In the game: Burkhead carries the load

2011-11-25T22:40:00Z In the game: Burkhead carries the loadBy Josh Kaufman Columbus Telegram
November 25, 2011 10:40 pm  • 

After an embarassing performance last week at Michigan, No. 22 Nebraska bounced back with a strong win over Iowa on Senior Day in the inaugural Heroes Game. Here is what went well, what didn’t, and everything else you need to satiate your Nebraska football appetite:

Thumbs up

Nebraska’s ball control: Just one week removed from a three-turnover debacle at the Big House, Nebraska didn’t give the ball away to Iowa. The Hawkeye defense had collected at least one takeaway in 64 of its last 74 contests, dating back to 2006. The Huskers also used a powerful rushing attack to control the clock, registering an advantage of just over 15 minutes in time of possession.

Thumbs down

Penalties: As has been the case in several games this season, Nebraska had the officials reaching for their flags often. The Huskers were flagged nine times for 74 yards, including a pair of 15-yard penalties on center Mike Caputo for illegal blocks. The penalties didn’t hurt NU in the grand scheme of things, but did take away from an otherwise dominant victory.

By the numbers

38: The number of carries by junior running back Rex Burkhead, a Nebraska single-game record. Burkhead rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown while breaking the previous mark of 37 set by Cory Ross in the 2003 Alamo Bowl against Michigan State. Burkhead’s previous high was 35, set earlier this season against Michigan State.

Play of the game

Burkhead’s touchdown in the fourth quarter: Even though Nebraska’s defense made a 13-0 Husker lead feel comfortable, Burkhead’s 2-yard plunge into the end zone with 11 minutes, 25 seconds left in the game served as the dagger to Iowa’s hopes of a comeback. Burkhead’s 37th carry of the game gave the Huskers a three-possession lead, and also tied him with Ross in the record books.

Fun fact

Kyler Reed’s second-quarter touchdown catch was his first this season. Last season, the tight end had a position record of eight scoring grabs.

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