In a Super Bowl that lacked a lot of firepower, former Husker running back Rex Burkhead’s 26 yard scamper in the fourth quarter was one of the few plays Sunday night that created a spark. The run helped to set up New England placeckicker Stephen Gostkowski’s game clinching 41 yard field goal and help deliver the Patriots their sixth Super Bowl title in 18 years.
Burkhead was only 11 years old when the Pat’s dynasty began, and now the former Husker and Texas native has his first Super Bowl ring. He may be an unlikely hero to some, but Burkhead’s success will come as no surprise to Husker fans, as Burkhead had achieved folk like status in Lincoln well before his arrival in New England.
The tailback racked up over 3,300 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns in his time at Nebraska, spanning from 2009-2012. Burkhead was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, where he spent the next three seasons. In 2017 though, Burkhead landed with the Patriots. That season, he played in 10 games, rushing for 264 yards and scoring 5 touchdowns. He also had 30 receptions for 254 yards on the year as well.
His shining moment though came this season in the AFC championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs in January. He scored two touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime to send the Pats through to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.
— Jake Asman (@JakeAsman) February 4, 2019
On 7 carries Sunday, Burkhead rushed for 43 total yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. It wasn’t flashy, but it was just enough to help deliver a championship for his team. “It’s unbelievable,” Burkhead said during the post game press conference. “It’s something you dream about as a little kid.”
Far from being the lone Husker presence in Atlanta Sunday night, the Super Bowl matchup between the Patriots and the Rams also featured defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Los Angeles QBs coach, Zac Taylor. Also, Lincoln Pius alum Greg Zuerlein converted one of his two field goal attempts, nailing a 53 yarder in the first half.