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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 8, 1986)
Monday, September 8, ,1986
By Bob Asmussen
Night News Editor
Saturday night was cold and drizzly.
It was the kind of night that Ernie
Banks would have said, "Let's play
two." The Nebraska football team was
happy to be playing even one.
The Cornhuskers beat Florida State
Saturday night in Memorial Stadium,
34-17. The game brought to a conclu
sion a week that was not happy for the
Trouble began on Wednesday when
Nebraska coach Tom Osborne was told
by the NCAA that 60 players had been
suspended for Saturday's game. The
suspensions were the result of an
NCAA finding that the players misused
complimentary game tickets. On Thurs
day, the NCAA granted a stay of the
ruling until an appeal is heard Tues
day. After the game Osborne said he
was happy Nebraska won.
"That's a relief," Osborne said. "You
never know what you got. The way we
played tonight, I think we have a good
team. I was pleased with the players'
response to the adverse conditions
they had earlier in the week."
The first drive of the game byFlorida
State had to leave the Nebraska players
Bowden full of praise
By Chuck Green
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden
has always been one to heap praise on
the Nebraska football program. Satur
day night's 34-1 7 Cornhusker win didn't
"They (Nebraska) didn't look that
sharp at first," Bowden said, "but they
kept getting better and better. We
tried the trap, off-tackle, everything,
and they just killed us."
was the difference.
He made some
plays that we just
win. Any superla
tives about the
had to start with
Bowden said he was particularly
impressed with Husker quarterback
Steve Taylor. Taylor rushed for 139
yards on 22 carries Saturday night a
6.3 yard per carry average and two
touchdowns to lead all Husker ball car
riers. Taylor fell just four yards short of
the Nebraska single-game quarterback
rushing record of 143 yards, set by John
Bordogna against Iowa State in 1952.
"Their quarterback was the differ
ence," Bowden said. "He made some
plays that we just couldn't stop. With
out him, Nebraska doesn't win. Any
superlatives about the Nebraska offense
have to start with that quarterback."
Taylor also completed 10 of 16 passes
for 130 yards.
Bowden said he never saw much of
former Husker quarterback Turner Gill
against the Seminoles, but "I don't
remember him (Gill) being that much
better," he said. "He (Taylor) was fan
tastic. "The first big run on third-and-long
(in the second quarter when Taylor
sprinted 34 yards for a first down) was
unbelievable. He broke out of there and
we couldn't get to him. And then when
he ran for that touchdown I've never
seen a quarterback cover 20 yards that
Bowden was equally impressed with
the Nebraska defense. He said it was
the best Husker defense he has seen in
the four years Florida State has played
"They just crunched us," Bowden
wondering whether or not having the 60
suspended players would be enough.
The Seminoles took the opening
drive 74 yards in six plays to lead 7-0.
The big play in the series was a 33-yard
forward fumble that Florida State's
Mark Salva recovered at the Nebraska
43-yard line. Three plays later, Florida
State quarterback Chip Ferguson hit
Victor Floyd with a 30-yard touchdown
pass. Derek Schmidt added the extra
point. Florida State led 7-0 at the end of
the first quarter.
Nebraska scored its first points of
the 1986 season at 9:11 in the second
quarter. Sophomore quarterback Steve
Taylor, starting his first varsity game,
gained all 54 yards of the four-play
drive. After two incompletions, Taylor
scrambled 34 yards for a Nebraska first
down at the Florida State 30-yard line.
On the next play, Taylor ran to the left
side of the field and scored. Dale Klein
converted the extra point kick.
Nebraska took its only lead of the
first half, 10-7, on a Klein field goal
with 51 seconds left. The lead lasted all
of 18 seconds. Following a kickoff and a
f; Nebraska penalty, Florida State's Sam
? raie Smith scored on a 57-yard run. The
Seminoles led 14-10 at halftime.
said "Wei couldn't get nothing inside.
They were an outstanding, pretty phys
ical bunch. They whipped us up front."
Many of Bowden's players agreed
with their coach on the intensity of the
"They didn't allow us to score in the
second half, so they must have been
tough," Seminole quarterback Chip
Ferguson said. "They were certainly
tougher than Toledo."
Ferguson said he didn't think the
game was really out of reach for Florida
State until the final minutes.
"They put a lot of points on the
board in a hurry, but we still felt we
could come back," Ferguson said. "It
might hurt us for a day or two, but we'll
get over it."
Seminole cornerback Eric Williams
echoed the thoughts of his quarterback.
"I didn't really think the game was
over until they were at 30 and we were
still at 17 with about three minutes
left," Williams said. "They made some
big plays on defense. It was a big win
Bowden said Florida State's biggest
problem throughout the game was their
inability to maintain a consistent run
"If we could have gotten our running
game going, w e would have had them,"
Bowden said. "But once our short run
ning game broke down, we didn't have
anything to throw them (Nebraska) off
balance. They just crunched our run
ning game. I've been worried about
They put a lot of
points on the
board in a hurry,
but we still felt we
could come back.'
Bowden may be more worried about
the Seminole running game after Sat
urday night. Florida State was able to
generate only 76 yards rushing and only
97 yards in the air.
"We've got a lot of going back to do
and we've got some shortages to fill,"
Bowden said. "They shut our offense
down completely. They stuffed us back
completely and forced us out of the
things, that we wanted to do. They
forced us into things that we didn't
want to do."
Though Bowden is upset about the
loss to Nebraska, he isn't quite ready to
throw in the towel for the season.
"I don't know how good they (Nebra
ska) are," he said. "We may have gotten
beat by a great team and if that's the
case, then we're not too bad. But we
still have a lot of question marks left."
The second half got off to a bad start
for Nebraska. The Huskers couldn't
move the ball on their opening series.
After Florida State was stopped on its
first series of the second half, Nebras
ka's Dana Brinson fumbled a Louis
Berry punt and the Seminoles reco
vered at the Nebraska 35-yard line.
Schmidt kicked a 46-yard field goal to
push the Florida State lead to 17-10
with 10:12 left in the third quarter.
Nebraska took the kickoff following
the Florida State field goal and drove
63 yards for the tying score. The key
play in the drive was a pass interfer
ence call against Florida State at the
Nebraska 6-yard line. On the third
down and eight play, the ball and
defender appeared to get to Nebraska's
Rod Smith at the same time. But the
official ruled Smith had been hit early,
and Nebraska got the ball at the six.
Taylor scored to his right on the next
Florida State used the Tango Attack
on its next series one-two-three-kick
and Nebraska got the ball at its
49-yard line. Taylor hit tight end Todd
Millikan for a 12-yard touchdown with
45 seconds left in the third quarter. It
was the first touchdown catch of Milli-
By Bob Asmussen
Night News Editor
That might be what Nebraska
fans are saying to themselves after '
watching the opening act of the
Steve Taylor Show Saturday night. ,
Taylor, a sophomore from San ..
Diego, Calif., started his first varsity
game against Florida State: Taylor
rushed for 139 yards, ran for two
touchdowns and passed for two
more. He accounted for 269 yards
"1 thought Steve played very, very
well," Nebraska coach Tom Osborne
said. "He has that kind of talent. He
told me as the game came closer, he
started to feel better and more con
fident, I think earlier in the week,
he was feeling pretty nervous."
Taylor agreed with Osborne about
"Preparing for the game, 1 was
very uptight," Taylor said. "But, as
the week went along, I began to feel
more confident, I was nervous be
cause t was starting my first game,
against a team with a game under
their belts. The first quarter showed
that Florida State had already played
a gsme, and v& hadn't."
Taylor get ever Ms pregame ner- -vousnsss
encih to impress his
I'm so prrcicf Steve," Nebraska
erosive cusi'i and co-captain Stan
Parker said. "List yea" in the hud
dle he was a little hesitant. This
year, from the first play on, he was
calm and cool and was in totd
"I'm impressed as can be," Nebra
ska fullback Micah Heibel said.
'He's just a leader out there."
. "He really helped us out," wins
back Von Sheppard said. "He's al
ways been confident, Dow. the ro:J,
he's going, to be a greet quarter-.
Dc-vn the read might be sooner
than She;: pari thinks. Taker's p:r-
fonnar.ee outdid the performance cf :
r.ul:s to the south, C'.-.tehcr.s
on 10 carries in leading Okhhc.a
to a 3 win against UCLA. Holt
way hit only one cf six passes in the
. game for nine yards, He.was inter
Taylor's 22 carries in the game
were three short of the Nebraska
record for a quarterback set by John
Bordogna in a 1952 game, Taylor
said he didn't think he would have
that many rushing opportunities in
Several players on the Nebraska of
fense said the defense was the key to
taking the lead.
"You have to give credit to the
defense because they did come back in
the second half," Nebraska wingback
Von Sheppard said. "When the defense
started stopping them in the third
quarter, that's when the momentum
started to go our way."
Florida State, which gained 175 yards
in the first half, was held to minus two
yards in the second half. The Seminoles
had only two first downs in the second
half and eight in the game.
"I've got a world of confidence in our
defense," Nebraska offensive guard and
co-captain Stan Parker said. "They're
the ones that got the momentum back
Parker said mistakes kept Nebraska
from controlling the game early.
"I think we dominated pretty well
early, but we kept stopping ourselves,"
Parker said. "We didn't quit. We just
kept coming at them."
Nebraska added to its lead early in
the fourth quarter on a 46-yard touch
down pass from Taylor to Sheppard.
Klein ended the scoring with a 38-yard
fT V- j. 4r 1
; a j
Richard WrishtDaiiy fJebrstkan
Nebraska defensive end Brcdarials Thomas lets the crcvid
know who's No. 1. ; ,
the game. ' .
"I've never heard cf John Bor
dor -V Taylor said. "But I wouldn't
mini if I don't carry that much or
rr.ore in the future. Every time yea
carry the ball you've got to get hit."
Taylor had two touchdown runs,
ijm from six yards and cm ttm 20, ,
H&aiso had ioiicfaJownp c$ rfit -yard
to Taii ! M'&z n er. J 43 ) .ri j
Vtiii FlavidaStcte was en cfTense,
Taylcr's rocMiate, Eroderiek Tho
mas, tried to disrupt the Seminole
offensive line. Thomas had five
tackles, including a nine-yard sack
of Florida State quarterback Chip
Ferguson. Thomas said he has one
goal for his Nebraska career.
"My goal is to be one of the best
defensive players in Nebraska his
field goal with 1:23 left in the game.
Taylor led Nebraska with 139 yards
on 22 carries. He also completed 10 of
16 passes for 130 yards. Taylor missed
by four yards the Nebraska record for
rushing by a quarterback. In 1952, John
Bordogna gained 143 yards against
Nebraska outgained Florida State
427 yards to 173 yards. Nebraska had 24
first downs to the Seminoles eight.
Unlike last year, when Nebraska had
several turnovers in a 17-13 loss, the
Huskers were able to hold onto the
ball. Brinson's fumble was Nebraska's
only turnover of the game. Florida
State had no turnovers.
"Defensively, we played a great foot
ball game," Osborne said. "I was very
pleased. I hope we have the kind of
people and attitude to overcome what
ever they throw at us."
On Tuesday, the NCAA will decide
whether or not to throw a one-game
suspension at 60 Nebraska players. If
the decision is upheld, Osborne will
likely hold out 10 players for the next
six Nebraka games, starting with the
Sept. 20 game at Illinois.
Florida State, now 1-1, plays North
Carolina Sept. 20 in Tallahassee.
tory," Thomas said.
. Thomas said he thinks Nebraska:
1 has a good chance to win a national
"When you have a potent cfTense
and a top-ranked defense, that can '
equal a national championship," '
. i rmas sad. "i g-pss it's ne?nt f. :
C3 to v.ia a nuticrd tub."
Thcnas said his Mcndshis wit5-. ' :
Tcjlcr ha.i helped hi.n bece-,.: :
: "We talk a let," Tkciaas sail
"Steve's my best friend. He's jua a
great guy. It helps me to be sround a
guy like that."
Thomas said the NCAA ruling to
suspend 60 Nebraska players for
one game made the game a must
win situation for him.
"I think we proved a point to the
nation. No one thinks we're in the
wrong. I don't think they (the NCAA)
should be so hard on us."
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