Tag Archives: Ben Cotton

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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First quarter: Wisconsin 21, Nebraska 10

Caught your breath yet? It’s been a wild first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium, where both offenses seem to be two (or maybe 10) steps ahead of their defensive counterparts.

Wisconsin has 154 offensive yards (and a pick-six). Nebraska’s offense has totaled 186.

But the Huskers have been the most mistake-prone so far, which is why they trail 21-10.

Both Nebraska safeties missed open-field tackles on Melvin Gordon’s 56-yard touchdown run. There have been other missed tackles and poor execution as well.

There was that interception — when Kenny Bell dove to catch a short pass, but the football grazed off his hands and Marcus Cromartie returned the interception 29 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0.

On the next drive, senior Ben Cotton …

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Big Red Breakfast: Forget Iowa’s record, Marrow expects ‘competitive’ game

Iowa’s lost five straight contests and has struggled to keep games close against some of the Big Ten’s better teams. But the Hawkeyes will give Nebraska their best effort Friday.

That’s what NU graduate assistant Vince Marrow expects anyway.

A typical rivalry matchup. Throw the records out the window, Marrow told a crowd of about 250 Husker fans at the Big Red Breakfast. Forget that the Hawkeyes have been outscored by an average of 20 points in their three conference games against teams with winning league records.

“They’re going to be amped to play,” Marrow said. “It’s going to be a very difficult road game. It’s going to be very competitive.”

Why? Marrow’s spent most of his time this week studying the Iowa defense. Here’s …

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First quarter: Nebraska 7, Michigan State 7

The Huskers and Spartans are tied after one quarter of play. But as has been the common theme for this NU team, Nebraska’s hurting itself with key mistakes.

A holding penalty (on junior Cole Pensick) spoiled the momentum of a seemingly productive Nebraska possession, backing NU up into a first-and-extra-long scenario. Two plays later, Taylor Martinez threw a pick.

On the ensuing MSU drive, two pass interference penalties (one on a third down incompletion) aided the Spartans. Le’Veon Bell broke at least one tackle on his 11-yard touchdown run.

And Bell also motored around Andrew Green’s tackle attempt out in space, bursting free for a 23-yard run later in the quarter.

Nebraska needs to clean up its effort. Again. Settle down and play smarter. Other …

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Pelini: NU needs to clean up mistakes

Nebraska will enjoy its 29-28 comeback win at Northwestern, but clearly, the Huskers have areas that desperately need improvement.

Here’s a quote from coach Bo Pelini after the game.

“We’ve got a lot to do to get better. I firmly believe we can win them all. We can play with anybody we play (on our schedule). But we can’t do the things we did (Saturday). We can’t give up possessions, turn the football over. We’ve got to keep working. We’ve got to keep getting better and more efficient. … A lot of the issues we had were self-induced. I know you guys have heard it before. We’ve got to play cleaner football.”

No need to recount all of the errors in this blog post. The …

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Video: Monday’s Nebraska press conference

Check out video from Monday’s Nebraska fall sports press conference to hear from football coach Bo Pelini, players Will Compton, Quincy Enunwa, Ben Cotton, Taylor Martinez and volleyball coach John Cook.

Coach Bo Pelini

Taylor Martinez

Will Compton

Quincy Enunwa

Ben Cotton

John Cook

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Practice report: Seisay back; Burkhead still out

Reserve cornerback Mo Seisay, who didn’t dress for the opener, was back in practice Tuesday and performed well, according to defensive coordinator John Papuchis. Rex Burkhead stayed on the sideline.

Not too much of a surprise in regard to Burkhead, who’s questionable for Saturday’s game at UCLA with an MCL sprain. NU may not give a concrete status update on the senior I-back until just before kickoff.

Seisay, however, was healthy enough to participate Tuesday. “Looked good,” said Papuchis. The junior college transfer, who joined the program last spring, suffered an ankle sprain during preseason camp and it’s been bugging him ever since. It’s still unclear if he’ll be able to go Saturday.

More updates from Tuesday’s session are below…

>> Papuchis complimented the skill …

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Pelini: Nice starting point, but lots to improve

After a second quarter hiccup, Nebraska cruised to a convincing 49-20 win over Southern Mississippi Saturday, appearing to meet coach Bo Pelini’s expectations in its season debut.

The fifth-year coach said he told the players that the victory was a nice way to start the year. The Huskers did more than enough to win. But this is the baseline standard. Pelini said his team has to get better going forward.

“It gives us an assessment of, kind of, where we are and what we need to get better at,” Pelini said. “I thought there were a lot of good things out there. I thought there were a lot of positives, but there’s a bunch we need to fix.”

We’ll start with the good stuff.

>> …

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NU in control after three quarters

Nebraska’s extended its lead and seized control of the opener, which appeared to be a little too close for comfort at times during the first half.

The Huskers have been sharp and efficient after halftime, on both sides of the ball, really.

Southern Miss moved the ball a bit, but had nothing to show for it. The Eagles’ first possession ended on a botched handoff. NU’s defensive guys seem to be getting a little more comfortable.

Other than a quick three-and-out to start the half, Nebraska’s offense moved the football effectively again. Much of the production came through the air, again. Kyler Reed’s touchdown capped a seven-play drive, and Braylon Heard’s 10-yard run up the middle highlighted a six-play possession.

It’s 49-20 now, with 7:47 …

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Huskers strike quickly, lead 7-0

On the fourth snap of the game, senior running back Rex Burkhead found a running lane and exploded down the sideline for a career-long 57-yard run.

Burkhead bobbled the handoff. Looked like he might drop it in the backfield, actually.

But he regained control and followed offensive guard Spencer Long through the line of scrimmage, into the open field.

Burkhead, a relentless self-critic, has regularly spoken about a desire to be more explosive, to have more of those long runs that tend to instantly seize momentum. Mission accomplished.

Burkhead’s score, with 13:42 left on the first quarter clock, has Nebraska in front, 7-0. And the Huskers are getting the ball back for Drive No. 2 after the commercial break.

>> Southern Miss had some success …

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