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July 1, 2008Following record-setting junior seasons, senior I-back Marlon Lucky and senior quarterback Joe Ganz have been named to watch lists for prestigious college football awards.
Lucky has been named to the 2008 Maxwell Award watch list, which is given annually to the nation's top player by the Maxwell Football Club. Ganz has been named to the watch list for the Jonny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the nation's top senior quarterback.
Lucky is coming off a stellar junior campaign when he averaged 84.9 yards per game on the ground and produced the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career at Nebraska. The North Hollywood, Calif., native was a true dual threat out of the backfield, hauling in a single-season school-record 75 passes for 705 yards, the most catches by a running back in the nation in 2007. The second-team All-Big 12 honoree amassed 1,743 all-purpose yards in 2007. It was the most yards by any player in 10 years at Nebraska and the seventh-best total in school history.
Lucky was at the top of his game late in the season, topping 100 all-purpose yards in each of the final five games. He ran 24 times for 111 yards and caught six passes on the road at Texas. Against No. 8 Kansas, Lucky caught six passes for 83 yards, including a career-long 62-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. He again caught six passes against Kansas State, including a touchdown, and also posted his fifth 100-yard rushing effort with 103 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns in the rout of the Wildcats. Lucky closed the year with 184 all-purpose yards at Colorado, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown while catching eight passes for 115 yards.
After serving as a back-up to Sam Keller over the first eight games, Ganz was inserted in the Texas game following a shoulder injury to Keller late in the game. Quickly, Ganz lead the Huskers to a touchdown and converted a two-point conversion to pull the Huskers within three points in a 28-25 loss in Austin.
Ganz went on to start the final three games of the year against Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado. Ganz threw for more than 400 yards in all three games and produced three of the top five single-game passing records. For the year, Ganz connected on 58.6 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,453 yards and 16 touchdowns. Ganz rushed for 93 yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns.
Ganz's 15 touchdowns in the final three games were a school record as he guided the Husker offensive assault to an average of 598.7 total yards per game. His top game came against the Wildcats of Kansas State in the Huskers' final home game of the 2007 season. Ganz competed 30-of-40 passes for a school-record 510 yards while connecting on a school-record seven touchdowns. With the addition of 18 yards on the ground, Ganz produced the top day in school history for total yards with 528.
Nebraska has had one winner of both the Maxwell Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Mike Rozier won the Maxwell Award in 1983 after rushing for a school-record 2,148 yards. Rozier also collected the Heisman Trophy and Walter Camp Award in 1983. Tommie Frazier was the Golden Arm Award recipient in 1995 after a season that included 92 completions on 163 attempts for 1,362 yards and 17 touchdowns in the air. Frazier added another 604 yards on the ground on 97 carries with 14 touchdowns.