Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on April 16, 2000 · 14
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 14

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 16, 2000
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GB Lincoln Journal Star NU RED-WHITE SPRING GAME m Sunday, April 1 b, 2000 Page design: Kevin Nikolas Butler breaks through with big game ,.i.M.vw ' www: if mu;. ' m'w '-'j1' ' ' l . r - - , BY STEVEN M. SIPPLE Lincoln Journal Star . Nebraska reserve I-back Chris Butler has been grinding away quietly and somewhat gingerly during spring 'practice because of an abdominal injury. But he appeared to operate full-throttle during the Red-White Spring Game Saturday, rushing for 118 yards on 16 carries for the White squad. His big day left a positive impression on the Nebraska offensive brain trust, which now begins the difficult task of determining a pecking order among the reserve I-backs. ' The top three spots are set. Behind Dan Alexander, Correll Buck-halter' and Dahrran Diedrick, however, four redshirt freshmen worked all spring to show coaches they are ready to emerge from the shadows. On the final day of spring drills Saturday, Butler, a 5-foot-ll, 205-pound speedster from Hoover, Ala, made the most convincing closing statement. "I think this helps, but all the guys played well this spring," said Butler, who treated a crowd of 22,415 to touchdown runs of 1 and 40 yards. "I really try not to focus on (the I-back race). I just wanted to go out today and push the hardest. I just wanted to go out on a good note this spring. "It's been kind of so-so for me this spring,' dealing with the injury. But today I'm really grateful to God everything worked out." Butler has been practicing despite athletic pubalgia, which causes pain in his lower abdomen. He said he was actually about 75 percent of full speed Saturday. He faces surgery Monday but hopes to be 100 percent by the start of fall camp in August; : He was explosive enough Saturday to impress Nebraska head coach frank Solich. "Chris had an excellent game," Solich Isaid. "There were a lot of very big holes, and I think his speed showed. I think he made good decisions and showed very, good toughness injide and outside." Tww other redshirt freshmen I-backs aw ample time Saturday. The 5-fpot-H, 225-pound Robin Miller McKeeverKeep Continued from Page 1 B Barnessaid before noting the obvious. "He could'ye lit me up." Barnes probably wouldn't mind if the nexj time we hear from her it's for herjp'f f-the-field talents. She wants ti be a screenwriter and director-and is headed to the Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera in May for a four-week internship. She's made a couple short films at NU, using a few of her new teammates for cameo appearances. "Actually, they did a good job, especially with the physical stuff," Barnes said. She might want to use Kyle Vanden Bosch on her next shoot. The senior rush end paid little attention to the green jerseys while recording three sacks. "I would expect that he'll be a nationaKype of player (next season) Solich said. The product of Larchwood, Iowa, has always been one the coaches counted on to make all the routine plays because he's so intelligent. Now, it looks like he's ready to make spectacular plays a regular part of his repertoire. "When you're not having anything holding you back, you gain a lot of confidence," said Vanden Bosch, who was hampered by an ankle injury last season "I've made more progress this spring than I have past springs," So did Judd Davies. Oops, almost forgot this is his first spring at Nebraska. - Better get his name fresh in your mind, though. I'll venture that of the six players who had a hand in the six touchdowns Saturday, Davies will be the only one next fall not to slinker back to the anonymity that comes with being a lower-unit player. Judging from his 1-and 21-yard SCORING SUMMARY SECOND QUARTER Red-White Scoring play 7-0 , RED Kelly Cook 1 run ' CONVERSION: Josh Brown kick. DRIVE: 29 yards in 9 plays. THIRD QUARTER 14-0 RED Judd Davies 1 run CONVERSION: Josh Brown kick. DRIVE: 55 yards in 8 plays. ' THIRD QUARTER 14-7 WHITE Chris Butler 40 run CONVERSION: Chace Long kick. , DRIVE: 40 yards in 1 play. ! THIRD QUARTER 21-7 ' RED Judd Davies 21 run CONVERSION: Dan Hadenfeldt kick. ... DRIVE: 85 yards in 7 plays. Open field: Sophomore quarterback Joe Chrisman runs upfield during for the Red team. rushed 16 times for 24 yards, and DeAntae Grixby carried six tunes for 25 yards. Classmate Josh Davis sat out with a knee injury and is set to undergo arthroscopic surgery. Solich said he and NU running backs coach Dave Gillespie will soon grade the I-backs' entire spring, snap by snap. "That will show who's been most consistent," Solich said. "Who has the most talent is something that's judged by the coaches. You throw all that together and try to place them in order going into fall practice." One or two of the I-backs might this name fresh in On the run: The Red team's Correll Buckhalter (with ball) gets tackled by the White team's J.P. Wichmann (95) in the first quarter. TDs, Davies has got the kind of power and speed to become a special fullback. "I try to go out there and learn every day," Davies said. "We'll see how it turns out next fall. I have a long ways to go." Solich took the podium next and before making comments about the game said, "Judd probably doesn't have as far to go as he thinks he does." -y. Neither does quarterback Joe Chrisman. At least in terms of public relations. When Chrisman stepped in front of the cameras after Saturday's game, he made sure everyone knew who was doing the talking. "Joe Chrisman, quarterback," he said. Now there's something you don't see every day a Nebraska . quarterback who feels the need to introduce himself. Still, you've got to TEAM STATISTICS First downs Rushes-yards, Passing yards Total yards Passing.. Kickoff returns Punt returns Interception returns Punts-average . Fumbles-lost......... Penalties-yards Time of possession Third-down conversions Fourth-down conversions Time left 7:23 9:43 FOURTH QUARTER 6:51 21-13 WHITE Chris Butler 4:16 I CONVERSION: Chace Long kick failed, I DRIVE: 69 yards in 1 4 plays. FOURTH QUARTER 21-21 WHITE Ryan Ommert 46 past from Brett Undatrom I CONVERSION: Tim Reese rush. I DRIVE: 46 yards In 1 play. . - - ' ' "tV" v " s A, ' 1 -, move to another position. The coaches will meet with the I-backs individually before any switches are determined, Solich said. Remember, an eighth talented I-back joins the Husker fray in August. Thunder Collins, an ex-junior-college star out of Los Angeles, is working to become academically eligible. He spent much of Saturday signing autographs behind the bench. "I don't know that we need to have that many I-backs," Solich said. "I know this: We need a fair number." While Alexander sat out with a sore ankle, Diedrick led the Red your mind Judd be happy for the walk-on. He'll likely always be a backup, but this spring he was THE MAN. "It was a great opportunity for me to step up and get a lot of reps and really try and improve myself," Chrisman said. Too bad they didn't have an overtime. Maybe Chrisman could have become the hero. "I don't think we were ready (for overtime)," he said, smiling. "Half our guys had their pads off." And Solich couldn't help but notice some of those bellies. "We have some guys who are a little overweight," he said, referring specially to some bears on the offensive and defensive lines. There's a little bit of that going around the media ranks too, Frank. Fortunately for you, your troops will do more than switch from a premium to a lite beverage to try and work on those love handles over the summer. Red White 12 16 43 - 139 58-197 76 87 215 284 6-17-1 5-10-0 3-44 4-112 4-64 5-35 0-0 1-10 6-43.2 6-42,2 1-1 2-1 2-1 1 6-38 26:03 33:57 5-13 5-16 1-2 2-5 RED OFFENSE RUSHING Player No. Dahhran Diedrick... 10 DeAntae Grixby..... 6 Judd Davies. 2 Kelly Cook............. 3 Corell Buckhalter... Tim Reese . 8 Andy Wingender.... 2 Joe Chnsman ........ 6 PASSING Player C-A-) Joe Chnsman... 2-9-0 Kelly Cook.. .'. 4-8-1 RECEIVING Player No. TomBevendge 3 Tracey Wistrom 1 Will Dabbed u... 1 Wilson Thomas -1 DEFENSE TACKLES Player OT Blanehard Johnson 3 Randy Stella... 5 Jerrell Pippens. 4 Rod Baker...!. 3 Patrick Kobongo.... '1 Tim Demerath 3 ChadBuller : 2 Wes Woodward 1 1 run 12:26 2:24 PHOTOS BY TED KIRKLmcdn Journal Star a third-quarter touchdown drive team which featured the first-team offense with 55 yards on 10 carries. Buckhalter rushed six times for 12 yards. Butler had ' Nebraska's first-string defense on his sideline, which didn't hurt his cause. He also sparkled in last year's Spring Game, rushing 10 times for 60 yards. He came to NU as a walk-on but has since earned a scholarship. . Is he a Spring Game phenomenon or the real deal? "In my personal opinion, I think I'm the real deal," he said. "Hopefully everything plays out and I get into the mix in the fall. You just have to wait your turn." Davies Wingback and punt returner Bobby Newcombe also has some work to do before he's 100 percent. He dislocated his left elbow while getting tackled after a 5-yard return in the second quarter. Newcombe won't need surgery, but will need up to six weeks to heal Thunder Collins may need some time for his hand to heal. The much ballyhooed I-back, who's not at NU now because of a mix-up involving his academic progress, spent much of Saturday's game behind the east sideline signing autographs. If Collins was unintimidated by that throng, he ought to be fine come fall. But can he beat out Chris Butler? That's right, Chris Butler. He's a redshirt freshman. Butler, who was the second-leading rusher in last year's Spring Game, led the way Saturday with 118 yards on 16 carries. It was a performance that had some exiting the stadium wondering whether this guy is the real deal or j ust another Spring Game flash in the pan. What I'll say about Butler, who's going to have surgery Monday to repair ah abdominal injury, is he doesn't look like your average I-back who's battling for the No. 4 spot. He's ot some jets. Now we'll see how far that takes him. I do hope when he's recovered he works on his diving technique into the end zone. At the end of his 40-yard TD burst Saturday, Butler looked like a kid trying a flip on the trampoline for the first time. His mind told his body uh-uh and so a dive became a feeble hop. At least he didn't injure himself worse. And really, for everyone who played, that was tantamount to anything else that did (or should I say didn't) happen on the field Saturday. ' Curt McKeever can be reached at 473-744 1 or, Yard 55 25 22 14 12 9 7 (-5) Yard 27 49 Yards 37 20 12 7 AT 5 1 2 3 : 6 1 2 3 Rob Btomewr....,..,. -1 3 Pat Ricketts .......... 0 4 Matt Grummert 2 1 Dwayne McCary... 12 Casey Nelson 0 3 Steve Satranek 0 3 Matt McGinn 2 0 TroWatchom 2 0 Junior Tagoa'l ....... 1 . 1 AdnanWamor 1 1 Matt Ickes 11 Brad Ryan 11' 8ACKS Player No. Chad Butar 2 Jamie Burrow 1 FUMBLE RETURNS Player No. Yards MattAtoertson 1 0 SPECIAL TEAMS PUNTING Player No. Yarda Dan Hadenfeldt 4 187 Josh Brown..... 1 37 Beanie Bames ' 1 35 PUNT RETURNS Player No. Yards Don Neal 3 59 Bobby Newcombe. 1 5 KICKOFF RETURNS Player No. Yarda Pat Ricketts 2 45 DeAntae Grixby,.,.. 1 (-1) Avg. 5.5 4 2 11.0 14 0 2 0 1.1 35 1-0.8) TO 0 0 Avg. 123 200 120 7.0 t r " v f 1 . , , Having fun: Former NU defensive coordinator Charlie McBride stands on the sidelines Saturday. A retirement party was held Friday night for the longtime coach. NU football NOTEBOOK Getting better when feeling better: "I II be glad in the fall when we get a contingency of players back," said NU head coach Frank Solich. "We nave a few banged up. If we get them all back, we'll be a good experienced offense. The defense needs to gain experience fast. We've got a lot of good players to replace." Conditioning: Solich said, "We've got a little break, then start developing strength. We can't take time to work on getting in shape once fall practice starts." Vanden Bpsch impresses: Solich said of rush end Kyle Vanden Bosch, "He had a tremendous spring. He had a great spring game. He's showing a tremendous amount of quickness. At the snap of the ball, you get everything he s got and he's got a tot." -, Vanden Bosch said, "I expect a lot from myself. People may say nice things about me, but I can be a better player. My confidence is higher than ever but it should be." Senior offensive guard Russ Hochstein said Vanden Bosch impresses him. "He is a true leader on the defense, and he seems to get tougher every play. He plays as hard as anybody on the team," Hochstein said. Beanie Ball: Nebraska punter Kahlina (Beanie) Barnes became the first female to participate in spring practice and in a spring game. She had one punt of 35 yards in the fourth quarter. The senior sprinter from Ontario, CaL. worked out all last fall as a place-kicker on her own. She was accepted to winter conditioning class and changed to punting. "I went from 2Q and 30 yards to . getting it out there 50 and 60 yards in practice, but never five," she said. "I got a lot of help from Dan Hadenfeldt (NU senior punter) and back home from Pat Mclnally (former Cincinnati Bengals punter). "I kept working and got my strength the best it 's been. It was so exciting to get into the game. I was just trying to stay warm all day and then, they said I was in. The snap from center was perfect and I got it off. I wish it was better, but it wasn't a shank and I didn't drop the ball." Barnes, who had a separate locker in the North Stadium, said she got some child-size football pants and borrowed some pads from Lincoln Southeast. This is the best fitting uniform I ve had," she said. Bames, who has wntten two screen if 1 I If , f ' ' ' P Jughead: Sophomore I-back Dahrran Diedrick powers through a hole made by senior tackle Jason Schwab (65) and junior guard Jon ' Rutherford (66). Diedrick led the Red team with 55 yards rushing. INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 4 . -4 3 3 3 3 :..' 2' . 2 2 "1 2 2 Yards 14 8 Avg. 0.0 WHITE OFFENSE RUSHING Player No. Yards Chris Butler . 16v- 118 Brett Lindstrom 1 19 35 Robin Miller 18 24 Nick Gragert 2 6 PaulKastl 3 6 Tim Reese 1 6 Kevin Pitts 1 2 PASSING Player C-A-l Yards Brett Lindstrom 5-10-0 87 RECEIVING Player No. Yard Robin Miller 2 11 Ryan Ommert 1 48 John Murphy . 1 . 18 Chris Butler 1 '12 DEFENSE TACKLES Player , UT AT JonClanton., 1 5 K. Vanden Bosch 3 1 Tyler Rauenzahn ... 3 1 Scott Shanle 0 4 Demoine Adams.... 3 0 J P. Wichman 2 1 DeJuanGroce 2 1 Ryan Bmsham, 1 2 Clint Finley 1 '2 Jos Walker:..,,....,,. 1 2 Av9. 46 8 37 0 35.0 Av9. 19.7 5 0 Avg. 225 (-10) t'J y -:v plays for television, said she might work on screen plays for the field. "I want to keep , going and keep trying. It's great and everybody has been great to me. It's not intimidating until you start working with the kickers and there you are with Dan Hadenfeldt, he kicks the ball so well, that's intimidating. "Getting in the huddle with all those huge guys is kind of intimidating, too. It's good to have them on your side." Solich said he appreciated Barnes' work ethic and effort. "We'll see if she is invited back for the fall, but she has earned the respect of her teammates and the coaches. . It's something new, but not out of reality. I just didn't grant her request to be in on the punt coverage team since I don't know how much tackling practice she's had." Big party: Former Nebraska defensive coordinator Charlie McBride and former associate athletic director Al Papik were ,.'..' " featured at a reception attended by more than 500 people Friday night at the Nebraska west stadium. Nebraska in January, was toasted by more : than 100 former players, including Neil Smith, Broderick Thomas, Grant Wistrom, Christian and Jason Peter, Mike Murray, Kerry lAinomaclor Rill ftamatt Marr. MlmfnrH Trim Banderas, Scott Frost, Rod Horn, Jim Skow and Henry Waechter. McBride and his wife. Debbie, were given a Harley Davison motorcycle, complete with leathers, as a present from his former players. . No draft attention: Offensive guard Russ Hochstein said he was happy Nebraska is a running team, dedicated to the run and unlikely to change. It's a pride thing to be a great running team and a good blocker on a running team. If you can run and run and run, it means you're controlling the game and you're wearing the other guys out." Asked if the lack of attention given to blockers from ; runninq teams in the NFL draft, he said, "Who cares? The draft and the possibilities of playing in the pros is SO far away for all of us. even us seniors, nobody is even thinking a minute about it. ' Ken Hambleton and Steve Sipple Gabe Fries 0 3 Dion Booker ..., 0 3 Chris Estudilld ....... 2 .. 0 Tim Millar,...- ' 1 1 Carlos Polk 1 1 Shaun Coleman..... 1' 1 Jamie Burrow........ 1 1 Mie Boettner... 11 Erwm Swney 0 2 Ty DUts..... 0 2 Mark Vedral 0 2 John Garrison 0-2 SACKS Player No. Kyle Vanden Bosch 3 Demoine Adams 1 FUMBLE RETURNS , . Player No. Yards TyDitts 1 0 INTERCEPTION RETURNS Ptoyer No. Yards Enc Fisher. 1 10 SPECIAL TEAMS PUNTING Player No. Yards Kyle Larson . 4 ; 180 T.J. Rollers.. ......... 2 73 PUNT RETURNS Player No. Yards JoeWalker ,..,, - 3 23 DeJuanGroce. ..... 2 12 KICKOFF RETURNS Player No. Yards : JoeWalker.,,.,.,..,.. 4 112 3 3 2 2 2 ' 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Yard 28 -4 Avg. ! 0.0 Avg. 10.0 Avg. 74 18 15 30 20 6.0 2.0 TO 1 Avg. 5 5 46.0 18 0 12.0 Avg. 45.0 36.5 Av 60 Avg. 28.0 - - - Jj?.if . r fiKMASi.i

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