11.01.2010 / Roy Helu, Jr. breaks Single Game Rushing Record. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine

Roy Helu, Jr. was quick to share the spotlight with his teammates.

"Helu broke a school single game rushing record that had held for two decades, gaining 307 yards and scoring three touchdowns, on runs of 66, 73 and 53 yards."

“I couldn’t explain how much I feel for my linemen and fullback, Tyler Legate,” the senior running back said following Nebraska’s 31-17 victory against Missouri. “They deserve as much credit as I do, just down the line.” Helu broke a school single-game rushing record that had held for two decades, gaining 307 yards and scoring three touchdowns, on runs of 66, 73 and 53 yards.

“When you consider all the great, great players that have been here at Nebraska, that’s a phenomenal feat today,” said offensive coordinator Shawn Watson. Calvin Jones held the previous record of 294 yards, set against Kansas in 1991. Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier rushed for 285 yards, also against Kansas in 1983. Helu went into the game with 500 rushing yards this season and now needs 34 yards to become just the sixth player in Cornhusker history to rush for 3,000 in a career.

That the day might be special was apparent on Nebraska’s first play from scrimmage, when Helu broke free on the 66-yarder. The 73-yarder came near the end of the first quarter. The Husker offensive line took pride in Helu’s accomplishment, according to redshirted freshman tackle Jeremiah Sirles. “I think all of us had the mentality, ‘All right, Roy’s feeling it today, let’s get him the ball, get him a crease, give him one little hole and he’s taking it to the house,’” Sirles said. “You could definitely sense it in the huddle. You can tell just by looking at him how focused he was.”

Coach Bo Pelini isn’t much on statistics, but he made an exception this time. “Obviously, I just said to the team, you break a school record for single-game rushing at this place, with all the tradition around here, it’s a pretty big deal,” said Pelini. “He played a heck of a football game, but it’s a team game. The guys up front blocked well.” And Helu acknowledged those guys. “I just really appreciate my teammates,” he said.

Helu didn’t know he had broken the record until he came to the sideline and heard the public address announcer at Memorial Stadium congratulate him. By then he was surrounded by teammates. “It was weird,” he said. “They were acting like we won the Super Bowl or something. I got squirted on the back with water . . . a lot of really kind things that teammates said, just a lot of congratulations.”

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