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UCLA Coach Jim Mora is concerned about entire Big Red Machine

September 04, 2012|By Chris Foster
  • Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead has a sprained ligament in his left knee and is questionable for Saturday's game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead has a sprained ligament in his left knee… (Dave Weaver / Associated…)

Nebraska could be without running back Rex Burkhead for the Cornhuskers' game against UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

A break for the Bruins? Well, UCLA Coach Jim Mora isn’t exactly preparing his victory speech.

“They’re Nebraska, they can absorb losses in personnel and keep rolling,” Mora said.

Burkhead, who gained 1,357 yards in 2011, suffered a sprained ligament in his left knee Saturday against Southern Mississippi. He is listed as “questionable,” which at Nebraska means Burkhead is either preparing to play or is being given last rites.

Ameer Abdullah gained 81 yards rushing and caught an 11-yard touchdown pass after Burkhead was injured.

“I didn’t notice anything but the Big Red Machine,” Mora said. “That’s a testament to their scheme and the way their offensive line blocks.”

The Cornhuskers' offense revolves around quarterback Taylor Martinez, who played at Corona Centennial High School. Martinez completed 26 of 34 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns against Southern Mississippi.

Martinez completed passes to 10 different Nebraska receivers, and none to Southern Miss defensive personnel.

“He made really good decisions,” Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini said. “There were a couple instances that I think he’d want back. But he went through reads well, going with his second, third or fourth options at times. He was on the money throwing the football and got us out some of some plays and into some good plays.”

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