|Carnes, Turner shine in Nebraska spring game|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 21 April 2011 21:04|
By Eric Olson
AP Sports Writer
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini thinks Brion Carnes showed enough in the Red-White Game to push the Cornhuskers’ top two quarterbacks come fall.
The redshirt freshman outplayed Taylor Martinez and Cody Green, throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns and running for 40 yards.
“He’s a talented young man,’’ Pelini said. “The light, it’s flickering. It just has to stay on. I can say that about a lot of the young guys.’’
Jamal Turner also drew loud cheers from the crowd of 66,784. A January enrollee who will be a true freshman this fall, Turner caught four passes for 93 yards, including a 49-yarder from Carnes for a TD. He also ran back a kick 54 yards and a punt 59 yards.
The announced attendance at last Saturday’s Nebraska Cornhuskers Spring Game was 66,784, ranking it among the most well-attended spring games in the nation. Husker fans watched the red team take down the white team 32-29. (Imperial Republican Photos)
Pelini said he was impressed with a number of individual performances, but that it’s hard to get a read on what it all means.
Nebraska installed a new offense this spring, and the play-calling was kept simple because Pelini didn’t want to show off the system to the Huskers’ new opponents in the Big Ten.
“It was about what I expected,’’ Pelini said. “We mixed and matched a lot of personnel. There wasn’t a lot of continuity out there. I thought it was a good game to watch. Hopefully the fans enjoyed it.’’
The Red squad defeated the White 32-29 on Brett Maher’s 39-yard field goal as time ran out.
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck said the Huskers would have been competent running their new offense if they had chosen to do so. Beck installed a no-huddle system, but it wasn’t shown Saturday.
“Our guys have run it for 14 days,’’ Beck said. “Would I say we’re clicking 100 percent? No, but we’re getting better.’’
Green said it didn’t help him or the other quarterbacks that the playbook was condensed.
Taylor Dixon found the field and caught one pass for 25 yards in the fourth quarter. Dixon is a 2008 graduate of Wauneta-Palisade.
“You know there are a lot of things out there we can do that can exploit the defense, but you sit out there and try to put on a show the best you can,’’ Green said. “We didn’t unleash the beast.’’
Carnes and Turner will be the names fans will be talking about at least until preseason practice begins in August.
Carnes quarterbacked eight full series resulting in two touchdowns for the Whites, two field goals, two missed field goals, a punt and a fumble. He also split a series with Green that ended with a TD.
Carnes, who completed 11 of 15 passes, made two strong throws to Turner along the sideline and also made a good decision when he pulled the ball down and ran for 24 yards.
His best pass of the day was his 49-yarder to Turner, who split two safeties before he turned a somersault as he crossed the goal line, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Turner, who graduated from high school in December, was recruited as a quarterback but switched to receiver the second week of spring practice. Pelini said the move was made to get the best athletes on the field at the same time. So far, so good.
“It’s easy to see him make a couple plays and say this guy is going to be the next Jerry Rice,’’ Pelini said. “He’s a guy who’s on the come, which to me is a very positive thing because he has a lot ahead of him where he can get a lot better.’’
Ron Kellogg III looked sharp in hitting 11 of 19 passes for 124 yards for the Red team.
Martinez, the incumbent starter, was 4 of 13 for 52 yards for the Reds with a tipped-ball interception. Green, the No. 2 quarterback for two seasons, was 4 of 10 for 63 yards for the Whites.
Top running back Rex Burkhead led all rushers with 91 yards on 11 carries for the Whites.
Converted linebacker Eric Martin made four tackles from his new spot at defensive end. Two of his tackles were for losses, and he forced a fumble.
Defensive tackle Thad Randle also knocked loose a ball that Antonio Bell returned 28 yards for a touchdown for the Reds.