Last season, the Nebraska Cornhuskers relied heavily on their star running back, Rex Burkhead. In the 2011 campaign, “Superman” carried the ball 284 times for 1357 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 21 balls for another 177 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the last game of the regular season versus Iowa Hawkeyes, Burkhead carried the ball 38 times, which set a new single game school record.
As the Huskers are looking towards the new season, both head coach Bo Pelini and offensive coordinator Tim Beck have stated they would like Burkhead to carry the ball less. Beck would like to see Ameer Abdullah and perhaps incoming freshmen Imani Cross take more of the load off of Burkhead.
Burkhead, with a couple of big games, could put himself into the Heisman mix. However, the most important thing this season for the running backs will be sharing the load. At times last season Burkhead looked just a bit off, perhaps tired from being overworked, though he would never admit it.
Ameer Abudullah made his fair share of plays last season, but also had drive and momentum killing fumbles at critical points. As a sophomore this season, Abdullah says he is ready to take his game to the next level.
Being in the B1G 10, running the ball once again will be a priority for this team. If something were to happen to Taylor Martinez again this season, the emphasis on the running backs will once again be heightened.
Burkhead will once again carry the load, but if Abdullah cannot improve his game from a year ago, it could be a long season for Rex once again.