The week of Thanksgiving, despite being the quietest week in the month of November for sporting events, was another week of challenges for the freshmen athletes. This week’s challenge was helping their teams gain confidence as they head into the final month of 2021. 

For this week’s winner though, it was another week of doing all he could to put his team in a good spot. 

This week’s winner is men’s basketball guard Bryce McGowens. 

The men’s basketball team competed in its final two home games of the month over the week. The Huskers had bouts against Tennessee State and South Dakota. Nebraska defeated Tennessee State 79-73 and took down South Dakota 83-70. 

In the two games, McGowens continued to be a dominant force on the court for the Huskers. The former five-star recruit finished the week with 40 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Starting with the 79-73 win over Tennessee State on Tuesday, McGowens tallied up 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal. McGowens also continued coming through at the free throw line, going 7-of-8. 

Then in the 83-70 victory over South Dakota, the Pendleton, South Carolina native put up his third 20-point game of the season after dropping 22 points. McGowens also finished the game with eight rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. He also went 8-of-10 from the foul line. 

On the season, McGowens leads the team in scoring with 17.7 points per game and has 6.9 rebounds per game. McGowens also has 16 total assists, six steals and four blocks. At the free throw line, McGowens leads the Huskers going 42-of-49.

First honorable mention: Volleyball libero Lexi Rodriguez

The Nebraska volleyball team wrapped up the regular season on the road with back-to-back bouts on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27. It was also a big week as the outcome would determine who would be the Big Ten Champions. The Huskers split the two matches, falling to Wisconsin on Friday afternoon 3-1 before taking down Purdue 3-1 on Saturday night. 

Concluding the regular season, freshman libero Lexi Rodriguez capped off her first year with 41 digs and nine set assists in the final week before postseason action. 

In the loss to Wisconsin, Rodriguez finished the match with 13 digs and five set assists. Then in the win over Purdue, the Sterling, Illinois native with 28 digs and four set assists. 

On the season, Rodriguez is heading into the postseason with 442 digs, which leads the team, 111 set assists and 14 service aces. 

Second honorable mention: Football quarterback Logan Smothers

The Nebraska football team concluded its 2021 season with a Senior Day showdown against No. 16 Iowa. Nebraska dropped its ninth single-loss of the season in the process in a 28-21 defeat. 

In his first collegiate start, freshman quarterback Logan Smothers led Nebraska to a solid 21-6 lead throughout the first three quarters. Unfortunately, bad luck struck the Huskers leading to the Iowa win. In the game, the Muscle Shoals, Alabama native finished with 198 yards passing going 16-of-22 through the air. 

On the ground, Smothers rushed for 64 yards off 24 carries and two touchdowns.

Although this was his first start of the season, Smothers has had some action prior to the season finale. On the season, Smothers threw for 317 yards off of 23 complete passes, ran for 133 yards off 37 attempts along with two touchdowns.