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10.10.2011 / The Huskers start off Big Ten play with the biggest comeback in Nebraska history. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.

This has been acknowledged before. And it will be acknowledged again. When the game is on the line, the ball needs to be in Rex Burkheads hands.

"He is one heck of a player and I am glad he is on our team, said Martinez"

That’s how it was in Nebraska’s dramatic, 34-27, come-from-behind victory against Ohio State. Burkhead had 13 touches (12 carries and one pass reception) for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. And more to the point, they were the tying and winning touchdowns.

“This dude’s a  war daddy,” running backs coach Ron Brown said.  Through three quarters, the Huskers’ junior I-back had carried 14 times and caught four passes. He had gained only 23 yards on those 14 carries, and taken a pounding in the process. By the fourth quarter, “we knew he was tired,” said Brown. “Guys were saying, ‘He’s tired. He’s tired.’ ”

With the team’s week off before resuming play at Minnesota on Oct. 22, “he’s got two weeks to rest,” Brown said. “And you know what? We tried to get him out. I tried to spell him. He wouldn’t come out. He just refused it. He was exhausted. Right before he scored the touchdown at the north end zone there, northwest corner, he was so tired . . . I was getting ready to substitute him. “And he found a way to get it in.”

Burkhead carried on the final three plays of a series that began with Stanley Jean-Baptiste’s interception of an Ohio State pass at the Nebraska 22-yard line with 6:29 remaining.

An offside penalty on Ohio State, an 18-yard carry by Taylor Martinez and a personal foul penalty on the Buckeyes gave Nebraska a first-and-10 at the Ohio State 40-yard line.  Burkhead carried to 22 yards.  He carried for 1 yard.  And he carried for 17 yards, diving and extending the ball where the goal line meets the sideline, breaking the plane just before going out of bounds for the touchdown.

“He is one heck of a player, and I am glad he is on our team,” said Martinez. Coach Bo Pelini echoed the opinion of his quarterback. “Rex plays like he always does,” Pelini said. “He’s a heck of a football player, great football player.”

That wasn’t the first time such things have been said about Burkhead.  And it certainly won’t be the last.

For more great content on the Huskers, check out Huskers Illustrated Magazine and www.huskersillustrated.com.

Posted at 03:29 PM | Permalink
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