Two quarterbacks in Nebraska's plans for Orange Bowl

(c) Copyright The News & Observer Publishing Co. and The Associated Press, 1994

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- If Tommie Frazier can play in a Dec. 24 scrimmage, Nebraska will likely play two quarterbacks against Miami in the Orange Bowl, coach Tom Osborne said Monday.

Questions have swirled over whether Osborne would stick with Brook Berringer, who stepped in to lead Nebraska to an undefeated season after Frazier was sidelined with recurring blood clots.

Frazier, who has been on blood thinners, was listed as available if needed for the Nov. 25 game against Oklahoma. Berringer led Nebraska to a 13-3 win and Frazier wasn't used.

But ever since that game, speculation has risen over whether Osborne would turn to Frazier, a starting junior whose Heisman Trophy hopes were dashed by recurring blood clots that sidelined him much of the season.

"There is a fair chance we'll play them both in the (bowl) game," Osborne said Monday. "But there will be no final decision made right now. We have to see him (Frazier) on the field in a competitive situation. If he can't scrimmage ... then obviously he's not a major factor."

Frazier is still on blood thinners but trainers hope he can be off them for the scrimmage, Osborne said. While on blood thinners, Frazier cannot have contact in practice because of the risk of internal bleeding if hit.

"Once he scrimmages, I can tell you more. But he hasn't had contact since the Pacific game (Sept. 24), so it's hard to rate him as a quarterback," Osborne said.

Frazier led Nebraska to its first four victories.

Berringer led Nebraska to victories in its final eight games, including a 24-7 win over then-No. 2 Colorado on Oct. 29.

Berringer and Frazier tried to deflect talk of a quarterback controversy.

"If I go out and prove to the coaches that I'm ready to play and that I know what I'm doing, then if they want me to be the starter, I'll be happy," Frazier said. "If I'm not ready to start, but I'll be able to play, then I'll be happy with that. I'm not here to start any quarterback controversy before a national championship game.

"That's not what its all about. It's all about my team against their team and hoping we'll go out and win," Frazier said.

Berringer, who overcame a collapsed lung in games on Oct. 1 and 8, said: "I think it's not quite as big of a deal than what is being perceived.

"We've got two capable quarterbacks. We've got two quarterbacks who have run this team this year," Berringer said.

"There are just too many things going for this team right now and I think either one of us can step in and win the game. That's all that matters," he said.