The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 06, 1978, Page page 12, Image 12

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    Wednesday, September 6, 1978
page 12
daily nebraskan
'Flush the Tide' chant fades as Bear's Alabama rolls
By Mary Jo Howe
Birmingham, Birmingham. Greatest city
in Alabam-so goes the song. But last
Saturday, Nebraska fans saw it from its
worst side-the tough side.
Few but spirited, Nebraska football fans
swarmed to the Hyatt Hotel in downtown
Birmingham, prior to the Alabama
Nebraska football game.
About 50 NU alums from Nebraska, 44
Atlantans for Nebraska, 25 members of the
UNL ASUN, a group from the Pensacola
Navy Base, Panama City alums and a token
pep band made the trip-but they soon
found out they weren't alone.
The first indication was a "good 'ol
boy" from Auburn University, who passed
two vans of Big Red vans on the interstate,
yelling, "I hope y'all whip their ass!" and
proceeded to lead the merry caravan to the
At the stadium, more Auburn fans
joined forces with UNL fans. Auburn and
Alabama have been sizzling arch-rivals for
years and it seems just as important for
Auburn fans to attend Alabama games to
boo, as it is to cheer at their own games.
Flush the Tide
Back at the Hyatt Hotel, Chancellor
Roy Young and Regent Ed Schwartzkopf
led a Big Red pep rally where they
auctioned off a toilet shaped piggy bank
with Flush the Tide written on the rim.
Alabama head coach Bear Bryant had a
copy of his hat unceremoniously flushed to
the bottom of the toilet. Later, a student
dressed in a bear skin rug danced the 'Bama
After more rounds, of both cheers and
drinks, the boisterous group left for Legion
Field where they continued the courag
eous, if hopeless, task of cheering among
the 77,023 record-breaking Alabama fans
yelling, "Roll, Tide Roll."
Most courageous of the group were two
members of Ag Men fraternity who carried
a sign that read "Shuck Y'all" in front of
the rolling 'Bama student body. They were
promptly showed with beer cans, ice and
rocks-southern hospitality.
Push 'em back
The Nebraska delegation couldn't match
the roars from Alabama and throughout
the second half could offer little more than
a repetitious "Push em back, push 'em
back." They also watched the oddities in
the crowd and performed for the ABC-TV
television cameras.
A man with a green, orange and yellow
rainbowed afro danced jigs and was a
favorite with the crowd. Even the 20-odd
body guards surrounding Bryant on the
sidelines provided some entertainment.
But there was little entertainment that
could help make the bitter disappointment
of the loss easier to swallow. The hurt was
most poignant on the faces of the UNL
players as they trudged silently in single
file to the lockerroom. Faces, sweating and
tearful, were bent to the ground. Blood
spotted the white jerseys. The coaches
came last and the door shut behind them,
leaving them alone.
Picking up pieces
Then minutes later, UNL head coach
Tom Osborne emerged hurt and disap
pointed but already picking up the pieces.
"The defense played well," Osborne
said. "The reason Tom Sorley (UNL quart
erback) didn't look very good was because
the offensive line didn't help him out
"The loss didn't damage the team's
morale so bad that they can't be ready for
the next game."
The Crimson Tide won the statistical
battle as well as the game. In fact Ala
bama's defense was so proficient that it
shut off a potent Husker offensive attack
with less total yardage than the Tide had
on the ground alone.
UNL running backs Rick Berns and
Isaiah Hipp could manage only 42 and 54
yards rushing respectively against the
revenge-minded Tide defense. Alabama was
led by senior running back Tony Nathan
who led all rushers with 78 yards. Overall,
Alabama outrushed UNL 264 to 110.
Low yardage
The Huskers fared a little better in the
passing department. Sorley and backup
quarterback Jeff Quinn managed 10
completions in 23 attempts for 64 yards
compared to the Tide's 54 yards passing. It
was the lowest Nebraska total yardage
output since a 27-0 shutout loss to
Oklahoma in 1973.
Defense was the lone bright spot for
UNL in Saturday's game. Osborne cited
defensive end George Andrews, tackles Bill
Barnett and Rod Horn, linebacker Lee
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Photo by Tad Kirk
Even Cookie Monsters like football games.
Kunz and cornerback Tim Fischer for
their efforts against Alabama.
Andrews awarded
Andrews, who led all tacklers with 17,
was named the "Defensive Player of the
Game" for his work by ABC.
Things started off well for the Huskers
as they scored first on a 48-yard field goal
by placekicker Billy Todd. But by the end
of the first half the momentum had
switched decidedly to Alabama. The Tide
scored on a four-yard pass from quarter
back Jeff Rutledge to halfback Major
Ogjlvie, capping a 99-yard touchdown
Alabama scored on a two-yard by
Nathan in the third quarter with the point
after conversion failing. The Tide's final
score came on a three-yard run by
Rutledge with 2:17 left in the game.
The Huskers will open their home
season this Saturday against the University
of California-Berkeley. It will be the first
meeting between the two schools.
Volleyball coach, team optimistic about upcoming season
By Kathy Chenault
Improving upon last year's 42-12 sea
son and second straight Big Eight Champ
ionship are realistic goals, according to
UNL Volleyball Coach Terry Pettit.
Gifted athletes, a close team feeling
and a group desire to win the regional
tournament and compete at nationals,
are reasons why Pettit maintains such
high aspirations for this season.
"We have the finest athletes Nebraska
has to offer," said Pettit, in his second
year as head volleyball coach. "This
is complemented by their closeness,
which is vital in a team sport like volley
ball." Pettit said another factor that could
influence the success of the team is the
team's knowledge of him and his system,
which was gained last year.
W31 work harder
"It takes a year to adjust fundamen
tally, psychologically and mentally," he
said. "Now they (the team) know what
needs to be done and are ready to work
The nine varsity team members echoed
Pettit's optimism for the upcoming season.
The main goal shared by team members
is to be able to compete with anyone,
according to Nancy Grant, a junior from
"We have a really good, tough schedule
we can use to help us become recognized
as a strong team.
"In the past it was an honor just to be
invited to attend some tournaments. Now,
rather than just going to these tourna
ments, we want to prove we can seriously
compete," said Grant.
Junior Lucy Axberg of Waverly said
competitiveness with the annual volley
ball powers in California and Texas is
what the team is striving for.
"We have confidence that we can stay
with anyone," Axberg said.
The varsity team members (all Nebraska
natives) agreed with Pettit's assessment
that team unity and familiarity with their
coach should work to their advantage.
Physically ahead
"Since he (Pettit) wasn't new, we had
a chance to work all year on volleyball,"
said Axberg. "We've been lifting weights
and working on technique since last spring.
Not only are we physically ahead of last
year, but we're also quicker and smoother
in tur offense."
The lone senior on the squad, Sue
Luedtke of Lincoln, said the team is a
closer unit than others of the past.
"We get along real well off the court
as well as on. I think we will be a better
team because of our closeness," said
While the varsity squad is busy pre
paring for their opening match with Grace
land College, Sept. 9, junior varsity players
are also sharpening their skills.
Junior varsity coach Russ Rose said he
is concerned with developing fundamentals
and promoting group play.
"The game is won on the floor because
that's where the ball lands," said Rose.
"Therefore the girls must learn what I call
the discipline of the game; going after the
The junior varsity will also open its
season Sept. 9, when they host volleyball
squads from Nebraska Wesleyan Univer
sity and Wayne State College.
Recruiting, not offense is Big Red blight
Analysis by Jim Kay
Speculate (spek'-u-lat). 1. To contem
plate; to see mentally. 2. To ponder a
subject in its different aspects and
relations; meditate; especially to theorize
from conjunctures without sufficient
It's amazing, really, how year after year
the closet experts and armchair quarter
backs emerge from their closets and rise
from their easy chairs and extol their vast
and cosmic knowledge of football. In
essence, it's nothing more than speculation.
Sports fans and sportswriters are great
"what if types. Hindsight is a wonderful
advantage they all seem to possess and
something every knuckleheaded coach
lacks in foresight.
We caught several shots of a worried
Husker head coach Tom Osborne pacing
the sidelines. "Ya Bum," screams Joe fan.
"Where's the Veer? Where's the Veer?"
An interesting question, that. Where was
the much celebrated Veer offense on Satur
day night? Actually, it was nowhere except
in the speculative minds of many Nebraska
fans who were anxiously awaiting the
chance to see IM. Hipp and Rick Berns in
the same backfield.
Alabama Head Coach Bear Bryant said
his team practiced defensing the Veer on
only one day while preparing for the UNL
game. The Huskers probably didn't
practice much more than that with the
Veer afl fall.
Hie reason we would expect Osborne
was reluctant to use the Veer against Ala
bama may be as follows: "If it ain't broke,
why fix it." In other words, why mess
around with a proven winner. You would
be hard pressed to find a collegiate team
that runs the I-formation better than UNL.
It is a complex and efficient system for an
amateur team, and one that has been
copied by other teams, following the early
success of the Bob Devaney teams in the
Alabama didn't win Saturday night be
cause they ran out of the Wishbone. TVy
won because they made fewer mistakes and
put better athletes on the field on this
particular occasion.
The I-formation is not an outmoded
offense. It takes extraordinary athletes to
run the Wishbone or the Veer, just as it
does to run the I-formation. Werin may
lie the answer. UNL did not beat Alabama
or may never beat Oklahoma because those
teams are better teams with better athletes.
It was apparent Saturday night. UNL was
not less enthusastic than Alabama, they
were just outmanned. Granted, it's a very
simplistic answer but if you want to find
fault with Osborne, blame his recruiting
success, not his offense.
Hunter Thompson once said that
"Objective journalism is a contradiction in
terms." It's hard for "loyal" UNL fans to
be objective too as they sit before their
TV sets and watch Alabama beat their
team. In fact it's unlikely the samething
will happen this weekend against the Uni
versity of California.
But that's just speculation.