sr (6-5, 325) Mike Smith-Fr (6-6, 265)
OG Andy Christensen-Jr (6-3, 300) Jordan Picou-Sr (6-2, 300)
C Brett Byford-Sr (6-3, 300) Victory Haines-Sr (6-7, 290)
OG Matt Slauson-Jr (6-5, 335) Mike Huff-Jr (6-4, 305)
OT Lydon Murtha-Jr (6-7, 315) D.J. Jones-Fr (6-5, 315)
K Jake Wesch-Jr (6-1, 200) Alex Henery-Fr (6-2, 170)



Replacing the entire front line that was responsible for 52 TFLs would appear to be an automatic step back for the D. But once this new front four, made essentially out of coach Callahan's recruits, is in place, Nebraska can possibly vault their run stopping efforts to a point where powerhouses like Southern Cal and Texas can be stopped. Sophomore DT Ndamukong Suh (in his father's native land of Cameroon, his name means "House of Spears") was the Oregon Defensive Player of the Year (2004) and has the athleticism to make nearly half of his tackles for loss. Bulked up ex-end Ty Steinkuhler, a heady inside player with one of those never-ending motors, also represents mismatches with opposing logy linemen, while former freshman All-American Barry Turner is so quick he can take over a game at end if left unfettered. 6'8 kick-blocking end Zach Potter, along with numerous four-star recruits, joins these monsters to make dominance seem again attainable for the Blackshirts. The linebackers will help, seeing how they are almost all seniors and lose only one major component. There is enough proven worth amongst the LB reserves that fostering the run stopping efforts can likely mean improvements to the Husker’s pedestrian (by NU standards) ranking in '06 of 37th. MLB Corey McKeon and WILL Bo Ruud (All-Big 12 first-team) represent the stingy, over-achieving approach upon which the entire defense is built. Both senior corners are able to be left alone on the outside - all-conference Omaha-native Courtney Grixby plays much bigger than his 5'9 frame might suggest and the nation's top JUCO-transfer in ‘06, Andre Jones, finished second in team tackles. There is enough proven talent in the deep middle that second-year starting safety Tierre Green will not be spread too thin. Success in this secondary is predicated on the line doing its job. Ergo, as the defense starts to contain the offensive proceedings up front, the pass defense numbers will improve and this can become the suffocating group most in Lincoln have come to expect.


DB Cortney Grixby


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Barry Turner-Jr (6-3, 250) Clayton Sievers-Jr (6-4, 240)
NT Ndamukong Suh-So (6-4, 315) Brandon Johnson-Sr (6-3, 315)
Shukree Barfield-Jr (6-4, 310)
DT Ty Steinkuhler-Jr (6-3, 280) Kevin Luhrs-Sr (6-1, 260)
DE Zach Potter-Jr (6-7, 280) Pierre Allen-Fr (6-5, 265)
SLB Bo Ruud-Sr (6-1, 235) Kyle Moore-Fr (6-2, 220)
MLB Corey McKeon-Sr (6-1, 225) Phillip Dillard-So (6-1, 255)
WLB Steve Octavien-Sr (6-0, 240) Lance Brandenburgh-Sr (6-1, 230)
CB Andre Jones-Sr (6-0, 195) Zackary Bowman-Sr (6-2, 195)
CB Cortney Grixby-Sr (5-9, 170) Armando Murillo-Jr (6-0, 195)
SS Larry Asante-So (6-1, 205) Ben Eisenhart-Sr (5-11, 200)
Rickey Thenarse-So (6-0, 185)
FS Tierre Green-Sr (6-1, 200) Bryan Wilson-Sr (6-1, 200)
P Dan Titchener-Jr (6-0, 200) ..




Kicker Jordan Congdon's abrupt departure (family) means new recruit Adi Kunalic appears to be the most qualified foot in camp. Maybe now they can convert for three from beyond 40 (last year's longest). More assured is the punting - Dan Tichener had an astonishing 82% of his modest sub-40-yard efforts either fair-caught and/or land inside their opponents' 20, resulting in a 24th-ranked net result. Nate Swift seems to be the only return guy (punts) who is worthy of his status. New blood needs to be found there.