Editor's note: Periodically from now until the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30th, we will break down Nebraska, position by position, as the two teams head for its collision-course rematch in San Diego.
** Starters: Center is Mike Caputo; guards are Keith Williams (left) and Ricky Henry (right); tackles are Jeremiah Sirles (left) and D.J. Jones (right).
** Top reserves: LG Jermarcus Hardrick, RT Marcel Jones and RG Brent Qvale.
** Key statistics in 2010: Nebraska’s rushing attack (259.6 yards per game) led the Big 12 this season by more than 53 yards over Kansas State (206.0 ypg). Its 5.7-yard-per-rush average was also tops in the conference. … The Cornhuskers gave up 17 sacks – tied for second-fewest in the league behind Oklahoma State (10). … The starting five has 101 career starts, including Williams’ team-leading 32.
** Scouting report: It’s not the group of star-studded individuals folks have come to expect in Lincoln, Neb. Collectively this group, which has seen each first-teamer start every game in 2010, has gotten the job done. Caputo, a former walk-on who is in his first full season as a starter, is the leader. He keeps the order by making the calls. Williams and Henry form the best tandem – with Henry being named an all-Big 12 player this season. The big name of the group happens to also the unit’s youngest player – Sirles – who was named a freshman All-American. He is 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. In assessing the Cornhuskers’ offensive line play, UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt put it on par with Stanford, Southern California and Oregon.
** Quoteworthy: "As run blockers, they do a great job. And the one thing that separates them is they are well-coached. They just don’t make mistakes." - UW defensive line coach Johnny Nansen