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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska • Page 23
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska • Page 23

The Lincoln Stari
Lincoln, Nebraska
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i Saturday. November 30, 1991 HUSKERS Lincoln Journal-Star Page 23 Sooner Coach Gibbs not kicking himself over decision OU planned to pin Huskers deep with i second-half kickoff. By Curt McKeever 1 lincoln Journal-Star When your football team has the nation's fifth-ranked defense, you don't worry about giving up the ball That's why, instead of receiving the Second-half kickoff in Friday's game Against Nebraska, Oklahoma decided give the Cornhuskers first shot Z', But after Nebraska drove 70 yards a touchdown to start the third -quarter, then marched 80 yards late in the fourth to clinch a 19-14 victory, there was some second-guessing going on in the OU locker room. "I knew we deferred to the second half, but I didnt realize the team was going to give them the ball," said OU Z-back Ted Long. "I came out (of the locker room) late because I have a problem with circulation and I was warming up my hands and toes.

When I came out I was like, 'Well, how the hell did they get way down They said, 'We kicked the ball off to I thought, "We would've like to have the balL At the close of the first half we were pretty revved up. We had a lot of momentum, and at that point and time we felt like we were pretty much unstoppable. Having a little extra time (before taking the field in the second half), getting cold, getting shivers, it takes a minute for our motors to get running again. So it was a peculiar call." Not to Sooner Coach Gary who had watched his team win a game of field position in the first half to claim a 14-3 lead. Of OU's six first-half drives, three began in Nebraska territory, and two of those resulted in touchdowns.

"Field position was the key to the first half. Our defense had been playing well and we felt like if we kicked off and forced them to go 80 yards, we'd stop them," Gibbs said. "They were able to turn that around quickly. They made the big plays and drove the ball the length of the field, (but) that decision didn't determine the outcome of that ball game. "We felt like the defense was going to be the key in the conditions that we played in today.

Who are you going to rely on (when) you rely on your de fensive security most of the year?" OU quarterback Cale Gundy and tailback Mike Gaddis said they agreed with Gibbs' move. "I wasnt surprised, the way our de- fense was playing," Gaddis said. Nebraska had 171 offensive yards and eight first downs in the first half. But 50 of the yards and three of the first downs came on the final three plays, when the Sooners were in a prevent defense. "I knew what they were doing and I feel like it was a good idea," Gundy said of the Oklahoma coaches' decision to give NU the ball to start the second half.

"We kick off to them, the defense holds them, and then we get the ball back on the 40- or 50-yard line, and hey, we're going to have a great half like we did the first half. If we would've came out and scored one touchdown to make it 21-3, in this kind Dillard stopped NU I-back Derek Brown for a 2-yard loss. on a fourth-and-goal play from the Sooner t. "Nebraska is a hell of a team. I give' them all the credit," Barnes said.

"They had a good game plan. They came and assaulted us, got big bodies on us, and just wore us down with the' basic plays. That was the whole ob jective of what they were trying to do They picked one side for awhile, then they'd come to the other side and just pound and pound and pound." i The Cornhuskers did it alternating Brown and Calvin Jones at I-back. Jones rushed for 118 yards, while" Brown had 98. "Everyone was cold out there, but they were able to alternate their taiU backs and one of them came in front the heaters and was more fresh than everyone else," Barnes said.

"That was the difference." of weather it's hard to come back." But Nebraska got its offense going, and suddenly Gibbs' decision looked bad. iu -if. "We had confidence in our defense," defensive end Reggie Barnes "It was, one of those things where we've been playing well on defense all year and Coach Gibbs had confidence that we'd go out and cause something to happen, get a turnover, or just hold them and make them punt and get good field position. That was the whole purpose of that, and obviously it did backfire on us." But that didn't explain why the NU offense became more effective. In the final two quarters, not counting its final possession when it was simply running out the clock, Nebraska had the ball four times and got two touchdowns and a field goal.

The other drive ended when tackle Stacey Scoring Story OU-NU How scored Time left OU Sooner notes and quotes when Gundy's pass to Z-back Ted oacJ) ary Glbb8- Brad Long fell incomplete on fourtb-and-10 Reddell third-quarter punt that was from tne Nebraska 44: "We moved ruled a touchback, the play that the ball, and we feel like we could've SkMAAHAil tUAhiMllLA'fl Ofl HAnl maybe had a pass interference ot for the winning score: I didn't see it. turn hut thin riiri (1 The officials said we stopped it and didn't secure it They went 80 yards. I lS TaUback Mike Gaddis, who would ve liked to seen them go rushed for 63 yards and one touch yards, but they went 80 yards against down on 22 carries, was suffering From Page 19 mines) who is going to win the game," he said. "I thought our offensive line played a good game in the first half and we dominated. They came out in the second half and Nebraska's offensive line kind of dominated.

I thought we did good enough to win the game, we just didn't kick' it in there one moretime." Since they didn't, the Sooners are headed for a Gator Bowl matchup against Virginia. As for the Cornhuskers? "They played a great game and deserve to go to the Orange Bowl," Gundy said. 1 "They have a good team and I think they'll do a good job. Their offensive line is very powerful, very strong. Keithen McCant is getting better every week, and they've got a lot of weapons.

Who do they play? Miami? I don't want to predict the outcome, but 144 14-3 T4-10 14-13 14-19 a good defensive football team." from flu symptoms. "Every time I carried the ball, I Quarterback Cale Gundy, on was just dead tired and drained." he Oklahoma's final drive, which ended said. "I was tired the whole FIRST QUARTER Gundy 1 run 11:39 Drive: 33 yards In 5 plays. Set up by Stloge punt. Highlighted by Gundy 18 scramble, Gaddis 5, 5 runs.

Conversion: Blanton kick. SECOND QUARTER Gaddit 1 run 12:39 Drive: 42 yards In 11 plays. Highlighted by Gaddis six carries for 26 yards, Gundy 10 pass to Mickey. Conversion: Blanton kick. Bennett 22 field goal 6:58 Drive 52 yards in 9 plays.

Set up by Glantz kickoff return to 43. Highlighted by McCant 31 pass to Mitchell, C. Jones 5, 3, 5 runs. THIRD QUARTER McCant run 9:53 Drive: 70 yards In 10 plays. Highlighted by D.

Brown eight carries for 42 yards, McCant 23 pass to Mitchell. Conversion: Bennett kick. FOURTH QUARTER Bennett 33 field goal 12:20 Drive: 35 yards in 6 plays. Highlighted by D. Brown 5 run, McCant 28 pass to Mitchell.

C. Jones 15 run 2:57 Drive: 80 yards In 10 plays: Highlighted by C. Jones nine carries for 78 yards. Including runs of 21 and 17 and 4 on fourth-and-1. Conversion: pass failed.

made a big play." Dillard made one of the biggest for the Sooners, stopping NU I-back Derek Brown for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the OU 1-yard line late in the third quarter. "I thought that was going to be the turning point, but Nebraska kept coming," Dillard said. "They have a very impressive offensive line and they kept coming the whole game." So did the Cornhusker defense, which limited OU to 75 yards and five first downs in the second half. "THEY JUST PLAYED basic defense and they played a great game," Oklahoma quarterback Cale Gundy said. "Their down linemen and linebackers played a real good game." Gundy also was impressed by Nebraska's offensive line.

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