NEBRASKA NOTEBOOK; Third Rusher Used Is the Charm

By Carlyon, Hays | The Florida Times Union, January 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

NEBRASKA NOTEBOOK; Third Rusher Used Is the Charm


Carlyon, Hays, The Florida Times Union


Byline: HAYS CARLYON

Nebraska running back Quentin Castille picked a good time to turn in his best game of the season.

The team's third-leading rusher ran for 98 yards in the second half to propel Nebraska to a 26-21 victory over Clemson in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on Thursday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

With Nebraska's top two backs, Roy Helu Jr. and Marlon Lucky, nursing injuries, Castille took full advantage of the extra workload. The sophomore finished the game with 125 yards on 18 carries. Both were season highs.

"Quentin played huge for us," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "He played outstanding football. He carried the load and did it well."

Entering the game, Castille had carried 88 times this season for 365 yards and a 3.9 average. Against the Tigers, he averaged 6.9 yards a carry, thanks to two big runs. Castille broke loose for a 58-yard scamper in the third quarter that led to a Nebraska touchdown that cut Clemson's lead to 21-17. He also caught a 20-yard pass in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Castille again got free for a 40-yard run that led to a field goal and the final points of the game.

"I didn't know I'd get so much work going in, but you always have to be ready," Castille said. "Our lineman just blocked and blocked and blocked. Without them, I wouldn't have had this kind of game."

Nebraska's leading rusher, Helu, started, but was ineffective because of a knee infection. On five carries, he lost one yard. Lucky played, but did not get a carry. He caught four passes for 13 yards.

SPOTTY SPECIAL TEAMS

Nebraska didn't allow any kick returns for scores, but the squad didn't do its defense any favors. Clemson's C.J. Spiller returned the opening kickoff 33 yards to the Tigers' 40-yard line. Later in the half, he broke a punt return for a 33-yard gain to the Nebraska 48. Jacoby Ford also gave Nebraska trouble, gaining 20 yards on a punt return in the second quarter. …

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