Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on January 2, 1971 · Page 9
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · Page 9

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Saturday, January 2, 1971
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Page 9
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Huskers Rally to Post Win By DON FORSYTHE Miaira, Fla.—The hours, weeks and months of Nebraska’s undefeated football season all boiled down to 15 suspense-filled minutes in the Orange Bowl Friday night . A possible national championship, first ever for the Cornhuskers; an 18-game winning streak and the first undefeated season for a Nebraska team in 55 years all hung in the balance. And the balance was definitely tipping in LSU’s favor as the Tigers scored on the last play of the third quarter to cap a 75-yard drive and go ahead, 12-10. “It was beginning to look like maybe we should have stayed at home,” said coach Bob Devaney. “But I didn’t feel it was the end of the game when LSU scored.’’ Nobody else on the Cornhusker bench did either. Nebraska’s greatest offensive team was equal to the challenge, driving 67 yards in 13 plays to take a 17-12 lead. Then it was up to an underrated defense to protect the winning margin. “I wasn’t really worried,” co - captain Dan Schneiss stated. “It was just like at Kansas. We had enough pride and desire to come back. It had to be our greatest drive,” the big fullback said. “I felt we just had to come back,” split end Guy Ingles exclaimed. “I knew if we’d just play together we could do it.” Doug Dumler, the strapping sophomore who filled the critical void at center in superb fashion in his rookie season, observed that lack of confidence was no problem. “We were a little stunned when we fell behind, but we knew we could score again,” he said. Jeff Kinney had a different reaction. “I thought it was about time to get our rear ends in gear,” he said of the stretch run. That the Cornhuskers did and it was a critical third and seven pass reception by Kinney which was the big play in the 67-yard drive. “It was an ‘under’ and that’s my favorite patter,” the junior I-back explained. “I hit the linebacker, then come straight across the middle and just try to outrun ’em.” Kinney took quarterback Jerry Tagge’s pitch near the 20 as he crossed from left to right and turned it into a game-breaking play as he turned upfield and churned to the LSU five. Kinney then blasted for three yards and Tagge put the ball in the end zone on his second sneak over right guard. But there was 8:50 remaining and the Tigers were to get three more opportunities with the football. Sophomore end Willie Harper, voted the game’s top outstanding lineman, ended two of the three Tiger bids and junior linebacker Bob Terrio the final LSU hope with the Cornhuskers’ first interception with just 45 seconds remaining. The Tigers were out of time outs and Nebraska’s band chorused “tick, tock, tick, tock” as the Cornhuskers ran out the clock to an even louder chorus of “we’re No. 1.” No. 1, of course, hangs in the balance, too. The Cornhuskers entered the Orange Bowl game rated No. 3 with the knowledge that No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Ohio State had each lost earlier in the day. “The players were very elated that there LINCOLN, NEB., SAT., JAN. 2, 1971-P.M. PAGE 9 was another door open,” said Devaney of the race for No. 1. And there was no doubt in his mind after the game that the Cornhuskers were anything but No. 1. “Even the Pope would have to vote us No. 1,” he said in response to a question wondering if Notre Dame might get the call for its win over Texas. “I think these guys deserved the opportunity to play for No. 1,” he said. “This was a helluva football team, the best we’ve had. We worked them hard down here and they never complained. We had to do a lot of conditioning here and push a lot harder than we normally would.” Obviously the Cornhuskers regained their conditioning. But just as obvious was the fact that the offensive timing was slightly off. Nebraska had eight penalties for 67 yards, most of them for illegal procedure on offense. “The layoff hurt our timing,” Devaney said. “And we’re not in the habit of turning the ball over that much. The layoff had something to do with it.” Nebraska finished its regular season Nov. 21 w'hile LSU played Dec. 5. Six illegal procedure or offside penalties cost the Cornhuskers 61 yards in gains and stymied several budding drives against one of the nation’s finest defenses. The Tigers had allowed an average of just 52.5 yards a game on the ground and had just two touchdowns scored against them by running in 11 games. Nebraska rushed for 132 yards, most allowed by the Tigers all season, and pushed over two touchdowns on running plays. Getting equal billing with the offense was the Black Shirt defensive unit which time and again thwarted LSU bids. The Cornhuskers, getting a devastating charge from ends Willie Harper and John Adkins, tackle's Larry Jacobson and Dave Walline and middle guard Ed Periard, held LSU to a minus 45 yards rushing in the first half as they threw quarterbacks Buddy Lee and Bert Jones for numerous losses. The Tigers made several adjustments during the intermission and moved the ball effectively during the third quarter. The middle two quarters definitely belonged to LSU, but the first and last were claimed by Nebraska. The Cornhuskers drove from their own 44 to the LSU 10 late in the opening period to set up a 26-yard field goal by Paul Rogers. Jacobson’s pressure forc^ a Lee fumble when the Tigers put the ball in play at their own 24 and Harper recovered the first of two fumbles at the LSU 15. Orduna swept the right side for 12 yards and plunged three more for the touchdown and when Rogers converted it was 10-0 with 2:06 to play in the first quarter. The tide changed early in the second period when Johnny Rodgers fumbled a punt at the LSU 40. But LSU wasn’t able to capitalize until the final minute of the half when Mark Lumpkin booted a 36 yard field goal. Lumpkin capped a 72-yard march on the Tigers’ first possession in the second half with a 25-yard field goal and the Tigers were back in it at 10-6 with over 26 minutes to play. LSU went ahead at 12-10, but it served only to inspire Nebraska. The Cornhuskers did what they had to do when it counted. After Nebraska had gone ahead Harper provided an opportunity to put the game out of reach when he partially deflected a Tiger punt to give Nebraska possession at the LSU 43. Nebraska drove for two first downs, but Joe Orduna fumbled at the LSU 12 with 4:09 to play and the stage was set for a a frantic finish. Harper stole the ball from Jones with 1-20 remaining, but LSU got the ball back with 52 seconds left. This time Terrio intercepted a pass and Nebraska ran out the clock before a record Orange Bowl crowd of 80,699. LSU had its greatest success throu^ the air. “They threw the ball on us better than we had anticipated,” said Devaney. The biggest thorn was split end Andy Hamilton, who caught a record nine passes for 146 yards. “He’s the best I’ve ever faced,” said Cornhusker cornerback Joe Blahak. Joe gave up the short passes, but batted down two long pass attempts earmarked for Hamilton. Rams ]\u Bridesmaids Finally Catch Name Prothro Prothro Los Angeles (/P) — The Los Angeles Rams Saturday dipped into collegiate ranks for a new coach and chose Tommy Prothro of UCLA. Prothro, 50, replaces George Allen at the helm of the club, which finished second in the Western Division of the National Football C 0 n f erence. Allen’s five-year contract expired this year and was not renewed by owner Dan Reeves. Prothro is the ninth coach hired by the Rams since they moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland in 1946. Prothro piloted two Rose Bowl teams in successive years. He led Oregon State to Pasadena in 1965 and UCLA in 1966, when the Bruins scored a 14-12 upset over top-ranked Michigan State. Prothro is known as a coach willing to gamble and to attempt unexpected tactics. Allen, 4B, with a five-year mark of 49-17-4, has said he has had several feelers from other professional clubs. “Yes, I’d like to coach in the NFL again,” Allen said this week, “but after this experience I wouldn’t take a position unless the general managership went with it.” Prothro is nationally known for his ability to school a team for one particular opponent. This was evident in the narrow loss by the Bruins to highly rated Texas at Austin, Tex., last Oct. 2. It came out again this fall when UCLA upset crosstown rival Southern California. Prothro on several occasions had indicated he might like the challenge of coaching in the professional ranks but always said it would have to be under suitable conditions. The American Football Coaching Association voted Prothro coach of the year m 1965. ^ ^ . A n affable but strict disciplinarian with his players, Prothro was the protege of the late Red Sanders, under whom he served as backfield coach for six years, 1949-54, at UCLA, before going to Oregon State as head coach. Second Time Does Trick Nebraska quarterback Jerry Tagge may have made the biggest plunge of his football life with this one-yard winning Orange Bowl touchdown in the fourth quarter. McClendon Disagrees With Ref Is Kicker Roughed or Is He Not? SI to Get Big Message Omaha - A group of Nebraska fans in Omaha said Friday night they were starting a mass telegram to Sports Illustrated magazine “to tell them we think we’re No. 1.” Bill Fox of Omaha said the wire would be sent from the Omaha Western Union office. He said about 400 persons at an Omaha gathering had each agreed to sign and he hoped others from throughout the state would add their names to the wire. “We want to tell them what we think of what they think of us,” said Fox. Pro Scores NBA Baltimore 128, Cleveland 105 San Diego 117, Los Angeles 106 Seattle 121, Portland 118 By VIRGIL PARKER Miami — A controversy arose over a blocked punt versus roughing the kicker call following the 37th annual Orange Bowl game between Nebraska and LSU here Friday night. Though rule book students say that contact with the kicker is permitted if an onrushing lineman is blocked into the punter or if he touches the ball, LSU coach Charles McClendon disagreed. “Once my punter raises his foot to kick,” McClendon claimed, “it doesn’t matter if the man is blocked into him or not—it’s roughing the kicker.” The play in question came during a heart-pounding finish to the exciting Nebraska victory. NU defensive end Willie Harper poured in on LSU punter Wayne Dickinson. Harper was blocked. A collision followed. The ball traveled just four yards and out of bounds. While Harper was in flie Nebraska dressing room saying he felt his finger tips touch the ball, Dickinson claimed the opposite. “He came in from the left Dickinson recalled. “As I was hit the ball slithered off m> foot and out of bounds to the right. When I looked up' and saw the ref signalling that there was no roughness, 1 couldn’t believe my eyes.” McClendon called the play ^‘the turning point. It was roughing the kicker without a doubt, as far as I’m concerned. If it’s called we retain the ball and are on the move. Instead, the ball goes only four yards V and gives Nebraska good field position.” The LSU grid boss admitted, however, that his Tigers made other mistakes, particularly in the early going when his club fell behind 10-0, adding that “it’s obvious you don’t make errors and win against the No. 1 team in the counitry.” McClendon then compared the Cornhuskers to Cotton Bowl champs Notre Dame, a 3-0 winner over LSU earlier in the season. “Both clubs are big, strong, physical teams,” he said. “But Nebraska scored a lot more points on us. They are going to be No. 1 now,” he added, “so I guess you’d have to say Nebraska is better.” McClendon also had praise for the winningest coach in the country, NU’s Bob Devaney. “If you have to lose,” he said, “there’s no more deserving guy than Bob. He’s a great individual and a wonderful coach.” Then the LSU mentor paused and added, “Don’t think I like losing. It hurts. We came to win.” Though saying Nebraska didn’t do anylliing unexpected on offense, McClendon claimed the Cornhusker players were too big for his defensive unit to handle. “They were a good head taller than most of our guys,” he explained. “The quarterback hid the ball well on the hand- offs. Our linebackers couldn’t see who had it and when they’d peek around one of those big linemen one way, they’d get blocked and the runner would go the other.” McClendon added tbait “tJie thing that makes Nebraska great is the fact that they run the same few plays over and over, always with near-perfect execution.” The LSU coach also called NU quarterback Jerry Tagge “extremely strong. He was hard to bring down on the keeper play, and one time, when we did crack through their fine pass protection, he threw the ball 45 yards with one of our guys hanging on his leg.” Two members of the Tigers’ touted defensive unit were generous in their praise of the Big Red offensive machine. Cornerback Tommy Casanova said the Huskers were “a lot better than I thought they’d be. The receivers were quick and the backs were simply tremendous.” Nebraska defensive tackle Larry Jacobson (75) makes a shirt-tail stop of LSU quarterback Bert Jones in Cornhuskers’ 17-12 Orange Bowl squeaker. i i LSU’s standout defensive tackle Ronnie Estay played opposite Nebraska’s all- American Bob Newton, but he had even more glowing words for NU guard Dick Rupert. “Newton is awfully good. He’s big and strong and hits hard. But that Rupert was the all-American as far as I was concerned. He really stayed after me all the way. They double-teamed me on almost every play.” Estay added that “the thing you have to admire about Nebraska is the fact that they don’t give up. When we got ahead going into the final quarter, a lot of teams would have folded. But Nebraska came back all the stronger.” I Miami, Fla. — Bob Devaney and his staff had been there before. His players hadn’t. But the second time around was a mutually rewarding experience for the Corn­ husker football team in the 1971 Orange Bowl. “We’ve got a case of champagne waiting for us back at the hotel. Somebody from Lincoln sent it down,” Devaney smiled shortly after the Corn­ huskers had claimed a 17-12 victory over LSU. “The last time we were down here (1966) we had the champagne waiting, too. We drank it then, but it didn’t taste very good,” he recalled. That was after Alabama beat Nebraska, 39-28, for the national championship after LSU had defeated Arkansas and UCLA had beaten Michigan State in upsets earlier in the day. Notre Dame and Stanford gave Nebraska a similar opportunity Friday and this year’s team, the one Devaney calls his best ever, took advantage of it. The Cornhusker locker room was sheer delirium. “That’s too much, that blows my mind,” exclaimed kicker Paul Rogers. “Do you believe this?” asked monster man Dave Morock. “Number One.” That means nobody in the nation better than you.” He was, of course, speculating that the third- ranked Cornhuskers would move up after Texas and Ohio State had lost New Year’s Day encounters. “It’s just incredible,” beamed center Doug Dumler. “I can’t believe it,” echoed Guy Ingles. “This i's the nicest one of all,” added defensive tackle Dave Walline. “It’s out of sight, baby,” gushed middle guard Ed Penard, who had one of his greatest games in an excellent senior season. “It was great,” exclaimed guard Donnie McGhee. “It’s been a long wait. I’ve been here five years and this has to be the best moment of all.” While it was a great team experience there were several Cornhuskers less than satisfied with their individual contributions. Most notable were quarterbacks Jerry Tagge and Van Brownson. Despite what he called “one of my poorer games, ” Tagge was acclaimed as the game’s outstanding back. “I was prepared better for LSU than any team we’ve played. The coaches had ’em diagnosed beautifully. But I made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t hit the right receivers and I got caught behind the line several times. Mentally, 1 had a disappointing game,” he said. Brownson, who handled the offense in the second quarter, admitted to a bit of nervousness. “I was a little scared out there. I hadn’t played in three games ... it was just like starting all over as a sophomore,” he said. A Brownson pass for Johnny Rodgers which was slightly underthrown was intercepted by LSU’s Bill Norsworthy. “It was my fault,” said Van. “1 just didn’t get it to him.” Joe Orduna also was less than satisfied, primarily because his fumble deep in LSU territory late in the game kept the Cornhuskers from adding to their 17-12 lead. “I was scared to death after I fumbled,” he said. Tagge explained that part of Nebraska’s offensive problems stemmed from LSU’s defensive signals. “Some of our plays go on the first sound from me and we were jumping when LSU called defensive signals. We changed later in the game to longer counts and solved that problem,” he said. The Cornhuskers came out of the game with a deep respect for LSU. “Tommy Casanova is the best defensive back I’ve ever faced,” said Ingles. “They had a tricky defense that kept you guessing,” said co-captain Dan Schneiss. “They were a tough team,” claimed offensive tackle Wally Winter. “ITiey weren’t as tough on the pass rush as on the run. They could really react after they made contact.” “LSU has the best pass defense I’ve seen, but overall Missouri may be tougher. They always give me a hard time,” said Tagge. “But LSU is a great football team.” Defensive back Jim Anderson summed it up best when he said, “We always make it hard for ourselves. We had to do it the hard way, but we did it.” Don Forsythe Varner Gets ‘Best Shower’ Miami — Nebraska Chancellor Durward Varner was tossed in the shower after the Cornhuskers beat LSU Friday night, Varner, admitting it was his 53rd birthday, called it the “nicest shower” he ever had. And he said the victory “was the nicest birthday present I ever had.” |JiitllllilllllllllliLUIIIllllllllllilllilllllillllllllllllllllillllll!illlllllllllllillilllllllilllilllllliltiflililtlilllllliti| I On the Inside ... | j Irish Blunt Wishlione T, Page 10 | I Buckeyes Ill-Prepared? Page 10 | I Vols Prove Point, Page 10 | 1 More Husker Pictures, Page 11 | 2 S intiiiiitiiiiiiiiiiiitiiititiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitiititiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitooiiiiiHiiiiiitiiiiiiiil

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