I put together a quick list of what I thought were the top-five Super Bowls by a Husker prior to Sunday's big game. It did not need updated after Super Bowl LIII.
That's not really the fault of Rex Burkhead or Ndamukong Suh. In the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history––one that featured one combined trip to the red zone, which resulted in the game's only touchdown––there just weren't a lot of numbers to be had. If this were a title fight, the boxers spent the majority of it tied up in the middle of the ring.
But Rex got his ring. The New England running back was the game's second-leading rusher with seven carries for 43 yards (6.1 ypc). Burkhead tied teammate Sony Michel, the leading rusher in Super Bowl LIII, for the game's longest rush at 26 yards.
Burkhead's 26-yarder was effectively the knockout blow.
With 2:42 left in the game the Patriots faced second-and-7 from their 38. The Rams had one timeout remaining and needed two stops to force a punt, keep it a one-score game and get the ball back with a reasonable amount of time remaining.
Everyone knew the Patriots were running it and it didn't matter. Rex rumbled for 26.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 4, 2019
Los Angeles spent its last timeout, New England ran three more times and kicked a field goal that put the game away. It felt like vintage Burkhead. It may have been the only moment in the game when I actually felt energized by something happening on the field. At Nebraska, Burkhead was the guy you turned to when the going was tough and you needed something good to happen.
His three postseason games this season felt a little like that. Burkhead had 57 carries in the regular season, 11.9 percent of all Patriot carries in 2018. Over three playoff games he had 23 (20.2 percent) with three touchdowns.
On the other side, Suh had fairly quiet game for the Rams, finishing with two tackles and a hit on Tom Brady.
“I’m speechless right now,” Suh said after the game. “I really don’t have much to say other than to answer your guys questions. Just processing right now.”
That's kind of what the Patriots do. They win this way and they win that way. How they'll win is often a more interesting question than "will they win?"
I don't feel any particular way about that. It doesn't bother me or excite me. It's just sort of the way things are with New England.
Maybe that can be the title of the commemorative Super Bowl LIII video: "It's Just Sort of the Way Things Are."
To The Valley
Former Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf is headed to Fresno State to coach quarterbacks according to a report from Football Scoop. Langsdorf spent last season as an offensive analyst at Oregon.
This is a pretty good landing spot for Langsdorf to get back into on-field coaching. The Bulldogs went 12-2 a year ago, winning the Mountain West, and return 83 percent of their production on offense. That total does not include, however, a returning quarterback.
Fresno State opens the season at USC then hosts Minnesota in Week 2.
The Grab Bag
- Recruiting analyst Greg Smith offers an evaluation of Nebraska’s Junior Day weekend.
- Also, here are a handful of updates with players who were in Lincoln this weekend: Jeffrey Persi, Gabriel Rubio and Turner Corcoran.
- Some great photos from the past weekend of Husker men’s gymnastics and track and field.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.