The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on October 30, 1988 · 52
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 52

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Sunday, October 30, 1988
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52
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mm f 6EE Z3 HUSKCnO October 30. 1988 Sunday journal-star 1 1 K i lit Vf4 1 - " 1:; ' ; TED KIRK SUNDAY JOURNAL-STAR With Husker defenders Jeff Mills (42), Mike Croel (88) and Broderlck Thomas (89) in the way, it's Impossible for Missouri's Corey Welch to complete a pass with 8:07 left in the second quarter. Huskers' first-team defense pleased with coach's choice f ' 1 Charllt McBride By Mike Babcock Charlie McBride was happy, and probably a Utile unpopular after the Nebraska football team's 28-18 victory over MJssoun Saturday afternoon The Cornhusk-ers' defensive coordinator was happy because of the way his Black Shirts played. "This is what we needed because everybody's been kind of down on us,", he said. "Maybe itU help the kids a little if somebody says some- uungrace." McBride was unpopular because "I played the first team almost the whole game. I hardly substituted.' Like McBride, the first-team defensive players were happy. "Everybody else is probably mad," he said. The defense took pride in Saturday's victory, according to linebacker Chris Caliendo, who was credited with a team-high 11 tackles, nine unassisted. "I think we played well throughout the pme," Caliendo said. "We were pretty keyed up." The defense had to be. Missouri was better than many people expected, given the Tigers' 2-4-1 record. "People were saying we were going to win by 55 points," said Caliendo. Nebraska was heavily favored. The line was as high as 39 points. That's probably understandable. "Our offense has been annihilating people an year long," Caliendo said. Saturday, however, the Cornhusker offense was held in check. It was the defense's turn. "We (the team) didn't need a game like this. But it was good for us (the defense)," said McBride. "I just felt like somewhere along the line, we needed to get some confidence. A game like this really helps us motivationally. "You don't ever want to see your offense slowed down, but it really keeps the pressure on the defense. "The kids don't get to relax." They didn't, so neither could Missouri quarterback Corey Welch, a redshirted freshman from Kansas City, Mo. Welch started in place of junior John Stollenwerck, who didn't make the trip to Lincoln because of an injury. Welch was sacked five times for 27 yards in losses. Brad Fitzmaurice, another redshirted freshman quarterback who came in near the end of the game, was sacked once for a 6-yard loss. "Our pass rush was much better today," McBride said. r Nebraska middle guard Lawrence Pete, who finished with 10 tackles, sacked Welch twice. "I know when I look at the film, ITl see that Pete probably played as well as he's ever played at Nebraska," said McBride. "He really rushed the passer well, put pressure on the quarterback. And he made a lot of hits on the fullback inside. Lawrence did a good job." The secondary deserved some of the credit for the sacks, too, according to McBride. "We did a good job in our (pass) coverage," he said. "That's what got us the sacks. They couldn't find anybody to throw the ball to." Outside linebacker Broderick Thomas and cornerback Charles Fryar each was involved in nine tackles. Outside linebacker Mike Croel was credited with only one tackle, but he was heavily involved in the action, too. "I thought Mike Croel came up with two big plays, the blocked punt and the pass interception that shut the game down," McBride said. Missouri's play on Saturday didn't surprise McBride, who's been involved in enough games with the Tigers to know they're capable of such an effort. That's why he was proud of the defense. It was up to the challenge. "A lot of times when we've played 'em before and they've shut us down offensively, we've played well on defense," he said. And Saturday was no exception. "I didn't know how tough it would be. But I knew it was going to be a tough game," said Thomas. "The Big Eight crown has not been decided." ft A W4o1 t v m From 22 TED KIRKSUNDAY JOURNAL-STAR Nebraska linebackers coach John Melton yanks off his headphones in disgust after Nil's LeRoy Etienne was called for a personal foul, nullifying a touchdown on a fumble return. NU-MU Scoring Taylor did it After Missouri racked up the Nebraska offense and took a 9-0 lead on three Jeff Jacke field goals in the first 34 minutes of the game, Taylor looked as though he was headed for the artificial' turf at Memorial Stadium again. But the senior quarterback scrambled and hit tight end Todd Millikan on an 82-yard touchdown pass with 10:04 left to break Nebraska's offensive silence. Millikan was originaly a decoy on the play. Nebraska appeared to score again on the kickoff. Kickoff specialist Mark Hagge slammed into Chris Hall and Nebraska's Charles Fryar picked off the fumble in mid-air at the Missouri 27 and ran into the end zone. But the touchdown was nullified when Nebraska's LeRoy Etienne was penalized for a personal foul on the other side of the field. "We talk and talk and talk about poise and somebody takes a swing and we get a penalty when Fryar is in the end zone," Osborne said. "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of ." Missouri fumbled away Its next possession, and Fryar's recovery at the Tiger 25-yard line paid off this time. The Cornhuskers took a 14-9 lead three plays later when Tyreese Knox flew over the Defensive line comes through when Huskers need it most By Ken Hambleton Mike Croel figured the halftime power outage that darkened the Nebraska locker room was a sign of a possible future. "If we had lost, the lights would have never come back on," Nebraska's defensive specialist sophomore said. "I'm not sure if people were booing us, the refs or Missouri at halftime, but we would have heard a lot more if we didn't come back and beat Missouri." ' Croel did his part to give the battered Nebraska of fense a chance. He intercepted a pass in the waning moments of the game, partially blocked a punt that set up Nebraska's final field goal and prevented a Missouri first down late in the fourth quarter with a saving tackle . of Tiger quarterback Corey Welch. r . "This was the best the defense has played all year," said Croel, a native of Sudbury, Mass, "We had to." It was the perfect scenario, teammate Reggie Cooper said. "The game was on the line. This is what football is all about and I had a ban. I think we aU did on defense." Cooper frolicked with four tackles, in-. eluding two for 10 yards in losses. He recovered a fumble in the third quarter and broke up a Missouri pass deep in Nebraska territory early in the fourth quarter. But his most important play of the game came at the end of the first quarter when he stared down Welch and threw him for a five-yard loss back to the Nebraska five. Missouri was forced to kick a field goal and settle for a 3-0 lead. "I saw that play was headed the other wa"y as a fake and I figured there were four or five guys behind me," the sophomore safety from Louisiana said. "When I got back to the bench, guys were saying, 'Reggie, you were the only one left,' and I was shocked." Cooper said Welch had beaten him once early in the game and was concentrating on the Missouri quarterback's waist on the third-down play at the Nebraska 3-yard line. "I made some mistakes, but I wasn't going to make a mistake on that play." The fact that Missouri was held to three field goals on drives to the Ne- GAIL FOLOA SUNDAY JOURNAL-STAR Missouri's redshirt freshman quarterback, Corey Welch, gains 8 yards on a quarterback draw in the second quarter. But the Nebraska defense made Welch pay for the transgression, sacking him five times in the game. The Huskers finished with six sacks overall. Welch finished with 44 yards rushing in 20 carries. 3D Huskers goal line and the Tiger defense from the 1-yard line after Taylor scrambled his way to a 24-yard run. The Tigers lost another fumble on their next possession, but Nebraska returned the favor, making it eight fumbles for the two teams for the third quarter. '. Missouri appeared to lose a fumble to Nebraska's Broderick Thomas, but that was nullified by an offsides penalty. The Tigers breezed to the Nebraska 10-yard line as freshman quarterback Corey Welch hit Tim Bruton on a 27-yard pass and Michael Jones rambled on an 11-yard run. Welch scrambled to the Nebraska 3-yard line and appeared to lose a fumble when he was hit by NU safety Tim Jackson. Welch was ruled down. Jones scored on the next play to give Missouri a 15-14 lead with 4:10 left in the hour-long third quarter. Missouri kept blitzing, but ..halftime adjustments that spread the Nebraska offense and isloated the blitz started to reap benefits for the Cornhuskers. Taylor, who completed three passes for 153 yards, scrambled and connected with Nate Turner, who like Millikan was a decoy, on a 59-yard pass to the Mis souri 11. The Tigers stopped Nebraska but not Chris Drennan, who kicked a 29-yard field goal to put the Cornhuskers ahead 17-15 with 1:37 left in the third quarter. . The Nebraska defense which piled : up nine tackles for losses, four broken ' passes, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions and a blocked kick was bending. Missouri fullback Tommie Stowers gained 13 yars and Jones ran for 15 as the Tigers drove to the Nebraska 40 to open the fourth quarter. But NU middle guard Lawrence Pete caught Welch for a 3-yard loss and Reggie Cooper broke up a pass to stan the drive. "We were having a baU'on defense," Cooper said. "I love it A close game. We were needed. A blowout isn't any fun, and Missouri was going to have none of that anyway, no matter who they were playing today." Still a good Missouri punt left Nebraska at its 3, and Taylor's fifth fumble of the game gave the Tigers another chance at the NU 39 after a punt Cornhusker safety Tim Jackson broke up a pass and Missouri fumbled, forcing the Tigers to bring on Jacke for a 51-yard field goaL - ' " How scored EIDCTAIIADTCB 0-3 Jacke 25 field goal Drive: 44 yards In seven plays. Highlighted by 31 pass to -j. - Stowers from Welch. SECOND QUARTER 0-6 Jacke 32 field goal Drive: 8 yards in three plays. Highlighted by 9 pass to Stowers ., from Welch. . 1" ' . . THIRD QUARTER 0- Jacke 19 field goal Drive: 2 yards in three plays. Highlighted by two Jones runs for 2 yards. 7-9 Millikan 82 pass from Taylor Drive: 70 yards In three plays. Highlighted by TD pass after first two plays resulted In 10-yard loss on fumble and 2-yard loss on run. Conversion: Drennan kick. 14-9 Knox 1 run Drive : 25 yards in three plays. H Ighiighted by Taylor run for 24 yards. Conversion: Drennan kick. 14-15 Jones 3 run Drive: 63 yards In eight plays. Highlighted by four Jones runs for 25 yards. Conversion: Welch run failed. 17-15 Drennan 29 field goal , Drive: 54 yards In six plays. Highlighted by 59 pass to Turner from Taylor. FOURTH QUARTER 17-11 Jacke 51 field goal Drive: 4 yards In three plays. Highlighted by Jones run for 7 yards. 23-18 Carpenter 49 run . vr Drive: 75 yards In five plays. Highlighted by two Carpenter runs for 57 yards. Conversion: Clark run failed. 26-18 Drennan 23 field goal Drive: 44 yards in eight plays. Highlighted by four Carpenter runs for 34 yards. , s. . . Time left r 8:24 2:15 braska 3, 5, and 2-yard lines, was a good " sign, Cooper said. ' . -"We had our backs to the wan a bunch of times because of turnovers and some ' missed assignments and giving up a field ; goal doesn't seem to hurt as much as a touchdown," he said. "I never doubted our ability to play defense, even defense .' against the wishbone offense. ; "And we never want to get outplayed by somebody else's defense and Missouri was playing great defense so we saw the challenge and we faced it head ' oa" Nebraska outside linebacker Jeff Mills, who had five tackles, said the game should be a boost for the defense. "I dont care what the record says, Missouri is a good team and we held ; them to one touchdown even though they had an that great field position," he said. "The second half was crunch time and we ended up winning a great game. "If those fans who booed us and those . fans wno think we cant play defense ' would watch the game and not the scoreboard, I think they'd believe that,.' too."; Husker ; notes, quotes 1 Coach Tom Osborne said he was . impressed with Missouri. "Anybody who doesn't think they are a good team doesn't know football" he said. "They went entirely away from what they had done all season (on defense) and you only,, have so many minutes of practice a- week to work on what you expect "We caned a lot of passes and we; have a hot receiver on every play, but . you can't pass when you're getting sacked," he sail "We didn't panic and : pass on every play, but the read-option saved us." o Osborne said Missouri ran a "Houston" or "Cyclone" bUtz 70-80 percent of the time. "They brought two linebackers " and the strong safety most of the time and used the same defensive plan Missouri used against us in 1981 when they knocked the tar out of Turner GilL and we won that game M (on a touchdown by Phil Bates with 23 seconds left). Okla-' homa State used the same plan in 1983 and we won 14-10." , As for the booing by some fans, Osborne was upset "They booed the gover-: nor and the chancellor a couple of weeks ago. That wasnt very class." S Wide receiver Nate Turner, who-caught a 59-yard pass to set up a 29-yard field goal by Chris Drennan, said he was surprised by Missouri's defensive strength. "The coaches had warned us', they'd be good, but I had no idea they'd i be anywhere near that good. It took us a long, long, long, long time to get something going against them. And what' reaUy worries me, I looked at the program, and they have nine juniors on defense," he said. IS. Tight end Todd Millikan set a school record.for touchdown receptions -by a tight end when he caught an 82-yard ' scoring pass from Steve Taylor in the third quarter. It was Mfflikan's 13th ca-reer touchdown reception, breaking the -old mark held by former AU-American , Junior Mifler. Millikan, a senior from Shenandoah, Iowa, has 14 catches and six touchdowns this season. He leads NU with 293 yards in receptions. NUI back Ken Clark became the 10th individual Cornhusker to break the ' 1,000-yard rushing mark in a season. Al- though he was held way below his 120-J yards-per-game average, with 57 yards ' on 23 carries, he now has 1,019 yards for the season. a IS Nebraska's nine first downs in the game were the fewest for the Cornhuskers since 1968 when they lost to Oklahoma 47-0 and picked up just seven. The Cornhuskers also had not been shut out for a half, as they were Saturday, since 1986 when Colorado led Nebraska 10-0 and went on to beat NU 20-10. .. ROBERT BECKERSUNOAV JOURNAL-STAR NU kicker Chri$ Drennan swings his leg through a 23-yard field goal that accounted for the Huskers' final points with 2:1 5 left. The holder is Gerry Gdowskl. Nebraska punter John Kroeker played an important role in Saturday's victory, averaging 41 yards per punt on seven punts. Going into the game, "in the back of my mind, I didn't think we'd have to punt that much," said the senior from Henderson. S On LeRoy Etienne's personal foul penalty that nullified Charles Fryar's touchdown on a fumble return, Cornhusker defensive coordinator Charlie McBride said: "I mentioned to the kids on the kickoff, and I dont know if we punched it out or not 'We've got to go i down and somebody's got to punch the - ' ban out of there; : , -k ,f "Fryar scores and then we've got two , guys over there wrestling around way j away from the ball That's what's just "Jung us, the pushing and shoving.' There's a touchdown on defense that's;-caUed back because of a stupid penalty. ' We just cant keep having that" i 1f Nirs Injury list: offensive guard Andy Keeler, ankle sprain; I-back Ken Clark, ankle bruise; and reserve fun- .' back Brian Harchelroad, knee sprain. I

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