By Whit Canning and Art Garcia
Star-Telegram Staff Writers
No moral victory
While various people were inclined to label it a good day for TCU, linebacker Chad Bayer wasn't so sure.
"I guess I feel kind of depressed," he said. "It just seems hard to sit around and say you feel good about losing a game. We played OK defensively, I guess, but not to the best of our ability. Nebraska found a lot of our weak spots.
"The young players should grow up after this one. Part of our problem in the first quarter [when Nebraska scored twice] was that with a lot of young guys, it's hard to get used to the speed of that offense. Once we picked it up, we played pretty decent."
TCU's big play
Matt Schobel, on his 67-yard touchdown reception from Casey Printers: "I actually started out blocking on the play, but my guy didn't rush, so I went downfield. Casey was going from one side to the other, and I was kind of following him around.
"I wasn't surprised that he threw it to me, because he usually gets it to one of the deep guys down the field. With him, you always have to know what he's doing, because he can easily turn a situation into a play like that."
Not a runaway
Nebraska led the nation in rushing last season, averaging 349.3 yards per game. The Cornhuskers have won 14 rushing titles, including six of the past nine.
TCU, the nation's top-rated defense last year, held Nebraska to 159 yards - less than half of its average in 2000. The Frogs also made 15 tackles for 68 yards in losses.
"For the most part, [TCU] did what we saw in the game film, but there were some things that we didn't see on film that they were able to execute," Cornhuskers quarterback Eric Crouch said.
TCU defensive coordinator Chuck Driesbach was perhaps the least surprised person on the field about TCU's performance.
"I really expected it," he said. "We have a lot of good players, and basically we see that offense a lot in practice. At this point, I might have been a little more worried against a team that throws a lot more. It was just a matter of having to step up, and our guys did.
"Marvin Godbolt ... he's sure a gamer, isn't he?"
Earlier in the week, TCU coach Gary Patterson had said backup quarterback Sean Stilley would get one series as a reward for his work during two-a-days.
Patterson kept his word in the second quarter Saturday, but when Stilley came in, the ball was sitting at the TCU 1-yard line.
Stilley snuck for a yard, then threw a pass to Adrian Madise that appeared to be good for a first down at the 11, but the measurement came up inches short. On third down, Corey Connally was stopped cold, forcing a TCU punt.
"That was the predetermined point at which we were going to put him in," Patterson said, "so we just went ahead with the plan."
Defensive end Bo Schobel is out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the first quarter. Defensive tackle John Turntine injured his neck in the fourth quarter and was carried off the field on a stretcher. He was able to fly home with the team.
TCU wore all-white uniforms for the first time since playing Colorado State in 1998. The Frogs lost that game, 42-21, and former coach Dennis Franchione swore never to wear all-white again.
The crowd of 77,473 is the sixth largest that TCU has played in front of, and all have been on the road.
TCU is 2-6 against top-25 opponents since the Southwest Conference disbanded after the 1995 season.
The Frogs are 60-36-9 in season openers and 23-23-4 in road openers.
The Frogs introduced the world to redshirt freshman Marvin Godbolt - a strong safety once recruited by Nebraska - who stalked Eric Crouch and delivered five tackles worth 37 yards in losses. "He was a highly-recruited young man," TCU coach Gary Patterson said, "and we're proud that he chose to wear purple."
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© 2001 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas