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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 13, 1978)
monday, november 13, 1978
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Photo by Ted Kirk
OU's 'big plays not enough to stop Husker defense
By Kevin Schnepf
Oklahoma fullback Kenny King sat,
squatted and even ran sometimes Saturday
afternoon in Memorial Stadium. Coping
with the boisterous noise offered by the
76,000 red-clad fans, King once squatted
down casually near the 40-yard line as the
officials were stepping off a penalty.
Another time, while his defensive team
mates were battling the Nebraska offensive
line, King sat on the bench, isolated from
But when the Sooners were lined up on
their one yard line and behind 17-14 late in
the fourth, quarter, King's calm, cool and
collected squat seemed out of place. The
Sooners needed 23 yards for a first down
on their next third-down play. King got up,
joined the huddle and seconds later sliced
through the Nebraska defense for 47 yards.
A typical clutch play performed by the
Sooners-especially against Big Eight rival
Too short to repeat
But the Sooner's last drive fell short of
history repeating itself by three yards.
Heisman candidate halfback Billy Sims ran
17 yards when he was hit by Jeff Hansen,
fumbled, and lost the ball to Jim Pillen.
The Huskers were saved and for the first
time in six years, both Husker players and
fans realized the game, the Big Eight Cham
pionship and the Orange Bowl trip was
Oklahoma, a team used to beating Ne
braska on last ditch efforts and errorless
performances, fumbled nine times, losing
six of them. Meanwhile, Nebraska, noted
for folding to Oklahoma in the fourth
quarter, contained OU's offense enough for
the offense to effectively use their "up-the-middle"
'Fumbles beat us'
"We lost two possessions in the fourth
quarter that were sure field goals. Fumbles
took them away," OU head coach Barry
Switzer said. "The fumbles beat us.
Nebraska is a great team but you don't
fumble nine times against them and expect
"Nebraska's defense won them the game
and they know it," Switzer added.
Although the total offensive statistics
were close, (361 yards for Nebraska and
339 for OU), Nebraska's defense pre
vented OU from controlling the game. The
Huskers held the ball 33 minutes 56
seconds while the Sooners had it for 26
minutes 4 seconds.
Running right at the Oklahoma defense
was Nebraska's strategy and, according to
OU linebacker, George Cumby, it worked.
Cumby said the most potent weapon Ne
braska had to offer was fullback Andra
Franklin, running pop plays up the middle.
Pop plays hard to stop
"We worked on what they did but their
pop plays were hard to stop and we didn't
adjust right," Cumby said. "The I-forma-tion
is the best way to run those pops and
it's hard for a linebacker to ready because
the back sees the hole and makes the first
Franklin, who wound up with 68 yards
rushing, said that running up the middle
against a team like OU would open things
"We planned to run up the middle," he
said. "Oklahoma is fast in pursuit so we
planned to run up the middle and soften
up their defense. The offensive line
controlled their defense and the game."
When Oklahoma was making its final
drive, which was reminiscent of the 1976
20-17 win in Lincoln, the OU offense ap
peared in control until Sims fumbled.
But Bill Barnett and Rod Horn, NU defen
sive linemen were confident they would
"They're (OU) just that type of team,"
Barnett said. "They're a breakaway team
and able to move down the field quickly.
But, we were still confident that we could
"Like any other game, we kept calm
and didn't panic," Horn said. "Like the
Colorado game, we were down but we
knew what we had to do and we did it."
For Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne,
Saturday's nationally televised game
marked his first victory over Oklahoma as a
"Fm elated but also relieved," Osborne
said. "Late in the game things just weren't
going too well for us. It almost seemed like
it (a victory) wasn't meant to be."
Victory made better
Osborne said the player's ability to over
come two turnovers and two disputed
rulings by the officials made the victory
ABC television named running back
Richard Berns the offensive player of the
game with 113 yards rushing and named
Jim Pillen the defensive player of the game.
Pilled had eight tackles and two fumble
Although it is almost assured that Ne
braska will represent the Big Eight in the
Orange Bowl, the Orange Bowl selection
committee wili make its decision today.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm going to
be pretty mad if they wait another week to
decide a formula," Osborne said.
The Sports Center tennis courts will be
open for students and faculty members
beginning Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday,
The courts will be available from 1 p.m.
to 8 pjm. on Saturday and from 10 ajm. to
8 p.m. on Sunday. The fee will be $2 for
students and $4 for faculty members per
court for one hour.
Students and faculty members can sign
for courts with Marge Neberman, Room
107G, at the Sports Center from 9 ajn.
until 4 pjn., Monday through Friday.
Locker room speeches: goin' to the beach
By Jim Kay
Senior cornerback Tim Fischer was
weaving his way through the pandemonium
that prevailed in the Nebraska locker room
following the win over Oklahoma.
"We're goin' to the beach," he yelled
above the din. "We're goin' to the beach."
A man in a peach-colored blazer with a
patch declaring his Orange Bowl affiliation
smiled at Fischer and said, "Y'all come
down and see us, now."
It's not official, but if the Huskers re
ceive an invitation as the Big Eight repre
sentative to the Orange Bowl, it will be the
first time in six years that UNL players
have "gone to the beach."
Never in Miami before
"I've never been to Miami before,"
said senior Jim Pillen. "But we're going
there now and it feels great."
"It's beautiful," said Bill Barnett. "It
feels so good to win. I just started crying
on the sideline in the last few minutes."
Tackle Kelvin Clark called it "the great
est feeling I've had in my entire life."
The bedlam in the Nebraska locker
room was in stark contrast to the atmo
sphere following last year's game in Nor
man -and not unlike the feeling in the Ok
lahoma locker room this year.
"It's hard to compare this year's game
to last year's game," said Sooner quarter
back Thomas Lott. "They were two such
One Oklahoma player wept in the
corner by the entrance to the locker room.
OU head coach Barry Switzer, was obvious
ly unfamiliar with discussing a loss.
'Fumbles beat us'
"The fumbles beat us," Switzer said
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don't fumble nine times and expect to
"They did exactly what we thought
they would," Lott said. "We were well pre
pared for them, but you don't know what
will cause those fumbles- a certain type of
hit, lack of concentration, I don't know.
It's just part of the game."
As the Huskers celebrated, Oklahoma la
mented their ability to hang on to the foot
ball. "We fumbled so much it was pitiful,"
Sooner linebacker George Cumby said.
"We held Colorado, last week with a lot of
fumbles but you can't do that and beat a
good team like Nebraska.
"It still looks like the only way to beat
us is when we beat ourselves."
Oklahoma's bowl game future is now in
doubt, but Nebraska's players already may
be feeling the sand between their toes.
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