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NEBRASKA

vs.

KANSAS
Originally aired October 20, 1998

Produced by the Sports Unit of the Nebraska ETV Network



[Bill] Hi, everybody, I'm Bill Doleman. Welcome to "Big Red Wrap-Up." If there was ever a perfect cure for a hangover after a loss, Nebraska found it Saturday in the form of a 41-0 win over Kansas. First of all, the Huskers rarely lose after a loss, they never lose at Memorial Stadium, and they never lose to Kansas, at least not in the last 30 years and counting anyway. And for the last two years and two quarter, the Jayhawks haven't even scored on Nebraska. There's no doubt that Saturday's win was the feel good game of the year for the Big Red. The offense went back to the basics and got back on track rolling up more than 500 total yards and 41 points, and the Blackshirts got a boost in confidence in recording the first shutout of the year. The Huskers are now 6-1 on the year and ranked seventh in the polls. Next up is a date with Missouri, a team that figures to present the same type of attack as Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. We'll talk about that match-up plus look back at the Kansas game, the polls, and a whole lot more. Joining me is a "Lincoln Journal Star" line-up night. Joining us is Steve Sipple and Curt McKeever. We begin with a discussion of Nebraska-Kansas. I guess let's debate Nebraska-Kansas. What does this game tell us about Nebraska? Kansas was the perfect opponent for Nebraska. Is Nebraska as good as advertised or is this a get back on track kind of game?

[Steve] That's a good question. I think it's more of a get back on track kind of game. Kansas was soft up the middle. Nebraska exploited it. They had two freshmen redshirts in there. Nebraska went at them. They went at them hard. They did it successfully and did it well and they looked good doing it. That has to make them feel good. It won't be as easy against Missouri. But I thought they looked good. Defensively, it wasn't a dominating shutout but a shutout is a shutout.

[Bill] After the Washington game, everybody is thinking Nebraska is a world beating football team but they come back to play against Oklahoma State and Texas A&M and they have problems. Is this a type of win like Washington or is this a game where Nebraska says we have all our ducks in the row?

[Steve] The latter. I don't think anybody has any false illusions over there. Washington was overrated and Kansas is not as good as Washington. The players know that. The coaches certainly know that. I don't think the Kansas win is anything to get too excited about but it was a good win. Any win in the Big 12 is good. The Big 12 is tough. You win on Saturday right now and you have done well.

[Bill] Kansas is a team that in three of its five losses has lead going into the fourth quarter. The only time they were blown out was Missouri and Nebraska. This is a football team that really took Texas A&M down to the wire. They lost 24-21 and they had a pretty good offense. Nebraska shut that down. On that end, it looks good.

[Curt] Like Sip said, it shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that Nebraska ran a lot of yards. Kansas had been in every game -- they were 0-4 in the Big 12. But in every game they took it to the fourth quarter. Kansas had a drive at the fourth quarter to go in front. Missouri gets an interception or fumble and returns that. Then that game is a little bit more lopsided than you think. I don't think you can overlook the fact that Nebraska dominated a team that is used to playing into the last few minutes of the game.

[Bill] Kansas is a football team that averaged 370 yards in total offense. And this is a team that averaged 33 points per game with a west coast style offense. Next week we get back to a team that will run it right at them. Missouri doesn't go to the air and they have a good quarterback in Corby Jones.

[Curt] Kansas has a nice offense but I don't think their offensive line compares to Missouri. I don't think they have the kind of running back that Missouri will give them with Devon Smith. And of course, Corby Jones. But he is battling a sprain. He is the key for Missouri. To beat a team like Nebraska, you have to have a mobile quarterback. Yes, they have a dominant offensive line and can play power football, but they will have to do more than that on Saturday.

[Bill] You cover practice on a daily basis. You were down there before the Oklahoma State game and A&M game. Did you get a sense things were off track before those games and then last week?

[Steve] We are down there late in practice. Coach Solich is always, no matter what, he says they're practicing okay. It's hard to get a gauge on it, to be honest. You can only tell so much watching, the end particularly. He gets a better feel. Even Coach McBride sang that tune that they didn't practice well those weeks. Solich made it a point the other day to say I thought we were okay, really. It's hard to gauge. I know they stepped it up before the Kansas game, that Monday. I know they did. I don't know what they're doing this week. It's hard to say. I'm sure they'll be ready. This is what they want, a smash mouth game. That's what Nebraska's defense likes. Line it up and try to run it at us. Teams have had success but they like that, they like that style.

[Curt] But you said before the A&M game it was going to be a knockdown dragout. The week before I thought Nebraska was going to have trouble running the ball.

[Steve] I didn't say it.

[Curt] No, you said it. Something made us think those games weren't going to be blowouts.

[Steve] I think it comes down to the talent level of Nebraska's opponents.

[Bill] You had written a column about A&M that circulated through College Station and all parts of southern Texas that has you public enemy number one.

[Steve] Here in Lincoln, too.

[Bill] Is A&M that good?

[Curt] I saw them the week before against Kansas and they looked like an average team. They were lucky to get out of Lawrence with a win. You know, what they showed against Nebraska, I didn't see that that day in Lawrence. Yes, I knew they had a dominant defense but, you know, their quarterback, either one, are not very mobile. I just saw Nebraska having too much for their offensive line. They're on a roll right now.

[Steve] They are.

[Curt] They have a lot of confidence. I think maybe now -- you know, I'm not going to write about their inexperienced offensive line anymore.

[Steve] I think their offensive line came together to a certain degree against Nebraska. That helped a lot. Other than that, Dante Hall is a good running back, not a great running back. Same with the quarterback. He is all right. I think they were clicking that day.

[Bill] It's the kind of game Arizona State had against Nebraska. We will talk more about the Kansas game and take a look at the highlights in a little bit. Let's get to some questions. Al in Dakota City. If Nebraska beats Kansas State and we are tied for the north division, who goes to the Big 12 championship game?

[Steve] Go ahead. I think the higher rated team at that point. I think the conference has a choice.

[Bill] That goes along the lines that Colorado lost to Kansas State. Three teams would have a loss.

[Curt] That means Colorado would have been beaten by Nebraska in the last game. So definitely Nebraska is ahead of Colorado and they would have beaten Kansas State, too.

[Bill] You cover the Big 12 more on a regular basis than the star has in quite some time. This league has six teams ranked in the nation's top 25. In the Sagarin ratings it's ranked as the number one league in the country. Why has it taken such a leap?

[Curt] It must be timing of the cycling. You hear about programs that everything is cyclic. There must be upper classmen in all the programs. You have a new coach at Texas. They're not ranked but he has life going in that program now. They obviously have a Heisman frontrunner, too. It's really a fun year in the Big 12. Like Sipple said every Saturday, if you are not ready to play.

[Bill] How much is that going to hurt Ohio State now as you look to the rest of the season? They have Northwestern this week. They don't play anybody until Michigan. Michigan is fairly average this year although they always have a war when those two teams play. The fact that they have not been tested since the third game of the year, how much will that come back to haunt them if at all?

[Steve] The bowl championship series is that Ohio State can finish undefeated. If UCLA finishes undefeated and Tennessee finishes undefeated, there is a chance they may not play in the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State, the way it is set up. I have read that and heard that from several people. The lack of schedule is going to hurt them. I don't know how much it will hurt them in terms of not being ready to play a team. The Big 10 is not a bad conference. Those teams are okay. They got to go to Iowa. Iowa boy. They're tough. Michigan is a representative team. I don't think it will hurt them that way. That possibility exists they could finish undefeated and finish below those teams. Imagine being a Buckeye at that point.

[Curt] They still have to win a game. You can say the same about Kansas State. The next three opponents, their combined record is 1-11 and then they play Nebraska. These three games will not matter if they beat Nebraska. They'll know they're tested going into the post season.

[Bill] They're 1-11 in conference play and 6-13 in all.


Kansas Highlights

Let's take a look back at the Nebraska-Kansas game on Saturday night. There's always something special about a night game at Memorial Stadium. Another sellout crowd. 224 now and counting to see the Huskers take on Terry Allen's team. Kansas tried to come out and do pretty much the same thing A&M and Oklahoma State did and that was run the ball. They had little success. They gained 99 yards as a team on the ground. Joe Walker with a spectacular night. A 30-yard punt return. He gave Nebraska tremendous field position on the first drive. Then Correll Buckhalter on his second carry of the game goes 33 yards into the end zone. Tremendous blocking downfield. Gibson and Makovicka throwing blocks. Remember, Nebraska went between the tackles so much, they scored on the option. Kansas was driving in the first quarter. Joe Walker comes up with a big play with the interception at the goal line. Kansas has not scored on Nebraska now in 10 quarters.

In the second quarter, Bobby Newcombe looked like he would run but goes to the air. He throws a 21 yarder to Wistrom. That kept Nebraska's drive going. Now on fourth down and goal at the end of the half, Nebraska gets a break. They were stopped on fourth down and short. Kansas off sides. Bobby Newcombe with a one-yard touchdown run. Actually about six inches is all it was. That last drive of the half, Nebraska held the ball for nearly seven minutes.

Coming out in the third quarter, the two teams played give and take. Five fumbles in the third quarter alone. This one comes back to haunt Kansas. Foreman recovers the fumble. Correll Buckhalter with an 6-yard run. Bobby Newcombe with a tremendous play. Buckhalter with his second of three touchdowns on the day. Nebraska 24-0 in the third quarter. Later on in the third quarter, the defense got tough stopping the run. Clint Finley forcing the fumble. Mike Brown finally gets a handle on the football. Nebraska would be whistled for a penalty bringing it back to the 40-yard penalty. Nebraska capitalizes on this turnover as well. Nebraska 5-9 on the air through the day. Newcombe 5-8. He connects with Davison. Penalty flag on that particular play. That moved Nebraska closer.

Buckhalter into the end zone capping a six-play drive. Nebraska now leads it 31-0. Kansas forced Nebraska deep. Monte Christo off the bench. Did a tremendous job for the Huskers. He has been steady off the bench. A 42-yard run. The longest run of his career. Later on, Billy Legate finds the end zone for the first time in his career. That was great to see. The senior gets into the end zone. Nebraska takes a 41-0 lead. The Huskers hold on to number seven. That's not too bad with a loss at this time of the year. Nebraska rebounds with a 41-0 win over K.U. to improve to 6-1 on the 1998 campaign. Nebraska dominated K.U. More than 500 yards in total offense for Nebraska. 466 yards on the ground on 79 carries. Incredible numbers for N.U. Kansas under 100 yards at 99. That's the fourth time that the Blackshirts have held an opponent under 100 yards. 5-9 through the air. Nebraska is completing 63% of its passes. Throwing the ball efficiently. 28 first downs. 11 for K.U. Nebraska fumbled the football four times. That's a cause for concern. Huskers had 20 minutes of an advantage. The final score 41-0. Nick wants to know what the injuries are to the quarterbacks?

[Steve] Bobby is still bothered by the knee ligament strain that goes back to the opener, to the Louisiana Tech game. He is day-to-day, Coach said today. Didn't practice today. But he expects him back tomorrow. It just gets sore. It swells up after he plays. Eric Crouch has a sore hip actually. It's not a hip pointer as a lot of people think. He is coming along well. He practiced and should be okay.

[Bill] He is valuable because he is now the holder for Kris Brown. I talked to Kris after the football game because Frankie was doing the holding. Frankie broke his leg. He is out for the year. Eric came off the bench and did a good job as Kris connected on a field goal. Do you think the offensive line is the reason we're not doing so well this year? Will the returning juniors be better next year?

[Steve] You hate to put it on those kids, you know. They will get better. Coach Tenopir said against A&M they didn't play well. They got pushed around. They'll get better. I would hate to say that they're the whole reason.

[Curt] It's a little bit like the 1996 season. You got a bunch of new guys in there playing major minutes for the first time. That group was a little inconsistent. Didn't mean they were not talented. Obviously it showed in 1997. I think some of it has to do with the talent that Nebraska has played. Their schedule is really good.

[Steve] It is. In the last -- I think they're in the top 10 in the country as schedule rating.

[Bill] They have done some things with the offensive line now that have gotten simplified.

[Steve] Altered the rotation a little bit. That leaves Heskew in there. It gets those young kids in there that they like, like Raiola and Hochstein.

[Bill] They had 464 yards on the ground. That philosophy worked out on Saturday. If Texas A&M go undefeated, will they meet again in the Big 12 championship game?

[Curt] They're unbeaten in the conference so they would be 8-0 in the league and that would mean Texas Tech would have a couple of losses, everybody else would have one in the south so yeah, definitely.

[Steve] Tech plays at A&M this week. A&M is 3-0 and Tech is 3-1.

[Bill] What bowl do you think is looking at Nebraska -- Derrick in Lincoln. If Nebraska doesn't go to the Fiesta Bowl, is there speculation on what bowl they could go to?

[Steve] I have heard different things but I would hate to say.

[Bill] Spill your guts, come on.

[Steve] I don't want to start rumors. They will go to a good bowl, I would think. They travel well.

[Curt] They could possibly end up in a B.C.S. bowl, too. You're looking at a Cotton Bowl, and maybe perhaps the Sugar Bowl.

[Steve] Rose Bowl.

[Curt] And also the Holiday Bowl, too. It depends on if they end up in the B.C.S. scenario. If they're not the Big 12 champion going to the Fiesta Bowl.

[Bill] It's important to get into one of those bowls because the payout is greater than any non-January 1 bowl game. You're talking $7-8 million, it's a big deal. Tuesday is media day down in the Athletic Department. Coach Solich met the media this afternoon. He was asked about Nebraska's goal for a national championship and if he thinks they're in the hunt. Here's what he said.

[Frank] You know, I have not asked our team that question directly. Our team has set goals as every team has set goals. Those goals are certainly private to our team and staff. But as I talk to them, you know, football is about reaching your goals but on the other side of it, you know, what's really important to me is that our players come out to practice every day, play the very best that they can play, and prepare for the upcoming game and when they step on the field, playing as well as they can play. You know, you just do that day after day. You do it week after week. And regardless of whether you have a chance at a national championship, whether you have a chance at a conference championship, it's a great game, there's a lot of pride that goes into this game and in order for you to feel good about yourself, you know, the fight and effort and the pride that you take in how you play and practice has got to come out. And it's regardless of whether or not you are in any kind of running for conference championships or national championships. We're just running to the next game. That's all we're doing.

[Bill] You know with Nebraska the goal is to always win a national championship. The Huskers have that internally. Most people expect that of them. Being ranked seventh in the major polls, they still have a shot. Look at Florida State.

[Steve] They have a shot. I like what he says. You can't sit around wondering about it because if you do, you forget who you are playing. I think you just got to take it -- I hate to say it because you sound like a coach but you have to take it a week at a time or the bowl championship doesn't work or you will have four losses.

[Bill] I tend to remember a game in 1992 and forgot to show up and play in Ames, Iowa. With the tendency to give up rushing yards, how will they size up against Ricky Williams and Texas?

[Curt] I think that has potential to be a -- everyone remembers the Barry Sanders and Oklahoma State team that came into Lincoln. Nebraska was ahead 42-0 or 35-0 and it was 63-42 and Sanders went nuts. This guy has the same capability. That's what convinced me that Kansas State's defense is real. They held Williams to 43 yards on 25 carries. He is legit. He will be the top pick if not -- if he is not, he will be one of the top two picks in the draft this year. Texas has a huge and talented offensive line. I know they're not even worried about that now but they will be on Sunday when they start going through the film of Texas.

[Bill] Texas may have problems on defense. They didn't look good at trying to stop Kansas State a few weeks back.

[Curt] Or New Mexico State.

[Bill] One of the things you might be talking about is DeAngelo Evans. This is from Glen in Cortland. What is his injury?

[Steve] Sore tailbone. That's the gentlemen and he didn't practice today. He was in street clothes. They don't know. He is day-to-day.

[Bill] Aren't we all, Sip?

[Steve] I sure am. I'm minute to minute. Day-to-day for DeAngelo. You would like to see him back in there at some point. Buckhalter ran well. That kid, you got to hand it to him because he never complains. When he got set back to number two after starting the first three games, you never hear the kid complain. He goes out and does his job. It was good to see him against Kansas run up and down the field. He is a good back.

[Bill] It is amazing to hear him talk about not playing against Kansas State and A&M but they called on me.

[Curt] That's my first extensive look at him in a game. I heard so much about it. When you go to practice, a lot of times you see the tail end of practice so you hear stories about how he carries people all over the field. He has not had a lot of opportunities to do that in games. Boy, Saturday he did. He looked every bit the -- as advertised.

[Steve] You throw him in there against a tired defense and you have 255 coming at you in the fourth quarter. You throw him in there against those guys that are tired, it's a big advantage.

[Bill] I think the smartest play of the Kansas game was the defensive back that went so low that he flipped him head over heels. Otherwise the guy disintegrates. Rodney and Charles in Lincoln calling in. Do you think Nebraska may go to the air against a team like Missouri who is geared up to stop the run? Nebraska threw the ball nine times against Kansas.

[Steve] Nebraska has the ability to do that. I think the risk you take is sacks. I'm sure their number one plan will be to pound it out at Missouri. But yeah, they have a different kind of look this year. As much criticism as the offensive linemen have taken, they're capable of pass protection. That does give them an added dimension now. Like I said the top priority is to pound it.

[Bill] On the other end, does Nebraska load up against Missouri with an eight or nine-man front. Oklahoma had some success. They limited Missouri's rushing attack. Corby Jones does not throw the ball downfield all that well as talented as he is.

[Curt] They're going to do it because Missouri has not shown the ability to throw on a consistent basis. I know after their only loss at Ohio State, you know Corby Jones was in the locker room saying he was disappointed in their game plan and that he would like to see more passes. Larry Smith says I see this in practice. I'm not going to call something I'm not comfortable calling. They're going to test them right away maybe to make them throw.

[Bill] After they had problems not throwing the football. Eddie Brooks who was the leading receiver, he has not caught a pass since. He became a little outspoken on the play calling. When Missouri and Lincoln played last year, Nebraska fell from one to three. Why does UCLA stay where they are?

[Steve] You can't figure out the polls. Why is Nebraska ahead of A&M? That's a good question, too. Who knows.

[Curt] You can't get Tennessee -- you can't lift them up on an idle week. It's happened before.

[Steve] Oh, yeah. Those polls are tough to figure out.

[Bill] I can't wait until you have the A.P. vote, Sip.

[Steve] Why is that? Notre Dame will be higher. They should be in the top 15 right now, shouldn't they?

[Bill] I have no idea. I would put them up there just because. That's why I don't have a vote. Let let's take a look at the polls.


First the "U.S.A. Today/ESPN Top 25."


I will let you guys take a look at the nation's Top 10's.


Your thoughts on the top 10.

No, Notre Dame is not in there but what do you think?

[Steve] I think it boils down to Ohio State is the best team in the nation. I think they will play Tennessee because I think UCLA will lose. They got to go to Cal this week which is tough. They still got to go to Washington and they got U.S.C. I think it's just Ohio State, Tennessee, Kansas State are the three best teams out there.

[Curt] UCLA is probably the best offense in the country but their defense is ify. There is match-ups in the top 10 that you can see them struggle with. Why isn't A&M ranked ahead of Nebraska?

[Bill] I don't know. I don't have a vote.

[Steve] Tradition.

[Bill] R.C. Slocum addressed that on the phone conference where he said Nebraska is up there because of what they have done over a longer period of time. He said they have earned it which was somewhat --

[Steve] I will buy that. I think that's a good point.

[Curt] I think you have to go head to head at this time of the year. Nebraska could get a chance at them again. I can't believe that R.C. goes to bed thinking man, we're a worse team than Nebraska.

[Bill] All right.

[Curt] That's the perception, right?

[Bill] Steve in Lincoln says he enjoys the Osborne columns and are there going to be other columns coming soon.

[Steve] Yeah, there is. Keep buying the paper every day and look. I can sell.

[Bill] Jerry in Omaha, has the NCAA ruled on Eric Johnson getting another year of eligibility? I think that is the question with Shevin Wiggins, too.

[Curt] They can go possibly until summer is the way I understand that academic rule. With Eric Johnson I believe he qualifies under a totally different thing regarding learns disabilities. I'm not positive of that. I think they have until summer to clear all of that up.

[Bill] If you look at the Nebraska depth chart, Eric Johnson is listed as a junior. It appears he has an extra year. Are the Huskers a young team because they show their experience when -- are the Huskers a young team? They show their inexperience when they play away. How much does it help to play at Memorial Stadium at this time? They have a three-game home stand. They have already won one.

[Steve] Obviously it helps.

[Bill] But especially this team. In the past three or four years, Nebraska has been unstoppable at home or away, it didn't matter where they played.

[Steve] This team, of course they thrive at home. Most teams are better at home. I don't know if youth has anything to do with that. What do you think?

[Curt] That question gets brought up because they lost. It wasn't like they lost that game decisively. I have always admired how they separate playing at home and on the road. You always want your fans behind you but that doesn't ever get brought out, the difference between playing on the road and at home. It's just preparation I'm sure and how -- maybe it's all that audible music they play during the week that annoys everyone.

[Steve] It's not music they're playing. It's like -- I don't know what it is. It's like the fuzz on the TV.

[Bill] They practice with crowd noise to get used to the opposing team's stadium. Keep in mind that game at A&M, A&M had four huge plays on third down that kept them in the football game. A 71-yard run. The 81-yard pass play. Outside of those two bombs, the Huskers have a chance. They played well enough in the fourth quarter to win the football game.

We want to take a look at the Big 12 scores from last week. Texas Tech and Colorado, the Red Raiders with their first loss of the year. A two-point game at Boulder. A huge win for Neuheisel and company. Kansas State over Oklahoma State 52-20. Missouri not all that impressive but they get a win over Oklahoma 20-6. That's the tigers first win over Oklahoma since 1983. That's an incredible stat to me. A&M beats Baylor 35-14. The Aggies feel good after knocking off Nebraska. Finally in the Big 12, we have talked about it, Nebraska beat Kansas 41-0. Now we want to look at the Big 12 conference standings.

In the Big 12 North, Kansas State, Missouri, and Colorado, the top three teams in the north. Nebraska is in fourth place. Can you stand that, Husker fans? Iowa State has yet to win a game in the conference. Kansas really kind of hard to believe they're 0-5 in Big 12 play. They have had problems winning games in the fourth quarter. They're 2-5 over all.

A&M unbeaten. They're on track to go to St. Louis. Texas Tech meets the Aggies this weekend. Texas is much more improved than at the beginning of the year. Baylor 1-3 and 2-4. Oklahoma may never win another football game again. John Blake has some problems. You cover the Big 12. What is the situation down there in Oklahoma? It's almost sad to see that they have so much problem.

[Curt] I think he has brought a lot of it on himself. It seems from week to week or quarter to quarter or series to series, they have a hard time figuring out what they want to do or who they want their quarterback to be. They have used five different quarterbacks this year. How can you have continuity going that route? It seems like they forgot okay, we're going back to option football, no, are we a drop back team, no, are we a wishbone team? I have to stop scratching my head over that one. They likely will not win again this year.

[Bill] Texas and Oklahoma is not the national game of the week anymore. Oklahoma doesn't really have a chance.

[Steve] The morale is bad. He is not long there. That's no secret. The guy I'm impressed with is Neuheisel this year. They have had 14 guys, first or second team, go down with injuries. That's probably worse than what Nebraska had or at least comparable. To hang in there and keep winning these games. It's impressive. I would be the first -- I was one of the first to bad mouth him last year during the a-6 season. Now he has done a good job.

[Curt] I knew they had a lot of athletes. If you look on the recruiting list and I know a lot of times it's overrated but they were getting the cream of the crop with a lot of these kids. It is amazing to see them continue to hang in there. They have been devastated particularly offense with injuries. If they get them all back, you never know.

[Bill] They have 14 players that have missed a total of 42 starts if I read that correctly. That's a ton. I think Nebraska has lost 28 starts. Half their team is freshmen or redshirt freshmen. While they're fighting to win the two-point ball games this year, next year Neuheisel may have the last laugh on a lot of people. This is from the E-mail bag. The "Journal Star" graded the team on the report card. Please embellish the grading of A-plus.

[Curt] How can you not give them an A-plus for 464 yards rushing. When you look at their previous two games, they didn't have half that total in the previous two games. None of the turnovers were their fault. They dominated that game. Now I know we gave them a B-plus for over all grade. I mean you can't do a lot better. 41-0, they proved their point, I think.

[Bill] How good then is Missouri's defense as we take a look? We will take a look in a moment. A-plus last week for the offensive line. We have a ton of questions on the offensive line. But now Missouri coming up.

[Curt] They have been up and down. One week they look dominant. Another week they are playing Northwestern State giving up three touchdowns to a good school but nonetheless 1-AA. I know they have a lot of interceptions. It might come down to the defensive linemen and how they play.

[Bill] We want to take a look at the Missouri Tigers. Before we look at the Tigers of 1998, we want to take you back to a memorable moment from the 1997 match-up between Nebraska and Missouri. You might remember this particular play with seven seconds to go in the play. What do you guys remember about this?

[Steve] It was great for us. We were down on the field. We had a monitor right by us. So we were looking at the monitor and looking at the field at the same time. The thing that I think we will say is that we remember is the crowd. The jubilation followed by the utter amazement and disappointment with a was so unbelievable. It was amazing. It was one of the most amazing things I have seen.

[Curt] What I remember is I think we thought we were going to end up at the Sugar Bowl. You know, people will talk about that play forever but I think everybody forgets the drive itself. That play is just a miracle that it happened. You know, the way they marched down the field with 1:01 to go or something like that. They had struggled. They had earned everything they got all day. That last drive, they bam, bam, bam. It looks like Missouri has eight men on the field.

[Bill] If ever a guy got gut punched, it was Larry Smith. You have to remember the play with Kenny having three catches on that drive. It was not so much that Davison caught the ball but was the fact that he was in position to catch the ball. He ran probably 40-50 yards to get into position to be there and make the play. That shows tremendous hustle and heart and character on his part. The other thing I remember is people were hanging on the goal post when Kris Brown was there to kick the goal. Those are some of the bizarre things that happened in the football game that was memorable for every Husker football fan.


Highlights

Let's take a look at the Tigers of 1998. This will be a match-up between the top two rushing teams in the conference. Missouri has played tremendous football under Larry Smith. They have won 9-11 games. They are lead by Corby Jones. You saw him a moment ago. He has a toe injury that has hampered his play the last couple of weeks. He has certainly performed like a champion that he is. He is a great character person. This was a football team that will not put the ball into the air very often. They run about 54 times per game. They have only thrown the ball 20 times. That was against Ohio State. They lost that game. This is Devin West. He has been a tremendous tailback. Really the focus of the offense is Corby Jones. He is a tremendous athlete. Great skills on the option, a great leader. He gets into the end zone on this touchdown run. A physical quarterback. As a team, Missouri averages 266 yards on the ground. That's fifth in the country. This is the third straight year they rank in the top 10 in terms of rushing yards. When they go to the air, passes are not that long. Against Oklahoma last week, Corby Jones was 8-16 and the Tigers win over the Sooners. Great running ability. This will be a great test for the Huskers because everybody knows about Michael Bishop. This will be the best quarterback they face until then. Layman is the top receiver for the team. Devin West is the focus of the offense outside of Corby Jones. He runs behind an offensive line that has a combined 894 starts and four seniors. A tremendous amount of experience to run behind. They average about 298 pounds. They're scoring 30 points a football game. Defensively they give up 16 points per game. This is Perkins, a quarterback that leads the conference ininterceptions. They have one true freshmen and that's Justin Smith. They have 13 seniors and eight juniors and Smith the lone freshman. That was a look at Perkins picking off one of his five. 17 sacks on the year. They had 17 all of last year. They have put a greater emphasis on the pass rush. As a result they have batted down more passes and intercepted more passes this year. No big stars on the defensive side of the football team. They have gotten better as the season progressed especially after the Ohio State team. Larry Smith has done wonders for the team. He has folks enthused about football. Their ticket sales have improved over the past couple of seasons.

This is a look at their schedule to date. They beat bowling Green and Kansas. They lost to Ohio State in Columbus. They have a win over Northwestern. That will not count in the power ratings. They beat Iowa State. Last week they beat Oklahoma. From here on out, a brutal schedule. It is not an easy road the rest of the year for Missouri. You really do have to hand it to Larry Smith for the job he has done to rejuvenate Missouri football.

[Steve] They sold out the game against Oklahoma. Like you say, they're getting better crowds. That's going to be a good game on Saturday. I think it really will be. Nebraska is a two touchdown favorite which surprises me. They're going to run it at each other. I think it will be close.

[Bill] Maybe Goodman could play and Turner Gill. Corby Jones last year was the all Big 12 quarterback edging out Scott Frost. How much of a look will he give Nebraska in terms of athletic ability?

[Curt] Well, he played a marvelous game against Nebraska last year. He had almost 300 yards of total offense. I think counted -- accounted for four touchdowns. You know, he has played at Memorial Stadium twice and struggled both times. It's a little much to say it was all his fault. They were in a developmental stage. But Nebraska -- last year he got going. They got their running game going. And it made it so much easier for him to execute dump off passes. They don't throw down the field deep too much. He is going -- if he is on, Nebraska will have to fight late into the game.

[Steve] Did a lot of play action rollout passes last year where he faked a handoff and rolled out. Those were successful.

[Bill] A lot of Nebraska fans are saying well, Missouri came close last year, they gave it their best shot, this year it will be back to the same thing. That will not be the case. Do you think Nebraska will suffer at all by the fact that Tom Osborne so no longer the head coach or has that been the case?

[Steve] I don't think it has been the case and I don't think it will be the case. A lot of kids came here because of Osborne and they will tell you that, I came here because of him. You don't have that anymore. A lot of it is the program, too. A lot of them talk about the academic part of it. That's got to be there. The stability is going to be there. The facilities are going to be there and get better. So I don't know. I don't think it will suffer a lot. There is some kids that came here because of Osborne and those kids aren't going to be here anymore.

[Bill] Let's get some more questions. Is the bowl championship series here to stay? We have had the bowl coalition, alliance, a lot of different things in the last few years.

[Curt] It is until ABC's contract runs out in the year I think, 2003. The thought is this isn't going to change until the TV contract runs out and then you might see a true playoff.

[Bill] Hope they change a formula though.

[Curt] The "Seattle Times" poll has not come out.

[Steve] The first one comes out Monday. The first true thing. I don't know how they will do it but it comes out Monday.

[Bill] Something to talk about next Tuesday when you're not here.

[Steve] Ken will know on the chat session. The champion of truth.

[Bill] Mr. Sports-know-it-all. Would the Nebraska coaching staff take 200 yards of rushing over 500 yards of passing? Why is A&M ranked since they had to forfeit a game to Louisiana Tech?

[Curt] It doesn't -- that result still goes in the backs as a win for A&M. Maybe other than Louisiana Tech's press guide for next year. I don't believe it affects their power rating. They admitted they used an ineligible player who by the way scored three touchdowns in the game. It just doesn't -- it's weird. It's like it is a big asterisk.

[Bill] It's not as though they went on probation like many teams in the past and not allowed to be voted.

I want to say hello to Betty Stuckley in Houston, TS and Brian Jones in Columbus, OH and his buddies that come by and watch the show every week. , Steve Pickard in Montgomery Alabama, Barbara Michalik in Pn, and David gingel, who tune in every week as well. We appreciate your support of "Big Red Wrap-Up." We have fans all over the country. We have had people call in Germany even in the past couple of years. We appreciate the following we have here.

As Nebraska faces this Missouri football team, they have Texas coming up and Iowa State and Kansas State. Has Nebraska settled into a groove this year? Have you noticed anything like that? Or are they trying to find themselves yet?

[Curt] If you go off the last game, they're in a groove. If you look back two games ago, you are scratching your head a little bit. Like Sip said, they can't afford to look beyond Missouri. It's going to be a physical ball game. I'm sure that's all they're thinking about.

[Steve] I agree. I think they're still trying to find themselves a little bit which you don't want that this far into the season but I think they are. They still might.

[Bill] All right. Next week, we have Mike Babcock and Adrian Fiala. We will be here next Tuesday night at our regular time. We are glad you found us after the debate. We will be back at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday night to put the wraps on Nebraska and Missouri. Mike Babcock and Adrian Fiala and myself. We thank Steve Sipple and Curt McKeever for being with us. We look forward to doing it again sometime. See you next week on "Big Red Wrap-Up."

For all of us at Nebraska ETV, I'm Bill Doleman.

See you next week.


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