Tag Archives: Baker Steinkuhler

New responsibility for Ankrah on NU defensive line

As Jason Ankrah looked down the defensive line Saturday, the senior saw teammates like Kevin Williams, Aaron Curry and Avery Moss with him during the first spring practice for Nebraska.

Two Husker sophomores-to-be who played a limited amount last season and a redshirt freshman. Three players who could use his help and draw from his wisdom.

Ankrah knows that changes the way he has to go about his business as he prepares for his third season as a starter at defensive end.

“I wasn’t really a vocal guy and talking this whole 3½ years I’ve been here, but I got no choice but to do it,” Ankrah said. “So I embrace it and I’m happy about it.”

Ankrah will have leadership help from Thad Randle …

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Three ex-Huskers invited to NFL combine

Running back Rex Burkhead, kicker Brett Maher and safety Daimion Stafford were the only former Nebraska players on the 333-man list of NFL combine invitees.

The scouting combine runs from Feb. 20 to 26 in Indianapolis (NFL Network will broadcast the event).

Burkhead was one of 38 running backs invited to the workout. There were 60 defensive backs invited, including Stafford. And 13 total kickers got the call.

The number of players invited at other positions (the full list is here)…

Quarterback: 16
Wide receiver: 39
Tight end: 19
Offensive line: 58
Defensive line: 54
Linebacker: 35
Long snapper: 1

Certainly there are other former NU players who have a shot at getting drafted or picked up during free agency. Eric Martin, Baker …

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Nebraska-Wisconsin: Five things to watch

Since we’re still several hours away from Nebraska’s showdown against Wisconsin, I assume you have some time to kill.

And because you can never have too many breakdowns of a rematch, here’s my compilation of five (mostly random) things to watch in Saturday night’s Big Ten title game…

1. Will Taylor Martinez find room on the ground? Wisconsin managed to keep him somewhat contained in the first meeting — with the exception of two quarterback draw plays, which totaled 56 yards. The Badgers likely won’t blitz much at all (maybe they’ll disguise some pressures by crowding the line on third down). Their safeties will storm down at times, and they do that well. Plus, linebacker Chris Borland will make some plays. But Martinez has been …

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Practice report: NU using team effort to replace Steinkuhler

Nebraska’s preparing for Saturday’s rematch against Wisconsin, a game the Huskers will have to play without their most disruptive defensive tackle.

Senior Baker Steinkuhler, a game-changer in NU’s 30-27 win over the Badgers in September, is out for the Big Ten title game. This much we knew.

How do the Huskers plan to replace him? Well, that question may not be answered until Saturday, but defensive coordinator John Papuchis said Tuesday that it won’t be just one player.

“That’s why we practice the way we practice,” Papuchis said. “All of our guys get a lot of reps. When their opportunity comes, they need to be ready.”

Sophomore Chase Rome finished the Iowa game in Steinkuhler’s place and played well, according to Papuchis. But junior Thad …

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Halftime: Nebraska 14, Michigan State 14

Nebraska was in desperate need of a momentum-changing play, and Taylor Martinez delivered.

The junior quarterback — who’s now the career leader in total offense at NU — tied the game at 14 with a 71-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.

It couldn’t have come at a better time for the Huskers.

Earlier in the quarter, Kenny Bell had dropped a potential touchdown pass on third down. And kicker Brett Maher missed a 30-yard field goal attempt on the next snap from scrimmage. A 12-play drive, which lasted just over six minutes, to begin the second quarter ended with no points.

Then MSU responded. Le’Veon Bell turned a third-and-1 into a 40-yard gain. A late hit moved MSU back, but Andrew Maxwell completed …

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Halftime: Northwestern 14, Nebraska 10

Three lost fumbles in the first half of Nebraska’s game at Northwestern have spoiled a nice rebound effort by the Husker defense.

The Wildcats have 107 total yards on 38 plays (Nebraska has 226 offensive yards), forced to punt eight times despite having favorable field position for much of the afternoon.

The Huskers have contained quarterback Kain Colter, holding him to just 20 rushing yards on his 10 attempts (nine came on one run). And defensively, those guys have displayed incredible resiliency so far.

Time for Nebraska’s offense to figure it out. Sustaining drives is the key going forward. Take some pressure of the defense by holding on to the football.

Bad play calling, poor execution and sacks have ruined potentially productive possessions for Nebraska, …

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Changes for Husker starting lineup

Closing in on kickoff here at Ryan Field in Evanston and it appears that Nebraska will have some minor changes to its lineup defensively against Northwestern.

Neither Chase Rome nor Kevin Williams traveled, so NU will be a little thin at defensive tackle.

Todd Peat Jr. was taking some snaps with the first-team defense in warmups, so either Peat or Thad Randle will start next to Baker Steinkuhler. Jay Guy also could see more action than he has all season.

In the secondary, cornerback Josh Mitchell is not in uniform after starting the Huskers’ first six games. NU assistant coach Terry Joseph made no mention of Mitchell possibly being out when speaking Friday at the Big Red Breakfast.

Andrew Green likely will return to the …

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Practice report: DT Rome returns

Sophomore defensive tackle Chase Rome, who temporarily left the NU program last week, has rejoined the Huskers and is available to play against Idaho State Saturday, coach Bo Pelini said Thursday.

Pelini said Rome has returned with “the right attitude” after a personal issue prompted a week-long absence. Rome started the first two games at defensive tackle for Nebraska this season.

“He’s ready to come back,” Pelini said. “He’s been practicing with us all week.”

An update on the DT rotation: Junior Thad Randle (still battling back from offseason knee surgery) started in Rome’s place last week, lining up next to senior Baker Steinkuhler. Redshirt freshman Kevin Williams’ role has increased lately. The same is expected for true freshman Aaron Curry and redshirt freshman Todd …

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And in the 2013 NFL draft…

In 2012, Nebraska’s football team will have its largest senior classes in years. Which means it is ripe for NFL scouts to pore over in preparation for the 2013 draft.

But, just days after the close of the 2012 draft, there may not be a Top 100 prospect on the Huskers’ team. No Lavonte David, Jared Crick or Alfonzo Dennard dripping from the mouths of Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock.

Injuries is part of it. Inconsistency, too. Running back Rex Burkhead — the most complete college football player the Huskers have right now — plays a position the NFL values less than it did 20 years. Defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler — the most intriguing prospect — has spent his career in a 4-3 two-gap line …

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Husker notes from Thursday’s Outland banquet

Former Husker Jared Crick — Cletus Fischer Native Son Award in hand — delivered his acceptance speech at Thursday night’s Outland dinner. Then he turned and looked at Alabama’s Barrett Jones.

He congratulated Jones, the 2011 Outland Trophy winner. Then Crick revealed what impressed him most about Jones: The fact that the talented offensive tackle (who’s already graduated) will stay for his senior year.

“It takes a determined individual to give up as much money as you’re going to be giving up,” Crick said.

Crick considered entering the NFL draft after his junior season, but remained at Nebraska and earned his undergraduate degree last summer. As you all know, he tore his left pectoral muscle in October, ending his college career.

But Crick said he’ll …

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