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From the Chicago Tribune

Huskers' goal is clear to see

Sears Trophy, Osborne symbols of past glory

NU, Irish won't play
Sep 12, 2001

Different kind of hard work
Sep 11, 2001

Schools start postponing, rescheduling
Sep 11, 2001

Davie plans Irish repairs
Sep 9, 2001

Irish can't part red sea
Sep 8, 2001

Illini's maligned defense a savior
Sep 8, 2001

September 8, 2001 10:56 PM CDT

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LINCOLN, Neb. - The Sears Trophy, which will be awarded after the Rose Bowl to college football's national champion, was on the sidelines Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Since 1993, when it was first awarded, Nebraska has claimed the Sears Trophy three times—in 1994, 1995 and 1997—more than any other team in college football.

Former coach Tom Osborne, under whose tenure the Huskers won their three Sears trophies, attended Saturday night's game. Osborne, now a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, won 255 games in 25 years as Nebraska's coach, but none against the Irish—he never coached a game against Notre Dame.

Quick out of the gate: Notre Dame hadn't lost a season opener since Bob Davie took over as coach before the 1997 campaign. However, the four previous season-opening victories came at home. The Irish hadn't opened a season on the road since 1996, when they claimed a 14-7 decision at Vanderbilt.

The last time the Irish lost a season-opening game on the road was in 1985, when Michigan defeated the No. 13 Irish 20-12.

All between friends: Notre Dame junior cornerback Jason Beckstrom, senior offensive guard Sean Mahan and senior nose guard Andy Wisne hail from the same hometown—Tulsa, Okla.—and attended the same high school—Jenks—as Huskers senior nose tackle Jason Lohr.

Lohr, however, was not involved very much Saturday. He sprained a ligament in his left knee early in the first quarter and did not return.

Media horde: Nebraska issued 717 press credentials for Saturday's game, the most since 1987, when a showdown between then-No. 1 Nebraska and then-No. 2 Oklahoma drew 950 media members.

A record crowd also turned out at Memorial Stadium—78,118. The previous record was 78,096, set last year when the Huskers played host to Kansas. The official capacity of Memorial Stadium is listed at 73,918.

Raising the ante: Although the Huskers had played two games before Saturday, Notre Dame was the first ranked team they'd faced. … The all-time series between Notre Dame and Nebraska had been tied at 7-7-1. The last time the Irish beat Nebraska was Oct. 17, 1948, when coach Frank Leahy's squad defeated the Huskers 44-13 in Lincoln.

Copyright 2001 The Chicago Tribune


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