but still clutch
Midlands News Service
After Kansas took a 21-17 lead in the third quarter following Nate Swift's fumbled punt, Joe Ganz knew the Huskers needed an answer with Kansas threatening to take momentum into the fourth quarter.
Ganz responded by leading Nebraska on one of its biggest drives of the season. The Huskers drove 78 yards in eight plays to recapture the lead going into the fourth quarter on Roy Helu's 10-yard touchdown run.
Ganz was 5 for 5 for 62 yards on the drive.
"We had to answer," Ganz said. "That's what good teams do - they answer."
More impressive was that Ganz played the entire second half with an injured ankle suffered in the second quarter. Ganz said he bruised his Achilles' tendon when KU linebacker Mike Rivera rolled up on his leg.
Husker coach Bo Pelini said he wasn't about to take Ganz out.
"Not unless I wanted to fight him on the sideline," Pelini said.
Ganz finished 28 for 37 for 324 yards and three touchdowns.
"Nothing Joe Ganz does surprises me," Pelini said. "He's a competitor to the nth degree. That's just who he is. That'll be who he is 20 years from now."
Besides Ganz, at least two other Huskers were injured Saturday.
Pelini said running back Marlon Lucky "got tweaked" some time early in the game. Pelini said the injury occurred during the first couple of plays, but offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said he wasn't aware of the injury when Lucky threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mike McNeill off a direct snap with 4:47 left in the first quarter.
"Probably shouldn't have put him back in the game. It happened on the first couple plays, but he didn't want to come out," Pelini said.
Lucky ran just once in the second half and finished with 7 yards on six carries. Also, starting left guard Keith Williams went to the turf with an injury with 4:56 left in the game. Pelini said he didn't think the injury was "anything long-term," but would know more today.
Ndamukong Suh may be new to Nebraska's short-yardage packages but he's not short on confidence. Despite catching some teasing from teammates in practice about his receiving ability, the 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle was eager to show off his hands on a 2-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
"Everybody gives me a hard time, but I think personally I have good hands for a big guy," Suh said. "I had the most confidence in me to catch the ball. I just wanted to catch it and get to the end zone."
Suh began entering short-yardage situations as a fullback last week against Oklahoma and found himself lined up behind Ganz on second-and-goal from the 2-yard line with NU on top 31-28. Ganz faked a handoff to Helu and bootlegged right, finding Suh who had slipped behind the Kansas defense for his first career touchdown reception.
"When I realized it was coming to me was when their corner sat down and he thought I was going to block down on him. So I looked back at Joey and we made eye contact," Suh said. "He just lobbed it to me and took a little heat off it so I could just guide it in."