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NEBRASKA

vs.

TEXAS A & M
Originally aired October 13, 1998

Produced by the Sports Unit of the Nebraska ETV Network



[Bill] Hi, everybody, I'm Bill Doleman. Welcome to "Big Red Wrap-Up." Well, it was bound to happen, and Saturday it did. For the first time this season and just the fourth time in 69 games, Nebraska went down to defeat dropping a 28-21 decision at Texas A&M. It was the second straight week that the Huskers looked sluggish and ended up in a down to the wire contest. But after defeating Oklahoma State on the last play of the game last week, the Big Red couldn't come up with a happy ending in College Station. Instead big plays were the order of the day for the Aggies who improved to 5-1 on the year with their biggest win in 60 years. Nebraska, meanwhile, is also 5-1 and now ranked 8th in the major polls which is still, believe it or not, in national title contention. But the hill is a lot steeper than it was last week at this time. Coming up in the next hour, we'll talk about the Nebraska-Texas A&M game, size up the Huskers' prospects for the rest of the season, and talk about whatever else is on your mind tonight. Joining me once again to cover it all, first from the Lincoln Journal Star, Ken Hambleton, and from the Omaha World-Herald, columnist Tom Shatel. We begin with the Aggies and Huskers. Ken, I guess we could make it as simple as possible. What went wrong Saturday?

[Ken] A&M played very well, played inspired. Nebraska did neither. I guess bottom line was Nebraska didn't block. The line didn't block. The backs didn't block. The receivers didn't block. There were a lot of problems created. They had another first half with three first downs and that kind of thing. I guess they had a few more. But nothing was going right and the Huskers ran into the same kind of problems they did the week before only for different reasons. Against Oklahoma State they came up against a scheme they had not seen or prepared for. The problem with A&M is they were not prepared mentally for about anything it looked like.

[Bill] You said the word inspired. That seems to have been the issue at Oklahoma State as well. Charlie McBride questioned the team's heart a little bit.

[Ken] A lot.

[Bill] I was trying to sugar coat it. Why is there a problem with that?

[Ken] I guess maybe because they handled A&M last year so easily. One player today told me they may have been looking at the big picture and not the A&M picture and not living up to the one game at a time which we all get sleepy with. There may have been that, too. Also what was interesting about it as bad as things were going and as you pointed out, they were in the game and had a chance to come back and tie it. It would have caused concern for those of us who planned how we were going to write our stories at that stage. They never call us. They never call the press box and say we're going to win the game late. That's not fair to us.

[Bill] Good thing it was not a 6:00 kickoff. You said in your column Sunday that this is a good loss for Nebraska. I thought that on Monday when I looked at the polls because they're still ranked eighth. Why is this a good loss?

[Tom] We will find out if it was or not. Seems like they have been sleep walking. This is not a championship team. Since the Washington game, the team has no business being in a championship game. They have not played that well. I think I reverted back to some of their early season questions that everybody had which to me shows I think Washington is overrated and was not that good and was not interested in playing Nebraska that day. I think it showed. Oklahoma State and A&M are physical. They want to run and play the run. They want to smash it back in your mouth. That's how to play Nebraska. It's stunning that the Huskers had responded that way. They had backed down a little bit. I would wrote for my column tomorrow when it comes to the whole attitude, I think it's only human that maybe they're fat and sassy. Maybe they have a real action to grind this year. They have been on top so long. It's hard to get up every week and play your best. Maybe they got a little cocky. That's okay. That's human. They're not going to be on top of their game all the time. No PRO sport goes back-to-back every year.

[Bill] Ken and I kind of talked about this the other night on another show that at the beginning of the year people were looking at this team with so many starters on the offensive line, a new defensive line, a new quarterback. 10-2 is okay. They're playing the way people thought they would be.

[Ken] Evans is pretty much a new guy. He has not played a year and a half. He is new to the system, too. The whole mass. As Solich pointed out, you're only inexperienced for so long and then you are experienced. I think he drew the line. Now here is inexperience, here is the line and now they're inexperienced. I don't think he will put up with excuses anymore. I don't think the players themselves will put up with any excuses of we don't know what's going on, we haven't been through this. Now they have seen it all. They have seen everything they're going to see and all they will see is more of the same. How do they react? Where do they come from?

[Tom] Now we will find out.

[Ken] You kick some people in the shorts, fine. You quit and well, there's a loss.

[Tom] They have come out in both games flat. They started slow. They're going three and out. A&M was going down the field on them. That's not the kind of Husker football people are accustomed to seeing the last few years. I wonder if -- it's the same coaching staff so they should get the same messages as the last same years. I don't know if it is because Tom is not there that they're not approaching the game the same way. It's a different look.

[Bill] Does this take the pressure off this football team? Everybody pointed to the game on November 14th that Kansas will go get the big dog. Now Kansas State is the big cat because Nebraska has the loss. This is Nebraska's big game remaining. Is the pressure off this football team?

[Ken] They really have nothing to lose at this stage. K-State has something to lose. Maybe this is a plan. I don't know.

[Tom] We are not that smart.

[Ken] Now you got the Wildcats going, geez, we're on top, we're supposed to win this game instead of let's go out and win the game. Nebraska was going through that kind of stuff obviously with A&M and with Oklahoma State. We made it here on time, now we're going to win eventually and they kind of did at Oklahoma State. They eventually won on a pretty good tackle. The same thing almost happened at A&M. They came, boom, score, score, and then they get the ball back again and two minutes too go on their own 20. Pass intercepted. If it doesn't get intercepted, who knows.

[Bill] I hear the phones ringing in the back. We have a lot more to talk about. Let's get back to the A&M game. What went wrong for Nebraska. I asked a moment ago is it the head, heart, scheme, game plan.

[Ken] I don't think X's and O's are the problem here. It's a matter of accounting for blocks. There were three sacks that I know where a certain running back did not throw a block. Running backs have to throw blocks. People without the ball have to block.

[Rom] So do receivers.

[Bill] Yeah. There was some of that. There were two big plays for A&M. The long pass where once again a defensive back is about that far away but he bit on something else and there it goes, good-bye. The long run by the rhino, whatever his name is, Ja'Mar Toombs. 260-pound guy. The reason he breaks lose is because a cornerback yells crack and the free safety, Mike Brown, has to then turn to help cover a receiver because the corner knows he will get a crack back block or somebody is coming almost like a pick. He turns. As he turns, there goes Ja'Mar Toombs. Nebraska was in the right defense. They had blitzed. They did everything right except for -- the third touchdown is a breakdown of blocking again. Bobby Newcombe ends up losing the ball in the end zone. What did they do wrong? Those things. It wasn't like the whole game. They played a great fourth quarter. They got 204 yards in the last 18 minutes of the game.

[Bill] What about the response then after the loss? The way Frank Solich is taking his first loss? The players, you were at the press conference. What kind of sense do you get about their attitude now?

[Tom] I don't know. I think they're saying the right things but the best response will be on the field. They should handle K.U. without a problem. I say that on history alone.

[Bill] Mason is gone.

[Tom] Yeah, he is gone. They have Missouri and Texas who run the ball well and play physical coming up. I think their response will be a season long thing. They're saying the right things. I think they could have passed earlier. I think they were not trying to prove they can run a little bit. We can't run so we had to keep trying. I really had no problem with the X's and O's besides that. The thing about that play is a great team are able to make up for those mistakes. Those kinds of mistakes happen over the years but I think the Huskers have been so good they overcome them in the long haul eventually. With this team, they're young. They're maybe not playing as hard or smart as they had been.


Highlights

[Bill] Right now let's take a look back. As painful as it might be, let's take a look back. A beautiful day in College Station. I think that construction thing is going on around the country. They're putting in sky boxes, new seats and all kinds of stuff.

[Tom] Those constructions guys got free seats. That's the reason that arena's take so long to get built.

[Bill] They have a good spot. In fact they've sacrifieced about 25,000 seats to put in the new ones. On the first possession for A&M, Randy McCown with his first interception since 1996. Everything looks to be going Nebraska's way. Ralph Brown has his 7th career interception. A 17-yard gain. Sets the Huskers up at the A & M 40 yard line. Nebraska's got great field position. The defense has not turned in a lot of big plays this year. That appeared to be the first of what they hoped would be many. Nebraska cannot convert on fourth down and two. DeAngelo Evans cannot get upfield. Brandon Jennings makes the tackle. It's the theme of things to come. Texas A&M on a third down and 25. Randy McCown to Chris Taylor. He is on his way to the end zone. 81 yards later, Nebraska gives up the big play, for the second straight week on a pass play. A&M in the football game was 2-8 through the air for 93 yards. They lead by seven at this point.

 

Nebraska in the second quarter. Correll Buckhalter in there for one of two carries. He lunges into the end zone. Nebraska ties it up at seven. It seems like things are going Nebraska's way. But then in the second quarter. A big run that Ken talked about a moment ago. Ja'Mar Toombs, a guy that never gained more than 30 yards in his entire life in a game. Did 71 yards straight up the middle. Down to the one yard line. A&M rushed for 259 yards in the football game. That was on a third down play. Then Dante Hall goes over from the 1 yard line. What a great day. Four plays, 80 yards on that drive. A&M leads at the half. 14 to 7.

After a key penalty on A&M's first possession, Nebraska gets the ball. Their in terrible field position. Third down and 19, Bobby Newcombe loses the ball. Texas A & M scores. Then Randy McCown with a 33 yard run on third down and seven. He's about as fast as Marv Syler. He had 12 carries for 26 yards in the game. 33 on that particular drive. A&M used the final six minutes of the third quarter.

A & M scored on the first play of the fourth quarter to take a 28-7 lead. Then Nebraska came back. Look at this catch by Matt Davison. One foot inbounds. To see a 2 MB movie of this play, just click. This guy had an unbelievable day. He is beginning an incredible carreer at Nebraska. 10 catches, 167 yards on the day for the sophomore from Tecumseh. Then Bobby Newcombe from 11 yards out. Bulls his way into the end zone. Eight minutes left in the football game. Nebraska has cut the lead in half. 28-14. The Huskers come back again. Joel Makovicka doing what he does best. He finds the end zone. Nine yards on that particular run. Four and a half minutes in the game, Nebraska has cut the lead to 28-21. The Huskers with one more chance in the final minute of the game. Bobby Newcombe who had a great day passing all day, except for the final toss. It was intercepted by Cidrick Curry. No happy ending. A&M has their biggest win in 60 years. They have reason to celebrate in College Station. You have to credit Texas A&M. They didn't turn over the football outside of that interception. A great job of holding onto that football. R.C. Slocum breathes a sigh of relief. People at College Station actually say he needed to win the football game to save his job. His won about 9 games a year. He is the fifth winningest coach in college football right now. A&M over Nebraska 28-14.

Let's take a look at the final numbers. Texas A&M dominates the Huskers. 259 yards on the ground. A career high in passing for Bobby Newcombe. A&M 2-8 through the air. 81 on that one particular pass play. Nebraska with 17 first downs to A&M's 12. Nebraska lost a fumble. Penalties A&M with eight and Nebraska with five. The final score is the most important and Texas A&M defeats Nebraska 28-21. Unbelievable that R.C. Slocum would have that much pressure to save his job.

[Ken] He has not beaten a rated team in 10 years. People are upset. Now he has another 10 years. No problem there.

[Bill] All right. Let's get to some questions. Bob in Mason City, Iowa asks has Nebraska's defensive coaches sacrificed size for speed in this new scheme?

[Tom] They did that about five years ago. It's worked out nicely I think. No, I just think the defensive line is -- Jason Peter who I saw in Dallas. They don't have that right now. They will be fine. They just --

[Ken] Steve Warren is out.

[Tom] Exactly. They have had injuries. I just think they need to have more continuity up front. It's just one year.

[Bill] If you are going to get Nebraska, you need to get them this year. You look at the players getting play time.

[Ken] Kaiser played a great game. He will start at defensive tackle. Wiltz will move to the nose. Warren is going to get his back heeled up. That will help on defense.

[Bill] Robin in Kearney. Given the fact that A&M's defense was lining up to stop the option, why didn't Nebraska go to the pass earlier? That's the question the last four days.

[Ken] That's kind of -- you hear that a lot -- but the option is pretty much a pass. If you are throwing like the short outs and the flare passes, you block it the same way. So to say why didn't they pass earlier, running the option is like passing earlier.

[Tom] They're not blocking.

[Ken] I think it's blocking.

[Tom] This is not anything new.

[Ken] You have to get those pancakes and flatten them out.

[Bill] Let's go to the phones for the first time tonight. Hi. How are you doing?

[Serg] Fine. I have a question. Why didn't we go for the field goals? We had trouble running. We have a great field goal kicker. Three out of the four opportunities we had it would have given us nine points and that would win the game.

[Ken] Were you thinking that at the time?

[Serg] Yes.

[Ken] I think you are maybe the only person I heard that was thinking that. The coaches thought get the touchdowns and get the points. They thought they would have plenty of opportunities.

[Tom] The first one I thought they could have. The fourth and two on the ten, I thought go for it. If you are Nebraska, you get two yards.

[Ken] It's a nice second date guess. If you guessed it before hand, more power to you. I don't know if anybody else was thinking that at the time.

[Bill] Especially the people that matter the most, the guys in the box and on the sidelines. Nebraska didn't have a success on fourth down. 0-3. That's surprising.

[Ken] 5-16 on third down is not good either.

[Bill] You have to credit Texas A&M. They had 197 yards on four third down plays in that football game. Big plays were the order of the day for the Aggies.

[Ken] They only had two big first down plays. Nebraska was good at stopping them on first down. Then all of a sudden something bad would happen.

[Bill] Isn't it amazing that you think back to the losses of yesteryear. Florida State had all those third down plays in the Fiesta Bowl a couple of years ago. A fumble in the end zone like Arizona State. To Tom Shatel, I'm interested in hearing your comments about the difference of Nebraska finishing 9 and 4, and 13 and 1?

[Tom] That would be three more loses, and I don't know if there are three teams that can beat them. I think if they have another loss, it's at Kansas State. That's it. They're not going to lose to Missouri. Especially after last year. I don't think they -- I think they will start blocking and tackling harder and better. Texas's defense is terrible. Bobby Newcombe will get healthier. He is ready to come out and be explosive again. Kansas State, I'm not convinced. I'm in the Kansas State alumni magazine as being the bad guy. I'm not convinced of Kansas State. They played tight against Colorado. They're not playing -- that was a nice win for them but not a feel good win. I'm not sure they're ready for us yet. Bottom line is Colorado is not going to come in and win. They're not that good. And if Nebraska ends up in the holiday bowl, they will beat whoever they play there. I say 10-2 at the worst.

[Bill] People at the beginning of the year thought 10-2 would be acceptable.

[Ken] If they play the big 12 game. If they don't then they have 13. This season started back in April or something.

[Bill] Did Kansas State hold back the first couple of games of the year or did they play with everything they had. Frank Murphy got into the ball game and they win by 17 points.

[Ken] He barely got in for two plays. Kansas State had to prove they can run the ball. They did. They did fine. They were up and then Colorado came back. Colorado had a chance to tie it up and guess what too many players on the field. Isn't this a surprise? It happens in Colorado every year. Count guys.

[Bill] That's Neuheisel. People are blaming him. Why is the person in the back receiving the punt not counting? isn't that something we all learn how to do in kindergarten.

[Tom] If Colorado is a well-coached team they have a chance to beat K-State. I was not that impressed with K-State. I know everybody thinks I'm down on them. You have Fresno State and Utah State go in there and score more points than they did. I'm not that impressed with Colorado's defense. I was really surprised. Baylor scored on them. I don't know. I thought K-State was going to kill them but that's our job in the media is to guess what will happen.

[Bill] In a moment we will look at what the media thinks of everything in college football. This is from Tom in Lincoln. I'm not surprised to see the new offensive line struggle. I never expected them to get beat physically. Will Nebraska change their offensive philosophy in the remaining games?

[Ken] They go from you get to play because you're pretty good to you better play or we will put somebody in there that wants to knock people down.

[Tom] They don't have another offense. They run the option.

[Bill] Why did it take so long for Nebraska to get their comeback game going?

[Ken] You have to get behind in order to have a comeback.

[Bill] But in the fourth quarter it seemed like an entirely different football team. We were playing more on athletic ability and instinct.

[Ken] Look at what A&M did on offense, too. There's a change in tenor of the game.

[Tom] I don't put a lot of stock in that quarter. That will not happen every game. That's one of those situations where there's a lot of seams open and they're trying not to lose.

[Ken] If they lose, R.C. Slocum ends up in those graves where they put old people when they pass away. That was almost close.

[Bill] Bob and Rob both want to know why can't Nebraska get anything going on first down?

[Ken] Because they're not blocking. You got to block to get the yards.

[Tom] The plays are not different.

[Bill] We got to get to this question. This is from Jeff in New Jersey. What do you guys think of this year's freshmen class and about some of the guys that are redshirting?

[ken] They're fine. There's going to be some good kids. The freshmen kids that are playing. I think they're going to try to keep Chris Kelsay out even though he is on the depth chart. He will be marvelous. The two kids from Omaha that will come in in January. Grixby and Stella. Very good and fast athletes. You will hear a lot from these guys.

[Tom] Beat Nebraska this year.

[Ken] Next year, bet the house.

[Bill] Depends on how big of a house you have. Denise in Lincoln wants to know about Correll Buckhalter.

[Ken] He will probably be starting now that DeAngelo Evans tailbone is bruised. Solich said he might start.

[Bill] Back to the phones and welcome Paul in Omaha. Welcome to the "Wrap-Up."

[Paul] Glad to be on live here and ask Tom Shatel what he thinks of an upcoming rematch of Texas A&M and St. Louis?

[Tom] If Nebraska wins out, it will happen. A&M also has to get there. They have to beat Baylor this week. It's at Baylor. I'm sure they'll have a Husker hangover. I like it. I think it would be a great game. It would be a game that I think the whole nation would want to tune in to see. I think Nebraska would be more prepared for that game. They would have more fans there. I think they would win. Although I think A&M's game plan would be the same as this past weekend which is try to outrun Nebraska. That's what they didn't do last year. They tried to pass. Everybody that tries to pass on Nebraska, it doesn't work.

[Ken] You have to run.

[Tom] I think it would be a better game by Nebraska. I think it would be a 10-point game or so but they would win. Huskers would win.

[Bill] How many other teams will Nebraska see that will take the ball and run at them? Kansas is a west coast style team.

[Bill] 50-50 pass run.

[Ken] Is anybody going to line up and control the football on them? Devon West of Missouri.

[Tom] That may be the toughest game the rest of the year, maybe including Kansas State.

[Bill] Spoken like a true Tiger, huh?

[Ken] Did you hear the phrase. Husker hangover. That's a good one.

[Tom] I have been to Barry's a couple of times.

[ken] What do you take for a Husker hangover?

[Bill] Charles in Bellevue. Do you think Nebraska's fullbacks are oppose sensual all Americans? I guess Joel Makovicka would be the only one to qualify.

[Ken] Willie Miller only has five carries.

[Bill] Is it possible that Joel could be recognized?

[Ken] No. If they were blowing people up and he got lots of yards in touchdowns and on highlight films, yes. But it has not happened yet. It's probably too late to get going.

[Tom] I'm not sure Dan Alexander may not be an all American candidate at fullback.

[Ken] If he plays there.

[Ken] Since you are the expert, what is the problem with Nebraska on first down?

[Bill] Okay. Linda in Melbourne. Since Bobby Newcombe was only 85% and Eric Crouch was hurt, why didn't Christo see more playing time or any playing time?

[Ken] Bobby Newcombe injured is the best quarterback they have according to Frank Solich.

[Tom] Go with the best guy.

[Ken] This week we may see an old Tom Osborne theory of using the second string quarterback in the third quarter.

[Tom] I talked to Bobby today and he said I may have to play hurt all season. If it's not going to go away, he will buckle down and do it. If there was a week to do it, this would be it.

[Ken] They took out the most amount of fluid out of his knee last night. If you have had your knee drained -- he doesn't watch it anymore because he fainted the first time it happened. It's not a pleasant thing. They took out a lot of fluid. You know that's your body telling you maybe you should not be running and getting tackled and stuff like that. He will play hurt. He will not play at 100% until he gets two months off or six weeks or something like that. I'm not a doctor but play one on TV. He needs a good amount of time off.

[Tom] He is a step slow. If we had him at full tilt. They need everybody at full tilt.

[Bill] I think of how much speed you have lost since your knee.

[Ken] Still snail pace.

[Bill] Let's look at the top 25 polls.


Let's first look at the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll.


Now the Associated Press.


Now we compare the two top 10 polls.

[Bill] Mr. A.P., your analysis?

[Ken] I think Virginia will get their cookie broken pretty soon. They have a really tough -- they have Virginia Tech and West Virginia coming up and they have to play Florida State. Florida plays Florida State, somebody loses there. Tennessee is skidding by. They're about ready to lose one. Wisconsin doesn't play Ohio State, look out. Could have two undefeated teams in the Big 10.

[Tom] They go to Michigan, though. I don't see them surviving that. It could all fall into place. They have to get it right first. They're not right right now.

[Bill] Is there a bowl alliance selection process like there was outside of the Fiesta Bowl and then the sugar bowl has a pick.

[Tom] Rose Bowl is number two. If the Huskers win out and are 12-1 or 18-1 or whatever, if they get to that point, I like the Rose Bowl ticket for Nebraska if not the Fiesta Bowl.

[Bill] They're not going to play that many games because you're worried about academics.

[Tom] I never worried about academics in school.

[Ken] What's academics got to do with school?

[Bill] Doug in Kearney, is there any thought to putting Frankie London back at quarterback?

[Ken] No. Simply no. They don't want somebody who doesn't want to play there. Jason Wiltz with his optionability may be the next guy in line.

[Tom] I think they feel Christo could go in and do well. There's no reason to jumble everything around unless you are totally decimated but they are not.

[Bill] Christo did well against Cal. They're not that depleted at the back-up spot. What's Eric's situation?

[Ken] He had the hip pointer. He had the touchdown drive against Oklahoma State and probably would have stayed in more, we hear later after the fact, but had a hip pointer. That kept him out last week. He would have played in an emergency last week. Coach Solich said he felt Eric would be full week by Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

[Bill] John in Arapahoe. Is it possible K-State could beat O.S.U. by 30 points?

[Tom] Who knows. K-State, you know, sounded like in the post game press conference that they're a little tight and paranoid and everything right now. Who knows how they will start playing as things get closer. O.S.U. is well-coached.

[Tom] If they have less than 100 yards in penalties, they'll be in the game.


[Bill] That's the big game this week. Let's take a look at some of the key games coming up the rest of the season. We showed you the polls a moment ago. Here are some of the games that will have an impact on the national championship race. Oregon at UCLA. UCLA looked great in the fourth quarter against Arizona. Virginia is at Florida State. Then Nebraska plays Kansas State, you heard on November 14?

[Ken] No.

[Tom] Got tickets?

[Bill] Then Michigan at Ohio State. Florida at Florida State. Also on December 5th, UCLA at Miami. They were going to not have the game because of a dinner. At least they will play it. Paul in Fremont, if Kansas State loses to Nebraska, how will they determine who plays in the Big 12 championship game?

[Ken] Play head to head.

[Tom] If they are tied, they go head to head. Nebraska would also be higher ranked.

[Bill] With Nebraska's loss last week, the Huskers are no longer on top of the Big 12 North standings. Let's take a look back first. Iowa State lost to Missouri. Texas bombed Oklahoma 34-3. Blake is having a hard time in Oklahoma. We don't need to kick him while he is down. Kansas State wins over Colorado. Baylor defeats Kansas. Also in the Big 12, Oklahoma State lost to Texas Tech 24-17. That sounds familiar. And A&M defeats Nebraska 28-21.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In the Big 12 north, Kansas State unbeaten. Missouri is right there at 2-0. Colorado losing their first conference game to Kansas State. They're in third place followed by Nebraska. Iowa State 0-33. Kansas kind of surprising.

In the Big 12 South, Texas Tech surprising everybody at 6-0. Texas A&M 2-0. Texas at 2-1 followed by Baylor at 1-2. Oklahoma State is probably the best team under 500 in the country, 1-2. Oklahoma probably the worst 0-2 and 2-3 team in the country.

Today Barry Switzer says he will not come back and take the job despite the fact there is money on the table, reportedly. What's the situation? He is looking around. It was on the chat room that I found out. Apparently there are wealthy people in Oklahoma, and we all know there are, that have made a movement trying to get him back as the head coach at Oklahoma. Blake cannot last.

[Tom] It's chaos down there right now. Nobody has any respect or any faith in John Blake anymore. It's time for a change unless they just start turning it around totally. That's not going to happen.

[Bill] Remember Watson Brown was the guy they thought would get the job. He is at Alabama-Birmingham. That may have been a better hire. Grant in Grand Island. How do you think Nebraska will do against Kansas?

[Ken] I think they will be fine. Kansas has the worst rush defense in the league. They do a lot of wild and crazy things. They will bring Oklahoma State's stuff. They will send six, seven, eight guys, whatever. Nebraska got its wake-up call. They'll be fine.

[Tom] I want to see how they start. They supposedly had that call two weeks ago. I think they hit the snooze button. I'm really curious even though Kansas is in last place. I want to see Nebraska come out with a lot of emotion and fire and get the thing over with early.

[Bill] Terry Allen is a great coach and had success in northern Iowa. If you look at this Nebraska football team with a feel good part of the schedule, they have three straight home games against teams they can beat and 76,000 fans that you can imagine would be behind them all the way. It's a tough place to come in.

[Tom] It will be a good stretch for the Huskers to get everything right.

[Bill] Play a lot of people.

[Tom] Yeah, some good home cooking against teams that I think are good teams. Missouri and Texas will be a bigger test for them. I think it will be good to get their confidence back. Go to Iowa State, take care of business. And then Manhattan.

[Bill] Don't look too far ahead to Kansas State.

[Tom] That's our job.

[Bill] The Missouri game was moved to an 11:30 kick-off to accommodate television. This is for Ken. Dennis in Hopper. You can bet the house on the Huskers next year --

[Ken] Hopper?

[Bill] It says Hopper but is probably Hooper. Can we bet Ken's house on Nebraska next year?

[Ken] My house is not going to be standing. The termites are holding hands.

[Tom] What about your bar?

[Kne] No. I have partners. Bet on Nebraska next year? Yeah.

[Tom] I will bet his house on that.

[Ken] I will bet Tom's house.

[Bill] Will Dan Alexander get more playing time this year?

[Ken] I think this is the week. They go back to saying we will run it between tackles, stop this. Buckhalter goes. If Evans is healthy, he will go. And Alexander goes. And Willie goes crashing up there after Makovicka. You are going to see -- a lot of people think the reaction is they throw good, they should throw more. I think the coaching reaction and I think the proper reaction is no, run more and run more in between tackles.

[Bill] So it's a situation where they're going to keep doing what they have been doing but find the people that can get it done right now.

[Ken] Frank Solich said twice now they're going to cut down on options and cut down on passing. What's that leave you? Between the tackles. Go for it, boom.

[Bill] That means the offensive line has to get physical then.

[Tom] The offensive scheme of players is not the problem. The Tampa Bay coach had a great line once. When he was asked about the team's execution, he said yeah, I think that's a great idea.


Highlights

[Bill] Let's look at our opponent for this week. The Kansas Jayhawks. 2 and 4 in the 1998 campaign. They thought they were going to be better this year but for the most part they really are. But if they match last years 5 and 6 record, that will be an accomplishment. They have not been able to win the close football games. This will be the 93rd straight meeting between Nebraska and Kansas. The longest continuous series in College football. David Winbush is the tailback. This is Wegner connecting with Fulton on a long touchdown pass. This is a team with a young receiving corps. Three Freshman and a Sophomore. They have done a very good job for Wegner who is completing 52% of his passes. Kansas last year ranked 112th out of 112 football teams in total offense. They had nowhere to go but up. They're better this year at 50th or somewhere in there in terms of total offense. Averaging 370 yards per game. They're scoring twice as many points this year than a year ago. Last year they averaged 16. This year they're scoring at 33. The problem they have is stopping opponents from scoring. They're giving up 32 points a game. We will talk about the defense in a moment. They have a pretty good offensive line averaging 299 pounds per man. They have a combined 100 starts among the starting five. Wegner a 52% passer. He is one of 10 returning starters that Terry Allen welcomed back this year. He averages 221 yards per game. Had a four overtime win over Alabama-Birmingham earlier this year. Wegner took over the start midway through the year last year. This year the team is his. The tailback is very strong. He is averaging about 70 yards a contest. The run is not the priority for the Jayhawks on offense. But they have done a better job with that quote, unquote west coast style game.

We are looking at the footage of their loss to A&M. This is a football game that A&M lead 14-0 and then K.U. came back to lead 21-17. They would love to have Stubblefield back this year. They looked pretty good here in stopping the Aggies and Dante Hall. The secondary is probably the best part of their football game. They have eight picks in the secondary which leads the Big 12 conference. They put good pressure on the quarterback. We take a look at some more of this. Randy McCown with the 33-yard run against Nebraska but nowhere to run against Kansas. They're looking for their first conference road win since 1996.

Kansas Games

The only game they have been out of is the Missouri loss in Columbia, 41-23. They beat Illinois state. Four overtimes at Alabama-Birmingham and they win. They lead Baylor 24-7 at one point and lost 34-21. They take on Nebraska. Kick-off time is 6:00 Saturday night. Then they play Colorado and Kansas State, three straight ranked teams. Then they take on North Texas State and a couple of feel good games. The Cyclones may not be easy.

[Ken] I think they're looking ahead.

[Bill] What about this Kansas football team? It's tough to build a program when you have such a great basketball tradition as they have. Terry Allen has done a good job of getting talent in place.

[Ken] They have recruited good. They got one kid from Nebraska who is one of the receivers that is very, very quick. Charlie McBride compared their receivers to Washington's receivers for speed. They have gotten some recruits even away from Kansas State. Give them a while. I think they will settle down and maybe stick with a coach, stick with the program, stick some money into it and get there. Right now, no they're not there. They're going in the right direction even though the record -- last year's record was goofy. This year's record is more like what it should be. But this is a good group. They're going to be fine.

[Bill] They have a coach they would like to stick with. The question is will the coach stick with them? Hayden is not getting any younger.

[Tom] I think by the time he hangs up his hawk eye logo, I think Terry Allen will be rebuilding Kansas at that point. He won't have credentials to go yet. Dog days right now for this Kansas team. They have blown two games they should have won. They had a big win. They will come in kind of beaten emotionally I think. It may be a tough game for them especially if the Huskers come out as fired up as they should.

[Bill] Rick in Omaha wants to know who will win against Yale and Harvard?

[Ken] The Crimson. Harvard is not blocking good and their option stinks.

[Tom] But it's their turn.

[Ken] That's true.

[Bill] Anybody on this year's team that could be drafted into the NFL?

[Tom] Absolutely. Mike Rucker if healthy has a chance to be one of the highest draft picks ever as a defensive player. He is a top five guy. He has to be healthy. They're not going to care about his performance every week. I think they will look at his physical -- everything he does. I think he will test well. I think he will be great.

[Ken] Heskew maybe.

[Tom] Heskew maybe.

[Bill] A kid named Makovicka may be a good football player for a long time.

[Ken] When you figure Schlesinger has played for a lot of years.

[Tom] Jay Foreman, why not.

[Bill] Final minute of the show. Ken, we will ask you real quick your thoughts about the game coming up and where the Nebraska football team is now.

[Ken] I think Nebraska is in limbo right now. If they come out and smack people around, they'll be fine.

[Bill] Well, it's Nebraska and Kansas next Saturday night. A 6:00 kick-off. We will be here next week with Curt McKeever and Steve Sipple. I thank both of you for being here. They will be with us later on. Again, thank you for being with us as well. Next time Curt McKeever and Steve Sipple. I'm Bill Doleman, thanks for being with us.

See you next week.


Captioning by Nebraska Captioning Center, Lincoln, Nebraska .

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