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Frazier dismisses Nebraska-Colorado rivalry

(c) 1995 Copyright The News and Observer Publishing Co.
(c) 1995 Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (Oct 23, 1995 - 15:24 EDT) -- Forgive Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier if he's not overly excited about playing at No. 7 Colorado on Saturday.

"Some people might say there's something special about Colorado week, but I see it as another Big Eight game," he said. "I approach each game the same, whether it's Colorado, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Kansas -- it doesn't matter.

"I don't see it as a rivalry. If you're to say it's a rivalry, you have to put Oklahoma in that category. Colorado hasn't been a rival in the last five years. They want to be a rival, but we're not seeing it that way."

Nebraska leads the series 37-14-2 and has dominated lately. There was a 52-7 victory in Lincoln in 1992, a 21-17 victory at Boulder in 1993 and last year's 24-7 victory when the Buffs were ranked No. 2 and Nebraska No. 3.

Second-ranked Nebraska (7-0, 3-0 Big Eight) and Colorado have played for the Big Eight title and the Orange Bowl berth that used to go with it since 1988, but the Buffs have not won the game since 1990.

Most of the drama in this year's showdown disappeared when Colorado lost Oct. 7 to Kansas. Gone were hopes for a Fiesta Bowl bid or maybe even for the final Big Eight title.

Colorado (6-1, 2-1 Big Eight) now must play spoiler in the Cornhuskers' march for a second national championship.

Frazier, a senior, has seen Nebraska lose only one Big Eight game in his career and it was not to Colorado. It was a 19-10 loss at Iowa State on Nov. 14, 1992, his freshman year.

He missed last year's game with blood clot problems. Backup Brook Berringer engineered the victory, but it will be a healthy Frazier behind center in Boulder.

"He is having an outstanding season," quarterbacks coach Turner Gill said Sunday. "He has matured as a passer since he's been here and he's always had the running tools."

Frazier has rushed for a team-high nine touchdowns and thrown for 11, including a career-high four passing TDs in a 49-25 victory over Kansas State last week. His completion rate is 54 percent.

Frazier, whose 68 touchdowns are a school record and 4,667 total yards are 616 short of the school mark set by Jerry Tagge, is 27-1 in regular-season starts.

"He has the innate ability that you love to see in a football player," Gill said. "It is very, very special to see that in a quarterback. It's an ability to lift up a team."

Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel knows all about Frazier and a Nebraska rushing attack that rolls up an NCAA-best 426.8 yards per game. Iowa State's Troy Davis had 203 yards in a 50-28 loss to Colorado last week.

"But you know what? Kids find a way to rise up and I'm excited about our chances," Neuheisel said.

Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, whose defense has allowed 20 rushing yards in the last two weeks, isn't concerned about the trip to Boulder.

"We play well out there," he said. "I don't mind going on the road with this team. I think this team will play well anywhere."