When Bill Callahan said that the Huskers would have a running back by committee before the season, he wasn’t kidding.
In the Huskers’ 28-14 win against the Cyclones, Brandon Jackson and Cody Glenn, the two least-used running backs in Nebraska’s first five games, became the focal points of a stellar Husker running game that ground out 251 yards.
Jackson said the offensive line made it easy for him and Glenn as both backs rushed for more than 100 yards.
“All credit to the offensive line and our fullbacks,” Jackson said. “They played a great game today.”
Before this game, Jackson, had a mere 27 carries for 154 yards and was used primarily as the Huskers’ third-down back.
In the first half alone Saturday, Jackson had 11 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. He continued to carry the load in the second half and finished with 22 carries for 116 yards — both career highs.
Jackson knew his number was going to get called but had no idea he’d get to carry the ball 22 times.
“Coach told me to be ready at any given time, but not for this much of a load,” Jackson said.
Besides Jackson’s career game, another intriguing running back plot line against the Cyclones was Cody Glenn’s return to extensive action.
“Baby Earl” got 24 carries in the first two games of the year. But over the next three games, Glenn was slowed by a hamstring injury and carried the ball only seven times, all against the Kansas Jayhawks last week.
Glenn made the most of his opportunity and busted out a 36-yard run, a career-long effort, on his first carry during the Husker’s 80-yard scoring drive to open up the game.
On the night, Glenn rushed 19 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns. In Nebraska’s last scoring drive late in the fourth quarter, Glenn had eight carries for 73 yards and scored a five-yard touchdown to put the Huskers ahead 28-7.
Glenn said he was glad to get some carries and that all the running backs know that they’ll get a chance.
“It feels good …, but we (running backs) have to understand that they’ll be games like that. A couple of weeks ago, Marlon and Kenny both had 100 yards rushing. Then this week, it was me and Brandon. It’s big for the team that we got a win. It’s big for me and Brandon for getting our confidence up. Marlon and Kenny, I mean, they’re going to learn and practice hard this week and do the same thing we did next week.”
Consequently, Lucky, the Huskers leading rusher and starter in the first five games, didn’t enter the game until the second quarter and caught three passes for 28 yards on Nebraska’s late scoring drive at the end of the first half.
Lucky ended up not getting a carry in the game. Kenny Wilson, who led the Huskers with 66 carries in the first five games, also didn’t get any yards rushing.
Will the running back who will see the most action always be a mystery?
Glenn said it will and expects the rotation to continue.
“It’s always going to be like that,” Glenn said. “We’ve been knowing that. We kind of deal with that and know it’s going to be like that the whole season. So whoever he (Callahan) calls, you’ve got to be ready to go and take advantage of the opportunities.”