Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on November 9, 1986 · 54
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 54

Publication:
Location:
Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 9, 1986
Page:
54
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6EC 3 MUCKERS NOVEMBER 9, 1986 SUNDAY JOURNAL-STAR MMiMUiuutJimLimmm .. . f' ' - , - IVNp -V. v Vf I " II' - A P"t "v - III ! ti mt m ( v. - 1 f liter, Cyclone defenders can't stop NV onslaught By Ken Hambleton AMES, Iowa Greg Liter sounded like he was talking about stopping the wind in Cyclone Stadium when he talked about the Nebraska offense. "We stuffed them at times. We bad them stopped at times," Liter said after Nebraska rallied for a 35-14 victory over ISU Saturday. "But they keep coming at you. First its 2 yards at a tune, then 3 yards, then 4 yards. "They are a very efficient offense and their depth is unbelievable," he said. "Their third-team guys are no different than the first-teamers. They hammer and hammer and eventually they just blow right by you," the ISU senior defensive tackle said. Liter had 16 tackles, including nine solo stops and two tackles behind the line. He broke up a pass and forced Nebraska's Steve Taylor to hurry at least three other passes. "I think we opened some eyes. We won a point, but we didn't win the game," Liter said. "We actually dominated most of the firsthalf. "We knew what to expect Nobody has ever worked harder to prepare for a game and we were ready," he said. "But they got field position and they got some breaks and they won the game." The big break was a fumbled center snap on a punt that gave Nebraska the ball on the Iowa State 5-yard line less than two minutes after Nebraska had tied the game in the third quarter. "When they got that punt down there (on the ISU 5), that jacked them up," Liter said. "The first half, they had to be thinking 'Hey, these guys are crazy.' Then when they started getting the breaks, they got on a roll and nobody was going to stop them." ISU Coach Jim Criner agreed about the importance of the bad punt snap. "Especially, right after they had marched down and scored. All the emotion and momentum in the game shifted at that point," he said. After NU's Ken Kaelin scored on a 5-yard run to put the Huskers ahead 21-14, Iowa State managed just 16 yards passing and 3 yards rushing the remainder of the game. "I feel badly for our players," Criner said. "For most of the game, I felt we outplayed them." Iowa State quarterback Alex Espinoza said he could sense a difference in the game in the second half, especially after the. ' miscue that set up the go-ahead touchdown. "They started getting to me and forced me out of the pocket and got some big defensive plays," Espinoza sail "Nebraska was aggressive in the second half, and really aggressive after the two touchdowns. w "It was heartbreaking because I we should have won the game," f t said Espinoza, who passed for 93 k yards and the touchdown that put ' ISU ahead 14-7 with 3:01 left in the firsthalf. The change was dramatic from t the first half, Espinoza said. "The line did a good job of swing me time and making holes and we fw, should have had maybe two more . touchdowns in the first half. I "We put it all on the line, but we e,0 um didn't execute in the second half and that made all the difference in the world. Add to that all our mistakes, and a good team like Nebraska is going to take advantage," he said. The fact that the Cyclones played well for a half did prove a point, both Espinoza and Liter said. - "I think that will give our offense a boost to know they could move the ball on a team as good as Nebraska," Liter said. "We showed ourselves defensively against a hell of a good football team, maybe as good as Oklahoma. "But now when we play a team that isn't in the top 10, we should be able to have both the offense and defense going," he said. ; ; Espinoza agreed. "We ended up giving the game to Nebraska and they took it We should learn from this because if we play as well as we did in the first half against anybody else, well go to a bowl game." Cyclone quotes NU middle guard Danny Noonan (95) closes in on ISU quarterback Alex Espinoza. Noonan sacked Espinoza for a loss and a fumbled punt snap gave NU the ball at the ISU 5 one play later. Greg Liter, defensive end, who had 16 tackles - "I think we showed we can play with Nebraska. We knew what they were going to do. But you give a team like that field position too often and they'll get you. . "I still think we opened some eyes of the bowl officials and we showed we deserved an invitation." Quarterback Alex Espinoza - "I think a bowl is still within our reach. It's out there if we want it We have to go out and win these next two games." - From 3 Defense from first half to second half, it was the most improvement We played so poorly in the first half." McBnde said he changed to a three-man rush and a three-man deep set That, combined with the blitzes, forced Espinoza to drop deeper and cut his time to find a receiver. "We got good pressure," McBride said. "Noonan had a couple of big, big plays for us in the second half. Tyrer had a big sack. That got us going mentally. We started to feel more at home." The Nebraska defense, ranked second in the nation, had limited opponents to an average of 240.1 yards per game. Iowa State finished with 200 total yards. Mistakes cause worry A large chunk of those yards came on a 58-yard run by Curtis Warren that set up the Cyclones' first touchdown with 3:46 left in the second quarter. The other ISU score came on a 19-yard pass from Espinoza to Robbie Minor just 45 seconds after the first touchdown. That score was set up when NU's Terry Rodgers fumbled the kick-off. "The biggest thing that worries me the last three or four weeks is that we've given up the big play," McBnde said. "And it's been big mistakes. Not just somebody falling down, but a legitimate mistake. We gave up one and that's too many. "The touchdown pass, we blew a coverage that was a basic coverage and we've got to examine things. We were giving up 4 and 5 yards on the traps and run-fakes and we had to shut down the running game. "We get the riinning game shut down and we make them throw the ball and then you can really rush the passer," McBnde said. Becomes a fun game Tyrer said that aspect of the game is most enjoyable. "Thai's when it gets to be a fun game," Tyrer said. Noonan said the defense found its own rhythm. "You get momentum on defense, just like a big run gets momentum on offense," Noonan said. "Everybody gets fired up and everybody gels involved." 1 - r MS It - A If -i I 4' 1 j , - - - r r J I ,M 17 J ... . Running and run down Above, Iowa State back Curtis Warren (38) breaks free on a 58-yard run on a draw play that set up the Cyclones' first touchdown. At right, Warren finally is hauled down at the Nebraska 3-yard line by NU's Brian Davis. S fi I III 'JV Nebraska Head Coach Tom Osborne (left) and assistant coach Charlie McBride (middle) argue a defensive holding call two plays before Curtis Warren's 58-yard run that set up ISU's first touchdown late in the second quarter. ' ( 1 i V,, X A J jf 4 ."WOW. ..j. Husker backup Quarterback Clete Blakeman scores on a 1-varti sneak tn hein nut Ml Ahnari 9n.i i. ;

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