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September 29, 2013As Nebraska sits in their bye week, HuskerOnline.com has decided to recap some of the highlights of the non-conference schedule, as well as hand out our awards for the Huskers' top performers and performances thus far.
Here are the different players and highlights we've decided to honor after the first four games of 2013. NU will begin the conference portion of its schedule against Illinois on Saturday.
Offensive MVP: Quincy Enunwa, WR
Kenny Bell may have one more reception, but there is little doubting who the star of the receiving corps has been for Nebraska. Enunwa leads the squad with five receiving touchdowns and 202 yards while serving as the Huskers' best perimeter blocker. He has caught 17 of the 24 balls thrown his way (70.8 percent) and brings an imposing presence to the offense. Ameer Abdullah (580 total yards, three touchdowns) is also a solid candidate, but he has also lost a pair of fumbles.
Defensive MVP: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB
There hasn't been a lot to love about the defense so far, but the continued improvement of Jean-Baptiste has been a bright spot. The senior has picked off a pass in each of NU's four games, but what he's done after the interception has almost been more impressive. Jean-Baptiste is averaging 33.5 yards per return with a touchdown. He also leads the Huskers with another five pass break-ups. Jean-Baptiste makes some mistakes and isn't an automatic tackler, but he has become the playmaker this defense desperately needs.
Offensive surprise: Mike Moudy
There was much excitement coming into the season surrounding Jake Cotton, who has started each game at left guard. But as the games have progressed, he has ceded more and more snaps to Moudy, who has blossomed in his junior campaign. He has been a big part of an offensive line that has helped the Huskers average 5.6 yards per carry and has only given up two sacks.
Defensive surprise: Randy Gregory, DE
Maybe this shouldn't have come as a huge surprise - after all, Gregory was one of the top JUCO recruits in the nation. Even so, he missed all of last season with an injury and weighed just 218 pounds on his visit to NU. But he beefed up and has been Nebraska's one consistent pass-rushing threat. Gregory has only been credited with half a sack, but he has done a great job of hurrying opposing quarterbacks into questionable decisions. The sophomore has 17 tackles, including a team-leading five for loss.
Best offensive play: Enunwa's three-yard touchdown catch against Wyoming
Facing a second-and-goal situation from the three-yard line against the Cowboys, Taylor Martinez liked Enunwa's match-up on the left side and checked to a fade. After a quick drop, Martinez lobbed a pass to the senior, who hauled it in and did a spectacular job of dragging his feet to give Nebraska a 30-14 lead. The referees originally ruled the pass incomplete, but a challenge proved Enunwa got both feet down for a fantastic score.
Best defensive moment: Gregory's pick six against SDSU
The game's outcome may have already been decided at this point, but it doesn't make the play any less impressive. Late in the third quarter against South Dakota State, Gregory dropped back into zone coverage, then jumped in front of a crossing route to intercept a Jackrabbit pass. From there, no one had a chance to catch the athletic defensive end, who raced 33 yards for a touchdown.