Lincoln, NE - Sunday morning Nebraska junior running back Rex Burkhead is going to wake up sore. The team's leading rusher carried the ball 35 times in Saturday's 24-3 victory over Michigan State, He was just three carries short of the Nebraska single-game record set by Corey Ross in the 2003 Alamo Bowl.
"Our offensive line did a tremendous job up front. Tyler Legate and the receivers out wide really got after them," said Burkhead after the game. "It was a great win for us and hopefully gives us some momentum going for the rest of Big Ten play."
The junior rushed for 130 yards on the ground and two scores, but his biggest play might have come through the air.
Early in the third quarter, Burkhead went down with a cramp in his left leg. After sitting out just a couple plays, the running back returned to action and found himself wide open down field in his first play back on the field. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez found the junior for a 27-yard touchdown reception.
"Once I was in the open field, all I was thinking was, 'Please don't cramp up now,'" Burkhead said. "Right when I caught it and turned, I started feeling the tightness."
His score and ability to play through the pain wasn't surprising to his head coach.
"Unless he's on crutches, he's going to be out there. He's gonna be out there fighting," said Bo Pelini. "Like I said, the guy's a warrior. You can't ask for much more than what he gives this football team."
Burkhead's 130 yards marked his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, all coming in the past six weeks.
As of early Sunday morning, his 882 yards on the ground this season should place him inside the top 20 in the country in the category.
Burkhead now ranks 22nd all-time on the Nebraska rushing list and is just 22 yards short of 20th, a position held by (Doug DuBose, 2,205 yards).
Rex Burkead scores on Saturday(Photo by: Josh Hilkemann)