The missing Mann
LINCOLN — Nebraska senior center Kurt Mann sat out of Saturday's 56-7 win over Nicholls State due to a viral infection. Junior Brett Byford earned his first career start in place of Mann.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Grand Island Senior High graduate had started every game since the beginning of the 2004 season. Mann's string of 24 consecutive starts was the longest streak on the team.
NU coach Bill Callahan said he's still waiting for results of blood test on Mann. Callahan said the Huskers' training staff has paid close attention to Mann, who had a 102-degree fever on Friday.
"I just told him 'Relax, get better (and) we need you and I hope you're getting all the care you need,'" Callahan said. "Of course, our medical staff did a great job. They were with him last night, taking care of him.
"We just want to get (Mann) healthy and get him back on the field as soon as we can."
With Mann out of the starting lineup, defensive end Adam Carriker now has the team's longest starting streak at 20 consecutive games.
Prior to the game, Mann was named as the recipient of the Jake Young Memorial Scholarship, which was presented to his parents, Dr. Kent and Cyndee Mann, on the field. It marked the second consecutive year Mann has received the award.
New Hall of Famers
Five members of Nebraska's national championship teams in 1994 and 1995 headlined the new class of inductees for the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
Included in that group were Chris Dishman, Christian Peter, Jared Tomich, Tyrone Williams and Mike Minter, who will officially be inducted after his NFL playing career is finished. Other ex-Huskers inducted were Bob Lingenfelter and Kerry Weinmaster.
State college players named to the Hall were: Herbert Meyer (Concordia), Rex Grosshart (Doane), Carl Meyers (Nebraska-Omaha) and Robert Oetting (Concordia).
Nebraska fullback Dane Todd caught a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zac Taylor with 28 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Huskers a 14-0 lead. It marked the first TD of Todd's career.
"Zac had been joking around with me a little bit about it and how they'd promised that they were going to get me a touchdown in this game," said Todd, a senior from Lincoln Southeast. "So when they called the play, I was just hoping I didn't fall down on the way out. (Taylor) threw the ball my way and I just had to step into the end zone, so it was great."
Tale of Taylor
Nebraska senior quarterback Zac Taylor passed for 202 yards in Saturday's game and became the seventh Husker player to surpass 3,000 career passing yards. Taylor ranks seventh in school history with 3,142 career passing yards, 175 yards from the top five on the career list.
Taylor threw for a career-high four touchdowns, eclipsing his three TD efforts in the previous two games (Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan, Louisiana Tech). It was also Taylor's 11th straight game with at least one touchdown pass. In two games this season Taylor has thrown for seven touchdowns and one interception.
Taylor's first pass attempt of the day was incomplete, but he completed his next 12 pass attempts before an incompletion late in the second quarter. The 12 straight completions were three off the Nebraska school record. A week ago against Louisiana Tech, Taylor had a streak of 11 straight completions spanning the second and third quarters.
Taylor connected on 19-of-23 pass attempts and his pass efficiency rating of 213.77 ranks as the eighth-best single-game effort in Nebraska history.
Movin' on up
Nebraska senior tight end Matt Herian caught four passes for 38 yards in Saturday's game. Herian now has 60 receptions in his career, just one reception shy of the Nebraska tight end record of 61 receptions by Jerry List from 1970 to 1972. A week ago, Herian became NU's career leader for receiving yardage among tight ends.
Herian caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Taylor in the second quarter to give Nebraska 21-0 advantage. The touchdown catch was Herian's second of the season and the 12th of his career, two shy of the Nebraska tight end record of 14 by Todd Millikan from 1985 to 1988.
On the spot
Nebraska senior linebacker Stewart Bradley recovered two fumbles, tying a Nebraska linebacker position record. Troy Branch also had two fumble recoveries in Nebraska's 1992 victory over Colorado.
NU forced three Nicholls State turnovers (all fumbles) in the contest, while committing just one turnover. The Huskers are now plus-three in turnover margin this season.
Piles of points
Nebraska has scored at least 49 points in back-to-back games to open the 2006 season. The previous time the Huskers had scored 49 or more points in consecutive games was in 1995, when they scored 49 or more points in four straight games at mid-season (Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Arizona State and Pacific).
Nebraska's 105 points in the first two games of the 2006 season are the most by a Husker team to open a season since NU's 114 points against Oklahoma State and Michigan State in 1995.
The 56-7 win over Nicholls State marked Nebraska's fifth straight win overall dating back to last season, the Huskers' longest win streak since winning the first five games of the 2003 season.
Nicholls State did not complete a pass in Saturday's game, marking the 10th time in school history an opponent has not completed a pass against Nebraska. The previous time an opponent had zero passing yards was Oklahoma State in 1992.
Nebraska rushed for 261 yards in Saturday's game after opening the year with 252 yards rushing against Louisiana Tech. Saturday marked the first time since the opening two games of the 2004 season that Nebraska posted back-to-back games with more than 200 rushing yards. The Huskers opened 2004 by rushing for 363 yards against Western Illinois and 274 yards vs. Southern Miss.
Nebraska junior receiver Terrence Nunn caught three passes against Nicholls State. With his three receptions, Nunn moved into the top 10 on the Nebraska career receptions list with 67 catches, tying Irving Fryar for eighth place on the career chart. He is just five catches from fifth place.
For the second straight week, Nebraska scored at least seven touchdowns, with those scores coming from seven different players. In two games, Nebraska has had 11 different players reach the end zone, including four I-backs and four tight ends.