The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on October 30, 1994 · 31
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 31

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Sunday, October 30, 1994
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31
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SPORTS D SUNDAY. OCTOBER 30, 1994 Tl ro (oral Tl " nut it MIKE BABCOCK Sports Nebraska real No. 1; that's a fact This Isnt conjecture. It is fact The Nebraska football team should be ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press and by CNNUSA Today. No split vote. Both major polls. Unanimous. Sixty-two first-place votes from the media. Sixty-two first- place votes from the coaches. ' Consider the vote that allowed Penn State to move ahead of Ne braska in the polls two weeks ago a correctable error. Those who voted the Nittany Lions No. 1 can say to Joe Paterno: "I thought you had the better team. I'm sorry. I lied. Never mind how badly Penn State beat Ohio State. It s irrelevant, ex cept to argue that the Nittany Lions deserve to be ranked No. 2. The only score that matters is: Nebraska 24, Colorado 7. Don't start backpedaling now, claiming the Buffaloes weren't really that good. They were. They just weren t a match for Nebraska. BEFORE DISMISSING this as the bias of a hometown writer, I should remind you that I predicted a Colorado victory. I was reminded of that, often, on the walk back to the newspaper office. Some fans suggested I be traded for Denver news paper columnist Woody Paige. Among Nebraska ns, there can be no greater insult. Perhaps, I am among a handful of folks who realize how complete, and remarkable, the Cornhuskers dominance was Saturday. I offer no ex cuses, and neither should Colorado. The better team won. Nebraska conducted a clinic on offensive football and the running game, in particular. Plus, the Corn huskers showed they have a defense for the 1990s, one of speed and quick ness. Nebraska won with a funda mentally sound system and superior personnel. Sound familiar? The Cornhuskers have found themselves in these situations in the past, more often than not on New Year's Day. They ve learned from some none-, too-pleasant experiences of their own. : COLORADO MADE adjustments at halftime. But the Buffaloes couldn't get quicker, or faster, in 20 minutes. They were a step slow, not necessarily at tailback, or quarter back, or wide receiver, but on the line, where such battles are won. The air is thin at this level of compe tition. Weaknesses are quickly ex posed. The Cornhuskers know the option, and they know how to defend it That shouldn t come as a surprise. But, maybe, it did. Nebraska also has the speed to go with that knowledge. It has corner- backs playing strong safety, and strong safeties playing linebacker just like Miami and Florida State. Nebraska's detractors will come up with something. They always do. But the truth is, Colorado's 314 total yards were empty, the Buffaloes' seven points little more than a gift of poor judgment Colorado was 0-for-ll on third- down conversions, 0-for-4 on fourth down. There's defensive dominance for you. IT IS IRONIC that Colorado's of fense has been compared to Nebraska's in 1983, "the Scoring Explosion" with its "triplets." The 1983 Corn huskers were almost good enough offensively to overcome a modest defense. Almost But not quite. The 1994 Buffaloes weren't even almost good enough offensively to' overcome a modest defense on' Satur day. And championships are won with defense. " Now that Brook Berringer is healthy, the loss of Tommie Frazier shouldn t be an issue in considering whether Nebraska deserves to be ranked No. 1. "We're still Nebraska. We're still the same defense," said Comhusker cornerback Barron Miles. Like most of his teammates and coaches. Miles refused to be questioned into a discussion of Nebraska's right to No. 1. "All we can do is go out and play the way we did today," he said. "It's a good argument But a week ago, that was a good argument, and the week before that How many tests do we have to take?" , Saturday's ought to just about do it Nebraska should be No. 1 when the polls are announced today, and Tom Osborne should receive a coach of the year award within the next few days. The tight end pass was a stroke of coaching genius. The Cornhuskers won in all phases of the game, including coaching. That's not just an opinion. That's a fact i. J Nebraska's Christian Peter (55) puts G(OThuskers drive a stake into heart oEBuffs' oflense BlackShirts stop GU standouts Salaam, Stewart BY RYLY JANE HAMBLETON Lincoln Journal-Star 1 - - Rashaan Salaam meant no disrespect for Colorado's previous opponents, but Nebraska has been on his mind since last year. "When I worked out, I was doing it for Nebraska," Salaam said. "I'm not disappointed, but we did have higher hopes. We haven't beaten Nebraska since I've been here." Salaam led the Buffaloes with 134 yards rushing, but it was little consolation to the junior running back, who led the nation in rushing and was . among those prominently mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate. The individual honors meant less to Salaam after Nebraska beat Colorado 24-7 Saturday at Memorial Stadium. - "All the attention was wearing me out, so I won't mind not having that But that s another big reason why I should stay here another year," Salaam said of speculation he would make himself available for the NFL draft after this season. "I have to finish some business. I want to be around when we beat Nebraska. I wasn't really thinking about it (going to the NFL), but this is like a stake in my heart" The difference in the game was speed and pivotal plays, according to Salaam. No. 1 Penn BY WILLIAM C. RHODEN New YwV Times STATE COLLEGE, Pa. In the world rankings, where appearances are often looks can be deceiving. But not Saturday. Penn State, needing victory to keep Nebraska from surging spot in the polls, pulverized Ohio State 63 a homecoming crowd of 97,079 people. The top-ranked Nittany Lions handed ranked 21st by the Associated Press, its second-worst loss of the century. Ambrose Fletcher's touchdown with 6 minutes, 31 seconds gave the Buckeyes their worst defeat when they lost to Michigan 86-0. Kerry Collins, the nation s top-rated quarterback, NU wins short volleyball match vs. long - BY STEVE SIPPLE Lincoln Journal-Star For Nebraska, the volleyball match that was a long time coming was completed rather quickly, r The second-ranked Cornhuskers, intent on regaining the Big Eight Conference title Colorado took from them last season, buried the No. 14 Buffaloes 15-3, 15-12, 15-5 Saturday , night before an NU Coliseum-record X, pressure on Colorado quarterback Rashaan Salaam Kordell Stewart "Their defense Is very fast and that caused problems for us. They had great preparation." CU's Rashaan Salaam "The story of this game is that Nebraska made more big plays. (Brook) Berringer found the tight end and their defense did the job," he said. "They played me all the time on the option. They blitzed less than I thought they would, but they were still effective. "Wherever I went, Stewart (Nebraska linebacker Ed) was in my face. He was always there. I thought they would give Kordell (Stewart) a lot of respect but they came after 'if . i 7 State makes case with completed 19 of 23 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns. Tailback Ki-Jana Carter added four touchdowns and rushed for 137 yards on 19 carries for the Nittany Lions. The victory extended Penn State's unbeaten streak to 12 games, the second-longest in the nation behind Auburn. "I'm as surprised as anybody," Coach Joe Paterno said. "It was just one of those days. We had a great week of practice and played a great game." Paterno refused to get into the "Who's No. 1?" debate created Saturday when Nebraska defeated Colorado 24-7 in a game pitting No. 2 vs. No. 3. "You guys can talk about it you have papers to sell," Paterno said. "I don't have to talk about it and I'm not going to." One of , Paterno's linebackers, Ed Stewart, of college everything, a decisive into the top - 14 before Ohio State, left to play since 1902, crowd of 4,607. Coliseum officials started turning away fans about 45 minutes before the 7:30 p.m match. Then Nebraska disposed of Colorado in 1 hour, 26 , minutes in the teams' first meeting of the season. Last year, Colorado went 11-1 to win the regular-season league title before beating Nebraska in the finals. of the conference tournament in Omaha. The Huskers were runners- P ' . f, V h 'n1 W. 17 . "it;... ft . Kordell Stewart (1 0) in the second ' me. . ', t With his 179.4-yard per-game aver-' age, it's little surprise Nebraska chose to shadow Salaam. It was the seventh time this year he rushed for more than 100 yards. "Their defense is very fast and that caused problems for us. They had great preparation," he said. "We never gave up and I thought we could get it going at some point in time, but they got too far ahead." ' . .. Like Salaam, CU quarterback Kordell Stewart thought the Buffaloes would explode and get back in the game. V "There's no such thing as waiting too long to open up. But there were a couple of times when we needed a big play and we weren't able to execute," he said. "Nebraska played great and we had to play great Nebraska played like a team that wanted to win this game." Kordell Stewart disagreed with Salaam about game-breaking plays and their effect on the Buffaloes. "The only big play we've had was the one at Michigan," he said. "This team is about just going put and getting first downs and touchdowns. Big plays aren't necessary. You just go out and take it piece by piece." up in the conference at 10-2. "Ever since last year, we wanted to win back the Big Eight" said Nebraska senior Kelly Aspegren. who had 15 kills and hit .542 Saturday night "We had Colorado in the back of our minds, yet we had to focus on the other teams. "But I've been waiting too long for this match." Nebraska improved to 21-0 overall, tying , the school-record vanning . 0 t- f tt-i ) : N ) ( 4'.:. ' I . S. as f VI t, ... . t t A If IAN OOREMUSUNCOLN JOURNAL-STAR half Saturday. " v,i 4knnr--'tFWr-srr TEO KWIMJNCOLN JOURNAL-STAR NU quarterback Brook Berringer gets off a pass in the first quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium. 63 points V ; S ' ( . I No. 7 Texas A&M struggles to 21-21 tie against SMU. Page 2D. B Freshman running back Bothwell leads Doane past Plainsmen. Page 3D. begged to ditter. "In my mind, I think we're the No. 1 team in the country," he said. "We played a great team today and beat them soundly." Asked about quarterback Collins' performance, Paterno said: "If there's a quarterback playing any better than Kerry Collins, he's got to be out of this world. He's really played well the last seven or eight games." , Please see PENN STATE on page 2D awaited foe, streak of 21 matches set in 1985. More importantly, at least for now, the Huskers improved to 7-0 in the Big Eight They have sole possession of the lead in, the chase for a title they had captured 17 straight years before last season. Colorado, which fell to 16-5 and 6-1, had its 10-match win streak snapped. The Buffs' coach, Brad Saindon, said he was impressed with Nebraska as well as the surroundings in which it BY KEN HAMBtETON Lincoln Journal-Star Nebraska left the field at Memorial Stadium without a doubt , , No more doubts about beating a highly ranked team. Colorado, second in the Associated" f Press media ratings and No. 3 in the USA TodayCNN coaches poll, felt with a resounding thud as Nebraska posted a 24-7 victory Saturday. That gave the Cornhuskers their first victory in the last nine tries against a team rated first or second in the AP poll. - l: - "This was a big step," said Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne, whose team is ranked third by AP and sec-. ond by the coaches. "Now weVe got a chance to do some things." f No more doubts about quarterback Brook Berringer, who had been protected in a limited offense the last two games because of injuries to his lung suffered in the two games before that Nebraska's fill-in for Tommie Frazier. who is out for the season because of blood clot problems, hit 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown and took a number of hits on seven option runs. Berringer also led the Cornhuskers to 345 yards of total offense as Nebraska improved to 9-0 overall and took sole possession of the Big Eight lead at 4-0. "The only reason they (the Husk-ers) lost ground in the ratings was because they had problems at quarterback, and they satisfied me that their problems are resolved," said Colorado Coach Bill McCartney, referring to the fact that Nebraska has slipped after spending time at No. 1 in both polls this season. Certainly, there are no more doubts . about the Nebraska defense, as any one of the crowd of 76,131 fans for the 200th consecutive sellout of Memorial Stadium or any of the national television audience could attest. "Colorado figured it would come in and light up the scoreboard," said Nebraska linebacker Ed Stewart. "There was a great deal of doubt about us. We lost our quarterback, our top defensive back, our second quarterback, our third quarterback. "We never had any doubts. Maybe some people will agree with us now." The Comhusker defense took the shine off Heisman Trophy talk for Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart, who struggled to complete 12 of 28 passes for 150 yards and was held to 24 yards on 14 carries. The Black Shirts may also have dimmed the Heisman hopes of national rushing leader Rashaan Salaam, who was held to a season-low 134 yards, and just 38 in the first half. , Colorado's lone touchdown marked the lowest scoring total for the Buffaloes since a 52-7 lashing by the Cornhuskers two years ago in Lincoln, v ' . "We got this one down deep," said Christian Peter, the Nebraska defensive tackle who had seven tackles, a quarterback sack and a pass broken up. "There were no superstars. Our superstars are out for the season. We're just a bunch of guys nobody knows about and, before this game, nobody really cared much about "And everybody talked and talked about this game, but the fact was Colorado came to our house, and they got rocked." As soon as the Cornhuskers finished a 51-yard scoring drive with 5:47 left in the first quarter, there didn't seem to be much doubt in the minds of the NU defense as to the outcome. "Sure, they could have scored from anywhere, anytime and done a bunch of damage in a big hurry because Please see NU on page 4D SCORING, TEAM STATS Colorado 0 0 7 07 Nebraska 7 10 7 0 24 NU Cory Schleslnger 14 run (Tom Sieter kick) NU FG Sieler 24 NU Clinton Childs 2 run (Sieler kick) NU Eric Afford 30 pass from Brook Berringer (Sieler kick) CU Rashaan Salaam 6 run (Nefl Voskerltchian kick) A 76,131 CU NU 18 20 37-155 53-203 159 142 314 345 13-30-0 12-17-1 7 9 6-38.3 6-38.3 0-0 1-0 4-30 6-41 21:36 38:24 0-11 7-16 0-4 0-1 First downs Flushes-yards Passing yards Total yards Passing Return yards Punts Fumbtes-tost Penalties-yards Time of possession Third-down conversions Fourth-down conversions goes to 21-0 plays its home matches. The Huskers extended their home winning streak , to 35. -y "I think they're a really good team, and when you put them in that environment there are not many teams that will beat them," Saindon said. "The good news for us is, they have to come to Boulder to play us there (on Nov. 16)." . ... Please see VOLLEY on page 9D D E2 , o n ,

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