The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 02, 1987, Page 9, Image 9

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Andrea Hoy/D«Hy Nebralkan
Nebraska freshman defensive line coach Tony Davis watches a Cornhusker practice.
‘Tough Tony back at NU
By Steve Sipple
Staff Reporter
Nebraska freshman defensive
line coach Tony Davis says he
coaches as he used to run as a
Comhusker fullback from 1971 to
’75 — tough.
Davis earned the nickname
“Tough Tony” during his playing
days at Nebraska because of the
punishment he inflicted on several
defenders. He rushed for 2,495
yards during his career, including
1,008 as a sophomore.
Davis, who is now in his first
season as a Husker coach, is instill
ing that same toughness in the
defensive players he coaches.
“He’s still that type of person,”
Nebraska freshman coach Shane
Thorell said. “For defensive line
men, that’s the type of player they
need to be. There in the trenches,
it’s pretty physical. Tony lets them
know what it takes to get the job
done and lets them know when they
don’t get their job done.”
Davis agreed.
“It might be that I’m tough,”
Davis ‘ aid. “1 tell my players two
things — number one, they’d bel
ter hit, and number two, they’d
better hustle. If they don’t give me
hustle and they don’t hit, they
won’t play.
“They know if they don’t meet
| my expectations, they’ll meet my
wrath, he said “But 1 love them.
They’re my own.”
Though Davis makes his play
ers work, Thorell said, he keeps a
good rapport with them.
“If you don’t know him, you
might think he’s hard on them,’’ he
said. “But (the players) like him.
He jokes around a lot with them.”
Davis, who was named Most
Valuable Flayer in the 1974 Cotton
Bowl and 1975 Sugar Bowl, said
that coaching defensive players
after being involved with offense
for 22 years isn’t difficult because
of his attitude toward football.
“My attitude is kind of a defen
sive attitude to start with,” he said
“I wasn’t a big, fast guy, but I liked
hitting. I want my kids to play like
that. It’s kind of natural for me to
coach defense, really.”
Davis said he plans to coach the
Nebraska freshmen this season and
next, and then get a major college
coaching job “as soon as possible.”
He said being able to pul his Ne
braska experience on a resume will
“What do you think?” Davis
asked. “If you have on your resume
that you coached at Nebraska,
that’s about as good as you get.”
Davis was a fourth-round draft
choice of the National Football
League’s Cincinnati Bengals in
1976 and earned team MVP honor s
the following year. He played lor
the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Irom
1979 to 1^82, then finished his
professional football career with
the now-defunct United States
Football League’s Boston Break
Davis started a roofing business
after retiring from football. He then
became the offensive coordinator
at Brandon High School in Bran
don, Fla. — the largest high school
in the United States at that time. He
arrived at Nebraska during the fall
of 1986.
Davis, who is working on his
master’s degree in physical educa
tion, said he’s enjoyed his coach
ing career at Nebraska so far. He
said he particularly enjoys watch
ing his defensive linemen leam
Nebraska’s defensive techniques.
“I like watching kids improve
over time,” he said. “Over time,
and after repetition after repetition
after repetition, you start seeing
results — just small things that
combine to make the whole pic
ture. Then, to see the look in their
eyes when it all comes together,
that’s fun.
“That’s what it’s all about.”
Davis said his main objective is to
prepare his defensive linemen for
varsity football.
“I want them to be able to step in
this spring and have the adjustment
be not so severe, to where the play
ers can handle it,” Davis said. M\
coaching tec hnique isexactly w hat
(vaisity defensive coordinator)
coach (Charlie) McBride teaches. 1
want them to know what he expects
of them.”
Rogers in now a Bruin;
Brown gridiron thrills
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — My alarm
went off — I had forgotten to reset it
for the weekend. I rolled over and
eyed the clock with a bleary stare:
5:40a.m. I groaned, then recalled that
today was game day—my first game
as a Brown University Bruin. A shiver
of excitement ran up my spine. My
pulse quickened. I turned off my
alarm, rolled back over and went back
to sleep.
Actually, today’s game was
Brown’s second game of the season. I
fully intended to go to last week’s
game against Yale in New Haven, but
my ’vette — Chevette, this is, circa
1977 — had begun making oblique
protestations after the 1,200-mile trip
from Lincoln to Providence. Prudence
suggested that I not attempt the two
hour trip down 1-95 until I had my car
examined. So I waited until this week
for my first game.
I woke again later at a more civi
lized hour and in a better frame of
mind. “Ah, college football,” I
thought to myself, “with what can I
compare thee?” Another half hour in
the sack immediately suggested itself
as an answer, but I contemptuously
dismissed it. “No time to lose, no time
to lose,” I said to myself, and was
immediately pleased with my disci
I poked around at some problems
in mathematical economics until
about 12:30, then thought it would be
best to leave for the stadium (which is
within easy walking distance of the
campus.) It was a beautiful fall day;
brisk and clear, with the sun glowing
in the heavens like a burning marsh
I mallow tossed into the sky at a Camp
[ fire Girls’picnic.
As I neared the arena, however,
my enjoyment of the day was cut
short: Where was everybody? Did I
mistakenly believe it was a home
game? Anxiety began chewing at my
insides like a wolf does its own leg
when caught in the jaws of a trap. I
recalled the bustle of activity prior to
games at Nebraska: rivers of red flow
ing into Memorial Stadium like a
giant blood transfusion; hawkers of
assorted wares; scalpers everywhere;
stumbling drunks from the class of
’47 with 80-percent breath. Here the
tension could be cut with the dull side
of a butter knife.
I suppose that I should have known
that football isn’t taken as seriously
here. After all, students get into
games free with a flash of their I.D.
and everyone else gets in for $3. That
at least explained why there were no
scalpers around, but certainly most of
the people on the street shouldn’t be
going the opposite direction from me.
Finally, one block from the stadium
— 15 minutes before kickoff — I
joined a crowd of about three that
seemed to be going to the game. I
entered, looked around, and my
mouth fell open: There were more
hairs on my chest than there were
people in the stands.
When the game started, the arena
was about one-fourth full — but it
would be about half that if I didn’t
count the players.
The second game of the season is
when all Ivy League teams play non
conference opponents. They used to
schedule “honor losses” against
teams like Army and Navy. As a
result, it was called “bloody Satur
day” by the press because almost all
the teams lost. (Well, what do you
expect? No Ivy League team offers
sports scholarships, and tuition is
about $13,000 a year.) But you can’t
chalk up honor in the victory column,
so in the spirit of the old college try
they’ve begun scheduling easier foes.
Brown’s opponent this day was the
University of Rhode Island.
As the game began and proceeded,
the stadium crowd slowly grew, al
though it wasn’t close to a sellout.
Even then, all the attention wasn’t
captured by the events on the field.
Perhaps the hottest topic of conversa
tion was whether Columbia would
surpass Northwestern’s record for
most losses in a row. If they lost today
(they did, 38-7 to Lafayette), then a
loss next week would equal
Northwestern’s record.
At the end of the first half, Brown
led Rhode Island by one touchdown,
14-7. Halftime featured Brown’s
band; it was ridiculous — they can’t
march. I’m not talking a crooked line
here and there, I mean they can t
march at all. The band runs onto the
field as a mass (trying to make it look
cute, but they already used up that
reaction when they did the same thing
for the pregame “show”) playing
something unrecognizable, then they
run to new positions and play some
thing else. (I really couldn’t discern
any non-random distribution of
notes, so I’m loathe to call the sounds
they made by the august term “mu
sic.”) A fan sitting close by informed
me that USA Today had called the
band’s performances “organized
chaos.” I think I agree ... all except
for the organized part.
Well, in the second half Brown
added a field goal. A safety gave
Rhode Island nine points, and a late
touchdown pass left them with a score
of 15. So Brown won, 17-15. Yeaaaa.
I left the stadium broken-hearted:
I had hoped Brown football would be
methadone to my heroin-like addic
tion to Nebraska football. Boy, was I
With a nostalgic lump in my throat
and a melancholy song in my heart, I
started my dejected trek back to the
campus. My head hung low; 1 glanced
up only to ensure that I didn’t run into
anything. Then something caught my
eye and I did a double take. Could it
be? I spieda“NebraskaComhuskers”
T-shirt. I made an excited bee-line
over to the man wearing it, who was
with his wife. Both were Omaha na
tives and, like me, were on their way
home to watch the Nebraska-Arizona
State game. Oh what a joy!
My thirst was at least momentarily
slacked by the chance meeting. But I
have a feeling it’s gonna be a long fall.
Rogers, a former Daily Nebraskan edito
rial page editor, is now a graduate student at
Brown University.
NU fans ‘classy’
The University of Nebraska foot
ball fans are the best. The University
of Oklahoma football fans are the
worst. These observations come from
observing the crowds while attending
games at NU and OU, where Kansas
Suite was the opponent.
During the 1()84 and 86 seasons,
fans at Memorial Stadium were sup
portive of their NU teams and showed
respect to the K State team by ap
plauding their losing efforts as the
team left the field. On the other hand,
OU fans at Owen Field bordered on
being total and ''ompl te a holes.
During the entire game, OU fans
shouted obscenities at both KSU play
ers and OU players. What kind of
support is this?
The bottom line is that fans in
Nebraska are a classy act. With this
kind of support it is no wonder why
Nebraska led the Big Eight in 1986
total attendance (456,187) and aver
age per home game (76,031).
Go big red.
Tim Rics
K-Stater for Nebraska
Kudos to team
Congratulations to the Nebraska
Big Red volleyball team on a great
tournament win (Daily Nebraskan,
Sept. 28). What an exciting season,
with lots more to come! Go Big Red!
Let’s hope the DN volleyball cov
erage continues to improve and ex
Mike Bon