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Huskers vs Spartans - One More Good Look At A Whippin'

Michigan State remains winless against Nebraska in six tries, although this one has to burn a little extra because the Spartans were ranked in the top ten at the time of the butt kicking. 

We'll review the game one more time before moving on to Northwestern. 

Photos by Dennis Hubbard. Click to embiggen. 

Jermarcus Hardrick
Let's start this off with Jermarcus Hardrick. At the start of the season, there was reason to be worried about the offensive line. Even though they're young, the offensive line has played well enough to be ranked eighth nationally in rushing offense. No one expected that this season, did they?  
Rex Burkhead
Rex Burkhead  - now with 882 yards on the season, 12 TDs and a 5.35 yard per carry average. That's third in the Big Ten in both per game average and total rushing yardage. Not bad for a guy who didn't get many carries in non-conference play.... i.e., when we were playing the fluff.  
Taylor Martinez
Taylor Martinez has grown a lot this season. He's making better decisions. His pitches are an adventure, his throwing motion atrocious, but who else would you trade him for if you could right now? 
Spencer Long
Walk-on guard Spencer Long. If you love offensive line play you have to love this photo. Defender is off-balance and most likely was pancaked on this play. If Long can play this well as a sophomore - what does the future hold? 
Kenny Bell
Kenny Bell is another young player that's really broken out this year. Bell has two carries for 86 yards and one touchdown. That's 43 yards a carry! Of course, one was the 82-yard reverse against Minnesota, but still.... 
Taylor Martinez
Something else to think about - Martinez hasn't broke nearly as many long runs this season as last. On the other hand, the Nebraska offense seems less reliant on him than it was last season. Not that you want to find out what happens if he's injured, but the offensive line is better, and the offense appears to have a number of playmakers. 
Do you feel better about our offense this season than you did before? 
Husker fans react to touchdown
The Husker crowd reacts to a touchdown. 
Rex Burkhead
You can never get enough Burkhead. You're not alone. Tim Beck can't either. 35 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns against the Spartans. That's one helluva work load. Hope we don't see that again this week, but nice to know Burkhead can handle it when it's needed. 
Daimion Stafford
Daimion Stafford - yet another new guy. Some might wonder if there's something wrong with Courtney Osborne, but it looks like Stafford has simply taken over the starting position because of his aggression and athleticism, not because Osborne has gotten worse. P.J. Smith is another player we haven't heard from so much this season, but this season is far from over. 
Lance Thorrell interception return
Lance Thorell with an interception. Heading into the Wisconsin game, Nebraska was ranked 10th in the Big Ten and 63rd nationally in pass defense. Heading into the Northwestern game, the BLACKSHIRTS are ranked 5th in the Big Ten and 12th nationally. 
Some may attribute that to the return of Alfonzo Dennard, but I think that'd be a little insulting to the rest of the secondary, and, honestly, Corey Raymond, who got a little singed with all of the comments about a young secondary early in the season. Can they keep up this level of play?
Husker cheerleader
Would a photographic retrospective be complete without at least one Husker cheerleader photo? 
Bo Pelini angry face
Or for that matter, one angry Bo Pelini photo. Pelini as appeared much calmer on the sideline this season. I've made several jokes on twitter about him taking the same anti-depressants as I do, but maybe it's more of a comfort factor than anything else. And a conscious effort to not look like a complete jackass on TV. We probably have his wife to thank for that.  
Rex Burkhead over a defender
What's that Spartan dude grasping at? Air?