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Young lineman Corcoran delivers message with his headwear after Spring Game
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Young lineman Corcoran delivers message with his headwear after Spring Game

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Turner Corcoran

Nebraska offensive lineman Turner Corcoran sports a "RUN THE DAMN BALL" hat following Saturday's Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium.

Had he done it during the season, perhaps Turner Corcoran would have brought an even bigger reaction with his fashion choice than it did Saturday.

But when the freshman offensive lineman showed up for a postgame interview wearing a white hat with "RUN THE DAMN BALL" embroidered in red letters in the front, it still brought a few chuckles.

"Me and Bryce (Benhart) just got them like three or four days ago. We placed an order and they came from Australia and it got here the other day, so we were like, 'Why not wear them for the Spring Game?'" Corcoran said. "They got here just in time for the game."

Most offensive linemen would readily admit they prefer ground-based tactics when it comes to the offensive approach to the game: line up and smash the guy in front of you as far down the field as you can until the whistle blows, then do it again.

It doesn't always work like that, of course, and Nebraska's offense, despite leaning more on the running game toward the end of last season, will still look to get its shiny new toys at receiver involved whenever possible.

But this is Nebraska, dang it, and running the ball will always be sewn into the fabric of those red jerseys the Huskers pull on every Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

So was the 6-foot-6, 300-pound Corcoran, who last season became the first true freshman to ever start at left tackle for Nebraska in the Huskers' win over Rutgers, trying to make some kind of statement that he wants NU to utilize the handoff more than the forward pass?

"I'm not going to say that, feel like I might catch a little backlash, but we love to run the damn ball here and we’ve got a great class of backs," Corcoran said. "Our running backs are phenomenal and with this offensive line, we can do some damage in the run game."

Nebraska ran the ball 86 total times Saturday, with much of that coming in the second half as NU's younger players went full-contact against each other. There were plenty of carries to go around, as there always are in these scenarios, and 15 Huskers toted the ball at least once.

Should Nebraska lean on the running game like that again in the fall, or like it did to end last season when it piled up 620 total yards against Rutgers, that would appear to be just fine with the guys up front.

"You can draw up a play however you want, but if you don’t have that energy and that passion to get it done, it’s not going to happen," NU center Cam Jurgens said. "I feel like, kind of slowing down the tempo, and being able to just practice and just finish our blocks — and we’re not worried about our next play. We’re worried about finishing through the whistle, and that helped us a lot."

Contact the writer at cbasnett@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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Husker men's basketball/baseball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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