The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on September 10, 1989 · 32
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 32

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Sunday, September 10, 1989
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32
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6DE 3 HUSICERS SEPTEMBER 10, 19fl9 SUNOAY JOURNAL-STAR Clark 9s best run was to sideline By Ken Hambleton Ken Clark ran for 168 yards and helped set up three Nebraska scores, but he said his most important run was one to the sideline early in the second quarter. Clark, the fifth leading rusher in the country last year, ripped through North-em Illinois for runs of 30, 31 and 47 yards and scored Nebraska's first touchdown. Clark Impressed Northern Illinois Coach Jerry Pettibone. "He's a big, strong guy who's got a lot of speed. We compared him a lot to Ickey Woods (former UNLV and now Cincinnati Bengal), and he was the national rushing champ," Pettibone said. "The difference in Ickey Woods and Clark is that Clark's got a much better offensive line in front of him." " But a knee injury left Clark writhing on the artificial turf at Memorial Stadium with 11:21 left in the first half. He said it was a hyperextension but originally thought it was more serious. "I couldn't roll over. I couldn't do anything," said Clark, who averaged 12 yards a carry. "Finally, I got up and the trainers told me to take it easy. But I figured if I could stand, I could run.' And if I could run, I could show myself that I wasn't going to use the crutch of little injuries to slow me down anymore. "So, I ran off the field. It was pretty important because I am not going to be the guy who is looking for excuses ever again." Held out of game Clark returned for one play in the second half but was held out the rest of the game. "I was a little upset when they sent in Leodis (Flowers) for me," he said, "but I understood they didn't want me to screw something up and miss the whole rest of the season when we had things in hand. It was a wise decision." .Clark praised the play of Flowers. "I think Leodis did very well We all knew he could do it in the scrimmages, and now he knows he can do it in a game," he said. ; -NU AllAmerican center Jake Young said the way Flowers filled in for Clark was the best illustration of Nebraska's football success. "It was disheartening to see a very good friend and a great player like Doug (Glaser) get taken off the field," Young said. "It was typical of the continuing cycle that Nebraska got down a little, bounced Scoring How scored FIRST QUARTER NU-NIU 7-0 Clark 2 run Drive: 69 yards In 5 plays. Highlighted by Gdowski 28 pass to ; Kratzensteln and Clark 30 gain off option pitch right. Conver-v slon: Barrloiklck. 7-7- Dach2run ; Drive: 53 yards In 9 plays after recovering fumbled punt. Highlighted by 15 and 1 1 passes from Robinson to Clancey. Conversion: Ivanlcklck. SECOND QUARTER 10-7 Barrios 28 field goal Drive: 49 yards In 6 plays. Highlighted by Clark pitch around right end for gain of 31 yards. 17-7 Flowers 5 run Drive: 36 yards in 3 plays. Highlighted by Turner wlngback reverse for gain of 14 and Gdowski's keep around left end for 17 yards. Conversion: Barrios kick. 17-14 Dachl7run Drive: 34 yards In 4 plays after recovering fumbled punt. Highlighted by Robinson 19 pass to Wynn. Conversion: Ivanlcklck. 17-17 Ivanic 36 field goal Drive : 2 yards In 3 plays after fumble recovery. THIRD QUARTER 24-17 Gdowski 1 1 pass to Kratunttoln Drive: 53 yards In 3 plays. Highlighted by Gdowski keep around right end for 36 yards. Conversion: Barrios kick. 31-17 Flowers 4 run Drive: 23 yards In 2 plays after Interception by Sanders. Highlighted by Turner wlngback reverse left for 7 yards. Conver- slon: Barrloiklck. 38-17 Joseph 12 past to Garrett Drive : 66 yards In 8 ploys. Highlighted by Flowers pitch left for 14 yards. Conversion: Barrios kick. FOURTH QUARTER 41-17 Drennan 55 field goal Drive: 47 yards in 9 plays. Highlighted by Gdowski 19 pass to Gregory and Flowers run around right end for 14 gain. 48-17 Dowse 10 run Drive: 54 yards In 3 plays. Highlighted by AAcCant keep around left end for 53 yards. Conversion : Drennan kick. Northern Illinois 7 10 0 Nebraska 7 10 21 From pag1P Huskers Chris Garrett and a school-record tying 55-yard field goal by Chris Drennan. "Northern Illinois surprised us," said Jeff Mills, Nebraska's senior outside linebacker. "We knew they had potential,' but we helped them realize that potential with our mistakes in the first half." Gdowski and Clark made it look easy for Nebraska on the opening drive of the game. Gdowski hit Kratzenstein on a 28-yard rollout pass on the first play of the game and four rushes for 41 yards later Clark scored from the 2-yard line. Not to be outdone, the Cornhusker defense then stuffed the Huskies for minus 14 yards on three successive plays to force a punt But the kick was knocked loose from Morgan Gregory's hands, and the Huskies ground out 53 yards to tie the score with 6:04 left in the first quarter. "They had these little bursts out of their wishbone that we didn't stop and they woke us up," NU safety Reggie Cooper said "We had been sitting around a lot and I guess we were a little too anxious and a little rusty for the first game." Meanwhile, the Nebraska offense was struggling, despite rolling up more than 300 yards of total offense in the first 23 minutes of the game. Before Nebraska could score again - , m. m ha immo im. -1M back and won. It was typical that we lost some great players and filled in the spots with more top players and we didn't lose a step. That's why Nebraska wins and that's why Nebraska has always had a winner." Nebraska pulled itself out of a first-half quagmire with 31 points in the second half, despite injuries that sidelined Clark and Glaser. Flowers rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries, including touchdown runs of five and four yards. Wiegertdoes his part Redshirt sophomore Erik Wiegert, a former Journal-Star Super Stater from Fremont Bergan, filled in for Glaser from late in the first half on and helped Nebraska roll up 455 yards rushing and 557 yards of total offense. "It was a big loss to lose Kenny Clark and Doug," Young said. "But Leodis was excellent and I thought Erik and Tom Punt and the other tackles filled in well for Doug. We didn't shut down the offense. We just got new pys and executed." Clark, who said he will be able to play next week, said he was impressed with the consistency of Nebraska's offensive line. "We showed some good power; it was just the turnovers that held us back a bit in the first half," he said. Flowers said the five first-half turnovers bothered everyone on the offense. "You see those things happen, and it's always in the back of your mind that it could happen to you," he said. "But we got comfortable in the second half and those kinds of worries went away. "It's going to be the kind of game that everybody is going to remember the first half and worry about it, but we played better in the second half and that's the important part to remember." Gdowski impressed Clark Clark said he was impressed with Gdowski's performance, too. "Gerry optioned the ball well and I think he timed the footwork and the tosses better than Steve Taylor did last year," he said. Split end Morgan Gregory said the passing game appeared to be stronger this year than last year. "I think well be a lot better passing team than in the past," he said. "I think Gerry has improved a lot and you could see that by some of those passes he was throwing into the wind. He lays the ball in there perfectly." Time left 12:51 6:04 9:31 6:33 3:13 0:15 13:43 10:58 3:23 14:28 1:41 io48 on a 28-yard field goal by Gregg Barrios the Cornhuskers lost a fumble, an interception and Clark (with the injured knee). Clark, however, said he will be ready to play next week. His replacement, Flowers, a sophomore from Omaha Central, scored on a 5-yard run to boost the lead to 17-7 with 6:33 left in the first half. But Nebraska lost another punt fum--ble and a turnover on a poor pitch from Gdowski to Flowers. "Maybe it's one of those things where you try not to think about something, and that's the one thing you think of and then you do it," Nebraska receiver Morgan Gregory said of the turnovers. Northern Illinois found convenience in a punt fumble by Richard Bell and scored on a 17-yard run by Adam Dach on a play on which Nebraska was called for being offsides.' "A bunch of us thought the play had stopped," Cooper sail "I thought I heard a whistle. The guy just ran through us. I was thinking somebody better get him. I guess we all were thinking that because we had stopped on the play. It was a big mistake. One of those first-game mistakes." Three minutes later, John Ivanic tacked on a 36-yard field goal to tie the .-....... . m. m m I' "'v ''" '''1 y t), Nebraska's Ken Clark is stopped for no gain on this play, but 17-17 score shocked the Huskies, too By Curt McKeever This is not a test, do not adjust your television sets. A warning like that would have been suitable before stations across the country reported the halftime score of Saturday's Nebraska-Northern Illinois game. "Everybody in the world was shocked," said Northern Illinois quarterback Stacey Robinson, whose team played the Cornhuskers even for one half in Memorial Stadium before falling 48-17. "(Nebraska)-Northern Illinois 17-17 at halftime? Like hey, let's look at that again. What was that score? "It gave them something to think about." Like maybe Northern Illinois was on the verge of a upset. Northern Illinois Coach Jerry Pettibone said, "I've got a real good friend, Doug Dworak, that I was real close to here who lives in Lincoln. Doug was down on the sidelines with us today, and we were walking in the locker room at j"r lMWW)Ws'f.-'iS ywi'.mi. ,.iii.h.,,.....,.i jiw....,,l.mi - ' 'm ' TED KIRK SUNDAY JOURNAL-STAR Cornhusker linebacker Jeff Mills (42) pushes through NIU blocker Eric Flene on this first-quarter play. game at the half. Northern Illinois Coach Jerry Pettibone, a former NU assistant coach, said luck played a role in his team's first half. "We were fortunate that we were able to take advantage of some mistakes that Nebraska committed in the kicking game that allowed us to be tied at half-time," he said Osborne said he realized the gravity of his team's situation. "It was scary at halftime," Osborne said "If we dropped (it) a few more times in the second half, it could've happened." Osborne, the winningest active coach in major college football, said ranting at his team at halftime would have been the the worst thing he could "It was Just errors and not concentrating on the ball and Inexperienced players. I could feel everyone, including me, getting a little anxious. So if I went in and threw a fit and got them mad it would be good. But if I got them more jittery, it wasn't going to help," he said "So, I told them they were playing OK and they've just got to hang onto the ball." Nebraska didn't have a turnover in the second half. After Kratzensteln'g first career touchdown reception, the Huskies were tagged for their first, second and third penalties of the game. They also lost an , mm mm -jm.mmm halftime and I said, 'Doug, I wonder what they're saying on ESPN right now on the ESPN scoreboard?' "People across the nation look up and see Northern Illinois-Nebraska tied 17-17. . . I bet there were some people that were getting excited." Obviously, Pettibone topped that list His Huskies were underdogs. Most figured that by halftime he would be delivering a play-for-pride speech rather than let's-make-history talk. "I was excited," said Pettibone, an assistant under Nebraska's Tom Osborne from 1979-81. "I was proud of the way our players had played. I was excited about the opportunity that was in front of us. I told them right before we came out for the second half, 'Men, we've got 30 minutes to play and a lifetime to remember, and what happens the next 30 minutes can create maybe one of the biggest upsets in college football.' "It didn't happen, but our program, we have nothing to be ashamed of in the way that we performed here today Nebraska Offense Rushing No Yd Av Gdowski 5 74 14.8 Carpenter 2 11 5.5 Clark 14 168 12.0 Bell 2 39 1 9.5 Joseph 5 14 2.8 Schmidt 1 4 4.0 Flowers 11 45 5.9 Turner 2 21 10.5 Dunlop 1 4 4.0 Hughes 1 -1 0.0 Dowse 1 10 10 McDuffe 1 1 1 McCant 1 53 53 Pasting No Co Yd I Gdowski 8 6 83 1 Joseph 5 2 19 0 Receiving No Yd Kratzensteln 2 39 Turner 1 3 Gregory 3 41 Garrett 1 12 Bell 1 7 Punting No Yd Av Stloge 2 85 42.5 Sims Murray Wells Engelbert Valladao Brown Zocharals Mills HIM Croel Petko Jobman Tyrone Caliendo Mohnsen Haage Plcken Lewis Cooper interception when Nebraska safety Marvin Sanders squeezed a pass loose from NIU's Mark Clancy and returned the ball 18 yards to the Northern Illinois 11. Two plays later, Flowers scored his second touchdown of the game. "It was important to open the second half and get back on track," Osborne said "Taking the score on our first drive wMiii nrm.mM.'mim.m RANDY HAMPTONSUNDAY J00RNAL-3TA he scored from the two for the game's first TD on the next play. the things that we learned, the improvement that we made and the foundation that was built if we can take it and do something with it for the rest of the year." The independent Huskies, who have been in Divison I of the NCAA since 1979, had played highly ranked opponents before Saturday: West Virginia, Iowa and Miami, ( Fla.) in 1986. But "we were never in the game," Pettibone said. "We were in the game today." Thanks in part to five first-half turnovers by Nebraska, three of which led to all of the H uskies' points. Fullback Adam Dach, who scored touchdowns on runs of 2 and 17 yards, said, "At halftime we felt we had things going our way, but I think the turnovers Nebraska committed were the things keeping us in the game. "Our offense played well in the first half but in the second half we just didnt have much field position." Neither did the Huskies' defense create any turnovers. The Huskers then Huskie notes, quotes S Nebraska linebacker Chris Cali-endo's presence in the Northern Illinois lockerroom after the game drew nary a dirty look from the Huskie players. Caliendo and his father were waiting around for Cary Caliendo, Chris' identical twin and a defensive end for the Huskies. Amid his opponents, Chris was generous in victory. "They were really, really, really tough," he said, "a lot tougher than I think a lot of guys expected I think after the first series, the defense may have slacked up a little bit and got a little overconfident and that was the wrong thing to do with this team. They came back and showed us and showed the nation they can play with just about anybody." I Coach Jerry Pettibone: "It's just like when we went to Wisconsin three years ago and we lost (35-20). We realized what it was to go and play in front of 69,000 people. This last year we went back and we beat Wisconsin 19-17." Saturday's crowd of 76,194 was the largest a Northern Illinois team had played in front of. "It's good for us now because as hard as I tried to talk to our players this week about what it was going to be like for them to play here today with the full house and sea of red and the emotion in Statistics Punt returns No Yd Bell 2 -1 Gregory 13 Kickoff returns No Yd Turner 3 79 Bell 2 21 Interception returns No Yd Sanders 1 18 Cotton Sanders Bvrd Reece Gregory Thomas Olson No. Illinois Offense Defense Rushing No 15 10 Tackles Robinson Dach Issac Strasser Montgomery Schroeder Patterson Jensen Dugal Em wood Passing No Co Robinson 13 5 10 Receiving Cloncv Dach Wynn Schroder and then getting their first turnover, only turnover, of the game and scoring again was important." Gdowski, a senior from Fremont starting his first game, agreed "We didn't panic, but it didn't feel good being tied at the half," he said. "The key was we kept our poise, we kept the ball and we won." - mmmm JkVj;:jg Z.&i-fx put to rest any upset talk by scoring two quick third-quarter touchdowns before, adding another near the end of the' period to take a 38-17 lead "Everybody was fired up," Robinson" said, "but they just came out thinking; 'we're going to put these guys away', and; they did. They literally shut us out in the, second half." Pettibone said much of that had to da with Nebraska's persistent attack "I felt like our players had played weU ; and had kept their poise and that we could hang in there in the second half," ' he said. "But I also knew from the first, drive on that there was a real advantage", as far as Nebraska was concerned with t the strength in their offensive line and" our inability to get off blocks. That's i'. very impressive offense to see." . For a half, anyway, Pettibone'sr Huskies had those on the other side-thinking similiar things about his team. " "Next season we'll probably be even, more advanced and even better," said Robinson, reminding people that Northern Illinois again plays Nebraska. the stands and all the tradition and-everything around this program (there's) nothing like being here and experiencing it. Now they've done that and they'll have that to think about and to;, realize what it's all about when we come back next year,. it IS Pettibone on the fact that NIU was n't given much chance to make a serious challenge; "We're, not a household name' in college football, yet I think weW doing a lot of things to let people know" that we are getting better and making some positive things happen at NIU. I can understand that. That just ought ta" be a motivation for us to work hard arfd improve and show people that in the ftp-ture that they'd better not be putting us" in that category." Junior outside linebacker Paid,, Rogan on Northern Illinois' future:,; "We've got a week off and hopefully" everyone will just regroup and think-positive, and we'll go on to Kansas Statu,, and whip their butt." lS Senior inside linebacker Roit' Dellsi on next year's game: "1990, watch out for the Huskies. If we play four quarters, some people are going to be disap- ' pointed." ' 1 iim Punting No Yd Av" 10 381 38.1 Jensen Kickoff returns No Yd Isaac t 87 Rogan - $ Interception returns Bryant Yd Av 13 .8 42 4.2 Defense 3 -1 3.0 Tackles 27 3.8 16 2.7 Hennlngs Osteert Bucoro Green Kolowskl Rogan Bryant Jones Matlock 1 Delist Henrlksen Tucker Cassldy Gearv Upton Taylor Golden 1 1 , . 5 ,1: ... t . 4 ,.3. 2 10 . , 4 . , 9 2 .1 . 2 6 23 1 2 3 5.7 1 Yd I 44 1 No Yd 2 26 1 -2 1 19 1 1 Gdowski completed 6-of-8 passes for'" 83 yards and rushed five times for 74'" yards. Backup Joseph completed two passes for 14 yards and a touchdown. "This game was probably better for" us than a blowout," Osborne said. "We" could have put the game out bf reach In the first 10 minutes, and that is a con-!-cem that we didn't." 1

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