Honors & Awards
The 6-1, 210-pound Ganz engineered a Nebraska offense that became one of the most complete units in the country in the second half of the 2008 season. The Huskers ranked in the top 20 nationally in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense. Ganz also transformed Nebraska into one of the most efficient units in the country. The Huskers ranked second in the nation in time of possession and were among the Big 12 leaders in third-down conversions.
In the process of leading the Husker offense Ganz, set Nebraska season records for with 3,568 passing yards and 3,826 yards of total offense. Ganz was extremely accurate throughout the season, completing 67.9 percent of his passes and set NU’s record for season completions and percentage. He has also shattered the Nebraska career record for accuracy by completing nearly 66 percent of his 549 career pass attempts. He threw for 25 touchdown passes in 2008, the second-most in NU history and his 45 career touchdown passes also rank second in the Nebraska record book.
Ganz finished his senior season ranked among Big 12 and national leaders in several categories, including passing yards per game, total offense and pass efficiency. Following his final game, Ganz’s career pass efficiency ranking was fourth among all 2008 active players trailing only Heisman finalists Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy.
Ganz threw for more than 300 yards five times in 2008, and topped that number eight times in 16 career starts. In 2008, Ganz also showed his dual-threat ability. He ran for 258 yards and five touchdowns on the season, including 95 yards and two touchdowns at Kansas State–the most rushing yards by an NU quarterback in five seasons. Ganz also joined elite company against New Mexico State when he became just the third player in school history to rush, pass and catch a touchdown in the same game. The only other Huskers to accomplish that feat are Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Rodgers and Eric Crouch.
The leadership of Ganz allowed Nebraska to surpass 30 points 10 times in 2008 and in 13 of his 16 career starts. The Huskers passed for at least 200 yards in all 12 games in 2008 and gained more than 400 yards of total offense nine times. His poise was evident as Nebraska rallied from a second-half deficit to win four games in 2008, including three of the season’s final four games.
Ganz was voted one of four team captains for the 2008 season. Ganz was also named the Huskers’ MVP and capped his career by being named the MVP of the 2009 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl.
Ganz served as the Huskers’ No. 2 signal caller for nearly all of 2005, 2006 and 2007, before a season-ending injury to Sam Keller thrust Ganz into the starting role late in 2007. Less than a month later, Ganz had shattered numerous school records and established himself as a player to watch for the 2008 season.
Ganz threw for 1,399 yards and 15 touchdowns in his three 2007 starts, while posting the top two passing days in school history. His 15 touchdown passes in a three-game stretch were a school record and he guided Nebraska to an average of 598.7 yards of total offense in his three starts. Ganz threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in his first start at Kansas, then threw for a school-record 510 yards and an NU record seven touchdowns in a rout of Kansas State. He added 484 yards and four touchdowns at Colorado.
Ganz backed up Zac Taylor in 2006 and played in five games. He completed 7-of-13 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns. He did not see game action in 2005, and redshirted in 2004.
Ganz was also strong in the classroom, earning first-team academic All-Big 12 honors in 2008. He graduated in December of 2008 with a degree in communication studies and was a seven-time Big 12 commissioner’s honor roll pick.
Ganz then took over at Kansas, where he completed 25-of-50 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns, including three to Maurice Purify. He also rushed five times for 11 yards and a first-quarter touchdown.
A week later, Ganz shattered several Nebraska records in a 73-31 rout of Kansas State. He completed 30-of-40 passes for a Husker record 510 yards and connected on a school-record seven touchdown passes, two better than the previous mark. Ganz added 18 rushing yards, and his 528 yards of total offense also set a Nebraska record.
In the season finale at Colorado, Ganz completed 31-of-58 passes for 484 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Ganz’s numbers against the Buffs represented the second-best single-game passing and total offensive numbers in school history.
Ganz completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,435 yards and 16 touchdowns for the season. He also rushed 20 times for 93 yards and three touchdowns. In the month of November alone, Ganz accounted for three of the five 400-yard passing days in school history, in addition to three of the top five games in total offense. Ganz also had a receiver tie the school record for touchdown catches in a game in each of his three starts.
The most memorable play for Ganz in 2006 came against Colorado. With the game tied at 7-7 in the second quarter, Ganz came onto the field and lined up as the kicker in a field goal formation. He received the snap directly and lofted a perfect 29-yard scoring strike to defensive end Barry Turner in the end zone.
2005 (Redshirt Freshman)
Before Nebraska (Amos Alonzo Stagg HS)
Ganz earned Class 7A all-state honors from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, was a first-team all-conference (SICA Gray) and all-area pick. A two-time team MVP, Ganz earned second-team all-state honors as a junior. Ganz chose Nebraska over Eastern Michigan and Northwestern. In addition to football, Ganz also lettered three times in baseball. In 2003, he batted .480 with seven homers and 38 RBIs as a shortstop. He hit .420 with eight homers and 45 RBIs to earn all-state honors as a senior.
Year G Att. Cmp. Int. Pct. Yds. Y/A Y/G LP TD Eff.R. Totals 24/16 585 381 18 .651 5,125 8.8 213.5 69 44 157.38
Rushing: 115-341-8 total; 92-258-5, long-33 vs. New Mexico State in 2008; 20-93-3, long-28 vs. Colorado in 2007; 3-(-10)-0 in 2006; long-10 vs. Nicholls State