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Hurried Huard rattled by Blackshirts

By Todd Phipers
Denver Post Sports Writer

Sept. 27 - LINCOLN, Neb. - If Washington's Brock Huard wants to impress scouts for a future career in the National Football League, he shouldn't ask Nebraska's defense for references. The Blackshirts think the Huskies quarterback can be run off the field with his tail between his legs.

The No. 2 Cornhuskers exerted heavy pressure on the junior lefty Saturday, forcing him into two interceptions and a pair of fumbles in their 55-7 victory over Huard and his ninth-ranked Huskies.

"He's not the kind of quarterback that's going to stay in the pocket and be comfortable with a lot of bodies around,'' Nebraska defensive end Chad Kelsey said. "We saw that last year (in Nebraska's win at Seattle, when Huard exited in the first quarter with a sprained ankle), and we saw it again on film this year. I think we came out and got into his head pretty quick.''

Huard had his first pass of the day batted down behind the line, was sacked three times and was under constant pressure while completing 18 of 32 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. "I think he was rattled and knew he was going to get hit every time he went back to pass,'' Kelsey said.

Did he say anything? the Huskers rush specialist was asked. "I think he said, "Don't hit me,' '' Kelsey replied with a smile. "Naw, but he did start whining a lot.''

Giveaway, takeaway

Huard accounted for five of Washington's six turnovers, which the Cornhuskers converted into 34 points. "I don't care how great a football team you are, if you have six turnovers you're going to have trouble,'' winning coach Frank Solich said.

Huskies coach Jim Lambright agreed. "I think it was as much our mistakes that stopped us as it was them coming after us,'' he said.

Moment finally arrives

Sophomore quarterback Bobby Newcombe was still a senior at Albuquerque's Highland High School when I-back DeAngelo Evans was making his mark as a Huskers freshman in 1996 before being sidelined for all of last season. "In high school, I dreamed of having the opportunity to pitch the ball to him at Nebraska.''

The moment finally came Saturday as Evans suited up for the first time this year after missing three games with a knee injury, and Newcombe returned after missing two games with a knee ligament strain he suffered in the season opener. His anxiousness probably led to the bad pitch that resulted in a 3-yard loss on Evans' first carry, Newcombe said.

But the next time the ball spiraled out to No. 4, he went 60 yards virtually untouched for the Huskers' second touchdown. "It was fun to see him run 60 yards down the sideline,'' Newcombe said.

Short yardage

The 55 points given up by Washington were the most allowed by the Huskies since UCLA scored 62 in 1973, and the 55-7 margin was the eighth-worst loss in school history . . . Defensive tackle Jason Wiltz, 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, intercepted his second pass of the season to lead Nebraska. "It's a joke, but that shows what a good athlete he is,'' said linebacker Jay Foreman . . . Nebraska extended its nation-leading winning streak to 18 games, its mastery over top-10 teams to 11 in a row and its home winning streak to 45, during which it has outscored the opposition by an average of 49-14.

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