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Beck, Bo explain disastrous 2nd-and-1 call

Midway through the fourth quarter, with Nebraska leading 24-21 and humming along with its ground game, NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck dialed up a deep pass on second-and-1 at Minnesota's 41-yard line. 

Quarterback Tommy Armstrong was nailed for a seven-yard sack. The Huskers subsequently punted. Minnesota scored on the following drive. Minnesota won 28-24. 

What was Beck — and head coach Bo Pelini — thinking on the play? 

"Their safeties were down and I think we had run it 17 straight plays," Beck said. It was actually 17 runs out of 18 plays. "We were trying to take...

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Nebraska ties, Nov. 22

COACHES

Frank Solich, Ohio: The Bobcats lost to Northern Illinois 21-14 on Tuesday. Ohio has another Tuesday game this week, at 6 p.m. at Miami (Ohio).

Turner Gill, Liberty: The Flames (8-4, 4-1) blocked a field goal with 3 seconds to play in a 15-14 comeback win over No. 1-ranked Coastal Carolina (11-1, 4-1).

Joe Moglia, Coastal Carolina: The loss to Gill and Liberty ended the Chanticleers’ 11-game winning streak and gave the Flames the Big South Conference title.

Mike Minter, Campbell: Connor Kacsor ran in 16 yards for a go-ahead touchdown to give Dayton a 19-14...

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Video: SI's Andy Staples says it's time for Nebraska to reevaluate the program

"Nebraska's program is not great. It is not terrible. It just is."

That quote sums up the feelings of Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples. In this video, he explains why Nebraska needs to reevaluate Bo Pelini and the program after losing to Minnesota.

Husker fans, are you happy with a program that "just is?"

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Tom's Takes: Minnesota 28, Nebraska 24

1. I felt bad for the seniors, but especially Ameer Abdullah. This has to be a nightmare for the young man. He hasn’t been the same since he injured his knee on Nov. 1. That he did it on such an unnecessary play, jumping on a fumbled center snap, makes it more frustrating. He won’t win the Doak Walker or perhaps even make All-Big Ten. He’s still 386 yards from Mike Rozier’s record of 4,780. Doable in two games, but it will be hard. It’s hard to feel sorry for Abdullah. He’s got so much going for him. But this wasn’t the ending he, or anyone, saw.

2. The second-and-1 call by Tim Bec...

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Video: Sam McKewon's postgame analysis of Nebraska-Minnesota

World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon breaks down Nebraska's 28-24 loss to Minnesota.

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They said it: Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, players talk about win over Huskers

Check out a complete transcript of Minnesota coach Jerry Kill's postgame press conference following the Gophers' 28-24 victory over Nebraska. Transcript provided by the Nebraska athletic department.

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Minnesota coach Jerry Kill

Kill's opening statement: 

“It is one of those things where our kids were down at halftime and this bunch — I give all the credit to the players — they are mentally tough. We talk about mental toughness throughout the season and to be physically tough. Today our kids were mentally tough and just hung in there and played hard. Nebraska i...

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They said it: Husker coach Bo Pelini, players talk Minnesota

Check out a complete transcript of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's postgame press conference following the Huskers' 28-24 loss to Minnesota. Transcript provided by the Nebraska athletic department.

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Husker coach Bo Pelini

Pelini's opening statement:

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Game Replay: Minnesota 28, Nebraska 24

World-Herald correspondent Steve Beideck takes a look at some of the key moments that helped shape NU’s 28-24 loss to Minnesota.

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Peculiar play: The field-goal attempt Nebraska blocked that produced the Huskers’ third touchdown. After Randy Gregory swatted the ball to his left, Nate Gerry eventually scooped it up. Corey Cooper had the first chance to pick the ball up, but he got downfield and made the final block that allowed Gerry to reach the end zone untouched.

What was that? After making his first tackle during Minnesota’s first drive, Nebraska linebacker Zaire...

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Halftime: Nebraska 21, Minnesota 7

The Huskers, capitalizing on a couple game-changing plays, look to have recovered from last weekend's disaster in Madison.

First, it was a 73-yard pass -- when Tommy Armstrong eluded a pass rush and found Kenny Bell -- on NU's third snap that set up Nebraska's initial score. Then, midway through the second quarter, Randy Gregory blocked a Minnesota field goal attempt and Nate Gerry returned the loose ball 85 yards for a touchdown.

It's been otherwise even, for the most part. NU has the edge in total yards (233 to 192) but Minnesota has recorded more first downs (12 to 9) -- U...

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Mad Chatter: Letters from Husker Nation, favorite players of the Pelini era, Creighton's big win

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover Ameer Abdullah and Greg McDermott, Gregg Popovich and Mark Dantonio, Tiger Woods and more.

But first, sometimes readers say it better than I can. 

It’s been a long, long week for Nebraska football fans. A bit unusual, too. I left Madison on Sunday expecting to come home to the Lincoln-Douglas debate. Last year, Pelini supporters and critics fired back and forth at each other for two weeks after the Michigan State loss.

This week I haven’t heard much bickering. I sense fatigue. Weariness. A little apath...

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TBL: Tony Boone talks boxing, Jake Waters and UNO athletics

World-Herald staff writer Tony Boone joined host Mike'l Severe on "The Bottom Line" on Friday to discuss Iowa Western athletics — including former Reiver quarterback Jake Waters — Terence "Bud" Crawford's big boxing match next weekend and UNO athletics.

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TBL: Lane Grindle talks Huskers, Gophers, Badgers and more

The Husker Sports Network's Lane Grindle joined "The Bottom Line" host Mike'l Severe on Friday to discuss Nebraska's matchup with Minnesota, what the Huskers need to do to bounce back after their 59-24 loss to Wisconsin, possible postseason bowl sites and more.

Check out the complete interview below, plus scroll down for a few key quotes from the Q&A. Have something to add? Leave a comment on the Big Red Today Facebook page.

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Faux Pelini, Goldy Gopher bet on game, create greatest Big Ten trophy idea ever

Goldy Gopher, the mascot for Minnesota, tweeted at Faux Pelini on Thursday offering a wager on Saturday's game, when the Gophers travel to Lincoln to face the Huskers.

The tweet was simple yet intriguing, and Faux, the satirical account based on Husker coach Bo Pelini, of course fired back with his usual violent-but-funny retorts.

Here is the full conversation:

Hey @FauxPelini, how about a friendly wager for this weekend's game? Team that gets the most points gets a conference win? Seem fair? — Goldy Gopher (@GoldytheGopher) November 20, 2014

//

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Husker I-back Ameer Abdullah named Paul Hornung Award finalist

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah was named a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award on Thursday, given to the most versatile player in college football.

The senior I-back ranks 10th nationally in rushing yards with 1,319 and has 17 rushing touchdowns this season. Abdullah, who also returns kickoffs, averages 178.6 all-purpose yards per game.

He is one of five finalists for the Hornung Award, joining running back B.J. Catalon of TCU, running back Marcus Murphy of Missouri, wide receiver Ty Montgomery of Stanford and linebacker/running back Shaq Thompson of Washington.

V...

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Bo Pelini: 'I'm going to keep coaching the best I possibly can'

Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini said on Sports Nightly that he won’t be satisfied “until we win ’em all,” but offered a matter-of-fact response Wednesday night to a caller questioning whether the Husker program was going in the right direction.

“If that isn’t the right direction, then you have a conversation with (NU Athletic Director) Shawn Eichorst and they’re free to go in another direction,” Pelini said.

“But until that happens, I’m going to keep coaching the best I possibly can and do everything I can for these kids, because that’s why I’m in this business. That’s what...

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Bo Pelini among highest-paid coaches in college football

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is the 24th-highest-paid coach in college football, according to salary data released by USA Today on Wednesday.

The Huskers, who rank 23rd in the latest College Football Playoff poll, have had Pelini as their head coach since 2008.

Pelini has an annual salary of $3,077,646 after the extension he received earlier this year. That puts him just behind Baylor's Art Briles ($3,135,146) and West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen ($3,080,000), and just ahead of Mississippi's Hugh Freeze ($3,018,000) and Louisville's Bobby Petrino ($3,000,000).

The Big Ten has...

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TBL: Dirk Chatelain talks Husker football and college basketball

World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain joined "The Bottom Line" on Wednesday to discuss Nebraska football, college basketball and more.

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Former Creighton switch-pitcher Pat Venditte signs with A's

Former Creighton pitcher Pat Venditte signed with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, according to his agent.

Venditte is a switch-pitcher, meaning he pitches with both his left and right arms. He spent the first seven years of his professional career in the Yankees minor league system.

He signed a minor league contract with the A's, and it comes with an invitation to spring training. His agent announced the deal on Twitter:

Client @PatVenditte has signed a minor league deal w/an invitation to #mlb spring training with the @Athletics. @MiLB @mlb @Yankees — Marc Kligma...

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TBL: Lee Barfknecht talks Husker basketball, NU football and more

World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht joined “The Bottom Line” with Mike’l Severe on Wednesday to talk Nebraska basketball, Husker football and the latest Big Ten news. 

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Former Huskers Will Shields, Roger Craig named Hall of Fame semifinalists

Former Husker offensive lineman Will Shields and running back Roger Craig were among 26 semifinalists named for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Shields, who was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011, played for Nebraska from 1989 to 1992 and won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman as a senior.

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Shields in the third round of the 1993 NFL draft, and he played for the organization his entire career before retiring in 2006. Shields went to the Pro Bowl 12 times and was named to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2012.  Read more »

Huskers' Ameer Abdullah named semifinalist for Doak Walker Award

Nebraska senior I-back Ameer Abdullah has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2014 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s top running back.

This marks the second straight season Abdullah has been a semifinalist for the award. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound Abdullah ranks among the top 10 nationally in all-purpose yards per game (third), rushing touchdowns (fourth), scoring (seventh) and rushing yards per game (ninth).

Abdullah has rushed for more than 200 yards four times in 2014, tying a Nebraska school record. He has also produced a pair of games with better than...

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Mad Chatter: Do Bo Pelini's sideline tirades cause Husker meltdowns?

The timing doesn’t look good for Bo Pelini. 

Nebraska is thumping Wisconsin 17-3. Melvin Gordon dashes down the sideline 62 yards. Pelini spends at least 75 seconds on the sideline reaming Daniel Davie. The Badgers promptly score the next 49 points.

I wrote today about Nebraska’s penchant for sudden meltdowns. Several emailers pointed to the Davie situation. Here’s a sampling:

From Jerry: The odd thing to me is that Pelini can't seem to see the forest for the trees....... He can't figure out why the kids overthink plays and try not to lose instead of playing to win.  H...

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Practice update: Seven Huskers take off Blackshirts

In the wake of a 59-24 loss to Wisconsin — in which the Huskers gave up more than 500 rushing yards — seven Nebraska defenders chose to take off their Blackshirts in Tuesday's practice. 

That list includes five defensive linemen (Randy Gregory, Maliek Collins, Vincent Valentine, Greg McMullen and Kevin Williams) and two defensive backs (Corey Cooper and Daniel Davie). 

The eight players still wearing their Blackshirts include four defensive backs (Josh Mitchell, Jonathan Rose, Nate Gerry, Josh Kalu and Byerson Cockrell) and three linebackers (Trevor Roach, Zaire Anderson and ...

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