Saturday, November 14, 2009

Roy Helu Helps Push Nebraska Into First Place in North

Nebraska's difference maker is finally getting producing as expected.

The resurgence of I-back Roy Helu Jr. has added a key element to a sputtering Nebraska offense.

Helu's big game helped power the Cornhuskers to a 31-17 comeback victory over Kansas Saturday afternoon.

The Cornhuskers are a different team when Helu is running the ball well. He showed it Saturday when he rushed for 156 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. He added another TD on a fumble recovery earlier in the game.

After struggling during a two-game losing streak earlier in conference play when Helu was banged up, the Cornhuskers erupted for two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter after Kansas had assumed the lead.

Helu's heroics sets up a winner-take-all battle for the North Division next week in Lincoln between the Cornhuskers and Kansas State. If Nebraska wins, it's headed to the team's first Big 12 title game since 2006. And if Kansas State wins, the Wildcats are headed to Arlington on Dec. 5 for their first Big 12 championship game since winning the title in 2003.

The loss to Nebraska continues a frustrating spiral for Kansas, which started the season 5-0 and has lost its last five games. The Jayhawks need a victory either next week at Texas or Nov. 28 against Missouri in Kansas City to become bowl eligible.

It is Kansas' longest losing streak since the Jayhawks lost the final seven games of Mangino's first season in 2002 and the first game of the 2003 season.

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