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Frost passes test, sends
encouraging sign for 1997


CURT McKEEVER
Lincoln Journal Star


MIAMI -- Scott Frost hushed his
critics and a Virginia Tech defense
that had been making noise all sea-
son in Nebraska's 41-21 Orange Bowl
victory Tuesday night.


The junior produced what NU
Coach Tom Osborne called "by quite
a bit his best game," hitting 11 of 22
passes for 136 yards and rushing
nine times for 63 more yards and
two touchdowns.


With the exception of a two-play
possession at the end of the first
half, Frost marched the Cornhusk-
ers to scores on six consecutive pos-
sessions. All of that came against a
team that entered the game with the
nation's ninth-ranked scoring de-
fense.


"We had seen them play on tape so
many times that (No. 2 quarterback
Matt) Turman and I would look at
each other when the play was about
to happen and remember what play
was coming," Frost said. "We saw
about every game they played, and
that really paid off for us."


Damon Benning, who was voted
Nebraska's player of the game after
rushing for 95 yards and two touch-
downs, said Frost had a couple
things going for him against the Ho-
kies.


"He's a smart guy, and he's got a
lot of athletic ability, and when you
combine the two he can be pretty
dangerous sometimes," Benning
said. "It boiled down to execution.
He knew what they were doing and
when they were doing it, and he al-
ways seemed to put our offense in a
great position to do well. I think that
was very reminiscent of a guy we
had last year that everybody is
quick to compare him to, and I think
he passed the test tonight."


Of course, Benning was referring
to Tommie Frazier, who led NU to
consecutive national champion-
ships. Following those footsteps has
been a major challenge for Frost,
who has taken plenty of heat for the
Cornhuskers not being in position to
win a third title. But his perform-
ance Tuesday was an encouraging
sign for next year.


"It is a little bit (of vindication),"
Frost said. "I'm still going to work
my tail off because I have a lot that I
need to improve, but this game is
going to make it a lot easier to swal-
low the hurt from this year. We had
a shot at the national title and didn't
get it. Maybe it's good for us because
we're going to work a lot harder in
the off-season now than we did last
year, and I think the fire will be back
in our eyes."


And judging from Tuesday, Ne-
braska looks like it will have a lot of
offensive firepower to look to.


"Down the stretch there, when
they put Ahman (Green) in, I think
10 of the 11 guys on offense were un-
derclassmen," Frost said. "We've
got some key people to replace on
defense and we've got some senior
leadership that we're going to miss,
but we're definitely looking forward
to '97."

Originally published on or about: 01-02-1997

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