Monday, April 18, 2011
Spring game recap: Nebraska
By ESPN.com staff
I'll be taking a quick look at all six of the spring games/scrimmages played Saturday around the Big Ten.
First up is Nebraska, which held its annual Red-White Spring game at Memorial Stadium. The Red team prevailed 32-29 as Brent Maher connected on a 39-yard field goal as time expired.
Game coverage: Here and here and here and here.
Quotable: "We mixed and matched a lot of personnel, so there wasn't a lot of continuity out there. I thought it was a good game to watch. Hopefully the fans enjoyed it. The players enjoyed it. There were some good things. Obviously we were very, very basic. ... That's how we chose to play the game, but the most important thing is no one got seriously hurt, which is always a plus." -- Nebraska coach Bo Pelini
- The offense kept it basic with the scheme, but freshman wide receiver Jamal Turner still wowed the crowd with his speed and play-making ability. Turner had a dynamic 49-yard touchdown reception where he leaped between two defenders to make the catch and then broke a tackle before somersaulting into the end zone (drawing a celebration penalty). He recorded four receptions for 93 yards and added returns of 59 yards (punt) and 54 yards (kickoff). Turner finished with 228 all-purpose yards. You can't read too much into a spring game, but Nebraska needs help at receiver, and Turner certainly looks like a guy who can contribute this fall. "He brings a really good element," Pelini said.
- While top quarterbacks Taylor Martinez (4-for-13 passing, one interception) and Cody Green (4-for-10 passing) both struggled a bit, redshirt freshman Brion Carnes had a very nice performance. Carnes completed 11 of 15 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He added nine carries for 40 yards. Although he did most of the damage against third- and fourth-string defenders, Carnes has to enter the summer with some confidence. "He shows flashes," Pelini said. "He has a lot of ability, but he's still swimming in it a little bit. Even as basic as we were today, there are a lot of things he needs to improve upon and can get better at. But you see signs that he's going to be a good football player in time."
- Eric Martin stood out on defense as he hopes to secure a starting spot at end. Martin recorded four tackles, two for loss, and a forced fumble, doing all of his damage in the first few minutes of the game. A standout on special teams who alternated between linebacker and end last season, Martin has solidified himself as a lineman.
- Maher had a very busy day on special teams. In addition to punting six times (49.3-yard average), Maher made four field goals, two from 39 yards and two from 25 yards. He could handle punting, kickoffs and field goals this fall as Nebraska looks to replace All-American Alex Henery.