Even clearing the bench did not slow Cornhuskers crushing of Pacific

(c) Copyright the News & Observer Publishing Co. and The Associated Press, 1994

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska coach Tom Osborne was calling off the dogs before they broke a sweat against Pacific, but it didn't seem to matter.

The second-ranked Cornhuskers (4-0) used 104 players Saturday in the 70-21 win over the outmatched Tigers (2-2).

"That is the classiest program I have ever been involved with," Pacific coach Chuck Shelton said. "They played a lot of kids, a bunch of kids. Coach Osborne did what he had to do to make his team better without embarrassing the University of Pacific."

Actually, it was Osborne who seemed embarrassed after backup quarterback Brook Berringer threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score by the time he went to the bench five minutes into the third quarter.

"The problem is, fellas, who are you gonna get?" Osborne asked in answer to questions about scheduling such teams. "It's so difficult to replace a team on one year's notice."

"If you look at the power ratings, there are 20 to 30 teams lower than Pacific. You're not playing a Top 25 football team but you're not playing a team in the bottom 10 percent of Division I," he added.

The Tigers were a scheduling replacement for Utah State, which asked out of its contract to play Nebraska this year and next. The Tigers are scheduled to be back again in 1995.

Even with the generous substitution by Nebraska, Pacific was badly outmanned. Nebraska scored the first seven times it touched the ball.

Quarterback Tommie Frazier, who was nursing a calf bruise he suffered in the 49-21 win over UCLA the week before, played in only two series. He led two touchdown drives that took 1:45 and 1:32 in the first six minutes of the game.

"We didn't want to play him much," Osborne said. He also allowed most of his other starters only about a quarter of action.

Berringer was all the Huskers needed.

He ran six yards for a score, then hit touchdown passes of 15 to Clester Johnson, 46 to Eric Alford and 18 to Abdul Muhammad. His eight of 15 passing for 120 yards was the most air yardage by a Husker quarterback this season.

Fullback Cory Schlesinger scored twice in the first quarter and I-back Lawrence Phillips had his fourth-straight 100-yard game with nine carries for 138 yards and a 74-yard TD scamper.

It was 49-0 by halftime, letting Nebraska equal its school mark for most points in a half. Nebraska first did it against Oklahoma State in a 63-42 game in 1988.

"I talked to the officials about calling off the second half and they wouldn't," Shelton said. "You always know when you come into a game like this that can happen. They can just dominate you physically in every way that you can think of."

Pacific will get credit for breaking two Husker strings, however. Frazier, with his limited time, saw an end to his 14-game string of throwing or running for a touchdown and his 10-game string of having at least one touchdown pass.