The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on January 2, 1992 · 16
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 16

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 2, 1992
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Page 16 Uncoin Journal-Star- OOAHGE DOVJL Thursday. January 2. 1992 caused !U's prolblemg aasni s defensive speed ' Hurricanes too quick' swarming to the ball. : By Curt McKeever ; of The Lincoln Star "1 MIAMI Nebraska's offense was squeezed tight by the end of Wednesday night's 22-0 : Orange Bowl loss to Miami. ! "It seemed like the holes were closing pretty fast," said fullback Lance Lewis. "It was tough. It seemed like a tot of times where I was isolating on a linebacker that I may get I bumped off my track, or I would have to help ! with somebody else. I think the line did a heck - 'of a job, they were just having a hard time with some of the defensive speed that they r have. They're one of the fastest teams that ; I've ever played against" That was the same feeling most Cornhusk-ers bad after their 23-3 toss to Miami in the 1989 Orange Bowl game, and Wednesday those believing Miami's speed made the difference were also in the majority. "THEY WERE SLANTING and were really reacting fast," said I -back Calvin Jones, who led Nebraska rushers with 69 yards on 17 , carries. "We came at them in the second half, but the DBs and linebackers were coming so fast, and the interior linemen were getting off the blocks, that's where their speed came in. They got rid of their blocks very quickly and made the tackles. "I thought we could go right at them, but their speed made up for it" Nebraska went three downs and out on five of its first six series the other ended after a first-play fumble before finally getting its initial first down with 6:11 left in the first half, "We were never in rhythm," said quarterback Keithen McCant who completed 8 of 16 passes for 80 yards and was intercepted twice. "I wish I could've taken some things back, but that's the way some games go. ' "I didnt think they would shut us out but a lot of times, we shot ourselves in the foot We knocked ourselves out" , 4 , ' THE CORNHUSKERS COMMITTED four turnovers and were held to 171 yards on 57 plays in the process of being shut out for the first time since a 27-0 toss to Oklahoma in 1973. - "Our defense played . a great game," McCant said. "Some of the scores they had, it was the offense's fault because they didn't have that far to go. It was too bad we couldn't get anything going to help them." , Lewis agreed. - "We knew what they were going to run, and they knew what we were going to run, and we were just going to see who could do it better. . They did it a little better today," he said. "We let the defense stay out there a long time." . Considering that Nebraska entered the game averaging 41.3 points per game, even the Hurricanes' defenders were taken back by -their accomplishment v , 1 was a little surprised at how easy it was since they were the top offense in college football," linebacker Darrin Smith said. "I thought they might get some yards ... this was a great moment for us as a defensive unit "We just kept everybody swarming to the football Nobody tried to do somebody else's job." MIAMI DEFENSIVE END Rusty Medea-ris, who had five tackles, four of them quarterback sacks, then led the chant for the Hurricanes to be voted national champions, -j1 - "There's no question in anyone's mind, -at least there shouldn't be, as to who's No. Vie said. "Nebraska is a great team, and we completely dominated them. ' JJS "Offense wins games, defense wins championships, and I dont have to tell you who has the best defense in the country." .;',.;; Nebraska definitely got squeezed on Wednesday. , ..'("'' " ' "No one thought we could shut them out," Smith said. "Speed kills ... it did tonight", :: 1 -it fl 1 f , ,1,' v , 4 Ttd KlrkLlncoln Star 1; Miami's Lamar Thomas hauls in a 38-yard pass, despite the defensive efforts of Nebraska's Curtis uotton (9). Despite rough start, IMU proud of defensive play against Miami By Curt McKeever "of The Lincoln Star MIAMI Even Miami safety Charles Pharms admired the way Nebraska's defense played in Wednes- . day's 22-0 Orange Bowl loss. - "The score could've been 30-0 at halftime'hesaid. The fact it wasnt was a giant tribute to the Blackshirts, who after , being put back on their heels early, recovered to hold the nation's top-ranked team 11 points under its offensive average. ; "I'm fairly satisfied. We did stop the big play," said NU linebacker Mike Petko. "We forced them into doing some things other than they're used to, and I think we did our best. 1 "I think everybody expected us to get beat a little worse than we did, and I don't think the score typified (the game)." Miami, starting drives at its 49 and 34, and at Nebraska's 14, scored on its first, three possessions of the game. But the Hurricanes were held in check until driving 66 yards for a touchdown to start the second half. "I don't think there's any way we can fault the effort of our kids," said Nebraska secondary coach George Darlington. "The first drives of each half hurt us badly. We fall down on coverage to lead to their first touchdown, and then we got a little passive in the third quarter that allowed them to move down. But other than that ... I think we're disappointed we didn't win the ballgame, but in all honesty we can't be disappointed in the effort. "Ultimately, as a coach, you have to look at that first of alL Did they lay it on the line? I think they did." NU cornerback Tyrone Legette, who had five tackles and intercepted two passes, was named the Chevrolet Most Valuable Defensive Player. "Defensively, the first seven, eight minutes we were a little bit back on our heels, and they had some big plays on us," NU Coach Tom Osborne said. "After about nine or 10 minutes into the first quarter, we played a real good defensive game. 1 "Our defense did a great job of hanging in there. I thought they'd get really tired, and they were tired at the end, but they still played awfully well. Defensively, we probably played well enough to make it a good ball-game." Considering the atmosphere, Nebraska's defense couldn't have expected much better results. :- "All of them are really elusive Petko said of Miami's offensive personnel. "Their offensive linemen are big, strong, quick guys, just like we thought they wculd be. Their receivers are tremendously fast on the out and under patterns, and Gino Tor-retta is an excellent quarterback." Cornhusker notes Osborne downplayed the absence of fullback Omar Soto, who was ruled ineligible on Tuesday. "I don't think it had an impact on the outcome. Obviously, it was poorly timed. We really didn't have any chance to appeal If anybody cared about the guy, they would have thought about what they did." Nebraska has lost five consecutive bowl games dating back to 1987. The Cornhuskers have lost to either a No. 1 or No. 2 team each of the five years. NU tost to Michigan, 27-23, in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, to Miami, 23-3, in the 1988 Orange Bowl, to Florida State, 41-17, in the 1990 Fiesta Bowl, and to Georgia Tech, 45-21, in the 1991 Citrus Bowl. NU tight end. Johnny Mitchell, the most quoted Cornhusker before the game, "I try everything in my power to help this team. I try to fire them up and get them ready. Sometimes they can take it out on me and it will help them and that's fine. We have a great team. Well be back next year." Defensive coordinator Charlie McBride, on the play on NU's defense: "We got hurt with a couple of deep balls early, but the kids played hard. They played their butts off. Their effort was great" McBride, on NU's defensive adjustment: -. "We went to the dime and said to heck with it even when they were running the ball. We wanted to be in position to keep them from getting cheap touchdowns. A few times, we got lucky and they just dropped the ball. Overall, I expected them to go upstairs even more than they did. Our guys were trying to play everything in front of them so they couldn't beat us on anything deep. They run that hitch-and-go and it's scary." I -' L IT -V "'1 ?S !i 1 t'J ' ' f . , Nebraska fans can hardly bear to watch. 4. i Retort BtcktrLlncoln Star i'n v .-. .-, V--:-:::: :- x. ::,:.,::.. V Vv WSl Td KlrkLlncoln Star Miami guard Claude Jones (middle) loses his helmet after colliding with Husker linebacker Mike fetKo. Jones was blocking tor tuiibacK Larry Jones (zj). Hurricane notes Miami quarterback C ino Tor-retta had gone 117 passes i ithout an interception before Tyrone Legette picked off a pass at the NU 1-yard line in the second quarter. Miami has won five straight bowl games. Miami's Larry Jones, the Chevrolet Most Valuable Player of the game, finished with 144 yards rushing" on 30 carries. He was third-string behind Martin Patton, who was suspended from the team two weeks ago, and Stephen McGuire, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Miami's second-to-last game of the regular season. "I felt all night like they couldn't stop us," Jones said. "A lot of guys, like Alonzo Highsmith and Mel-vin Bratton, told me before the game that I would be the MVP. But I never really thought I would be in this posi-tion." :v.i,rry::-. ;.,,,, Miami receiver Lamar Thomas, who had five catches for 73 yards, said, "It was so easy. We could've done anything we wanted as long as we didn't make mistakes. Then we started making some mental mistakes. Probably because it was so easy. We just dominated right through." Miami Coach Dennis Erickson: on his second team in three years to win a bowl game as No. 1, "I love this program and the players. We accomplished a lot and we've still got a lot of things to accomplish. We have a lot of work to do. This was the program of the 1930s. We want to be the program' of the 90s." ;rS Miami, which finished 12-0, also had perfect seasons in 1926 and 1987.1 The Orange Bowl committee canceled the halftime show because of heavy rains that made many parts of the electronic light show inoperable. Vi Scoring Story Miami-NU How scored Time left FIRST QUARTER . 7-0 Williams 8 pass from Torretta Drive: 51 yards in 5 plays. Highlighted by Williams 36 pass from Torretta. Conversion: Huerta kick. ' 10-0 Huerta 24 field goal Drive: 60 yards In 9 plays. Highlighted by Thomas 38 pass from Torretta. - 134) ' Huerta 24 field goal Drive: 8 yards In 6 plays. Set up by McNeil recovery of fumble at NU 14. THIRD QUARTER 19-0 Jones 1 run Drive: 66 yards In 10 plays. Highlighted by four Jones runs . for 24 yards, Torretta 17, 12 passes to Williams, 12 pass to Thomas. Conversion: pass failed. 22-0 Huerta 54 field goal . Drive: 0 yards in 4 plays. 11:04 5:04 4:02 ' . . 1 . 11:19 2:33 NBC has troubles of its own during Orange Bowl telecast Netwprk even loses on-site commentary during fourth quarter. MIAMI ( AP) NBC was plagued by audio and visual problems throughout its telecast of the Orange Bowl on Wednesday night, even losing its on-site commentary in the fourth quarter of the football game. Two power feeder cables originating from the Orange Bowl to the main NBC production truck burned out. NBC spokesman Vince Wladika said the network lost its picture for only 18 seconds, although it did not have the normal picture for 15 minutes. "We apologize. A major power failure has knocked out our cameras," announcer Dick Enberg said midway through the final period, when NBC re-established contact with its broadcast booth. For 14'i minutes before that, Gayle Gardner and Paul McGuire were describing the action between top-ranked Miami and No. 11 Nebraska from a studio in New York. "We literally hot-wired a transformer to the main production truck to supply power," Wladika said. NBC was forced to use one camera, borrowed from the Japanese network covering the game, for parts of the game, which Miami won 22-0. r'U' NBC also was unable to show its scoreboard and clock inserts on the screen and was forced to take full shots of the scoreboard to show the score and how much time re- mained. , . ; t, 5 "We were scrambling like mad to get the power back up," Wladika said, calling the incident "a fluke thing. The cable from inside the Orange Bowl is where our power comes from", ;?'',''..' J y; The problems might have been weather-related. Earlier, steady rain forced cancellation of the halftime extravaganza. "A hard rain wouldn't have affected it, but this rain soaked in," said Roy Young, Orange Bowl director of operations. "Our cables are under water." Steve Hatchell, Orange Bowl Committee executive director, had expressed his concern with the problems of rain and the need for power at the game. "It's sophisticated electronics," Eatchell said. "Water and electricity don't mix." -'jZ

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