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Published Sunday, September 9, 2001

Husker notes

Last modified at 12:43 a.m. on Sunday, September 9, 2001

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Heavy heart

” Saturday's 27-10 victory over Notre Dame marked the end to an emotional week for Nebraska football coach Frank Solich. Frank Solich Sr., 82, died Aug. 31 in Lincoln of congestive heart failure. Despite his father's death, Solich continued to follow his normal routine this past week in preparation for the Notre Dame game, saying that his father would've wanted it that way. Solich said on Tuesday that he and his wife, Pam, planned to leave Lincoln this morning and travel to Johnstown, Pa., where Solich Sr. will be buried next to his wife. The Huskers' coach said he hopes to return to Lincoln by Monday. Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch said that the Huskers dedicated the entire week of practice and the Notre Dame game to the Solich family. "I think everyone wanted to go out there and give their all for coach Solich and his family," Crouch said. "That's the way this program is. We are all a big family."

Playing it safe

” After an impressive start that resulted in a 27-3 halftime lead for Nebraska, the Huskers offense went into a shell and was held scoreless in the second half. NU attempted just one pass and had just 70 total yards in the final 30 minutes. However, Solich said the lack of production shouldn't be blamed on the offense. "We probably did not give our offense a real fair shake," Solich said. "Even though we did not score in the second half, I would not put all of that blame on the offense. Our play-calling was dictating that we try and eat up some clock." That was just fine with Husker I-back Dahrran Diedrick, who had 32 carries for 133 yards and two touchdowns. "We were a little more conservative in the second half, running up the middle quite a bit, but that's power football," Diedrick said. "We wanted to cut down on the mistakes and turnovers in the second half and we did that."

Happy at home

” Nebraska owns an 84-3 record at home in the past 13-plus years. In that span, the Huskers' losses have come against two national champions (1990 Colorado and 1991 Washington) and Texas in 1998.

” The Huskers have now won 16 straight games at Memorial Stadium since Texas' win broke a school-record 47-game home winning streak, which was the fifth-longest in NCAA history.

” Entering Saturday's action, Nebraska was 450-122-20 at Lincoln and 325-99-13 all-time inside Memorial Stadium.

Red-out rules

” After an estimated 20,000-25,000 Nebraska fans bought their way into Notre Dame Stadium for last year's game, Cornhuskers tight end Tracey Wistrom said he hoped that NU fans wouldn't sell their tickets to make a quick buck. Tickets were being scalped for $125 and up outside the stadium two hours prior to kickoff. It was evident that most Husker fans held their ground as Fighting Irish fans occupied no more than the 4,000 seats they were allotted. In fact, several red-clad fans were seated in the Notre Dame section.

Charting the series

” After meeting just once in 50 years, Saturday's contest was the back end of a 2-game home-and-home series between Nebraska and Notre Dame. The win gave Nebraska an 8-7-1 lead in the all-time series and marked the first appearance by the Irish in Lincoln since 1948.

” The Huskers won last year's game at South Bend, Ind., 27-24 in overtime to build a 2-game winning streak after also beating the Fighting Irish 40-6 in the 1973 Orange Bowl. Last year's win marked Nebraska's first victory in the series at Notre Dame.

” Cornhusker teams defeated Notre Dame's legendary "Four Horsemen" in consecutive seasons in 1923 and 1924, handing the Irish their only two losses in a 3-year period from 1922-24.

” Nebraska now leads 6-4-1 over Notre Dame in the all-time series at Lincoln and 3-1-0 at Memorial Stadium. Notre Dame is 3-1 against the Huskers at South Bend.

Injury updates

” Six Nebraska players missed the team's first two games due to injuries. They included cornerback Erwin Swiney (ankle), middle linebacker Tony Tata (torn left ACL), right guard Jon Dawson (torn right ACL), tackle Chris Loos (torn left ACL, MCL, PCL), I-back Robin Miller (hamstring) and rush end Tyler Toline (knee).

” Against Notre Dame, Nebraska nose tackle Jason Lohr suffered a sprained knee ligament in the first quarter and didn't return. No other Husker injuries were reported.

Nebraska extra points

” Saturday's game was televised nationally by ABC. Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color) and Jack Arute (sideline) called the action.

” Norfolk native Shane Osborn was honored prior to the game and participated in an honorary coin flip. Osborn, a '96 UNL graduate, was honored for his part in successfully landing a damaged U.S. spy plane in China earlier this year.

” Nebraska sports information director Chris Anderson said that 717 media credentials were issued for Saturday's game. That is the most since approximately 700 credentials were issued for the 1994 Colorado game and 950 were issued for the 1987 Nebraska-Oklahoma game.

” Nebraska redshirt freshman Sandro DeAngelis won the place-kicking battle this week over returning starter Josh Brown and earned the start against Notre Dame. He responded by making the first two field goal attempts of his college career. Brown, who served a 1-game suspension in the season opener against Texas Christian, was the starter against Troy State.

” Nebraska's DeJuan Groce had a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown called back on a penalty for an illegal block in the back with 9:53 left in the third quarter.

” The attendance figure of 78,118 marked a new Memorial Stadium record. The 242nd consecutive sellout broke the old mark of 78,096 set last season against Kansas.

--Terry Douglass

Notre Dame extra points

” Notre Dame set a NCAA record last season, averaging just 0.73 turnovers per game. Saturday night against Nebraska, the Irish had four turnovers on two fumbles and two interceptions.

” Last season, Notre Dame outscored opponents 84-34 in the first quarter. The Huskers led Saturday night's game 17-0 after the first period. NU's first-quarter output was the most scored by an Irish opponent since Stanford scored 17 first-quarter points against them in 1999.

” Quarterback Carlyle Holiday made his first collegiate appearance for Notre Dame, coming in to relieve starter Matt LoVecchio with 11:42 left in the second quarter. Holiday, who was heavily recruited by Nebraska, finished 5-of-8 passing for 41 yards and rushed eight times for 21 yards. He led the Irish on their first scoring drive of the night, a 10-play, 64-yard march that ended with a Nick Setta 29-yard field goal.

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