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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska • Page 36
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska • Page 36

Lincoln, Nebraska
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1 (V 6DCZZ3IiySIlEnG Nnyrenpf-gS long SUNDAY JOI.WWALTAH NU rigii to respect: liWJI A. Gampfeelll. ByMikeBabcbck BOULDER, Colo. Nebraska re- spected Jeff Campbell's ability as a punt returner, and with good reason. Colorado's senior wide receiver went into Saturday's football game against 2 the Cornhuskers ranked second in the 2 Big Eight and 12th in the nation in punt returns.

That's why "we wanted to keep the ball away from him or at least make him run to catch it," said Mike Stigge, Nebraska's sophomore punter. Six Stigge punts -Z Stigge punted six times against the Buffaloes Saturday, averaging 37.5 yardsC per punt But Campbell was able to rej turn three of Stigge's punts, including two that were instrumental in Colora -do's 27-21 victory. The first was a 49-yard return to the Nebraska 4-yard line to set up the Buff a- toes' second touchdown late in the first quarter. The second, a 55-yarder to the Cornhusker 19, set up Colorado's third touchdown midway through the quarter. Campbell's first big punt return, brought to an end when Stigge out-of-bounds, "was pretty much; down the center," Stigge said.

"I thought; it would be a fair catch." On Campbell's second, "I tried to kick it to the right, out-of-bounds," Stigge said. "But the wind'just held it up." Conference's top returners The Buffaloes went into Saturday's -game ranked first in the conference aiuF-fourth in the nation in punt returns. 5' 4 RANDY HAMPTONSUNDAY JOURNAL-STAR Colorado's Jeff Campbell begins a 47-yard punt return that set up CU's second touchdown in the first quarter. CU's Greg Thomas (27) holds off NU's Bryan Carpenter (23), while CU's Paul Rose (48) blocks Husker Chris O'Gara to make a path for Campbell. Campbell later returned another punt 55 yards to set up another Buffalo TD.

No passes necessary for Buff to bumNU ByCurtMcKeever BOULDER, Colo Colorado wide receiver Jeff" Campbell has had a career burning Nebraska. Strangely enough, it's been without making any pass receptions. In 1988, Campbell was" shut out in the receiving department against the Cornhuskers, but his first-quarter, 39-yard touchdown on a reverse run ignited the Buffaloes to a 20-10 victory. Saturday, the senior from VaiL Colo, was again held without a reception. But thanks to his punt returns of 49 and 55 yards, Colorado was able to withstand the challenge of the Huskers.

got to be a solid football team everywhere to win a national championship," Campbell said. "(Specialt teams are) a big part of it We were as big a part of the game as the offense and the defense." Campbell's 49-yard return of a Mike Stigge punt in the first quarter gave Colorado first-and-10 and "Once the ball was kicked, they got on you and blocked really well," Stigge saia Cornhusker split end Morgan Gregory, who covers the outside on punt turns, agreed. However, on Campbell's 55-yard return, "there, were at least clips," he said. Gregory said he was the victim of one of the clips. "The guy got up and was laughing about it," he Nebraska assistant Dan whoiTi coaches the kickers, also thought rado was guilty of clipping on the second bigreturn.

1 "It looked like a couple of clips thaU didnt get called," he said. In any case, "we lost a little containment," Young said. "And you cant make any mistakes on CampbelL It was really "I 'credit Coach Simmons, along with the kids, with the execution in that play because he has inv proved our punt return immeasurably with his strategy, not mine." McCartney also paid tribute to ken Culbertson. Culbertson kicked a 49-yard field goal the sec-: ond-longest of his career in the final minute of the firsts half, then added a 28-yarder midway 1 through the fourth quarter to keep Nebraska i "I've been saying all year that we've got as good a kicker as there was in the country, and when had to have it, he provided the margin of victory," McCartney said. How would Campbell rate this year's win compared with the 1986 victory against Nebraska? "It's a lot sweeter because I we played more like a team in 1989," he said.

"Today, we played like one." the Nebraska 4 Three plays later, quarterback Darian Hagan scored from a yard out and the Buffs led 14-7. Shortly after the start of the third quarter, Campbell weaved his way 55 yards on a punt return to the Nebraska 19 to again put Colorado in business. Seven plays later, tailback J. Flannigan went across from 2 yards. "I think (Raghid) Ismail from Notre Dame, he's good, but also we have one of the greatest punt returners in the nation," Flannigan said.

"Notre Dame is Notre Dame, and they'll get that publicity right away, but I think they really need to know that Colorado has one of the fastest guys in the nation. His name is Jeff Campbell." Campbell accounted for two of Colorado's three plays that went for more than 20 yards. He entered the game 12th in the nation in punt returns and increased his average by more than 3 yards to 15.7. He has returned 21 kicks for 332 yards. "It was the same thing we've done all year long," Campbell said, We just knew if we could get around on them, if we could get through that first wave of blockers, there was some big plays for us.

1 "They did a great job with it, but our blockers did a better job. Coach (Bob) Simmons said you've just got to trust in them and get outside. All the credit in the world goes to the up-front guys." i Colorado Coach Bill McCartney said the plays keyed on his team not making penalties and getting a strong rush on Stigge. i "All year long we've been really good with that play, and it's just a case of not clipping, or we would have amazing statistics with that play," he said. "We feel like with the kind of rush that we have that it's really hard to cover that man any better than we were getting, and if we could get Campbell a little room back there he's very dangerous.

"Obviously, we didn't dominate anybody out there. We're not suggesting that we did. But our kicking game has been good all year and, when we needed it, it came through. NU smiles to frowns it i By Mike Babcock BOULDER, Colo. Tyrone Legette ran off the field and was being congratulated by his teammates for the interception when he found out he had been called for pass interference.

never saw the flag," Legette, Nebraska's sophomore cornerback, sail -The situation was this. Colorado held a 17-14 lead over the Cornhuskers in the third quarter of Saturday's game at Folsom Field. The Buffaloes lined up second-and-goal from the Nebraska 9-yard line. terference. I thought it was a clean interception." So did the Nebraska sideline.

"The offense came on and the defense went off," said Legette. Then the defense went back out and the offense came back off the field. Colorado was given the ball, first-and-goal at the Nebraska 2. Legette maintained his innocence. "I figured I outjumped him (Pritchard)," he said.

"I have just as much right to the ban as he does. I thought it would be the turning point in the game." It might have been, though not in the Colorado tailback Eric Bieniemy took V' a pitch from quarterback Darian Hagan sense Legette intended. Two plays later, and passed to wingback Mike Pritchard J. Flannigan took a pitch from Darian at the goal line. Legette intercepted the Hagan and scored from 2 yards out to balL give Colorado a 24-14 lead.

Legette looked at the official, and "he "It's just one of those things," Legette said, 'Interceptioa' I gave him the balL said. "Well bounce back. He (the offi- and next thing I knew, he was saying in- cial) made the call, and I can accept it." RANDY HAMPTONSUNOAY JOURNAL-STAR" Nebraska's Richard Bell (21) is tackled by Colorado's Chad Brown after a six-yard gain in the third quarter. From Huskers Scoring NU-CU How scored Time left 74 13:34 7-7 7-14 8:22 5:04 1 It. 14-14 11:33 14-17 0:12 FIRST QUARTER Carpenter 51 pass from Gdowski Drive: 51 yards in 1 play.

Set up by Byrd interception of Hagan pass. Conversion: Barrios kick. Flannigan 70 run Drive: 70 yards in I play. Conversion Culbertson kick. Hagan 1 run Drive: 4 yards In 3 plays.

Set up by Campbell 47 punt return to NU 4. Conversion: Culbertson kick. SECOND QUARTER Gregory 12 pass from Gdowski up by Hohes pu return to mldfleld. Highlighted by Gdowski 17 run, 32 pass to Gregory. Conversion: Barrios kick.

Culberton 49 field goal MwBtiBvorids in 6 plays. Hlghligted by Hagan 9 pass to Hemingway, Hagan scramble for 13 yards. THIRDQUARTER Flannigan 2 run by Campbell 55 punt return to NU 19. Highlighted by Hagan 4 run and aided by pass Interfer- Converslcm: Culberson kick. Garrett 24 pass from Gdowski Drlye: 80 yards In 12 plays.

Highlighted by Gdowski 13 pass to 9 2 Kratzenstein on third-and-1, Clark 6, 3, 8 runs. Conversion: Barrios kick. FOURTH QUARTER Culbertson 28 field goal Drive: 54 yards In 13 plays. Highlighted by Hemingway 8 run, Hagan 1 3 pass to Perok, Hagan 17 run. terception," Osborne said.

"But that's part of football." Season high for Gdowski The Cornhuskers bounced back as Gdowski, who rushed for 69 yards and passed for a season-high 211 yards, hit Chris Garrett on a 26-yard touchdown pass with 1:04 left in the third quarter to cut the margin to 24-21. "That was the play I thought was going to be the start of our breaks," Gdowski said. "I threw the ball up there, and Chris and Monte (Kratzenstein) crossed underneath it "That showed we weren't out of this game, and we were in it until the end." After Garrett's touchdown, back-to-back 17-yard scrambles by Hagan helped Colorado drive to the Nebraska 2-yard line. But a procedure penalty, a stop by NU cornerback Bruce Pickens, a sack by Jeff Mills, Ray Valladao and Randall Jobman, and another sack by Mike Croel pushed the Buffs back to the 11. Colorado's Ken Culbertson kicked a 28-yard field goal, his second field goal of the game, for the final score.

Two more chances to win Nebraska had two more chances to win the game. The first came on an U-play drive to the Colorado 24. 1-back Ken Clark, who gained 95 yards, rushed four times for 23 yards on the drive. With the Huskers facing third down and i Colorado's Joel Steed caught Gdowski for a 2-yard loss. Then, on fourth and 6, Gdowski tried to hit wing-back Richard Bell with a short pass that game of the year on offense shutdown the Buffs on three straight plays.T That forced the final punt by TortC.

Rouen. 'All you can ask for! "I think Colorado knows what it wants to accomplish, and that can mean a lot," Gdowski said. "I think we played as welL as we can, and we had one last shot at winning it That's all you can ask for, except for the win. "We moved the ban well We had a good game on defense. It was exciting, and both teams proved they were good teams.

We had chance." Nebraska rolled up 397 yards, more than all but one CU foe this year, and had a 19-13 edge in first downs. "Colorado's defense was good, but "we- got a lot done with the options, the I-pitches and our regular plays," Gdow ski said. "Only the screen pass to CarT penter, on our first play, was a little out of our usual plays." Jeff Mills said he felt the same way-- about the Nebraska defense. Mills, a senior outside linebacker who led. Nebraska with nine tackles, praised Colorado for making its breaks, added that the highly touted Buff offense wasn't extraordinary.

"Hagan is a great player," he said. "S'" squirmy, little guy who is hard to find, But I think we had him running scared all day. We had one big mistake on their. long option play, but the only other big problem was their punt returns. "Those are the kind of things tha make the difference in a good game like thisone." 14-24 8:00 21-24 1:04 21-27 8:47 IK I 'f him pretty 'good, and I overthrew the 1 TED KIRK SUNDAY JOURNAL-STAR fell incomplete.

"I audibled on the third down and chose the wrong side," Gdowski said. "On fourth down, I thought I saw man-to-man coverage and audibled for a jihort pass to Bell Their man jumped on Coiorado's Alfred Wililam (84) is on Husker quarterback Gerry Gdowskl's back asie tries to get off a second-quarter pass. The play fcas ruled an incomplete pass. i Nebraska's defense, which limited Colorado to 227 yards of total offense almost 100 yards less than its. worst.

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