The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on October 1, 1972 · Page 29
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · Page 29

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 1, 1972
Page 29
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Mnrntn, NeK, Sunday Journal & Star. Oct. 1. 3C m m . 0 . Gopher Conversation Focuses on Rodgers By RANDY YORK People have probably invented a hundred adjectives to describe what Nebraska's Johnny Rodgers can do on a football field. If you were In the Minnesota locker room Saturday after the without him. Golden Gophers were grounded 49 - 0 by Rodgers & Co., you would have heard a few more. Here's a sampling: like a one - man team. He isn't, Stoll, who Is really and but it was almost like there in his first season as Gopher were two teams out there to - head coach, couldn't quit taHc day we were competing ing in superlatives about against Johnny Rodgers and Rodgers. the rest of the team, which m - i ju fantastic." said would probably still be super Stolf Mthat anything he wants to do he does." Rodgors is what most of the After his players, "sktart Minnesota plavers and coaches coaches, trainers and radio preferred to talk about. No one and newspaper reporters had had to coax them cither. fd out of the Minnesota "I had watched him on locker room, Stoll television and seen him play, "Someday I m going to have but I have to admit I didn't player just like Johnny know how unbelievably great Rodgers. I dont know wfiert Rodgers was until today," I'm going to find him, but I'm related Giel. going to have one. "What surprised me was he's just as punishing as he sto,, 0 came to Minnesota is elusive." said Giel. "He ft' ipending three years at who can compare to Rodgers makes such tough catches head coach at Wake Forest, is Eric (The Flea) Allen of when he's so off balance graciously sidestepped maWnf whether he's in a crowd or "Y compansun utiwe the ball's low or behind him. Nebraska and Colorado, which had beaten the Gophers, 384, "And," added Giel, "the way the week before. Minnesota head coach Cal Stoll: "Johnny Rodgers is the best running back I've seen as long as I've been alive. And that's been 150 years." Minnesota athletic director Paul Giel: "The only college football running back I've seen Nebraska quarterback Dave Humm (12) had to turn defensive player for a moment Saturday when Greg Engebos (47) intercepted a Humm pass and returned it 25 yards before being stopped by the Husker signal caller. Michigan State. But you've got to remember that Allen was basically a runner. Rodgers does everything." Gopher quarterback Bob he picked that belt on that Morgan: "I've heard a lot of punt return was absolutely people say Johnny Rodgers is beautiful to watch." The pocket of protection was well set for quarterback Dave Humm (12) as Maury Damkroger (46) and Marvin Crenshaw (70) stopped Minnesota defenders and Johnny Rodgers (20) began the pass route. 4.W v av. v. . w." a r. , v "J Running back Jeff Moran (30) goes up and over on fourth down to score his first touchdown as a Nebraska Cornhusker. p .:; ;.yMM4.yv.i.'.v. ' ' - ......... Football and hot dogs occupied the minds of these two fans who took a lunch break outside Memorial Stadium before watching the Cornhuskers drub Minnesota. Probably not counted among the 76,217 fans on hand were these two youngsters who found barbed wire no obstacle to entering Memorial Stadium. "That," he said, "will' be decided when the two tcama play. I'm not hedging because I really don't know. A lot can happen between now and November." Stoll, however, did call Nebraska coacfi Bob Devaner "a very, very fine gentleman who "was very merciful to ut today." Stoll was alluding to the fact that Colorado had called timeouts late in the game against the Gophers to to score another touchaown . . , even though Stoll was waving the white flag to Buff coach Eddie Crowder. After he had kept the press waiting only about 15 minutes and had conducted his post - game radio show, Stoll did some figuring. He had played eight freshmen against the n a 1 1 o nally seventh - ranked Cornhuskers. "You Just can't pi a y freshmen against a team like Nebraska," he lamented. "You can't get into a battle as big as this without a skilled athlete. You know the possibility does exist that one football team is an awfully lot better than another football team. "Nebraska is what I call a super football team . . . well poised, well coached and blessed with outstanding athletes. To win tJhis game we needed some breaks. We needed some just to stay in it. We didn't get any, none at all. But I guess you make your own good or bad." Making it clear he wanted to give no excuses, Stoll did point out that the Gophers "were down to a linebacker with a bad char lie horse aj our No. 1 running back" He was referring to Lou Clare, who had been practicing as a running back only three days. "He should be a linebacker," said Stoll, "but we had no other choice but to move him We lost our first two (Jim) Henr3 and (Kevin) Keller to injuries. Then (George) Honza tore some cartilage in his knee Thursday afternoon. "He was our kickoflf man, said Stoll of Clare. "He couldn't even kick off the second half his leg was hurting him so bad." Stoll said the Gopher a "intended to pass more," but that Nebraska "pursued too well, leaving us with pretty shaky pass protection." The Cornhuskers also "took (John) King away from us, so we had to run Morgan most of the time." Defensively, Stoll said "you do everything you can to try and stop a guy like Rodgers, then Nebraska opens up the rest of their game. You try to stop it and it opens up Rodgers again. It makes perfectly good sense." - Morgan, who finished with a net 35 yards on 24 carries, said despite the rout he liked playing against Nebraska. "They have a winning complex that's tough to defeat," he noted, "but they are all real sportsmen with a championship attitude. They play the gipae like it should be played hard, rough and clean." Stoll said: "There will be other battles on other fields. The University of Minnesota will be heard from again. We're awful sick, but not dead."

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