St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on November 6, 1977 · Page 97
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 97

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Sunday, November 6, 1977
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Page 97
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"m n w Cimfroveirsil Co I Is Moke Tigers See he ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH Sun., November 6, 1977 5; . By Bill Beck Of the Post-Dispatch Staff COLUMBIA, Mo., Nov. 5 - Missouri's locker room was a ferment of indignation with two official rulings that involved touchdowns in Saturday's 21-10 loss to Nebraska. Both were in the fourth quarter and one awarded a touchdown to Nebraska although the Tigers insisted that the ball had been fumbled away by Comhusker tailback Rick Bems. - The other play involved what the Tigers thought for sure was a touchdown catch by tight end Kellen Winslow, but which officials branded as a fumbled catch. The Missouri players argued that those two calls amounted to a swing of 12 points that would have given the Tigers a 16-15 victory, at the very least. Senior quarterback Pete Woods, whose season was ended with a fractured finger on his throwing hand, seemed almost detached from all the resentment. He had had a difficult game, even though he completed 13 of 26 passes for 158 yards. ' Woods had no opinion on the first of these controversial plays because he was on the bench at the time. That was when Bems catapsulted in the end zone from the 1, but did he have the ball. This brought on a rarity and argument between officials. The field judge, viewing the play headon, though Berns dropped the ball, or never had control, and left it on the field of play to be recovered by Missouri. But the line judge, who is stationed looking dowwn the line of scrimmage, said that Berns had penetrated the plane of the goal before dropping the ball. Referee Dan Foley let them jaw it out for almost a minute before ruling that the decision belonged to the line judge. Then Foley came to the center of the field and threw up his arms in the touchdown gesture. A technician with KTVI, which originates delayed telecasts of the Missouri games, came to the MU dressing room to inform coach Al Onofrio that videotape replay of the incident strongly indicated no touchdown. So much for that one, which bumped the Comhusker lead to 21-10. Now comes the play that Woods knew about, the looping third-down pass to Winslow from two yards out that Kellen seemed to catch with a magnificent leap. The official immediately behind him-(again the field judge-signalled touch-ldown, but he was over ruled by another official in the end zone, presumably the back judge, who said Winslow never controlled the ball. Said Woods: "Kellen caught the ball, but when he came down, he lost it. I Mizzou asked the referee about it and he said, 'Who had the best look at it, you or me?' I really didn't have an answer for that so what could I say?" Of the fourth down play from the 2 on which Woods attempted to score on an option keeper, the quarterback said: "Oh, I got to the goal line and showed the ball over, but the question was, did I get over? I was lying right on the line." Said coach Onofrio of the pass to Winslow: "I saw what you saw so I started looking around to get us organized for a two point conversion." Said Winslow: "I don't want to comment about that play. What good would it do? The thing is, if I hadn't lost it (the ball) get away when I came down, the argument would never have come up. The official by me signalled touchdown." The technician said KTVI had video tape on this one, too, that would prove Winslow scored. Onofrio, even with this advisory, declined to be drawn into an argument. "I won't comment of officiating because it can't be undone; said the coach. "I have always told our players that we have to play above the calls you may get from officials and, today, we didn't do that." Coach Tom Osborne, justly proud of the strong performance by his Cornhus-kers, said, "It seemed like there were so many calls that had such great impact on the game. This must have been a very difficult game to officials." Osborne said that I.M. Hipp, his super tailback, had been hurt in practice a muscle pull Thursday prior to the game and in the second quarter, had difficulty lifting his leg. So Berns came in and was hurt in the fourth quarter. "I think we did well, considering that wound up without our first string quarterback (Tom Sorley) and our first and second string tailbacks," said the coach. Onafrio agreed: "Nebraska is as good as any team we have face." But speaking of playing "above" adverse calls from officials, as Onafrio had suggested, Missouri seemed about to do it as the third quarter began when, for the second time in two weeks, the Tigers got back their own kickoff via a fumble. This time, Woods launched a 56-yard bomb for flanker Joe Stewart on a streak pattern toward the end zone. Defending cornerback Rene Anderson fell. "The ball was there," speculated Woods, "but I think Joe ran out of room in the end zone." Stewart, who later grabbed a Missouri record with his 86th catch, said, "The ball was there and I should have caught it. But I took my eye off it just an instant to see where the end line was. Maybe there was room, but I didn't even touch the ball." B FROM PAGE ONE what harmful penalties had left undone to the Tigers. On the Tigers' home held, the grass to which Mizzou is more accustomed than most visiting teams, players slipped too often, particularly the Tigers, and Woods, though he finished by completing half his 26 passes for 158 yards, was not on target often enough. Fact is, after the first half in which Missouri outgained Nebraska, 189 yards to 161, the Tigers added only 119 yards to pe Huskers' 195. So, despite fumbling the ball away at the Black and Gold's 4-yard line in the opening minutes and at the 13 in the third quarter, Nebraska wound up with 356 yards to 308 and eight more offensive plays. The Huskers also gained the stripe-shirted nod on two critical officiating calls, both in the fourth quarter after Missouri, which had played the first half without a penalty, began to see yellow flags rather than the Black and Gold in the crowd. By then, major penalties had helped boost Nebraska's lead to five points. The damaging penalties were a personal foul and clipping. The clipping call came on a Comhusker punt and because the violation occured with the ball in the air, Nebraska was given the option and repossessed the cowhide. With the ball thus moved to Mil's 26, switched strategy called for a placekick. Todd made it good (43 yards). That 15-10 lead was extended disputa-bly after Woods's pass, deflected, was intercepted at the Tigers' 15, midway in the final quarter. The Huskers' hard-hitting, rangy tailback, Bems, who outpointed MU's Anise Davis rushing, 81 yards to 70, hit over the middle from a yard out, third and goal. Somewhere, he lost possession. Did he fumble before or after breaking the verticle plane of the twin-striped goal-line? One official apparently signalled yes for a touchdown, another waved off a score, which would have given Missouri possession, a touchback and the ball at the 20. But because the linesman ruled that the ball-carrier had crossed the goal-line before fumbling1, a touchdown was declared. Before Todd missed the extra point, more than one angry Tiger flung a helmet to the ground and for the only time, in the second half Missouri did something about its offensive difficulties against that v-e-r-y good Nebraska defense. From his 20, Woods screen passed 17 to Earl Gant and next passed to Kellen Winslow at the 18. Stewart, who earlier had erased John Henley's campus career record (1969-71) for receptions with his eighty-sixth catch, dropped one at the 30. However, after successive passes to Lamont Downer and Leo Lewis had reached the 24, Woodsffcrched a picture-book pass to Stewart as the senior split receiver went out at the 4-yard line. A good five minutes remained, but the Tigers WERE 11 points down, and they used precious time in two running plays, which netted only a couple of yards, before Woods fired over the middle and under the goalposts, where the second disputed call went Nebraska's way, not Missouri's. Winslow went up for the ball and had it coming down, but whether he dropped it before or after hitting the ground was difficult to determine from the pressbox and apparently from the field, too. One official, behind WinsHfv, threw up his' hands the signal of a touchdown but when the giant tight end hit the ground and no longer had the ball, a horizontal wave-off ruled it no score. Three minutes and 50 seconds remained, after the disturbed players were quieted, along with some of the crowd. Woods, on a quarterback option to his right, kept the ball and lunged for the goal, as he had to upset Ohio State a year ago. The University City senior, his running limited since an opening-game injury sidelined for nearly five games, was brought down inches short. That did it, ending the argument-delayed game and modest two-game winning streak. It ended a game in which, as mentioned, after linebacker Lee Kuna's alert interception on Woods at midfield, the Huskers' Sorley ran and passed 'em to the 4, where Hipp fumbled and big Steve Hamilton recovered for the Tigers. Next time, though, kick return specialist Ted Harvey returned Monte Montgomery's low punt 42 yards to the Missouri 28, setting up Todd's 37-yard field goal when Nebraska came up fourth-and-two at the 20. On the next kickoff, Stewart, fielding a low liner, slipped to his knee, down at the Missouri 5-yard line. And when Nebraska held, Montgomery, hearing hurrying Husker footsteps, hustled a punt that shanked off the side of his foot, traveling only six yards out of bounds to the 13. Sorley passed 11 to Smith, then to Rocke Loken for four before Bems went in to score from the 1-yard line. Todd missed the coversion, so it was 9-0. From the kickoff to the 25, the Tigers finally began to move as the first quarter ended. Woods used Davis and Gant for one firsst down, then passed 25 to Lewis. As the second period began, Lewis slipped on one of those quick one-on-one diving pass receptions, preventing first down. So Brockhaus came in, teed up and kicked a field goal from the 18 (35 yards). One series later, Winslow leaped for a good two-handed grab of Woods's powerful 25-yard pass at the MU 47. An 8-yard pass to Lewis, a 12-yard run by Gerry Ellis and one of 15 by Dean Leibson brought Missouri to the Nebraska 7. There, Davis hurdled the line and sprinted in to score and Brockhaus's conversion gave Missouri that 10-9 lead, one which survived (1) Todd's field-goal try from the 22, (2) a Missouri punt that' was blocked and traveled only 10 yards to the Tigers' 47 and (3) finally, as related, coach Osborne's decision to try too long for seven points rather than take three. From the Tigers' 13, with 20 seconds left, Garcia missed with a passBerns ran out of bounds for four yards and then, down to nine sseconds and no time outs, Garcia dropped back and was sacked. The outlook for Missouri, as the half ended, was so-o bright, but then Nebraska's deeds and their own misdeeds caught up with 'em. The officiating didn't help, either, but, as coach Onofrio said, you've got to play over the calls that go t$ other fellows' way. So o ug 4 rVi I u f 1 ?fr ,r7f n 0 A K 9 Qrfb " tff"""--' - ., ,-, ,..,,., NEBRASKA'S BALL: Tony Samuel (98) is about to pounce on in the third quarter of Saturday's game in Columbia. Samuel a Pete Woods fumble as George Andrews (96) and Randy recovered and the Huskers won the game, 21-10. (Post-Dispatch Poeschl (75) watch and Mizzou's Gerry Ellis moves in too late Photo by Jim Rackwitz) midwest summaries r Clwttanoow 0 14 1(13-37 Bowling Green 7 13 7-33 BG-Dudley 12 pass from Miller (Somgler kick) , Chat - Reeves 1 run Itedford kick) BG-Windatt 29 pass from Miller (Soensler kick) Chat - Durden SO run (Ledford kick) BG-Croth 20 pass from Miller (kick failed) BG - Park 1 run (pass failed) Chat-FGZeman47 s Chat-Reeves2run(Ledfordkick) BG-Groth 7 pass from Miller (Speng-ler kick) Chat - Merendino 13 run (run (ailed) Chat - Reeves 2 run ( Ledford kick) A-11,181 Chattanooga Bowl Green First Downs Rushes-vards . Passing yards Return yards Passes Punts Fumbles-lost Penalties-yards 24 44-127 22 74-3M 37 289 14 22 4- 2-1 28-16-2 5-37 5-32 3-1 2-0 10-88 6-47 TULSA 1(1(13 0-33 DRAKE J 0 7 13-23 T-Cox 23 FG T-Blankenship 16 run (Cox kick) D-Mendenholl 22 FG T-Powell, 1 pass from Blankenshlp (Cox kick) T-Cox 32 FG O-HilllrunlMendenhallklck) T-Johnson 1 run (kick foiled) T-Dean 4 run (Cox kicked) D-Barnes 3 pass from Dodd (Menden-hall kick) D-Suchanuk 16 pass from Dodd bass failed) S. A-o,370. STATISTICS TULSA DRAKE First downs Rushes-yards Passing yards Return yards Posses Punts Fumbles-tost Penalties-yards 20 57-227 201 -3 11-154 2-36 2-1 1-73 24 52 213 216 36 19-3M 3-37 6- 3 7- 72 NE Illinois 0 0 I (-10 Central State 7 21 ( t-U CSU - Scott 2 run (Richardson kick) CSU -Haynes 50 pass interception re-, turn (kick tailed) CSU - Houston 1 run (Mosley pass from Shock) CSU - Scott 4 run (Richardson kick) NEI - Safety Central State punt blocked out of end :one NEl-Falk 11 pass from Ireland (Falk pass from Ireland) A -6,810 Toledo 7 7 7-27 Northern III ( 3 6 0-9 Tol - Heoinstall 6 run ( Rldoewav kick) Tol-Culley 4 pass from luketich (Ridgewayklck) Nill-FGMooa 31 Tol - Gotwald 65 pass interception (kick failed) Nill-Petzke 7 pass from Kraker (run failed) Tol - Luketich 1 run (Rldgeway kick) A -4,483 SCHOOL BUS SALE! 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