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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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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.
[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
[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
[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?
[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.
[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
[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.
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[Ken] If he plays there.
[Ken] Since you are the expert, what is the problem with Nebraska on
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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.
[Tom] If they have less than 100 yards in penalties, they'll be in the
[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?
[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
[Ken] Play head to head.
[Tom] If they are tied, they go head to head. Nebraska would also be
[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
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
[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 --
[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
[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.
[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.
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
[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
[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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