The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on August 29, 1994 · 38
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · 38

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Hackensack, New Jersey
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Monday, August 29, 1994
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38
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S-2 THE RECORD COLLEGE FOOTBALL AUTO RACING MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 1994 Frazier gets out of Heisman gate in a hurry By LENN ROBBINS Staff Writer EAST RUTHERFORD - The Nebraska Cornhuskers were touring the Downtown Athletic Club on Saturday morning when quarterback Tommie Frazier was stopped dead in his tracks. "We walked into the Heisman Room and the speaker turned to Tommie and said, 'Maybe we should just Rut your picture up there now,' " said Nebraska wide receiver Reggie Baul. "I was surprised. We all were. Tommie started laughing. None of us were thinking about the Heisman Trophy. But we are now." As it turns out, that was the only time over the weekend anyone stopped Frazier. He ran for three touchdowns and threw for one in leading the Cornhuskers to a 31-0 dismantling of West Virginia in KickofT Classic XII on Sunday at Giants Stadium. Frazier, was named the Classic's Most Valuable Player, as was Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward last season when he went on to win the Heisman. With Michigan's Tyrone Wheatley, the preseason favorite to win the Heisman, sidelined for at least two weeks with a separated shoulder, Frazier may very well find himself in the Heisman Room in December when the trophy is presented. "I never dreamed of it," said Frazier. "I dreamed about playing for the national championship, which we did last year. Now my dream is to win the national championship. If I win the Heisman Trophy, that's great. But if it doesn't happen, I'll still be happy. I played for a great program." The Nebraska program is one of the most tradition-rich in America. The Cornhuskers have played in 32 bowl games. They've had six Outland Trophy winners, three Lombardi Trophy winners, and two Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Rodgers (1972) and Mike Rozier (1983). Rodgers and Rozier accompanied the Nebraska team on its Saturday morning tour. Nebraska coach Tom Osborne recalled the recruiting and recognition benefits of having a player win college football's most prestigious trophy. But Osborne also knows Frazier will face competition from players such as Wheatley, UCLA wide receiver J.J. Stokes, and Wisconsin running back Brent Moss. He'll also have to win over purists who believe a Heisman Trophy- winning quarterback has to put on an aerial show. Frazier threw for just 100 yards Sunday and two of his 16 attempts were intercepted. But add in his 130 yards rushing on 12 carries and his 230 all-purpose yards are Heisman worthy. "Overall, Tommie is very much a candidate," said Osborne. "I just don't know how the voters will look at it." There is another criteria voters have historically considered. The last 24 Heisman Trophy winners played on teams that averaged 10 victories. Nebraska has never won fewer than nine games since the 1968 season, when it went 6-4. This Nebraska team certainly looks poised to win at least nine games. The rest is up to Frazier. Nebraska's sports information director Chris Anderson said the school will not engage in a public relations blitz and send life-size Frazier posters to every Heisman voter. "Personally, it's wasted money," said Anderson. "A lot of times people look at it, say, 'Isn't that cute?' and throw it out.'I don't think many voters hang the poster on their walls. They want the information and each week we'll mail out a postcard with Tommie'8 stats." It may take some time for the Frazier bandwagon to start filling up. Even his teammates didn't think of him as a candidate before Saturday. "It's kind of weird to play with somebody who's a candidate," said Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips. "I know Tommie's not wrapped up in it, but he's aware of it." Now, so is the rest of the nation. CELIZIC: No wonder From Page S-1 on the field with Nebraska as Roseanne has giving lectures on etiquette. "Football is all about competing," added the man who once blew a national championship by going for a two-point conversion against Miami in the Orange Bowl instead of the one-point that would have given him a tie and the title. So he's been there before. And he doesn't back down. It's hard to find others like him, at least in New Jersey in August. In the first two years of the Not-Quite-Classic, big-name teams showed up. Nebraska and Penn State played the first game. Auburn and Miami played a true classic in the second. Nebraska 31, West Virginia 0 SUNDAY Nebraska 3 11 C 7 - 31 Wist Virginia 0 0 0 0 - 0 Neb FG Sleler 32 Neb Frazier 25 run (Sleler kick) Neb Baul 12 pass from Frazier (Sieler kick) Neb Frazier 27 run (Sleler kick) Neb-Frazier 42 run (Sleler kick) Neb WVU First downs 28 9 Rushes-yards 60-368 38-8 Passing 100 81 Return Yards 152 10 Comp-Atl-lnl 8-17-2 -l-2 Punts 3-48 9-60 Fumbles-Losl 4-3 4-1 Penalties-Yards 6-41 5-44 Time of Possession 33:52 26:08 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING - Nebraska, Frazier 12-130, Phillips 24-126, Schleslnoer 8-31, Childs 4-30, Bennlng 5-19, Ma-kovlcka 2-11, Berrlnger 2-7, Norrls 1-5, Uhllr 1-5, Schuster 1-4. West Virginia, Walker 12-46, Barber 6-23, Gary 2-4, Freeman 2-3, Nixom 1-0, Johnston 7-(mlnus 29), Boykin 8-(minus 39). PASSING - Nebraska, Frazier 8-16-2-100, Phillips 0-1-0-0. West Virginia, Boykin 4-13-1-62, Johnston 2-6-1-19. RECEIVING - Nebraska, Baul 3-46, Phillips 2-17, Muhammad 1-23, Gilman 1-7, Holbein 1-7. West Virginia, Vanlerpool 3-50, Purnell 2-36, Gary l-(ml-nus 5). Since then, there's been a slow but steady erosion in the quality of competition. Coaches weighed the $650,000 payout against the prospect of beginning a national championship campaign with a loss against a quality opponent in a preseason game. With a top bowl bid paying up to 10 times what the Kickoff pays, the big-time coaches decided it was better to start their seasons against a cream puff at home rather than risk a tough game in August in New Jersey. Notre Dame did come, but they hand-picked their opponent a graduation-weakened Virginia team that was defeated before the first quarter was over. A year ago, Florida State agreed to come, but the only victim that was willing to be dragged to the slaughter was Kansas. The resulting game was not fit to be viewed by small children or those with delicate stomachs. This year, the Meadowlands tried long and hard to line up a decent game. Originally, Miami was supposed to play Wisconsin. But Wisconsin decided it didn't need to start a season that would include a brutal Big Ten schedule with an extra game against a team that might beat them. Michigan was offered the slot, but the Wolverines demurred, as did Michigan State and Ohio State. With that, Miami backed out, and the selection process that eventually rounded up Nebraska and West Virginia began again. West Virginia's motives are Schumacher DQ'd at Belgian GP The Associated Press SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium Michael Schumacher, the apparent runaway winner of the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, was disqualified when race stewards found that a speed-limitation device on his car did not meet requirements. The ruling gave the victory to Britain's Damon Hill, reopening the championship points race only four hours after Schumacher seemed to have locked it up with his eighth victory in 11 races. Race stewards ruled that a mandatory wooden plank under his car, aimed at slowing down drivers, did not meet legal measurement requirements. It was too thin, giving him an advantage over his competitors. The stewards ruled out Benetton Ford's claim it could have been caused by Schumacher's accidental spin during the race. The crude wooden board was introduced into the high-technology sport halfway through the season following the deaths of Brazilian Ayrton Senna and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger at the San Marino Grand Prix in May. The incident is the third this year to jeopardize Schumacher's dominance, which once seemed vulnerable only to the guardians of Formula One racing. Schumacher, driving under an appeal of a two-race suspension for disregarding a black flag at the British Grand Prix, will learn the fate of his appeal on Tuesday in Paris. A loss could cost him the points earned during the appeal, as well as resulting in a lengthened suspension. His Benetton Ford team is under investigation for an alleged infraction in the refueling procedures at the German Grand Prix. Now, instead of leading the world standings by 35 points over Hill, Schumacher has 76 points to Hill's 55, and more sanctions could be coming. Wallace wins Goody's 500 BRISTOL, Tenn. Rusty Wallace ended a two-month drought with a hard-fought victory Saturday night in the Goody's 500 at Bristol International Raceway. Wallace took over the lead 45 laps from the end when Geoff Bo-dine's car burned a piston, then held off a late challenge from Mark Martin to earn his sixth victory of the season and 37th of his NASCAR Winston Cup career. Dale Earnhardt finished third and lost virtually no ground to either Martin or Wallace, the two drivers chasing him for the Winston Cup championship. PHILADELPHIA Simfay 1 p.m.. Ca. 5 BUFFALO Sunday 4 ML. Ck. 4 Shaded boxes indicate home games. MONDAY Baseball replay Texas Rangers at Yankees (April 4, 1994), 7 p.m., MSG College football Pigskin Classic: Ohio State vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m. Ch. 9 Tennis U.S. Open: first-round matches, 1 1 a.m., 7:30 p.m., USA; delayed telecast, 12:35 a.m.. Ch. 2 Roller hockey Championship game Mo. 1, teams to be determined, 7 p.m., ESPN2 Sports shows NFL All-Access, 9 p.m., Ch. 5 TUESDAY Tennis U.S. Open: first-round matches, 1 1 a.m.. 7:30 p.m., USA; delayed telecast, 12:35 a.m. Ch. 2; match of the day, 2 a.m., USA Bowling Greater Lexington Classic, 7:30 p.m. ESPN Boxing Julio Cesar Borboa vs. Harold Grey, super flyweights, delayed telecast, 9 p.m., MSG KICKOFF: All Huskers THOMAS E. FRANKI INSTAFF PHOTnr.p 4PUCO Nebraska's Jared Tomich closing in on West Virginia QB Eric Boykin, who completed just four of 13 passes Sunday and had one intercepted. clear $650,000, and a one-in-a-million shot at a big upset. Like Kansas last year, the Mountaineers realized a national championship wasn't in the picture and they may as well take the free trip to New York. Don Nehlen, the West Virginia coach, pretty much confirmed that when he said the benefit of the game was that "at least we got one game of experience under our belts." Before the game, Nehlen had complained about not getting any respect from the national media. Last year, he was 11-0 going into the bowls and thought he deserved a shot at Nebraska. Instead, Nebraska played Florida State and lost for the national championship and West Virginia went to the Sugar Bowl for a 41-7 drubbing at the hands of Florida. If he thought he'd get respect by playing Nebraska, he was wrong. With a rookie quarterback, his team was hopelessly overmatched. The plain truth is that West Virginia did not belong on the field with Nebraska. But that's not Nehlen's fault and it's not Osborne's. It's the fault of a system that penalizes any team that dares to start its season early and doesn't have the good sense to win. When those are the rules, the wonder isn't that the matchups tend to be lopsided, but that Osborne and Nebraska keep coming back. They're allowed to play once every five years, and Osborne said his only rule is that he won't come with a rookie quarterback. Other than that, "We came every chance we've had," he said. There's something to be said for that. From Page S-1 The Cornhuskers had a 368-8 advantage in rushing yards. Quarterback Tommie Frazier, the game's Most Valuable Player, began his Heisman Trophy campaign with 130 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, and I-back Lawrence Phillips added 126 yards on 24 carries. Nebraska had 28 first downs to West Virginia's nine. The Cornhuskers, who didn't allow the Mountaineers to cross midfield until the fourth period, amassed eight sacks and intercepted two passes. "We could have called anything and it would have worked," said Kevin Steele, Nebraska's linebackers coach. Tom Osborne, Steele's boss, was a bit more guarded. "People will obviously be overly optimistic after today's game," said the Huskers coach. "But the next three games will tell what kind of team we have." A team has to know it has been badly beaten when its best player is its punter. Todd Sauerbrun of the Mountaineers had the NFL scouts drooling with his 60.1 average for nine kicks, including a 90-yarder in the first quarter. "I've never seen somebody kick the ball so far," Frazier said in amazement. The surprises ended there. Nebraska's prolike offensive line dominated the overmatched Mountaineers defensive front, especially in a 21 -point second quarter that gave the Huskers a 24-0 halftime lead. "They had the ball so much," Nehlen said. "You can't let anybody have the ball for 48 plays 44 actually in the first half in 90-degree, humid weather." Nebraska sensed it had the Mountaineers on their heels. "They were kind of bent over," said Phillips. "We noticed that and we went at them." And around them, and over them. Besides being outmuscled in the middle, the Mountaineers had no defense for Frazier's option runs to the outside. The quarterback wasn't touched on his 25, 27, and 42-yard scoring sprints. The second quarter was a nightmare for West Virginia. Nebraska had time-consuming drives of 70 and 74 yards around a 12-yard Frazier-to-Reggie Baul touchdown pass that was set up by a fumble recovery at the Mountaineers' 13. "Part of our game plan was to tire them out and explode in the fourth quarter," said Frazier. That wasn't necessary. The game was decided long before then and most of the 58,233 fans were gone when West Virginia's best scoring threat ended with an interception in the end zone with 2:12 remaining. A not-so-classic ending to a not-so -classic game. Do you need a roommate? 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