The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on September 25, 1994 · 21
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 21

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 25, 1994
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SUNDAY. SEPTEMBER 25. 1994 0ftO' T TTT T j ; x S h. . :A mTti n ti ciir . UJ u row: MIKE BABCOCK Sports BY KEN HAMBLETON Lincoln Joumal-Star ' Ex-manager gets 'Rudy' awakening Adarri Kucera ran onto the field at Memorial Stadium in the late after noon mist Saturday to cheers of "Rudy,Rudy" .' V; The applause for Kucera came from the Hardliners among Nebraska football fans, who remained even though the Cornhuskers led the University of the Pacific 70-21 (the final score). "Rudy" was a reference to the recent movie of the same name, about a walk-on player at Notre Dame, V That Kucera got in the game was an indication of how decisive Nebraska's fourth victory of the season was. The freshman from Lake Havasu, Ariz., was a student manager barely a month ago. ; , Kucera has the size of a student manager S-foot-8, 150 poundsThe duplicate numbers sheet (both he and cornerback Tyrone Williams wore jersey No. 8) distributed in the pressbox listed him at 180 pounds. Kucera might be 5-8, but he does not weigh 180. Trust me. WHEN THE Cornhuskers found themselves short-suited at quarterback in preseason practice, Kucera was pressed into service, drafted, so to speak. He became a member of the scout squad, a largely thankless and anonymous job, involving the simulation of the offensive schemes of upcoming opponents. Technically, he doesn't even qualify as a walk-on because walk-ons come hoping to make the team. Kucera was sent into Saturday's game with about five minutes remaining, probably better prepared to run Pacific's plays than Nebraska's. No disrespect to the visitors from Stockton, Calif., but "I had a feeling I might get to play," said Kucera, whose father Bill, a former Comhusker graduate assistant and Adam's high school football coach, flew to Lincoln for the game. -; He and Ryan Held, a freshman walk-on from Overland Park, Kan., who was moved from receiver to quarterback at the same time Kucera was pressed into service, were told to keep it simple when they got in Saturday. Held replaced Kucera after five or six plays. "I think it was four," Kucera said. , By then, no one was counting. "WE COULD HAVE beat Pacific, today, 100 to whatever," said Comhusker place-kicker Tom Sieler, who was on the bench sniffing smelling salts to stay awake before fialftinie. ; Sieltx was tired. OK. It wasn't because he was leg-weary from extra points and kickoffs, even though he could have been, considering the score was 49-0 with 6:22 left in the first half. Sieler said he was up late Thursday night, studying for a Friday exam. For a kicker, it doesn't matter that an opponent is seriously overmatched by Nebraska, the way Pacific was. "It's the same game for me every week," Sieler said. "Same ball, same Md." Sieler was focused Saturday, even though the Cornhuskers were prohibitive favorites if for no other reason than his first extra-point kick in the previous game against UCLA was blocked. He strives for perfection on every kick. "I want to do well," he said. ' ' Sieler prepared for Pacific the way he will prepare for the' next opponent, Wyoming, as if a Nebraska victory will depend on his kicking a long field goal as time runs out THAT'S UNLIKELY against the Cowboys either. ' Sieler kicked Nebraska's first five extra points and alternated with Darin Erstad on kickoffs. His final kickoff was after the Cornhuskers scored on the first possession of the second half to go up 56-0. Thprp'n a tendency to relax on the sideline when you know the game's hi hand and vou're done for the day. he said. But you try to stay involved, eut of respect lor tnose wno rarer There were 104 who played for Nebraska on Saturday, just about every Comhusker who suited up, if not all of them. s. i knanr m onuld handle them.' kiuvra aid "I thoueht I probably had a pretty good chance (to play). I had a feeling. . As the score mounted, he began to get nervous. (Held) and I don't cet a haiu tA run our offense much," Kucera said. "But I could have run pacific's plays." . r the tecond half. CraiK Wbeu- ban. Pacific's quarterback, might have been willing w say: -uo ngm ahead. '. All those touchdowns. Ten by nine . different Nebraska football players in a 70-21 dunking of Pacific Saturday at. Memorial Stadium ; . , , I All those yards. To be exact, the seventh-best all-time total for Nebraska with 699, including 510 on the ground, compared to 374 total yards for Pacific. '' ':i . All those players. Exactly 104 Cornhuskers got in the game. A majority of Nebraska's roster was involved in the game in the first halt .'.., By the end of the game, even fourth-string quarterback Adam Kucera a team manager until a month ago was being replaced at quarterback by Ryan Held, who had never played the position in his life until two weeks ago. V ".' . ". '' Defensively, the story ' for Ne braska was similar. Darren Schma-deke, a junior cornerback from Albion, was Nebraska's leading tackier. "Bumps and bruises and I'm tired," said Schmadeke. "I'm not used to feeling like this on a Saturday." ;. ' v And guess, what? Nebraska gets to play Pacific again next year, j f Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne was less than excited when asked about the rematch.' - : y-':' "It was fun to get all the players in,' but it was not, a fun day," he said. "I don't enjoy the competition. "Who are you going to get? It's so difficult to replace a team on one year's notice." . Pacific replaced Utah State after the Aggies backed out of a contract with Nebraska. "I looked at the top 100 power ratings," Osborne said. "And I'm not a gambler of anything like that, but of 106 teams in Division L they're probably better than 20 or 30 teams that are rated lower than Pacific." According , to the most recent power ratings, teams ranked behind Pacific include Houston, Navy, Missouri. Iowa State, Northwestern, Rice and Tulane. Nebraska scored four touchdowns in less than six minutes of offense in the first quarter. Two of those touchdowns came after starting quarterback Tommie Frazier was already on ; the bench. , Asked how he improved, Frazier said: "My passing. I completed 50 percent of my passes." .' ," . . r-; Frazier was l-for-2, with a 26-yard screen pass to I-back Clinton Childs that set up Nebraska's first score. "I'm not worried about my stats," said Frazier, who because of a sore calf muscle wasnt named the starter until a few minutes before kickoff, "I'll get plenty of chances in the tougher games coming up." , Frazier played just nine plays and the first-string offensive line had six additional plays as Nebraska took a 21-0 lead on a touchdown dive by reserve I-back Damon Benning, a 74-yard touchdown run by starting I-back Lawrence Phillips and an 8-yard 3V r Ay ' ' C kk ' '" : ' iV ...- ' i . V " ..;. J' . . X1 t . - SI TED KIRK; LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR NU's Barron Miles (14) gets a hand on a punt by Pacific's Roger Fleenor in the first quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The blocked punt set up Cory Schlesinger's 8-yard touchdown run, helping NU to a 70-21 victory. Cornhuskers grin and Berringer it BY CURT MCKEEVER Lincoln Joumal-Star Please see NU on page 4C Brook Berringer got sacked for a 5-yard loss on his first play against the University of the Pacific Saturday afternoon. That however, was about the only thing that didn't work out for Nebraska's backup quarterback. After starter Tommie Frazier directed the Cornhuskers to a pair of quick touchdowns, Berringer took over. Seven series later, he had guided NU to seven more TDs. "I felt Uke I played pretty good," said Berringer, a junior from Good-land, Kan. "I threw the ball well." Berringer, who also scored on a 6-yard run, tossed a career-best three touchdowns during Nebraska's 70-21 1 rout. In the second quarter, he hit wingback Clester Johnson for a 15-varder and tieht end Eric Alford on a 46-yard play. Berringer also finished Brook Berringer NU's first drive of the second half with an 18-yard touchdown pass to wingback Abdul Muhammad. By the time he left the game for good late in the third quarter, Berringer had completed 8 of 15 passes for 120 yards. "It's important for me to get in and get some snaps and experience," he said. "It helps with confidence." According to Frazier. Berringer looked nervous when he entered the game. But Berringer said he didn't feel that way because he thought he needed to make a big statement about his abilities. He has accepted his role of being n "I felt like I played pretty good. ... As time goes by, the coaches feel more comfortable with my ability to run the Offense." NU backup quarterback Brook Berringer a backup. '..:.' -, ' 1 1 "I just want to play up to my potential and move the offense for the team," he said. "I'm not so much worried about myself." ; 1 ,'; - NU Coach Tom Osborne Has insisted all season that1 Berringer "is prepared to play" more if the situation calls for it. Saturday, Berringer almost got his first start as a Comhusker. Coaches considered having Frazier sit out and rest a sore calf muscle that he injured against UCLA last week. . Frazier ended up getting the nod but took just nine snaps. Berringer got the call after a blocked punt by Barron Miles gave Nebraska the ball at the Pacific 19-yard line. "As time goes by, the coaches feel more comfortable with my ability to run the offense," Berringer said. "Situations like this . . . going in and playing well is nice. The big key is not turning the ball over." Nebraska made it to its last series of the game without ' turning over the ball over. By then, Berringer was on the sidelines and. for a welcome change, a little tired. "We knew they (the Tigers) weren't going to be the best, but we wanted to take this as if it's one of the biggest games of the season," Berringer said. For him. at least, mission accomplished. GU's Hail Mary pass a miracle in Michigan ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Move over, Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan. Make way for Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook. In a miraculous play reminiscent of Flutie's famous Hail Mary pass in 1984, Westbrook made a diving 64-yard touchdown catch of a tipped pass from Stewart on the final play Saturday to give seventh-ranked Colorado a 27-26 victory against No. 4 Michigan. - With 6 seconds remaining, Stewart dropped back and heaved a long pass toward the Michigan goal line, where a group of players from both sides leaped for the balL It was tipped into the air and caught in the end zone by Westbrook, who grabbed it over the shoulder of Michigan's Ty Law. "They all jumped up, and I just waited because I knew it was going to come back," said Westbrook, a native of nearby Detroit whose parents and high school coach were among the crowd of 106,427 at Michigan Stadium. "All three receivers were there. I just happened to be the one in the back. It was tipped, and there was no one else around. I was just me and the balL All I had to do was catch it I have never had a feeling like this in my life." D Washington ends Miami's home win streak. Page 2C. O Nebraska Wesleyan wins NIAC opener. Page 3C. Michigan safety Chuck Winters got his hand on the ball first but it was knocked away by Colorado receiver Blake Anderson. "I saw the ball the whole way," Winters said. "I was coming down with it in my hands, but their guy tipped it up. I did all I could do. I tried to knock the ball down, but it just bounced up." After Westbrook made the catch, Colorado players and fans stormed the field as the Michigan crowd sat in stunned silence. The pass brought back memories of Flutie's last-play, 48-yard pass to Phelan that gave Boston College a 47-45 victory against Miami in 1984. . Colorado tried its version of the Hail Mary, known as "Rocket" on the last play of the first half, but it was intercepted by Winters in the end zone. The second time worked like magic. "It has to be one of the great wins v' 0 1.1 ASSOCIATED PRfcSS Colorado's James Kidd (2) and Michael Westbrook (81) celebrate after Westbrook caught a 64-yard, game-winning touchdown pass against Michigan Saturday at Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan's Steve Morrison (36) Please see BUFFS on page 2C walks off in dejection. The Buffaloes won 27-26. Underdog shocks previously unbeaten Lewis WEMBLEY, England (AP) - Oliver McCall, the sparring partner who would be king, is just that McCall, a SVt-to-1 underdog, won the WBC heavyweight championship in a shocking upset early Sunday morning by knocking down and stopping previously undefeated Lennox Lewis at 31 seconds of the second round. "What can I say?" a tearful McCaD said in bis dressing room after the fight "I am happy; I am thrilled. We mm I . . I knocked him out We did it!" Lewis admitted to being dazed by a left hook and right hand that knocked him down before about 7.000 shocked onlookers in the Wembley Arena. Then he became bitter. "I just got caught with a lucky shot and the referee seemed to help him; he really did," said Lewis, the only British boxer to bold even a piece of the heavyweight title in this century. "I wasnt badly hurt" Dan Duva, coiromoter of the fight a ; a called the action of referee Lupe Garcia of Mexico "an outrageous stoppage." Frank Maloney, Lewis' manager, said he would file a protest at the WBC convention in Seville, Spaia at the end of next month. The WBC board of governors can order an immediate rematch or a rematch after the new champion makes one voluntary defense. Jose Suliaman. president of the WBC, said be would be happy to con- . : o sider a protest "If the money is right T& give him a rematch, and I'll knock him down again," McCall said. Don King. McCall's promoter, warned that if the Lewis camp was going to protest he would not get a rematch. - The 23-year-old McCall said he had talked on the phone to former champion Mike Tyson, who is in an Indiana prison, and Tyson told him to keep throwing left books. SC0R1XG, TEAM STATS Pacific 0 0 14 7 21 Nebraska 28 21 14 7 70 NU Damon Benning 1 run (Tom Sieler kick) NU Lawrence Phillips 74 run (Sieler kick) NU Cory Schlesinger 8 run (Sieler kick) NU Schlesinger 39 run (Sieler kick) , NU Berringer 6 run (Sieler kick) - NU Clester Johnson 15 pass from Berringer (Sieler kick) NU Eric Alford 46 pass from Ber-. ringer (Sieler kick) ' NU Abdul Muhammad 1 8 pass from , Berringer (Darin Erstad kick) ' Pacific Joe Abdullah 17 pass from Craig Whelihan (Roger Fleenor kick) NU Clinton Childs 1 run (Ted Ret-zlaff kick) Pacific Abdullah 2 run (Fleenor kick) NU Jeff Lake 24 pass from Matt ' Turman (Retzlaff kick) Pacific Damon Bowers 9 pass from Nick Sellers (Fleenor kick) A 75,273 Pac NU First downs 20 32 Rushes-yards 25-84 59-510 Passing yards 290 189 Total yards 374 699 Passing 27-51-2 12-22-0 Return yards -2 99 Punts 7-29.0 1-45.0 Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1 Penalties-yards 5-37 8-90 Time of possession 28:22 31 38 Third-down conversions 7-16 9-14 Fourth-down conversions 1-2 1-2 4,577 see NU women go to 11-0 BY STEVE SIPPLE Lincoln Journal-Star ' Nebraska, which had played the role of the bully all season, was hankering for a close fight. It got one Saturday night. "We were pumped up," the Husk-ers' Allison Weston said. "We've been ready for this for a long, long time. We were waiting to get some competition, and we finally did." Weston, a 6-foot middle blocker, delivered the most telling blows in Nebraska's 15-5, 15-6. 10-15, 17-15 decision against New Mexico in the final match of the Arby's Classic volleyball tournament before an NU Coliseum-record 4.577 spectators. Weston pounded 28 kills and had a .412 hitting percentage as the Buskers, ranked second and third in the na-: tional polls, improved to 1 1-0. Entering the match, Nebraska had won 30 of its 31 games this season and had never been seriously threatened. Nos. 17 and 18 New Mexico, which " dropped to 8-2, changed all of that after struggling in the first two games of the match. "I thought our confidence wasnt very good in the first two games," New Mexico Coach Laurel Brassey-Iverson said. "It got to where we just said we had to relax, go ahead and, regardless of the outcome, at least play well and with some confidence." New Mexico jumped to a 9-3 lead and held on in the third game. In the fourth, the Lobos took a 7-1 lead, but the Huskers slowly battled back, finally tying the score 12-12 on a kill by BillieWinsett New Mexico took a 14-12 lead. Three sideouts later. Weston and . Kelly Aspegren combined on a point -' ending block to pull the Huskers to 14- Ptease see VOLLEYBALL on page 6C jt if v J jt ,

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