Sept. 21, 2001, 12:57AM
Tribute to America
Nebraska opened Thursday's pre-game festivities with a video of former coach Tom Osborne speaking on the strength and
togetherness of America.
Osborne, now a U.S. congressman, asked the crowd to remember the United States is a nation of immigrants.
"There is no room for discrimination in our nation, state or university," Osborne said.
After the school choir sang God Bless America, there was a video presentation showing rescue workers in New York and Washington,
spliced with excerpts of President Bush's speech given the night of the attacks and with Ray Charles' rendition of America
the Beautiful playing in the background.
The crowd recognized three Nebraskans who are listed among the missing in the World Trade Center disaster with a moment of silence.
Then, the two teams entered the stadium simultaneously to complete silence before joining in to sing the national anthem.
Rice safety Greg Gatlin did not make the trip because of a hamstring injury. Sophomore John White took his place in the
Despite a 12-day break between games, Nebraska entered the contest with 11 players out due to injury.
Most notable among them were two Texans, starting safety Willie Amos of Sweetwater, and starting rover Lannie Hopkins of
Odds and ends
Nebraska has six Texans on its roster, but not one is from Houston. Not surprisingly, Rice doesn't have any Nebraska natives on its
roster. Only 15 Owls did not attend high school in Texas. ... The game marked the first time Rice coach Ken Hatfield has gone
against Nebraska. In his 23 years of coaching, he has faced 67 teams. ...
This was Rice's first meeting with the Cornhuskers, and the Owls entered the game 0-5 against teams from the Big 12 since the
conference was formed in 1996. ... This was the second time Rice had to postpone a game due to a national tragedy. The Owls were
scheduled to play Texas Christian on Nov. 23, 1963, the day after President Kennedy was assassinated. The game was moved to Dec.
7, and Rice won 33-7. ...
Nebraska saluted members of its 1970 and '71 national championship teams. ... The win was Nebraska's 17th straight at home. Its
last loss at Memorial Stadium was to Texas on Halloween in 1998.
-- JEROME SOLOMON