Huskies Insider Blog

Holiday Bowl: Scouting Nebraska . . . at running back

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: Tailback Roy Helu, Jr. and fullback Tyler Legate.

** Top reserves: RBs Rex Burkhead and Dontrayevous Robinson.

** Key statistics in 2010: Helu rushed for 1,211 yards and 11 touchdowns, and his 6.8-yard average led all Big 12 Conference rushers. He became the first Nebraska running in 17 years to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons; Burkhead had 912 rushing yards and seven TDs, and had a team-high 13 receptions for running backs; Legate only touched the ball once this season – a 1-yard scoring catch against Oklahoma State.

** Scouting report: Helu and Burkhead aren’t exactly the Cornhuskers’ version of "Thunder and Lightning," even though they have different skill sets. The reason? Both are apt as inside runners, especially on the team’s patented dive play. Helu really was the steady runner this season, shaking off questions about his oft-injured status (he played with a shoulder injury in 2009). Burkhead does a little bit of everything, including catching the ball and even running the team’s "Wildcat" formation – something the Cornhuskers debuted in last year’s Holiday Bowl against Arizona.

** Quoteworthy: "They are going to do some of their ‘Wildcat’ stuff because they did that quite a bit later in the year, and that was really effective for them, and (Burkhead) can throw the ball. He is pretty good." - UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt