Just when you thought things might be turning the corner for Nebraska's defense, the Huskers suffered one of their most significant season injuries in recent memory.
Head coach Bo Pelini announced in a statement on Wednesday that senior defensive tackle Jared Crick will miss the remainder of the 2011 season with a torn pectoral muscle.
"After further examination on Tuesday, it was determined that Jared Crick has a torn pectoral muscle and he will be out for the remainder of the season," Pelini said.
"I feel extremely bad for Jared. He is a young man who has represented this program in a first-class manner throughout his career. He made an unselfish decision to come back to Nebraska for his senior year and earn his degree, which he did this summer. He has also been a leader on and off the field and a young man who has made a positive impact in our community. Jared has a bright future in front of him on the field at the professional level. I know he will bounce back from this, and become a stronger player and person."
After putting up back-to-back all-conference seasons in 2009 and 2010, Crick chose to return for his senior season instead of going to the NFL draft.
Crick finishes his Husker career ranked eighth all-time in sacks with 20. He had 9.5 sacks in both 2009 and 2010. Crick also had 35 tackles for loss and 167 career tackles.
More than likely senior Terrence Moore will step into the starting line-up in Crick's place next to junior Baker Steinkuhler, while both sophomore Thaddeus Randle and redshirt freshman Chase Rome will contribute as well.
"It is a tough blow for our football team to lose a player of Jared's caliber, but we have players that are capable of stepping up and filling the void," Pelini said.