The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on October 2, 1994 · 45
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 45

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Sunday, October 2, 1994
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45
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PORTS E SUNDAY. OCTOBER 2. 1994 oflfleese stales m tame MIKE BABCOCK Sports BY KEN HAMBLETON Lincoln Joumal-Slaf Questions unanswered for Huskers Among the positive aspects of the Nebraska football team's 42-32 vic tory against Wyoming on Saturday, aside from the victory itself, was evidence of the Cornhuskers' ability to handle adversity. Trailing in a game you're ex pected to win by 40 or so points, with your second-string quarterback di recting the offense, probably quali lies as adversity. And they re sponded well enough. . The thing is, rallying to beat Wyo ming, which lost at Utah a week ago - 41-7, isn t the same as kicking a field goal with one second left to defeat 18th-ranked Texas, on the road, or completing a desperation pass on the final play of the game to win against 4th-ranked Michigan, also on the road as Colorado has the last two weeks. But you make do with what you ve got NEBRASKA COULD DO little else on a Saturday afternoon that was about as gray as the result The Cornhuskers' fifth consecutive vic tory didn't lend itself to black and white interpretatioa The quality of Nebraska s performance was rela tive, as most are. The Cornhuskers gained 453 yards and scored 42 points. "Most teams would be very happy," offensive tackle Zach Wie- gertsaid. On the other hand, only 2:15 re mained in the first quarter when Nebraska finally managed to pick up a first down. Darin Erstad punted 10 times in the Cornhuskers' first four games. He was forced to punt eight times by Wyoming, in cluding five in the first half. Nebraska's defense intercepted three passes, each of which the of fense converted into a touchdown, As opportunistic as it was, however, the defense left something to be desired. That something was consis tency. "You figure when the offense is able to put up 42 points, you wont be scrambling to win," said center Aaron Graham. It wasnt until Damon Benning, an offensive player, made a special- teams defensive play, recovering a Wyoming fumble at the Cowboy 8-yard line with 5:32 remaining, that the victory was secure. GOING INTO the game, the big question was how Brook Berringer would respond to the pressure of stepping in for Tommie Fraaer. After a slow start, Berringer's performance was admirable, if not ex ceptional Because of his extraordinary talent, as well as his experience, Pra- zier might have altered the course of the game by so demoralizing Wyoming from the get-go that the Cowboys couldn't capitalize on Nebraska's apparent lethargy. Other wise, it would be unreasonable to suggest that the change in quarterbacks had anything to do with the Cornhuskers' inability to put away their guests. - Whether Nebraska is prepared to successfully defend the Big Eight title it has held for three seasons is unclear after five games. At best the Cornhuskers seem to play about as well as they need to play, turning up the flame when it begins to flicker. "When we want to get something done, we have" is how Wiegert explained it . At worst, they have shown a tendency to become disinterested, if not bored, particularly on defense. Either that or they're more vulnerable to the forward pass than expected, an alarming possibility with Kansas State and Colorado among their next four opponents. DON'T SELL Nebraska short, however, or be misled by what happened on Saturday even though those who vote in the polls might be. "Bring Colorado in, and the intensity will be there," said Wiegert I-back Lawrence Phillips shared that opinion. He has confidence in the defense as well as the offense. "When it's time to play, they'll (the defensive players) be there," Phillips said. This season Is shaping up no differently than last It's just that we see last season in its entirety. We remember the dramatic effort in the Orange Bowl, the victories against Colorado and Oklahoma. Yet that same team, which ranks among Tom Osborne's best, struggled against Oklahoma State, was passed 489 yards' worth of dizzy by Kansas State's Chad May and needed a little luck to win by one at Kansas. This team deserves the same benefit of the doubt even though it Is a bit disconcerting to compare and contrast the victories the last two weeks to those of Colorado. The sun didn't come out, but the Nebraska offense did in time to record a 42-32 football victory against Wyoming Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska's Damon Benning recovered a fumbled punt at the Wyoming 8-yard line with 5:32 left In the game, and teammate Lawrence Phillips crashed Into the end zone on the next play to give first-and second-ranked Nebraska its final edge. At times, Nebraska glimmered brilliantly behind second-string quarterback Brook Berringer. He was sub-1 bing for Tommie Frazier, who is recovering from a blood clot At times, Nebraska's outlook was gloomy, when mistakes were compounded by Wyoming's shining moments. Two NU turnovers led to Cowboy touchdowns, and redshirted freshman quarterback Jeremy Dom-bek and backup John Gustin ripped the NU pass defense for 344 yards and three touchdown passes. Senior defensive tackle Terry Connealy said he was disappointed in his team's effort , "There is no way we should give up 32 points," Connealy said. "They got up early, got a lot of confidence, and we just never played all that great on defense. "I think this is a real red flag that we ought to pull our heads out of you know where." The contrast was riveting. Nebraska intercepted two Wyoming passes, scored on four consecutive possessions and dominated the game late in the second quarter and early in the third. In the first quarter, Nebraska defenders fell down twice, allowing two Wyoming touchdowns, and just before the final flurry in the second quarter, lost an interception, suffered through five penalties in six plays and allowed Wyoming to take a 21-7 lead. "Obviously, when we want to get something done we can," said Nebraska senior offensive tackle Zach Wiegert. "But we all feel like if we had played that well all game and won by 10 points, that's fine. The problem is, we didn't play that well all the time." ' : ; It's still a matter of perspective. While Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne talked of disappointments, he said he was pleased his team was challenged for the first time this year. "We hadn't been tested," he said. "Today we had a little pressure on us, UW NU 24 18 21-36 56-322 . 344 131 380 453 25-46-3 15-22-1 5 53 7-41.6 8-42.4 2-1 3-1 6-30 9-91 25:40 34:20 5-15 3-12 0-0 1-1 SCCRIX6, TEAM STATS Wyoming 14 7 3 8 32 Nebraska 0 14 21 7 42 UW Marcus Harris 39 pass from Jeremy Dombek (Taylor Sorenson kick) UW Jeremy Gllstrap 6 pass from Dombek (Sorenson kick) , NU Lawrence Phillips 1 run (Tom Sielerkick) UW Terry Hendricks 1 run (Sorenson kick) NU Brook Berringer 5 run (Sieter kick) - - . - , NU Berringer 24 run (Sieter kick) NU Phillips 40 run (Sieter kick) . NU Berringer 11 run (Sieter kick) ' UW FG Sorenson 40 UW Gilstrap 2 pass from John Gustin (Gilstrap pass from Gustin) NU Phillips 8 run (Sieter kick) A 75,333 First downs Rushes-yards Passing yards Total yards Passing Return yards Punts , Fumbles-lost Penalties-yards Time of possession Third-down conversions Fourth-down conversions 0 Oklahoma routs ISU to open Big Eight play. Page 2E. B Michigan Sjate stun3 No. 15 Wisconsin. Page 3E. B Northwestern, Iowa routs Wesleyan. Page 5E. B Nebraska's Black Shirts want to pick it up. Page 16E. and we had our backs to the wall a little bit If it wasn't for the fumble at the end, it might have been anybody's ballgame right down to the wire." Nebraska defensive coordinator Charlie McBride, when asked what he told his defense at halftime, said, "Blankety, blankety, blank." For some of the Cornhuskers, Nebraska's first test of the year made for a fun afternoon. "It got a little rough, but overall, it was good enough, too," senior linebacker Ed Stewart said. "Football isn't always 70-14. This was the nail-biter, like the Orange Bowl last year. That's exciting." Berringer shared the excitement Please see NU on page 4E ir - ..A A -s ) J M -J W I I .1 hf V, ) W) te . r- - - jt -v - - ft y - Nebraska's Damon Benning falls on a fumbled punt return by Wyoming's Je'Ney Jackson (32) in the fourth quarter. Lawrence Phillips scored on an 8-yard run on the next play. Jared Tomich (93) is behind Jackson NU volleyball team rides Weston to 14-0 start BY STEVE SIPPLE Lincoln Joumat-Stsr Duke volleyball coach Jon Wilson harkened back to some collegiate football history to describe the performance of Nebraska AU-Amer-ican Allison Weston.' . - "It's like the John McKay theory at USC with the power-I: If you have a big horse, ride it," Wilson said. "She did everything she had to do to keep us from winning." Weston, a 6-foot junior middle blocker from Papillion-La Vista, pounded a match-high 19 kills and had three service aces during a key third-game run to help Nebraska improve to 14-0 with a 15-12, 15-7, 15-13 non-conference victory Saturday night before 4,148 spectators at the NU Coliseum "Our best attacker was there when we needed her," Nebraska Coach Terry Pettit said after his Huskers, ranked second in the national polls, tied the school record for most wins to start a season. They also started 14-0 in 1987 and 1989. It was Nebraska's 33rd straight victory at the Coliseum. No. 18 Duke, which also lost to Nebraska Friday night dropped to 8-3. The Blue Devils made things more difficult on Nebraska Saturday night They broke to an 8-1 lead in the first game, but the Huskers hung tough. Duke went up 12-9 when setter Kristen Campbell blocked Maria Hedbeck's kill attempt But the Blue Devils couldn't put away the game, partly because the Huskers' Kelly Aspe-gren was putting on a digging clinic. On one rally, she made three diving digs that led to a Husker sideout She finished with a match-high 19 digs after recording 15 Friday night "She was bringing balls up like I've never seen," Weston said of Aspegren. Pettit praised Aspegren's hustle. "There are times you think Kelly won't get to the ball, and she explodes to it" he said. "It's exciting for the team and the crowd." With setter Christy Johnson serving, Nebraska scored the final six points of the first game, with Aspegren and Billie Winsett contributing kills during the stretch. "The first game was critical," Pettit said. " !- Please see VOLLEY on page 5E Lincoln East wins Chicago volleyball title CHICAGO The Lincoln East vol leyball team defeated two Illinois teams and one from California to win the Chicago Challenge Saturday. Courtney Berkland had 16 kills and Jamie Krondak 12 to lead the Spartans to a 15-9, 16-14 win ac iinst Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Mira Costa in the title match. East was ranked No. 2 and Mira Costa No. 11 in the Mizuno Top 25 poll heading into the 24-team tournament, which featured eight nationally ranked teams. East, which improved to 254) on the season, trailed 13-10 in the second game of the title match but pulled . ahead 14-13. After Mira Costa tied the score, Tamara Stutheit and Krondak each had a kill to wrap up the victory. A year ago, East finished second-The Spartans' Katherine Pettit had 31 set assists in the match. Alison Eicher had 10 digs. The Spartans advanced to the final by defeating fourth-ranked Chicago Mother McAuley 9-15, 15-11, 15-11 In the match's final game, the Spartans trailed 11-6 before rallying. Pettit had 34 set assists in the semifinal match. Berkland contributed 15 kills and 12 digs, and Krondak 14 kills and 13 dies, In Saturday's first matchEast de feated 21st-ranked Crystal Lake (I1L) South 15-10, 15-4. . B LSE's Wentz wins league's NO. 1 singles title. Page 10E. I Northeast gets revenge, voiteybail crown. Page 10s. ijr -v . ' 3f -CP r -li r Colorado's last drive leads to victory again BY MALCOLM MORAN New York Times tf nua , - .- n - i , . ? t ' B Broadcasting high school sports has pitfalls. Page 10E. ASSOCIATED PRtSS Colorado kicker Neil Voskeritchian (left) celebrates his game-winning field goal with teammate Blake Anderson. ra ; a ca m t hi AUSTIN, Texas, After their moment last weekend, when the Colorado Buffaloes exhausted their supply of superlatives on one unforgettable play at Michigan Stadium, everything they do must be redefined. One week later, with the eyes and the heat of Texas upon them, the Buffaloes preserved their perfect season under relatively mundane circumstances. ; With Rashaan Salaam rushing for the last of his 317 yards Saturday, Colorado manufactured a deliberate, almost calm, final drive that led to Neil Voskeritchian's 24-yard, game-winning field goal with one second left in a 34-31 victory against Texas. Salaam's total, achieved despite cramps in his back, became the most rushing yards gained against the Longhorns and the second-most in Colorado history. And all of them were necessary. Herchell Troutman, a freshman tailback who backed up Salaam, scored on touchdown runs of 3, 7, and 2 yards. Troutman's last score gave 4-0 Colorado a 10-point lead at 31-21 with 7 minutes, 40 seconds to play. But the 3-1 Longhorns bad already been given the chance to come from behind. They overcame an Il-point halftime deficit by making use of two Salaam fumbles. The two fumbles led to 10 Texas points. "We were making mistakes," said Kordell Stewart, the Colorado quarterback who passed for 119 yards. "We let their fans get in the game. That's not what we wanted to do." Texas was able to tie the score at 31-31 whey quarterback Shea Morenz I ? El threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Eric Jackson with 6:41 to go and freshman kicker Phil Dawson kicked a 47-yard field goal with 4:49 remaining. A week ago, the Buffaloes had 15 seconds to go 85 yards against Michigan. This time, the score was tied and the ball was in their hands with 4:49 to play. - "We just said we can't turn the ball over and make mistakes," Stewart said. "Just play like you know how to play." . Salaam, who also gained 45 yards on five receptions, caught a 15-yard screen pass on a third-and-9 situation from the Texas 38 to move the Buffaloes into field goal range. Three plays latc on third-and-7 from the 20, Sa-laaia ran 9 yards to the Texas 11. Two plays later, Voskeritchian's kick allowed the Buffaloes to sweep three consecutive ranked teams Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas. Colorado's ability to cope with a ranked team for the third consecutive week was complicated by the harsh weather. It was hard enough for the Buffaloes to put their last-gasp comeback against Michigan their "ultimate victory," in the words of Coach Bill McCartney in the backs of their minds. They also had to deal with a capacity crowd of 77,809 at Memorial Stadium that came to see the Longhorns win their fourth consecutive game at the start of a season for the ' first time since 1983. Then there was the heat the temperature on the artificial surface was over 100 degrees before the game and the afternoon became hotter as the game went onf V a ra V - ) -IMA-

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