The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on January 3, 1996 · Page 24
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 24

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Wednesday, January 3, 1996
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WEDNESDAY, January 3, 1996 The San Bernardino County Sun C3 COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEBRASKA REPEATS AS NATIONAL CHAMP Controversial PhMps ends season with bang By Mike Davis Sun Assistant Sports Editor TEMPE, Ariz. There's no I in "team," or in Nebraska, for that matter. But there's still an I-back in the Cornhuskers' option offense, and the one they had this season was one of the most talented and most controversial ever seen in Lincoln. His name now known from coast to coast, even among non-football fans is Lawrence Phillips. On Tuesday night, Phillips played what was widely thought to be his final college game, as the No. 1-ranked Cornhuskers defeated No. 2 Florida 62-24 to clinch their second consecutive .up 0 . , 3 ' fa t 1 Florida's Ed Chester attempts to racKie Nebraska's Clinton Childs during Fiesta: Cornhuskers beat Continued from C1 which squeezed the life out Florida's fast-break, pinball-machine passing game. Deploying an imaginative blitz package and lock-down man-to-man coverage, the Cornhuskers sacked Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel seven times (once for a safety) and intercepted three of his passes (returning one for a touchdown) before Spurrier mercifully removed him in the fourth quarter. "They (blitzed) a lot and they came from different spots," said Wuerffel, who directed the nation's No. 2-ranked pass offense (361 ypg) this season. "They caused a lot of problems." The Nebraska defense was at its most oppressive in the second Prep basketball Yucaipa falls to Banning 49-44 The Sun Yucaipa senior forward Kevin Wright scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but the Thunderbirds lost to Banning 49-44 in a non-league game on Tuesday. Senior guard Bruce Power had 11 points for Yucaipa (8-6) and junior guard Jon Pease added 10 points, five steals and four assists. NORCO 83, RIM OF THE WORLD 82: Junior guard Justin Daetwiler led all scorers with 22 points, but the host Scots (4-5) lost to the Cougars in overtime during a non-league game. Palmdale downs Apple Valley The Sun Senior guard Felicity Willis scored 24 points, but Apple Valley lost to Palmdale 60-48 on Tuesday night in a non-league game at Palmdale. The loss dropped the Sun Devils to 9-4. NORCO 62, RIM OF THE WORLD 42: Senior guard Angel McGurn scored 14 points, but the visiting Scots (8-7) lost to the Cougars. Junior forward Regina Saulsbury added 12 points. national championship. The junior from West Covina rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, caught a scoring pass and probably would have been MVP of the Fiesta Bowl if quarterback Tom-mie Frazier hadn't run for 199 yards and two TDs and passed for another. But regardless of what he did on the second day of 1996, Phillips' everlasting fame (or infamy) had already been assured by the events of the 1995 regular season. In September, Nebraska coach Tom Osborne suspended Phillips in the wake of charges that the running back had beaten a former girlfriend. At first, Osborne said the suspension was for the season, then amended it to "indefinite." ft, --..', quarter, when the Cornhuskers scored on each of their possessions and a couple of Florida's to build their 25-point halftime lead. Florida managed only one first down in the quarter on a Nebraska offsides penalty. On the very next play, cornerback Michael Booker intercepted a Wuerffel pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown that made it 32-10. By then, the game had done a 180-degree reversal from the first quarter, when Wuerffel took Florida to scores on two of its first three possessions. Even after Philips' 42-yard TD staked Nebraska to a 13-10 lead 32 seconds into the second period, it still appeared as though the Fiesta Bowl would produce Ferguson to The Sun ADELANTO Former Dodgers catcher Joe Ferguson was named manager of the High Desert Mavericks on Tuesday by the Baltimore Orioles, the parent club of the Single-A California League team. Ferguson, 49, becomes the sixth man to manage the Mavericks, who began playing in 1991. Quakes' banquet The Sun RANCHO CUCAMONGA Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader who was banned from baseball for betting on games, will be a special guest at a preseason banquet for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the team announced Tuesday. Today Outdoors Don't go outdoors. Not before you read The Sun's complete daily weather and air quality update. Local to world-wide coverage Only in The Sun, Your Dally Weather Information Source. It turned out to be six games, after which Phillips was reinstated to the roster despite his no-contest plea to the charges. He played in three regular-season games as a backup. The episode sparked a national debate and focused attention on other off-field incidents involving Nebraska players. Then, last week, the firestorm flared anew when Osborne announced that Phillips would start in the Fiesta Bowl. "I tried to determine what was best for the team, for society and for the individual," the coach explained earlier this week. Phillips declined comment on the controversy Tuesday night. "I'm finished talking to the media," he said before ducking J A J ,-. J jr1 '9,1 V.- the second quarter of the Fiesta Bowl on up Gators for the close, high-scoring contest everyone was expecting. But then the Gators unraveled, and the Huskers unloaded. A holding penalty wiped out a 21-yard Wuerffel scramble and backed up the Gators to their own 8. That was followed by a procedure penalty, a sack of Wuerffel at the 1 and another sack, this one in the end zone by linebacker Ja-mel Williams. The safety made it 15-10, and Nebraska took the free kick and drove 51 yards for a touchdown. Florida went three-and-out and the Cornhuskers drove to a field goal. Three plays after the kick-off, Booker made his big play. Then Florida went three-and-out again and Nebraska drove for another FG eight seconds before halftime. coach Mavs Ferguson could not be reached for comment. "In the High Desert, the Dodgers are a favorite team," Mavericks spokesman Michael Guarini said. "The fans will be glad their team is under the direction of a former Dodger, especially one who played so well for them. They'll give him a lot of leeway." The Orioles named former pitcher Larry McCall, 43, as the Mavericks' pitching coach. to feature Rose The Quakes are a Single-A California League affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The banquet will be Feb. 25 at the Ontario Red Lion Hotel. Jerry Coleman, play-by-play announcer for the Padres, will again be master of ceremonies. Rose is the host of a nationally syndicated sports talk show on radio. into the locker room after the game. "It just feels great to be with my team and win a national championship." Osborne would only say that "in some ways it's been a great year and in other ways it's been a negative year," adding that he wished reporters "would go write about basketball for a while. I'm ready for a vacation." This much was clear about Phillips on Tuesday he clearly is ready for the NFL, which he is expected to join next season. His 42-yard touchdown run in the second quarter included a couple of fluid, intuitive direction-changes worthy of Barry Sanders. He read his blocks perfectly and slipped potential tackles by cutting to the outside at full speed, without breaking AP WIREPHOTO Tuesday. national title About all that was left to do after that was count up the Nebraska yards. The Huskers finished with 629 524 rushing and averaged 7.6 per play against a sloppy-tackling Florida defense. "We had trouble tackling anybody who was carrying the ball for Nebraska," Spurrier said. That was particularly evident on Frazier's 75-yard TD, when linebacker James Bates and cornerback Fred Weary appeared to have him wrapped up near mid-field, only to see him break away. "They were trying to take the ball away," Frazier said. "I just kept my legs moving." Osborne couldn't believe the way the score kept mounting. "I expected a close game," he said. "But things kind of snowballed." BASEBALL ROUNDUP Larkin signs 3-year extension CINCINNATI Barry Larkin, the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1995, and the Cincinnati Reds agreed Tuesday to a three-year, $16.5-million extension through 1999 with a club option for 2000 that could make the deal worth $21.2 million. "I didn't want to have to test the free-agent market," Larkin said. "I'm happy here. I've been treated well here. The Reds have been good to me." Larkin, 30, hit .319 with 15 homers, 66 RBI and 51 stolen bases last season. He won his second consecutive Gold Glove at shortstop. "We're real excited to have Barry back here," general manager Jim Bowden said. "In these P-1 1 J 'J i 1 LA i A 7 i i -w ir-w w w j YOU CAN BUY, SELL & TRADE! WHOLESALE PRICES TO THE PUBLIC! THOUSANDS OF DEALS ON GUNS, AMMO, SCOPES, ACCESSORIES, KNIVES, ETC! RIVERSIDE CONVENTION CENTER 3443 DRANK II., MVBSIDE (NEXT IB MISSION INN) FREE PARKING! (714) 852-9267 stride. Whether his next move will be to the NFL, Phillips wouldn't say. But he reportedly has consulted the league ubout his draft potential, and he previously indicated that if he is told he'll be a first-round pick, he'll probably enter the draft. There is little doubt that he'd go in the first round. CBS commentator Terry Donahue, the former UCLA coach, said on the air Tuesday that according to NFL player-personnel people he hud talked to, the more realistic question is whether Phillips will be the No. 1 pick in the entire draft. "I don't know yet," Phillips said late Tuesday when asked if he had played his last game for Nebraska. "I'm just going to talk to a few people and make a decision." Historic victory for Cornhuskers By Paul Oberjuerqe Sun Sports Editor TEMPE, Ariz. It isn't every year or every decade that a college football team wins back-to-back national championships. Nebraska wrapped up its second consecutive No.l ranking Tuesday with a 62-24 rout ofFlor-ida in the Fiesta Bowl, making the Cornhuskers the first team since Oklahoma (1955-56) to go back-to-back without debate. Alabama claims national titles Tor 1978-79, but it shared the 1978 top ranking with USC; Alabama was No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, USC was No. 1 in the defunct UPI poll. "Back-to-back," Nebraska linebacker Christian Peter said. "That ought to wake some people up." THREE-PEAT? Some of the Cornhuskers were talking about three consecutive national titles. But they weren't talking about the future as much as the past. "We feel like we were the better team in that game against Florida State," said Peter, referring to a 16-13 defeat in the Orange Bowl two seasons ago. "The scoreboard may not show it, but we won that game." It is the only Nebraska defeat in three seasons. "I think when (Nebraska players) look back on it, five or 10 years from now, they're probably going to appreciate this three-year run," Osborne said. "I say three because we played well enough to win two years ago. We didn't win. We played well enough to win. I'm very proud of this stretch of three years." OLD HAT? Some Nebraska coaches and players indicated the national title last season might have been a bit more exciting. "Everybody wasn't quite as emotional as we were last year," Osborne said. "I think the players expected they were going to win it. It wasn't 'ho-hum,' certainly, but it was more matter of fact." SPURRIER APOLOGETIC: Florida coach Steve Spurrier didn't miss a chance to mention how disappointed he was in his team and how overmatched it was against Nebraska. "I apologize we couldn't make a game of it," he said. "I'm really embarrassed we couldn't match up against Nebraska. They're too good for us. They Notebook economic times, clubs have to pick and choose who they sign." Larkin will get $5.3 million this season, the last year of a five-year, $25.6-million contract signed in January 1992. The extension calls for $5.3 million a year for three seasons, and Cincinnati has a $5.3-million option for 2000 or must pay a $600,000 buyout. The option becomes guaranteed if Larkin has 525 plate appearances in any of the first three seasons of the extension. Larkin said he was concerned by the loss of outfielder Hon Gant to St. Louis and pitcher David Wells to Baltimore. But he cred- Motorola uijjjj if 16 Nurnfwr Memory Tunc Stamp Actuation Required (909) 984-4100 fk.fl ?rricX f A APWIREPHOTQ, Nebraska's Lawrence Phillips rushed for 165 yards and scored , three touchdowns against Florida. ; Notebook clobbered us up and down the field. They're by far the best team we've played in the six years I've been at Florida." .,, The defeat was only the 13th, for Florida under Spurrier. The Gators are 61-13-1 since he took' over. PRESSURE ON: Players and coaches on both sides pointed to the Nebraska pass rush and running game as keys to the blowout. " Nebraska sacked Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel sev-, en times, once for a safety, and pressured him all night. , "Give credit to our defensive coaches," Osborne said. "They mixed in some blitzes with zoner coverage, some things we hadn't' shown before." , , Said Nebraska linebacker Jared Tomich: "They had a good line. If it hadn't been for our. blitzes and catching them off guard, it might have been a different story." ' Said Spurrier: "We didn't block very well, and then we-messed up several protections, also. Give them credit, I gucss,r for confusing us." Osborne said Nebraska run-, ning the ball and running and running was crucial. Florida" entered the game with the naJ tion's No. 2-ranked defense. "As we looked at the films, it, seemed people had a tendency to-fall behind so quickly they'd give up on the running game, and as a result once somebody started throwing on them they were in,' pretty good shape." MISSING GLORY: Peter, on a long return of an ap:' parent fumble on a conversion; attempt for what would have-' been a two-point play for the Cornhuskers: "What was up with that? I went 90 yards with the,, ball! I almost had a heart attack at the 10-yard line! I was so up-, set." Fiesta notes Nebraska and Florida are two ol only lour teams in the nation to win a, least nine games every year this decade The others are Florida State, and Texas A&M. . . . Nebraska quar-' terback Tommle Frazier relused to-speculate on an NFL career. "What--ever happens, happens," he said. Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said, players such as Frazier are valuable in college lootball, at least. "There's, a place for a running quarterback in college football. I think the option still ' has its place." " ited Bowden with having a knack for making good deals. TIGERS SIGN WILLIAMS: DETROIT Free-agent first baseman Kddie Williams and the, Detroit Tigers agreed to a one-.', year, $325,000 contract that gives him the chance to earn $150,000 more in performance bonuses. Williams, 34, who was ham-i pered by a hamstring injury the last two months ol'last season and' played in only 97 games for the San Diego Padres, hit .260 with 12' home runs and 47 KHI. TREBELHORN HIRED: BALTIMORK Former Milwau-kee and Chicago Cubs manager: Tom Trebelhorn was hired by the: Baltimore Orioles as minor-league coordinator of instruction. '.' From Sun News Services' ' .I'M 1 d'i. L-l ll'IF-JlL'ii 1 1 1 fi.il 1 Victorville rqroi ville 14800 7th St. Viclorvi (Fwy 15 frit Roy Rooci Bd . to 7rh lurn km 818-961-3782 '1 .00 OFF WITH THIS AO 'i t ) i

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