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NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Most Valuable Huskers Vs. Iowa

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

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By James Stevenson
Offensive MVH: Could it be anyone other than junior running back Rex Burkhead? The Huskers’ season-long workhorse carried the ball a school-record 38 times for 160 yards and a touchdown and snagged a catch for 12 yards.
His sole rush for negative yardage was No. 38, when Nebraska handed the ball to Burkhead in the victory formation for him to kneel. Some may view it as backing into the record, but given the way No. 22 has carried the team all season (along with already nearly setting the record against Michigan State), it was only appropriate for “Superman” to take a knee.
Defensive MVH: Nebraska has never had a two-year force on defense like senior linebacker Lavonte David. He led the team with eight tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
He also played well in pass coverage, breaking up two passes. In just two years, David has ranks fifth on Nebraska’s all-time tackle list, and barring a bowl-game meltdown, will finish fourth place behind Husker greats Barrett Ruud, Jerry Murtaugh and Mike Brown.
Iowa MVHawkeye: Husker fans haven’t seen the last of sophomore running back Marcus Coker. The sole highlight on offense for the Hawkeyes was Coker and his relentless attitude. He rushed for 87 yards on 18 carries (4.8 YPC) and walked in a touchdown.
He also caught three passes for 39 yards, one of those being a 19-yard scamper early in the contest. One must wonder why Iowa didn’t stick with what seemed to be their most potent offensive threat.
Stick 'Em Award: Freshman wide receiver Kenny Bell turned in his best game as a Husker. He came up with five catches for 93 yards. Four of his grabs resulted in Nebraska first downs. One of Bell’s catches was spectacular, as a he dove for a ball that was thrown low and away from him.
Lockdown Award: Senior cornerback Alfonzo Dennard had a slow start to the season after sitting out Nebraska’s early games while recovering from injury. At his best when he’s not on the stat sheet, he only recorded three tackles, but his presence on the field is undeniable.
In the last few weeks, Dennard has proven himself as one of the elite corners in college football, shutting down the Big Ten’s top receivers. He did it again on Friday, limiting junior Hawkeye wide receiver Marvin McNutt to just four catches.
B1G Ten Rivalry Award: Nebraska won not only one, but two trophies on Friday. First, the Huskers took home the Heroes Game trophy that was commissioned by the universities.
Second, the Big Red also laid claim to the Corn Bowl, a trophy commissioned by the Nebraska Innocents Society and Iowa’s President’s Leadership Society. In a league dominated by rivalry games and trophies, Nebraska one-upped everyone with a two-trophy rivalry game.
Quick Recovery: A mere six days after getting blown out in Ann Arbor by a Michigan team that dominated time of possession, the Huskers’ effort was eerily reminiscent of the Wolverines last week. While both Nebraska and Iowa averaged 4.6 yards a play, Nebraska ran 83 plays to Iowa’s 59, and time of possession favored the Huskers by over 15 minutes (37:47 to 22:13).
The Blackshirts were the biggest reason for this, holding Iowa to just to two successful third down conversions on twelve attempts. Until the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes offered little scoring threat, and it looked as if Nebraska might record its first shutout of the season.
Last Friday’s performance was an appropriate way to send off this year’s seniors, especially the ones on a defensive unit that underwhelmed fans with some very high expectations.
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