About Rich Kaipust

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football. You can follow Rich on Twitter (@RKaipustOWH) or email him at rich.kaipust@owh.com

Posts by Rich Kaipust

NU games with Hurricanes, Spartans set for prime time TV

Nebraska has been picked for a pair of prime-time television slots next season that will air on the ABC/ESPN family of networks.

According to the Big Ten and ABC/ESPN, the kickoffs will be 7 p.m. CDT for Nebraska-Miami in Lincoln on Sept. 20 and Nebraska-Michigan State in East Lansing on Oct. 4. They will be carried by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

All together, six games involving Big Ten teams were selected, with Ohio State involved in three.

Although NU and Miami have played 10 times, they haven’t met in a regular-season game since 1976. They last played in the Rose Bowl after the 2001 season.

Nebraska and Michigan State will be televised by ABC/ESPN for the fourth consecutive year. The Huskers and Spartans will be …

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Baseball: Nebraska vs. K-State

When: Tuesday at 6:35 p.m.
Where: HaymarketPark
Radio: Husker Sports Network

Scouting Nebraska: The Huskers have now swept Minnesota and Ohio State in their last two Big Ten series, allowing three or fewer runs in five of those six games. In the process, Nebraska (23-14, 7-2) has lowered its team ERA to 2.46 in Big Ten play, compared to 3.99 overall. Now comes Kansas State, its former Big 12 rival which owns a five-game win streak in the series and has scored 10 and 12 against NU in recent mid-week matchups…. Nebraska will pitch left-hander Austin Christensen, who will be making his first career start. The sophomore has worked 6 1/3 innings in four relief appearances, allowing three hits and no earned runs…. …

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Pelini likes the Huskers’ spring, but says it’s time to look ahead

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini reiterated after the Red-White scrimmage something that he has said several times recently when evaluating the Huskers’ spring: The work has just begun.

Pelini told reporters that NU had a “very productive” 15 practices and was able to identify where the team is and where it needs to go. But he added that it has to make progress and not back off before preseason camp starts in August.

“We have a chance to be good, but I’m sure a lot of other teams do, too,” he said.

Some other wrap-up items from Memorial Stadium after the spring game:

>> Pelini said the Husker quarterbacks made their best strides over the final two weeks of spring practice. Tommy Armstrong will head …

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Cross leads Husker offense in first half

Junior I-back Imani Cross had a pair of long touchdown runs to spark the first-team offense after a slow start in the Nebraska spring game.

The No. 1 unit went three-and-out on its first two series before Cross was instrumental in a seven-play, 70-yard drive. After carries of 16, 4 and 4 yards, Cross notched a Red touchdown with a 19-yard run on a zone read.

Cross later had runs of 18 and 32 yards, the latter for his second touchdown, for more Red scoring.

The Red (offense) also was awarded points for whenever it strung together three straight first downs or had a 20-yard play. That unit led 34-21 at halftime.

The defense scored first when safety Nathan Gerry intercepted a Tommy Armstrong pass …

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Zimmerer, Evans lead Berringer Citizenship team

Nebraska will start the festivities before the Red-White game with the announcement of the 31 members of the Husker football team named to the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team.

The group includes 24 members of NU’s 2014 team in addition to seven players who completed their eligibility in 2013. The Brook Berringer Citizenship Team was established by the Husker football program in honor of former quarterback Brook Berringer, who died in a plane crash in April of 1996.

Among the recipients honored on the field will be 2013 senior fullback C.J. Zimmerer and senior receiver Tyler Evans, both earning spots on the Berringer Team for the fourth consecutive year.

The 2014 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (years on team):

Ameer Abdullah (2014)

Josh Banderas (2014)

Sam Burtch …

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First glimpse of five Huskers that could have an impact

You haven’t seen these five play a regular-season football game in a Husker uniform, but the mix of redshirts and transfers all could serve important roles next season.

Alex Lewis, OT: The former Colorado starter finishes spring practice looking like the No. 1 left tackle on the NU line. Still has jail time ahead for a legal issue and hasn’t played since 2012 because of his transfer. Has an edge about him.

Byerson Cockrell, CB: A potential play-maker for the Husker secondary who appears to be battling Jonathan Rose for the cornerback spot opposite Josh Mitchell. JC transfer enrolled in January and also has flexibility to play nickel or safety.

Adam Taylor, IB: The only thing that might hold back the redshirt freshman is that …

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Five things to watch during Saturday’s spring game

This is Tommy’s team now: Nobody would have guessed last spring that Tommy Armstrong was on his way to starting eight games at quarterback as a redshirt freshman, including the Gator Bowl win over Georgia. With that behind him, and with Taylor Martinez and Ron Kellogg gone, Armstrong has had a few months to work on being the guy going forward. He is comfortable leading and appears to have earned the respect of his teammates, but Armstrong knows that now it’s time to clean up his mistakes and sharpen his game. Also worth watching is the battle between Johnny Stanton and walk-on Ryker Fyfe to see who might emerge as the No. 2 coming out of spring ball.

The next Eric Hagg or Ciante Evans?:

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Abdullah doesn’t want ‘any flaws in my game;’ Pelini confirms spring game format

Nebraska I-back Ameer Abdullah said Wednesday on a Big Ten teleconference that becoming a more complete I-back has been his focus through spring practice.

The senior decided to return for his final year after running for 1,690 yards last season, the fourth-best mark in school history.

“I don’t want to have any flaws in my game,” Abdullah said. “I don’t want anyone to say, ‘Well, he doesn’t do this well.’ I want everyone just to say, ‘Well, he’s pretty good at every aspect of his game.’ ”

Specifically, Abdullah mentioned being more smooth in his running style and more physical at the point of attack, improving his ball security and getting better in pass protection.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder said regularly going against players like NU …

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Papuchis says NU staff starting to see Jackson’s development

In his first six seasons as Nebraska head coach, Bo Pelini had the luxury of two players pretty much manning the all-important nickel spot in his defense for three seasons each – Ciante Evans (2011-13) and Eric Hagg (2008-10).

As spring practice goes on, junior-to-be Charles Jackson has looked more and more like the next in line.

Pelini said last week that the staff’s growing comfort level with Jackson has allowed for Byerson Cockrell to focus on cornerback. NU defensive coordinator John Papuchis said Monday that Jackson seems to be hitting his stride.

Jackson bounced between cornerback and safety the last two seasons, but the majority of his contributions came on Husker special teams.

“I think we all – and I think coaches are the most …

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Spring football: Allen trying to show his stuff

Nebraska needs a starter to replace Quincy Enunwa at receiver, but that big-picture stuff is a little beyond the tight focus that Taariq Allen has tried to keep through spring practice.

Allen will worry about that when there is a formal depth chart to see.

“I’m worried about competing, being who I am, and just going out there and just playing, and trying to show the coaches that I’m back,” Allen said. “I had a good scrimmage (Saturday) – couple catches here and there, good blocks and stuff – and I’m just trying to do everything right.”

Allen spent his sophomore season trying to regain his old form after suffering a bad knee injury at Michigan in 2012. That, he believes, is finally behind him.

And he …

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