Saturday, September 18, 2010
Huskers Stock Up, Locker Stock Down
The Nebraska Cornhuskers stock is rising while Jake Locker's NFL stock may be falling.
The Cornhuskers rushed for 383 yards and netted 533 total yards as eighth-ranked Nebraska won 56-21 over the Washington Huskies. Taylor Martinez had 150 yards passing, 137 yards rushing and four total TD. The 56 points were the most by the Cornhuskers away from the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium since the 2000 Alamo Bowl.
One of the staples of past Nebraska teams was its ability to rush the football. From 1994 to 2001 Nebraska won the nation's rushing title five times, leading to three National Championships. However, the past five seasons Nebraska has finished no better than 23rd in the nation in rushing.
This year it appears the Cornhuskers are getting back to their roots. Entering Saturday, Nebraska was third in the nation in rushing at 324 rush yards per game. In their win over the Huskies, three Cornhuskers had over 100 yards rushing -- Taylor Martinez (137), Roy Helu Jr. (110) and Rex Burkhead (104). It's fourth time in school history Nebraska has had at least three players rush for more than 100 yards in the same game. The last time prior to Saturday's game was in 2001 against the Baylor Bears when they had four players accomplish the feat. The total damage inflicted by the Cornhuskers on the ground: 383 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, it was a game to forget for Heisman candidate Jake Locker, who many experts say could be the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and who might have been the number-one pick last year had he not stayed in school. Locker completed just four of 20 passes for 71 yards with 2 interceptions. His 20.0 completion percentage is tied for the third worst by a QB with a minimum of 20 attempts over the last six seasons.
In his college career, Locker has won just three times against ranked opponents (USC and California last year and Boise State in 2007). But he's also lost 12 times against ranked opponents as well. Saturday was also the eighth time in Locker's career at Washington in which he's thrown multiple interceptions in a game. The Huskies have never won any of those eight games.