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Game replay: USC 45, Nebraska 42

World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain recaps Nebraska's loss to USC in the Holiday Bowl.

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Peculiar play: So many to choose from. But it’s hard not to go with Alex Lewis’ touchdown catch in the first quarter. Tommy Armstrong rolled right, turned and fired back to the 6-foot-6 offensive tackle, who rumbled over the goal line. Or at least Nebraska fans thought he’d scored. Officials ruled that Armstrong’s apparent lateral was a forward pass, thus making Lewis ineligible.

Noticed: Nebraska has made four Holiday Bowl appearances, in 1998, 2009, 2010 and 2014. Each ti...

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Video: Sam McKewon's Holiday Bowl analysis

World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon breaks down Nebraska's 45-42 Holiday Bowl loss to Southern California.

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Holiday Bowl: Husker coach Mike Riley says staff will be completed soon

A Nebraska spokesman said new Husker coach Mike Riley had 90 seconds to talk to the media in the back of the Qualcomm Stadium press box. Riley, wearing a gray Nebraska track suit and a credential around his neck, gave the press five minutes, touching quickly on several topics. 

>> Riley coached in Qualcomm when he ran the Chargers, but this will be one few games he's ever watched in the stadium. He'll sit in the stands to do so. 

"This is kinda fun, though," Riley said. "Meeting people, actually getting to see the team play against a team that I coached for and coached ...

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They said it: Mike Riley interviewed during Holiday Bowl

New Nebraska coach Mike Riley was interviewed by Rece Davis on ESPN during the first half of Saturday's Holiday Bowl game with USC.

Here's a transcript of the interview covering Riley's decision to come to Nebraska, his meeting with Husker players, his approach to NU's future and even a little Holiday Bowl game analysis.

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Mike Riley on deciding to take the Nebraska job:

"Well it was actually very difficult, and I think the best way for me to describe it is kind of right place, right time — and still very, very hard. I guess I feel good about it Rece because I...

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Halftime: USC 24, Nebraska 17

Deep breaths, everyone. What a wild first half.

USC's got the lead — but the charged-up Huskers, playing without any pressure at all, are still in this one.

A bunch of observations are below...

>> It looks like eight of the nine Nebraska assistants on staff are coaching from the sidelines for this one. That's unusual. Normally there are four of them seated at press-box level. Linebackers coach Ross Els is the only one we haven't spotted.

>> The Huskers' offensive strategy seems to be more in line with Tim Beck's roots. Fast tempo. Really fast. Attackin...

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Huskers honor Bo Pelini with symbolic gesture en route to Holiday Bowl

Bo Pelini might not be leading the Huskers into battle against the USC Trojans on Saturday, but that doesn't mean the Nebraska players and staff won't be thinking about their former coach.

According to Austen Everson, Nebraska's assistant A.D. of football business operations, the Huskers left a front-row seat open on the team bus in honor of the former coach, who was fired on Nov. 30 following a 9-3 season.

Everson posted about the symbolic move on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon:  

#Huskers Team Buses en route to Holiday Bowl. Front Seat on Bus 1 empty in hono...

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Husker I-back Ameer Abdullah wins Senior CLASS award

Nebraska I-back Ameer Abdullah has been selected as the 2014 Senior CLASS Award winner.

The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I FBS football coaches, national football media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I football. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence — classroom, community, character and competition.

The CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award focuses on the total student-athlete and en...

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Tom's Takes: USC 45, Nebraska 42

Momentum for next season?

Can the Huskers take any momentum from this game into 2015? It will be hard. New defensive coordinator Mark Banker will take over a group with no confidence stopping the run, a group that has been beaten up physically and mentally. They’ll start over. On offense, there will be quarterback and running back battles in the spring and a new identity. But Mike Riley has to be pleased with the fight he saw in his team. There’s some talent coming back, too.

Armstrong a fighter

I give Tommy Armstrong a lot of credit. His strength is the run game. He’s ...

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Video: Barney Cotton, Steve Sarkisian talk Holiday Bowl

During the Holiday Bowl press conference on Friday, Nebraska interim head coach Barney Cotton spoke to the media about the Huskers' upcoming matchup with USC.

Check out the video below:

In a separate discussion with reporters, Cotton also talked about his new role as offensive coordinator at UNLV and a recent conversation with former NU head coach Bo Pelini.

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Holiday Bowl: Christmas Day begins with practice for Huskers

The Nebraska players spent Christmas morning on the practice field, conducting a pad-less, no-helmet walk-through for about an hour.

Santa was a no-show. A Christmas sweater did make an appearance, though.

Walk through. 🎄☀️ pic.twitter.com/TjoiYBNBWB — Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) December 25, 2014 //

The Huskers have one more practice planned for Friday before they take the field against USC in Saturday's Holiday Bowl. Interim coach Barney Cotton's been pleased with the preparation so far.

A few notes are below...

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From the Archives: After 'lively skirmishing,' Huskers beat Omaha YMCA on Christmas in 1894

"Talk about your enthusiasm! Just let your imagination run riot!" 

Those lines were pulled from a World-Herald story following the Nebraska football team's only game ever played on Christmas — in 1894.

The Huskers beat the Omaha YMCA that day. According to the report, "It was far too cold a day for a game, but there was a great deal of enthusiasm manifested, as the contest was between the victorious local team (YMCA) and the captors of the pennant in the Inter-Collegiate league (Nebraska)."

The story, which often referred to the YMCA as "the Christians" and NU as "the u...

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Holiday Bowl: Linebacker depth an issue for Nebraska

Five players are practicing at linebacker for the Huskers this week. And three of them haven't played a meaningful snap at the position all year.

Perhaps the situation could change by Saturday. David Santos and Trevor Roach haven't been ruled out.

But it sounds like the Huskers are preparing to go with Josh Banderas and Zaire Anderson as their two starting linebackers -- with the possibility of inexperienced reserves stepping in to help.

The three guys defensive coordinator John Papuchis named: Senior Austin Williams (an Omaha Burke product), redshirt freshman Marcus Ne...

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Video: Beck, Papuchis talk Holiday Bowl

Nebraska faces USC on Saturday in the Holiday Bowl. Watch offensive coordinator Tim Beck and defensive coordinator John Papuchis address the media following Wednesday's practice.

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Holiday Bowl: Huskers say business trip can still be fun

Get your work done first. Then enjoy the southern California experience. Interim coach Barney Cotton said he's talked to his team about that a number of times already.

He huddled the group up after Tuesday's practice -- the Huskers' first in San Diego -- and delivered a similar message.

“This trip is meant to be a reward but it's also a business trip,” Cotton said. “We're going to work hard and they can have a good time, but they're also expected to make good choices and enter the game at peak condition, ready to go.”

Nebraska's practicing every day. There are meetings ...

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Holiday Bowl: DE Gregory focused on USC

Junior defensive end Randy Gregory didn't want to talk about the NFL draft — what he's thinking, what he wants to know, whether or not he's leaning one way or the other.

His focus is on Saturday's Holiday Bowl against USC, particularly getting his body back to full strength so he can help Nebraska get a win. That's it.

He's dealt with bronchitis, a concussion and a toe injury over the past month. He didn't play in the regular season finale against Iowa. And the toe still hurts when he plants (he was wincing and hopping around a bit in practice Tuesday).

"You don't want ...

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Holiday Bowl: First practice caps long day for Huskers

The Nebraska players had to report at Memorial Stadium before 8 a.m. Tuesday. And 11 hours later, they were walking off a practice field in San Diego.

But that was by design, interim coach Barney Cotton said. The Huskers wanted to take advantage of the two hours gained by the time change — and the players embraced the challenge.

"We worked out the kinks a little bit," Cotton said. "Practice got better as we went. And we finished with a good day."

Below are a few notes from NU's practice, held on the artificial turf field at Southwestern College's DeVore Stadium (part of...

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TBL: Nebraska recruiting, Holiday Bowl preparations, hidden Husker talents and more

The World-Herald's Sam McKewon and Jon Nyatawa joined “The Bottom Line” on Tuesday to discuss the latest Husker football news.

Sam touched on an assortment of topics, including the defection of running back recruit Kendall Bussey, who Nebraska is targeting now, some of the team's best redshirt freshmen and more.

Jon talked about the Huskers' Holiday Bowl preparation as the team landed in San Diego today.

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TBL: Sports Editor Thad Livingston talks Pelini audio and more

World-Herald Sports Editor Thad Livingston discusses the reasons for releasing and reporting on the Bo Pelini audio and more.

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Women's basketball: Kansas at Creighton

When: 6:05 p.m. Monday

Where: Sokol Arena

Radio: 1180 AM KZOT

KANSAS (8-3)

F Chelsea Gardner, 6-3, Sr., 17.6

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Photos: Huskers in the NFL, Dec. 21

Curious to see your favorite former Huskers in action in the NFL? Check out our updated Huskers in the NFL photo showcase for a complete roundup of NFL action shots.

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Two running back prospects report Husker offers

After losing Kendall Bussey to Tennessee on Friday, Nebraska made two offers to running backs on Sunday.

Jordan Cronkrite, a 5-foot-11, 196-pound running back out of Westminster Christian in Miami, tweeted about an offer from Nebraska Sunday. The four-star recruit also has offers from Notre Dame, Texas, Miami, Louisville, West Virginia and more.

Nebraska offered today #CornHuskers — Jordan Cronkrite (@JC_Knows) December 21, 2014

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In addition to Cronkrite, Ke'Shawn Vaughn also tweeted that he'd received an offer. Vaughn is a 5-10, 210-pound, four-star running...

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USA Today interview: Husker coach Mike Riley moving past audiotape

Before conducting a wide-ranging interview with USA Today this week, new Nebraska coach Mike Riley told the newspaper he hadn't thought about talking to the team in regards to the expletive-laced final meeting that former coach Bo Pelini held with the players. Audio from the meeting was released this week by the World-Herald. 

Riley told USA Today reporter Paul Myerberg that he didn't plan on touching upon the issue when he holds his next team meeting on Jan. 11.

"I'm certainly aware of it," Riley said. "What my thought is just off the top of my head about that is I've respec...

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