11.14.2011 / The Huskers win against Penn State will be remembered for more than just football. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.

The Huskers 17 to 14 victory at Penn State will be remembered for much more than the final score. It will be remembered for the context in which it was played and the moral issues creating that context. And it will be remembered for the pre game prayer, involving both teams gathered at mid-field, delivered by Husker running backs coach Ron Brown.

"It will be remembered for the context in which it was played and the moral issues creating that context. "

“There’s a life that as football players we often get caught in, (saying) football is our life,” Nebraska I-back Rex Burkhead said afterward of the gathering and prayer. “But there really is a broader perspective out there that was seen by (the teams) getting together.”

Burkhead has shown he has a broader perspective. He carries a 3.38 grade-point average in a history major, and last week he was among five Huskers named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VII team, which means he’s now on the national ballot for Academic All-America honors.

As for football, the junior from Plano, Texas, has shown he’s among the nation’s best. He’s among 10 semifinalists for the 2011 Doak Walker Award, presented to the country’s top collegiate running back.
Burkhead rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown against Penn State, giving him at least one rushing touchdown in 10 consecutive games. The rushing yardage increased his season’s total to 1,072.

He also took some snaps under center. Burkhead played quarterback part of his sophomore season in high school, and “it was neat to get in there,” he said.  Burkhead has earned his success. “Everything you say about Rex Burkhead, all the people when they cheer loud for him and all that kind of stuff, he’s kind of the darling boy, it isn’t because somebody has just handed out something to him,” Brown said earlier this season. “That kid’s earned everything he’s gotten. And he does it every day.” 

Said senior fullback Tyler Legate: “It’s fun blocking for him, too. The blocking doesn’t look very good, (but) he’ll make it look good, how he moves. He runs hard, and arm tackles don’t bring him down. You’ve got to get two or three people to the ball to bring him down, so I’m just trying to block the best I can so that he can get as many yards as possible because I kind of live through him.  “When he breaks a big run, it’s like, ‘Atta boy.’”

Burkhead’s performance was a significant factor in the victory against Penn State. As with teammates and coaches, however, he acknowledged the need for a broader perspective.

For more great content on the Huskers, check out Huskers Illustrated Magazine and  Also, don’t forget to post your favorite play of the game on

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