DB Daniel Bullocks

2004 Statistics

Coach: Bill Callahan
5-6, 1 year
2004 Record: 5-6
at Pittsburgh WON 24-17
at Texas Tech LOST 10-70
at Kansas State LOST 21-45
at Iowa State LOST 27-34
at Oklahoma LOST 3-30

2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

Relax, Nebraska fans, QB issues make it look like this isn't your year. You could easily end up in the Big 12 Championship Game, what with that weak North Division and that cake home schedule to start, not to mention the JUCO upgrades. Of the 31 members of the incoming recruiting class - a class that recruiting guru Tom Lemming ranked No.1 in the country - 12 were JUCO players. "This won't be something we do normally every year," Callahan said, "but we had to do it this year." Those players alone will fill in many of the experience gaps. We find the increased quality of (both side's) line play to be the surest signal that NU is surging back to prominence.

Pursuant to the schedule, we primarily note how Nebraska has seven home games. But the Cornhuskers open the season with five consecutive games in Lincoln, starting with Division I-AA Maine. The problem becomes how four of the last six are away, making for another possible collapse (though their consolation for the Oklahoma showdown is that it's at home 10-29-05). Nebraska should be able to beat quality opponents Pitt and ISU at home. But TT then poses the truest defensive challenge, and if the Cornhuskers aren't ready to avenge the 70-10 shellacking they received at Tech, then the secondary will again be of grave concern for the slate's second half.

We hate to promote the cliché, but it's really 2006 toward which fans should be pointing. That's when two years of Callahan's system will be under their collective belts, and its No.1 recruiting class will be sophomores with a QB (hopefully) in place. That's when Nebraska will be Nebraska again. Until then, it will be an up and down year as the team continues to assimilate to a new style.

Hey, at least NU is finally sticking to a plan, even after a losing campaign. Instilling a more modern offense is essential today in Lincoln, for opponent's team speed had "caught up" with their outside power running. Ultimately, everything must change, or be stubbornly washed away…so, now it is just a matter of time until this venerable program is again back in the Top 5. Cornhusker fans finally have been forced to submit to a longterm rebuilding, and it will be worth it for seasons to come if they just continue to do it right, and not panic like they did when they fired Solich after going 10-3. The teamwork and dedication represented in the Husker Legacy Statue are the staples upon which another dynasty in Lincoln will soon rise. Then, it will be at least another 43 years until their next losing season.

Projected 2005 record: 6-5
QB - 3 DL - 4.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 3 DB - 2
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Joe Dailey, 310-153-19, 2025 yds., 17 TD

Rushing: Cory Ross, 207 att., 1102 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Matt Herian, 24 rec., 308 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Cory Ross, 8 TD, 48 pts.

Punting: Sam Koch, 63 punts, 41.3 avg.

Kicking: David Dyches, 2-3 FG, 2-2 PAT, 8 pts.

Tackles: Stewart Bradley, 67 tot., 38 solo

Sacks: Adam Carriker, Jay Moore, Wali Muhammad - 3 each

Interceptions: Daniel Bullocks, 5 for 187 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Tierre Green, 26 ret., 19.2 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Santino Panico, 22 ret., 3.1 avg., 0 TD


TE Matt Herian


OFFENSE: Steve Kriewald-FB, Ross Pilkington-WR, Dusty Keiser-TE, Mike Erickson-OT, Jake Andersen-OG, Sandro DeAngelis-K, Joe Dailey-QB (transferred)
DEFENSE: Bernard Thomas-DE, Barrett Ruud-MLB, Ira Cooper-LB, Chad Sievers-WLB, Kellen Huston-CB, Lornell McPherson-CB, Fabian Washington-CB (NFL), Josh Bullocks-FS (NFL)

Zac Taylor is a straight drop-back passer with a great arm and good field vision. Harrison Beck is much the same. The two of them will duke it out .... Hey, wait a minute? Isn't starting quarterback Joe Dailey back? Isn't back-up Beau Davis also a returner? Well, ah, um, yes. Yes they are. OK, back to Taylor and Beck. Taylor led his JUCO team to the NJCAA championship game last year, while Beck is a highly regarded recruit out of Florida. Dailey started spring drills at the top of the depth chart -- and this is a deep unit, with no less than eight QBs listed -- but word out of Lincoln is that the job is Taylor's to lose. Dailey threw 19 INTs. To be fair, he was in his sophomore season and was asked to handle an entirely new offense put in by new coach Bill Callahan, a west coast offense that ran counter to everything Nebraska had done for the past 40 years. It was just a feeling among the coaches that Dailey simply lacks the poise and presence. An upgrade in talent at this position would have the most effect on Nebraska's record.

Running Back
Nebraska returns 1,000-yard rusher Cory Ross and his backup, Brandon Jackson, who is looking fabulous this spring after hitting the weights and still maintaining a sub 4.4-second 40-yard time. Both are outstanding at coming out of the backfield to catch passes, another staple of the west coast offense and something that starting fullback Dane Todd will have to learn. The deepest unit on the team just got Lucky - Marlon Lucky, this year's No.2 incoming RB (Rivals.com), so Ross and Jackson will be pushed. A coup for Nebraska, Callahan plucked him away from Southern Cal. He's going to get his shot, no doubt. A misconception of the 'west coast' is that it means more passing, whereas it really means NU will again run it around 56%, so the workload is cut out here.

Nebraska wide receivers are traditionally a no-name bunch…not any longer. With the west coast offense here to stay, everybody needs to step up. Of the top returners -- Mark LeFlore, Terrence Nunn and Grant Mulkey-- none caught more than 19 passes. Still, it's a talented group. Nunn is swift, with great hands. While Grant Mulkey has the inside track to start at the slot, watch out for the appropriately named Nate Swift, who is, more importantly, fearless in going over the middle. JUCO wideout Frantz Hardy is going to bump somebody out of a starting job, and four other three-star (or higher) recruits guarantee that this campaign will feature whoever can make the grabs.

Tight End
Matt Herian is the man here, but he'll be pushed in the spring and fall by JUCO-recruit Justin Tomerlin. That is, unless Tomerlin is such a hit on the other side of the ball that the Nebraska defensive coaches keep him. Tomerlin originally signed with Florida State out of high school as a TE, but wound up a standout DE on the same Butler County C.C. (KS) team as quarterback Zac Taylor.

Offensive Line
Remember, it's a mindset thing. Nebraska's offensive line is used to being a finely-tuned, albeit brutal, machine of road-graders. But last year they had to learn an entirely different way of approaching everything, from schemes to footwork. Sure, there's a lot of work still to be done, but 2004's 34th-ranked running game (at 4.7 per carry) means they have a foundation already in place. Too, NU allowed just 16 sacks in 11 games - and, yes, we realize that part of that stat reflects the three-step drops which are a component of the west coast offense. Still, it's impressive for a group of players learning a new system. Changes will be minimal. Returning center Kurt Mann is a motivational speaker and 4.03 student who will get this crew together, and former wrestler LG Brandon Koch will secure the inside with Mann. Huge Fin RT Seppo Evwaraye (the first native Finlander to sign an Division I-A letter of intent) goes to LT. Cornealius Thomas, Lydon Murtha (sub-5.0 40) and Mike Huff will each get their shot to secure the RG spot, but true frosh Rodney Picou will show why he was the nation's ninth-rated incoming guard. Another great line with size, speed, depth, and even more potential.

Unless Nebraska finds a solution for its quarterback problems, it will again suffer as a team. Dailey threw too many INTs (19), and the entire team just had too many TOs (33) to ever get the offense rolling from game to game. In fact, the Cornhuskers were 110th for TO-margin, so control is the mantra this campaign. Also weak was NU's scoring average of 25 points, its second-lowest figure since 1969. The offensive averaged 363 total yards, second-lowest since 1968. But there's a commitment to the west coast offense, so as the system isn't changing, the players must. But there has to be some consistency from Callahan and offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. The staff was criticized, for instance, when it threw too much against Iowa State with 43 attempts, but then passed the ball only 13 times against Oklahoma. Smartly, Nebraska will still run out of the I formation, which is its forte. In all likelihood, the 'Huskers will be breaking in another new quarterback, so there will be some rough patches. But the line should still protect in all facets, and the running backs are a given to succeed and distract. Now it's up to Callahan and staff to figure out how to best utilize all that talent. The demons that messed this offense up will now seem exorcised as the same plays will now work with the right/another QB.


RB Cory Ross


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Zac Taylor-Jr (6-2, 210) Harrison Beck-Fr (6-2, 210)
Beau Davis-So (6-4, 185)
FB Dane Todd-Jr (5-10, 240) Grant Miller-Jr (6-0, 225)
IB Cory Ross-Sr (5-6, 195) Brandon Jackson-So (5-11, 210)
WR Mark LeFlore-Sr (5-11, 195) Isaiah Fluellen-Jr (6-0, 185)
WR Terrence Nunn-So (6-0, 190) Grant Mulkey-Jr (5-11, 180)
TE Matt Herian-Sr (6-5, 240) J.B. Phillips-So (6-3, 260)
OT Seppo Evwaraye-Sr (6-5, 330) Lydon Murtha-Fr (6-7, 315)
OG Greg Austin-Jr (6-1, 295) Andy Christensen-Fr (6-3, 300)
C Kurt Mann-Jr (6-4, 290) Brett Byford-So (6-3, 305)
OG Brandon Koch-Sr (6-4, 315) Gary Pike-Sr (6-4, 330)
OT Cornealius Fuamatu-Thomas-Sr (6-5, 335) Mike Huff-Fr (6-4, 300)
K David Dyches-Jr (6-1, 180) Jordan Congdon-Fr (5-11, 185)



Defensive Line
For every cause, there is an effect. Because this unit was marginal in getting to the quarterback, an already suspect secondary was picked apart. The D-line will again be outstanding against the run (11th-ranked in rush defense, also one of 11 teams to hold foes to under three per carry [2.9]), which only puts that much more pressure against the DBs as foes throw to avoid these killers. In part it was because ends Wali Muhammad and Jay Moore are terrific run stuffers. RS freshman Adam Blankenship is a better rush end. So is true freshman Barry Turner, as is JUCO standout Dontrell Moore, who was recruited by a linebacker but will end up as a rush end. So is another JC product, Barry Cryer, whom Callahan compared to former NFL star John Randle. And so is Ola Dagunduro, a 300-pound defensive tackle from Compton (Calif.) Community College, who was ranked the No. 5 JUCO DT by College Football News. Cryer and Dagunduro have the head start, since each gray-shirted in January.

If the 'Huskers don't use Dontrell Moore as a rush end, he's your new starting MLB. Stewart Bradley will be back on the strong side, but Mark Brungardt, slated to start on the weak side, leaves them lacking with his disgruntled departure. This unit is thin, but they won't disappoint - either the front four will be stopping running plays in front of them, or the secondary will be getting tested behind them. Ergo, expect them to drop back in coverage more, especially with two new four-star recruits who have sub-4.6 40 times. Speed has been instilled into this unit, so expect swarming to again smother runners. DC Kevin Cosgrove has now been put in charge of all LBs - for purposes of continuity - a wise move that will facilitate the swarming.

Defensive Back
When you lose your entire starting secondary, there's normally cause for concern. When that entire secondary finished nearly dead last (110th) in passing yardage allowed, well, quietly, there is a silver lining. Nebraska has a chance to completely overhaul that marginal unit. For whatever reason, they didn't perform well in man coverage, which was the team's preferred package. The DBs just weren't physical enough to jam receivers at the line. That will change with CB Zackary Bowman, who is ranked the No. 1 junior college defensive player in the nation by rivals.com. He starts at one corner. Cortney Grixby has the inside track at the other corner, but his speed and size are suspect compared to Bowman's. Former-dual-threat-QB Andrew Shanle, huge ex-LB Shane Siegel (also all-academic), and ex-sprinter/TB Blake Tiedtke are all competing for the safety spots, and they each have the hitting power to intimidate over the middle more than their predecessors. What this secondary was good at, and still should be, is bending but not breaking. Assistant Bill Busch now umbrellas both secondary facets (corners and safeties), so similar to the LBs, this unit will have better coordinated efforts because of the coaching change.

The Cornhuskers had trouble defending the pass, giving up 268 yards a game through the air. They only gave up 18 passing TDs, meaning the efficiency rating was much better, an important dimension to continue. Now, accordingly, with the secondary brand new, NU should go to more zone schemes, until the newbie CBs can try the man-on-man thing with more success. There should be no problem up front, especially as NU gets at least one of its incoming JUCO stars to develop into a consistent pass rusher. The ability to put pressure on the quarterback will allow the LBs to drop back until the secondary is fine-tuned. With the secondary able to hold its own, the glory days of the Blackshirts reigning on foes again with speed and stick can return. NU allowed 95 combined third-quarter points, an aberration in Lincoln that needs attention.


DT Le Kevin Smith


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Jay Moore-Jr (6-4, 275) Wali Muhammad-Sr (6-1, 255)
DT Titus Adams-Sr (6-3, 300) Barry Cryer-Jr (6-2, 270)
DT Le Kevin Smith-Sr (6-2, 305) Ola Dagunduro-Jr (6-2, 300)
DE Adam Carriker-Jr (6-6, 280) Ty Steinkuhler-Fr (6-3, 255)
SLB Stewart Bradley-Jr (6-4, 240) Adam Ickes-Sr (6-2, 225)
MLB Lance Brandenburgh-So (6-1, 230) Corey McKeon-So (6-1, 225)
WLB Steve Octavien-Jr (6-0, 230) Bo Ruud-So (6-3, 230)
CB Cortney Grixby-So (5-9, 165) Donald DeFrand-Sr (6-0, 175)
CB Tierre Green-So (6-1, 200) Titus Brothers-So (5-11, 190)
SS Daniel Bullocks-Sr (6-2, 210) Shane Siegel-Sr (6-3, 220)
FS Andrew Shanle-Jr (6-1, 205) Tyler Fisher-Sr (5-11, 195)
P Sam Koch-Sr (6-1, 230) Dan Titchener-Fr (6-0, 200)




Basically, the job is true freshman Jordan Congdon's to lose. He has such an incredible leg that he'll likely assume both the placekicking and kickoff duties for the 'Huskers. "I think he's outstanding. He's fun to watch," Callahan said. "This guy could have gone anywhere he wanted to go.'" But even more attention needs to be paid to the horrible KO coverage, and influxes in the back seven should help.

Sam Koch is a solid punter, averaging just over 41 with one-third of his tries fair caught and/or dropped inside the 20. The coverage here is excellent and could improve with the abundance of talent.

Return Game
Santino Panico averaged 3.1 yards per punt return last year. Yikes! Brandon Jackson was just over 20 yards on kickoffs. Bowman is a name we throw out, as is true frosh Leon Jackson and Terrance Nunn (10.6-second 100-meter time). Expect an upgrade soon.