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Nebraska vs.
Troy State

Aug. 27, 2001
Game 2: No. 4/4 Nebraska (1-0) vs. Troy State (0-0)
DATE: Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001
TIME: 11:38 a.m.
SITE: Memorial Stadium-241st Consecutive Sellout;
FIELD: Tom Osborne Field, Lincoln, Nebraska;
SURFACE: FieldTurf (1999)
TV: Fox Sports Net (Drew Goodman--PBP, Dave Lapham--Color, Jim Knox--Sideline); Big 12 Syndicated Game of the Week (KXVO, Channel 15 in Lincoln)
NEBRASKA RADIO: Pinnacle Sports Network (Warren Swain-Play-by-Play; Color-Adrian Fiala; Dave Weber-Halftime Studio Host)

No. 4/4 Nebraska (1-0) Hosts Troy State (0-0)
Lincoln -- With one win under its belt, Nebraska (1-0) will play host to Troy State this week. The Nebraska defense put up an impressive performance last weekend, holding TCU to just seven points and 186 yards in the 21-7 victory. The Huskers were led by quarterback Eric Crouch as he totaled 220 yards and became the school's career leader in total offense with 5,510 yards.

Now the Huskers turn their attention to first-time opponent Troy State. The Trojans, an independent team from Troy, Ala., will open its 2001 season, as well as its first year of Division I-A ball at Nebraska. Last year the Trojans posted a 10-2 record and made the Division I-AA playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons. The game is a sellout, Memorial Stadium's 241st consecutive. Fox Sports Net will televise the Troy State game in an 11:38 a.m. kickoff, in the Big 12 Conference syndicated game of the week.

Game One Recap
Quarterback Eric Crouch became Nebraska's all-time total-offense leader, accounting for 220 yards in leading the fourth-ranked Huskers to a 21-7 victory over TCU in front of a crowd of 77,473 in the 2001 NACDA Pigskin Classic last Saturday. The win marked Nebraska's 14th straight win at home; NU's fifth straight in a preseason game; extended the Huskers' season-opening winning streak to 16; and was Nebraska's sixth straight win against TCU.

Crouch rushed for 69 yards and a score on 24 carries, completed 10-of-18 passes for 151 yards and earned team MVP honors. With his 220 yards of total offense, the senior from Omaha became NU's all-time total-offense leader, passing former Johnny Unitas award winner Tommie Frazier's total of 5,476 set from 1992 to 1995. Crouch now has 5,510 total-offense yards in his three-plus seasons at NU. Crouch was named the NACDA Pigskin Classic Nebraska MVP.

Junior I-back Thunder Collins, starting his first game for the Huskers, rushed for 71 yards, scoring on runs of six and 26 yards, on 14 carries.

While the Huskers amassed 310 yards of total offense against a team that led the nation in total defense last season, the Blackshirt defense allowed just 186 yards of total offense, including just 56 yards on the ground and six first downs. Except for a broken play that resulted in a 67-yard touchdown pass, the Husker Blackshirts held TCU to just 119 yards on the day.

Collins' first touchdown, a six-yard run, came on the Huskers' first possession, as NU marched 70 yards on six plays in taking a 7-0 lead. Collins combined with Crouch for all 70 yards on the drive. Crouch set up the score with a 33-yard scamper deep into TCU territory.

The Horned Frogs would waste little time knotting the score, as Casey Printers connected with Matt Schobel for a 67-yard touchdown pass. Printers eluded the Blackshirts' pass rush, then reversed field before finding Schobel open behind the Nebraska defense for the score.

Nebraska took a 13-7 lead with 1:27 remaining in the first quarter, as Crouch capped a 55-yard drive with a sneak from one yard. Crouch found wingback John Gibson for a 41-yard completion to the TCU 11-yard line, before NU scored three plays later.

Holding a narrow six-point lead midway through the third quarter, the Huskers started a drive at their own 2-yard line and marched 98 yards in 10 plays to extend their lead to the final margin of 21-7. On the drive, Crouch broke free for a 42-yard run to the TCU 32, which set up Collins' second score of the day, a 26-yard run with 25 seconds remaining in the third period.

Coach Solich said the team gained a lot from the early game. "We got a lot out of this," Solich said. "We were in a tough football game and we responded. We had young players who played hard, and I think some of those younger players played very well. And that was the idea behind the game."

Charting the Huskers vs. TCU

*- Senior quarterback Eric Crouch improved to 25-5 as a starter and broke the school's total offense record vs. TCU. When Crouch completed a 28-yard pass to Tracey Wistrom in the fourth quarter, Crouch went over the 200-yard total offense mark in the game and broke the record. Entering the contest, Crouch needed just 187 total-offense yards to take over the career mark. Crouch now has 5,510 total-offense yards, passing Tommie Frazier's 5,476 total-offense yards from 1992 to 1995. A Heisman, Davey O'Brien and All-America candidate, Crouch owns the school career rushing record for quarterbacks with 2,388 yards (ranks 13th overall) and ranks sixth in passing yards at Nebraska with 3,122 yards. Crouch had 69 yards rushing (on 24 carries) and was 10-18 passing for 151 yards. He had one rushing touchdown (one-yard run), no passing touchdowns and was intercepted once (by Jason Goss in the first half, was not converted to points). Crouch had 20-or-more carries for the seventh time in his career; more than 50 yards rushing for the 25th time in his career (NU is 23-2 in those games); and more than 150 yards passing for the sixth time in his career (4-2 record). He has now been responsible for at least one touchdown in 23 straight games. Crouch was involved in four plays of 25 yards or more, including two passes (28 to Wistrom and 41 to John Gibson) and two runs (42 and 33 yards). After Crouch led the Huskers on a 98-yard drive to go up 19-7, Crouch successfully completed a two-point conversion by rush, giving him 260 career points to rank fifth all time at Nebraska. Crouch was named the NACDA Pigskin MVP for Nebraska (and received a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship), was Nebraska's nominee for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, and was the ABC/Chevrolet Player-of-the-Game for the 10th time in his career.

TCU Coach Gary Patterson said Crouch is a winner. "Crouch is the real deal," Patterson said. "When he had to, he made plays. He made a difference. That's what winners do, and that's what teams that win championships do."

*- Senior tight end Tracey Wistrom had three catches for 38 yards vs. TCU, including a long of 28 yards for a Husker first down. He now has 40 career catches for 865 yards to rank as the Huskers' third-best tight end in receiving yards. He is 36 yards shy of Jerry List's 901 yards from 1970 to 1972. His 40 catches rank fourth among tight ends, two behind Johnny Mitchell's 42 from 1990 to 1991. Wistrom, a candidate for the John Mackey and Biletnikoff awards, is the school's career leader in yards per catch, averaging 21.6.

*- Senior Jamie Burrow had the difficult task of replacing All-American and team captain Carlos Polk at middle linebacker. But the first-time starter had an excellent game and led the team in tackles with eight, including two solo stops. He also tied for the team lead with two tackles for loss. Burrow said the defense played inspired. "We came out with a lot of emotion today and that's what we set out to do-four quarters, 11 men against the run, 11 men against the pass." Burrow said. "We were relentless for four quarters."

*- Senior left cornerback Keyuo Craver had one PBU and four tackles vs TCU. He is second on the NU career pass breakups list with 29, followed by fellow corner Erwin Swiney's 26. Craver, a member of the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, is 21 pass breakups behind All-American Ralph Brown, who had 50 from 1996 to 1999.

*- Junior split end Wilson Thomas caught three passes for 53 yards for a new career high. All three of his catches bettered his previous career best (eight yards vs. Kansas in 2000). His catches were for 11, 20 and 22 yards.

*- First-time starter Kyle Larson, punted eight times and averaged 48.6 yards per punt. Each of his first five punts pinned TCU inside the 20-yard line, with the line of scrimmage beginning at the 15, 9, 1, 15, 18. Last year, career record holder Dan Hadenfeldt had just five punts inside the 20-yard line all season. TCU had just 21 yards on five punt returns. All eight of his punts went at least 40 yards, six were over 45 yards and four over 50 with a career best of 56 yards. Coach Frank Solich said this of Larson. "He had a great game. He got the ball off well and really had some hang time as well as some depth."

*- Junior I-back Thunder Collins, in his first career start, was the game's leading rusher with 71 yards on 14 carries. He capped NU's 98-yard drive with a 26-yard scamper around the corner and also scored on a six- yard run.

Nine Husker First-Time Starters
Nine Huskers earned starts for the first time in their careers. First-time starters included: OFFENSE (5)...Center-John Garrison, junior; Right Guard-Jon Rutherford, senior; Right Tackle-Dan Waldrop, sophomore; Fullback-Judd Davies, sophomore (2-1-0 rushing vs. TCU); I-back-Thunder Collins, junior (14-71-2 rushing and 1-12-0 receiving); DEFENSE (2)...MLB-Jamie Burrow, senior (eight tackles, two for losses); Free Safety-Willie Amos, sophomore (three tackles); KICKERS (2)...PK/Kickoffs-Sandro DeAngelis, freshman (1-1 PAT); Punter-Kyle Larson, sophomore (eight punts, 48.6 ypp, five inside the 20).

Three True Freshmen See Action vs. TCU
Three true freshmen played for the Huskers vs. TCU, including rover Philip Bland (one pass breakup), MLB Barrett Ruud (five tackles, one solo) and wingback Mike Stuntz (no receptions). Ruud and Bland saw action on special teams as well as on the defensive side of the ball in both halves. In addition, Clifford Brye, Nebraska's only junior college transfer in the 2001 recruiting class, also saw action at split end. Under Coach Solich, Nebraska played three true freshmen in 1998, two in 1999 and four in 2000, but Stuntz is the first skill position player on offense to see action.

Miscellaneous Numbers
*- Sacks...Two Huskers had sacks vs. TCU, RE Demoine Adams had 1-11 and RE Justin Smith had 1-8. NU had 12 tackles for loss, two each by Burrow, Chris Kelsay, Smith, Jeremy Slechta and Casey Nelson.

*- Turnovers...Nebraska committed two turnovers, an interception and a fumble, and TCU had one fumble lost, but neither team converted. For Nebraska, rush end Chris Kelsay caused Ricky Madison to fumble and linebacker Scott Shanle recovered.

*- Possession time...Nebraska 33:58; TCU 26:02.

*- On third down...NU, 7-of-17 on third down, while TCU was 1-for-12.

*- First downs...16 for NU, 6 for TCU. The six first downs by TCU were the fewest the Husker defense has allowed under Solich, and fewest since Texas Tech had six in 1997.

*- Long plays of 25 yards or more...Nebraska (6)...I-back Josh Davis 35 yard kickoff return; Crouch 41-yard pass to John Gibson (career long for Gibson, previous best was an 11-yard catch vs. Southern Miss last year.); Crouch 28-yard pass to Wistrom; Crouch 42-yard run, 33-yard run; Collins 26-yard run. TCU (2)...Casey Printers to Matt Schobel, 67 yards; and Printers to Adrian Madise, 29 yards.

*- Yards...Nebraska had 310 yards, including 159 by rush. The 159 rushing yards is the lowest for the Huskers since NU totaled 119 vs. Southern Miss in 1999. TCU had 186, including 56 rushing yards. Take away the two long plays and TCU would have totaled 90 yards.

The Road to the Roses--NU's 2001 Schedule
For the first time since 1905 and just the fourth time ever, Nebraska's 2001 football schedule features eight home games. The eighth game and 12-game schedule, came about on March 8, when Nebraska committed to host TCU in the NACDA Pigskin Classic. The Huskers first three opponents open their seasons vs. Nebraska, and NU has back-to-back night games for the first time in Husker history on Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, vs. Notre Dame and Rice, respectively.

The Huskers' 2001 schedule features four straight home games for the first time since 1990. Nebraska opened the season with a 21-7 win over TCU in the NACDA Pigskin Classic. This week Troy State comes to town. For the second consecutive week and second of four straight, NU will play on television, as Fox Sports Net airs the game on the Big 12 syndicated package at 11:38 a.m. NU plays host to Notre Dame, in the second and last game of a home-and-home series, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8. Notre Dame finished the season 9-3 and ranked 15th and 16th, respectively, by the Associated Press and the coaches polls. Nebraska defeated Notre Dame, 27-24, in overtime at South Bend last season. NU closes its four-game season-opening homestand against Rice on Sept. 15 in a 6 p.m. Fox Sports Net kickoff. Rice and Troy State are first-time opponents of the Huskers.

Nebraska's final four home games come against Iowa State on Oct. 6, Texas Tech for Homecoming on Oct. 20, defending national champion Oklahoma on Oct. 27 and Kansas State on Nov. 10. All but two of Nebraska's eight home opponents participated in bowl games last season and five were ranked in the final polls, including Oklahoma (No. 1 AP/No. 1 coaches), Kansas State (9/8), Notre Dame (15/16), TCU (21/18) and Iowa State (25/23). Nebraska travels to Missouri, Baylor, Kansas and ends the regular-season at Colorado on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game will be played in Texas Stadium at Irving, Texas, on Dec. 1. Four teams on the NU 2001 schedule are ranked in the preseason polls, including Oklahoma (No. 3/3 AP/Coaches), Texas (5/6) Kansas State (13/11) and Notre Dame (18/16).

Four games have already been picked by ABC television for national broadcasts, including TCU on Aug. 25 (noon), Notre Dame on Sept. 8 (7 p.m.), Colorado on Nov. 23 (2:30 p.m.) and the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship on Dec. 1 (7 p.m.).

Special events have also been determined for the 2001 season, with the Nebraska Hall of Fame members being honored and Special Olympics Day occurring at the Sept. 1 Troy State game; Lt. Shane Osborn in attendance for Notre Dame on Sept. 8; Salute to 1970 and 1971 National Championship Teams vs. Rice on Sept. 15; Red Cross Day vs. Iowa State on Oct. 6; Homecoming on Oct. 20 vs. Texas Tech; and Toys for Tots, a Veterans Day Salute and Senior Day vs. Kansas State on Nov. 10.

Nebraska Head Coach Frank Solich
Coach Frank Solich (Nebraska, 1966) is in his fourth season at the helm of the Huskers and owns a 32-7 school and career record. Solich is seven wins shy of ranking among the top five on the all-time Division I-A list for wins in the first four seasons as a head coach.

Solich was named Nebraska's 26th head coach on Dec. 10, 1997, after serving as an NU assistant for 19 years. He played fullback for Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney, lettering in 1963-64-65. Solich was the first Husker running back to rush for 200 yards in a game and remains the only fullback to accomplish that feat. He also lettered for the NU baseball team in 1965. After serving as a local high school football coach for 14 years, Solich took over the NU freshman program and posted a 19-1 record from 1979 to 1982. He was elevated to NU's running backs coach after four seasons, a position he held for 15 years (1983-97). Promoted to assistant head coach in 1991, Solich was named head coach following the 1997 season. Solich is one of 15 Division I-A football coaches who played for and now coach their alma mater.

Coach Solich became just the third first-year Nebraska head coach to record nine wins in his first season at the helm, joining a pair of Hall of Fame Coaches-Tom Osborne (9-2-1 in 1973) and Bob Devaney (9-2 in 1962). Solich posted a 9-4 record in his first season, despite being hit heavy with injuries. He recorded the best record of any Husker second-year coach, as his team posted a 12-1 record in 1999, leading NU to a Big 12 championship and No. 2 (coaches) and No. 3 (AP) final national rankings. Solich's 21 wins in his first two years at NU bettered Devaney's previous school record of 19 (Osborne had 18) and ranked in a tie for third all time among Division I coaches in their first two years at the helm. After a 10-2 record in 2000, and a 1-0 start in 2001, Solich's career record stands at 32-7. His 31 wins in three years bettered both Osborne and Devaney's 28 wins in their first three years. Solich is also the only Husker coach to have won 12 games in any of his first three seasons. Devaney won nine in his first year, 10 his second year and nine his third, while Osborne won nine, nine and 10, respectively. Devaney and Solich won their first conference titles in their second year, while Osborne tied for his first title in his third year at the helm.

Solich was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year by his league peers and the AP after winning the league championship in 1999. Solich earned his bachelor's (1966) and master's degrees (1972) from Nebraska.

Coaches' Game Day Assignments
Following the lead of Tom Osborne, Coach Solich is his own offensive coordinator, calling the plays from the sideline. Defensive Coordinator Craig Bohl is also on the sideline, along with receivers coach Ron Brown, quarterbacks coach Turner Gill, defensive line coach Jeff Jamrog and kickers/offensive line coach Dan Young. Assisting from above in the press box are rush ends coach Nelson Barnes, defensive backs coach George Darlington, running backs coach Dave Gillespie and offensive line coach Milt Tenopir. The 2001 season will be Coach Bohl's second as defensive coordinator, after 23-year veteran Charlie McBride retired following the 1999 season.

NU Staff Boasts 132 Years of Experience
One very good reason Coach Solich was named as Osborne's replacement was to keep the staff intact. Director of Athletics Bill Byrne recognized that much of Nebraska's success should be attributed to its veteran assistants. Although NU lost 18-year defensive coordinator Charlie McBride to retirement after the 1999 season, NU still boasts 132 years of combined experience at NU and a staff that has participated in 132 bowl games. The 20-year veterans include Solich (22 years), secondary coach George Darlington (28) and offensive line coach Milt Tenopir (27). The others include offensive line/kickers coach Dan Young (18), receivers coach Ron Brown (14), quarterbacks coach Turner Gill (9), linebackers coach Craig Bohl (6), rush ends coach Nelson Barnes (4), running backs coach Dave Gillespie (3) and the newest member, defensive line coach Jeff Jamrog (1). Five members of the Husker coaching staff also played at Nebraska, including Solich, Bohl, Gill, Gillespie and Jamrog.

Injury Update
Nebraska exited its first game with no major injuries. Nose tackle Jason Lohr sprained an ankle, but it was not serious. Nine NU players missed the season opener due to injuries, including first-teamers WLB T.J. Hollowell and CB Erwin Swiney. NU is still without the services of Mike linebacker Tony Tata (torn left ACL) and sophomore right guard Jon Dawson (torn right ACL) who tore ligaments during the spring and offensive tackle Chris Loos (torn left ACL, MCL and PCL) who suffered a major knee injury in pre-bowl practices.