Colorado racked up 45 points and 596 total yards in its season-opening rout of in-state rival Colorado State, so the Buffaloes clearly have more than one weapon on offense. Quarterback Steven Montez might be chief among them.
But it’s hard not to notice the stat line of sophomore receiver Laviska Shenault — 11 catches, 211 yards and a touchdown. That surpassed his full-season production from 2017.
“I’m not going to say that’s what I expected, but I expected myself to go out and do big things,” Shenault told Colorado media this week.
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Nebraska defensive coaches noticed, too.
“He’s a great football player, definitely respected by us,” secondary coach Travis Fisher said. “We know exactly what to expect going against a kid like that.”
CU lined up the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Shenault just about everywhere. He most often landed as a slot receiver but also served as an H-back in the backfield. Shenault, a three-star recruit from the 2017 recruiting class, even served as a blocker on a few plays.
He has the speed to outrun corners and safeties, too. That was evident on his 89-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown against the Rams. His size helps him shed tackles, too.
“He’s a really, really good player,” outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt said. “I know last year they used him as the ‘take the top off the coverage’ guy, and I want to give a lot of credit to him. Last year he was kind of the vertical guy. This year, they put him all over the place and they use a lot of techniques and a lot of assignments for that guy.”
NU coach Scott Frost said Thursday the Buffaloes have multiple good receivers in the mix.
Shenault is the one who causes the most matchup problems. He’s also the biggest headache to tackle. The product of DeSoto, Texas, was one of two receivers from the school to commit to CU's 2017 class. KD Nixon was the other and had six catches for 112 yards and a touchdown in the season opener.
The two conducted their interview together this week with reporters.
“We feed off each other,” Nixon said. “It’s been that way since high school, since middle school. We went to the same middle school together. No hatred, it’s all love.”
When was Nebraska last ranked No. 1? Husker football's entire history in the AP Top 25
How often has Nebraska football been ranked at each position? When did the Huskers first appear at No. 1? When was the last time NU was in the top 10? Check out this photo collection featuring how Nebraska has fared at each spot in the AP Top 25.