The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 05, 1987, Page 6&7, Image 6

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Blakeman aidsHuskers to win
By Jeff Ape!
Senior Editor
It was American Red Cross Day
Saturday at Memorial Stadium,
and reserve quarterback Clete
Blakeman responded by giving the
Comhuskers all die aid they
needed during theiv 30-21 victory
over South Carolina.
Blakeman, who replaced in
jured Steve Taylor at the end of the
third quarter, rallied Nebraska
from a 21-13 deficit by directing
three scoring drives to give the
Huskets the victory.
Nebraska football coach Tom
Osborne praised the effort of
Blakeman, who lived up to the
“Mr, Excitement” nickname he
earned while playing at Norfolk
High School.
vTm really proud of Clete
Blakeman.” Osborne said. “1
thought he came in and showed a
lot of poise,
“He’s a great player,” be said.
Osborne also praised the efforts
of the Nebraska defense, which
held South Carolina to 242yardsof
total offense while intercepting
Gamecock quarterback Todd EHts
three times.
“I thought our defense did a
great job,” he said,
Nebraska defensive coordina
tor Charlie McBride agreed.
“The thing 1 liked today is this:
When we were behind, we made
ourselves a defense,” McBride
s»4 “Tin as happy as I’ve ever
been with a defensive team.”
McBride said the game re
sembled the 1986 Nebraska-South
Carolina matchup because in both
contests the Gamecocks’ rally ef
forts were halted by an Ellis inter
Husker safety Mark Blazek
turned back South Carolina Satur
day by intercepting an Ellis pass at
the Nebraska 25-yard line, while
former Nebraska safety Bryan
Siebltr preserved the Huskers’ 27
24 win in 1986 by intercepting an
Ellis pass with 38 seconds remain
"I guess Todd (Ellis) likes
Nebraska safeties,” McBride said.
“He must be having a vision or
Nebraska took a 27-21 lead
when Husker l-back Keith Jones
capped a four-play, 27-yard drive
with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Husker kicker Chris Drennan
then added a 43-yard field goal to
{give Nebraska a 30-21 lead follow
ing Blazek’s interception.
Blazek said he was able to inter
cept the pass because he read
EUis’s arm. He said he was intent
on scoring during his 46-yard re
“I had a lot of open field,”
Blazek said. “I just don’t like hit
ting the sideline.”
Nebraska took a 3-0 lead in the
first quarter when Drennan kicked
the (im of his three field goals.
A 36-yard field goal by the
sophomore from Cypress, Calif.,
gave the Huskers a 6-0 lead in the
second quarter, but Ellis responded
by throwing a 35-yard touchdown
pass to wide receiver Ryan Bethea.
The Huskers their tuck a 13-7
halftime lead when Taylor threw a
78-yard pass to wingback Richard
Bell. Bell, a sophomore from Al
tadena, Calif., said his first touch
down pass felt special.
wm — — i wm ——■■ ■
“It really felt great,’* Bell said.
“(It) made me feel like I can make
a difference.”
But South Carolina used an 80
yard pass from Ellis to wingback
Sterling Sharpe and a 17-yard re
verse by wide receiver Ryan Be
thea to take a 21-13 lead at the end
of the third quarter.
The reverse was set up when
Ellis rolled right and handed off to
Bethea, who scampered untouched
down die left sideline.
Nebraska comer back Charles
Fryar said that although the play
resembled the 39-yard reverse that
was accomplished by Colorado
split end Jeff Campbell last season,
it wasn’t the result of a mistake
because the Nebraska defensive
backs like to rotate coverages.
“We did all we could,” Fryar
said. “I think we did a hell of a job.”
Osborne said the game then
appeared to turn bleak because
Taylor left the contest when he
injured his left shoulder and suf
fered a severe headache.
But Blakeman directed three
scoring drives in the game’s fourth
quarter as Jones scored on runs of 4
and 3 yards and Drennan kicked his
43-yard field goal to raise
Nebraska’s record to 4-0.
Blakeman cut South Carolina’s
lead to 21-19 when he directed the
final 10 plays of an 18-play, 96
yard scoring drive that was capped
by Jones' 3-yard run. The Huskers
two-point attempt failed when
Jones was stopped short of the goal
Nebraska then scored what
proved to be the game’s winning
touchdown when, following a
fumble by South Carolina reserve
running back iCeith Bing, Jones
capped a four-play, 27-yard scor
ing drive with his 4-yard run.
Blakeman said he wasn’t nr
prised by his performance because
he always likes to be in the action.
He said the key to being a success
ful second-string quarterback is to
stay in the game,
“I stand by Coach (Osborne)
and listen to all the {days, so I pretty
much know what we were doing,”
Blakeman said. “The key is to not
get cold — you have to stay in the
Blakeman, who also replaced
Taylor during Nebraska’s 70-0
victory over Kansas last season,
said the game against South Caro
lina won tstandout any more than
the contest against the Jayhawks.
He said he will treat both games as
an opportunity. I
“I was hoping to get the chance
because I know what I can do,”
Blakeman said. “1 was glad to get
the opportunity.”
Nebraska offensive lineman
John McCormick said he wasn’t
surprised by Blakeman’s perform
“Clete is a good quarterback,”
McCormick said. “He came in and
did an excellent job.”
Osborne said he’s glad
Nebraska’s victory over South
Carolina brings the Huskers’ non
conference season to a close. Ne
braska opens its Big Bight schedule
by facing Kansas Saturday at
“1 guess I'm very glad the non
conference (season) is over,” S
Osborne said. “It’s been a little
tough on my ticker.”
i 1 11 *.■" .— ■
V IL I ^——i
Photos by Doug Carroll
Eric Gregory
Layout by Andrea Hoy
Clockwise from top middle: Nebraska
wlngback Richard Bell makes a cut on the
way to a 78-yard second quarter touchdown.
Safety Mark Blazek and linebacker Steve
Forch celebrate Blazek’s fourth-quarter
Nebraska’s Tim Rother (left) and Nell Smith
apply heavy pressure to South Carolina’s
Todd Ellis.
Gamecock Matt McKerman tries to bring
down Steve Taylor.
Mental errors beat ‘Cocks’
By Kyle bchurman •
Staff Reporter
It was the big play that enabled
South Carolina to take a 21-13
lead, but that same big play hurt the
Gamecocks during their 30-21 loss
to Nebraska Saturday at Memorial
South Carolina wingback Ster
ling Sharpe said the Gamecocks
made too many mistakes in the
fourth quarter to preserve a victory
over the Comhuskers. He said the
game came down lo which team
would commit fewer errors.
“We had the mental break
downs late that cost us the football
game,” Shame said.
. South Carolina quarterback
Todd Ellis said that although the
Gamecocks made some mental
mistakes, they were forced by the
Husker defense.
“They did a good job of stop
ping certain plays on us,” Ellis
said. “Their coaching staff de
serves a lot of credit because they
did a good jobof guessing with us.
The first big play occurred when
a fumble by South Carolina reserve
tailback Keith Bing, who was in the
game because starting tailback
Harold Green hurl hfk knee, gave
Nebraska the football at the South
Carolina 27-yard line.
Nebraska I-back Keith Jones
then scored what proved to be the
game’s winning touchdown four
plays later, when his 4-yard touch
down run gave the Huskers a 27-21
“The fumble we lost to give
them the go-ahead touchdown was
a key,” South Carolina coach Joe
Morrison said. “But in a tight ball
game, every play is a key play. “
The second big play occurred
when Ellis’s pass to wide receiver
Ryan Bethea was intercepted by
Husker strong safety MarkBlazek.
The interception led to a 43-yard
field goal by Nebraska kicker Chris
“We’ve been in that same situ
ation so many times,” Ellis said.
“We were moving the ball pretty
good, but then there were a lot of
penalties on both sides and that
_the Gamecocks had
run the same pass play earlier in the
“I think we tried to throw over
the middle too many times,” Ellis
said. “(Nebraska) was blitzing and
I was on my back foot, so 1 didn’t
get as much on it as I wanted.
“But give (Blazek) credit; he
read the play.”
Ellisgaid he wasn't pleased with
his play because he threw three
interceptions. He completed 17 of
36 passes for 256 yards and two
Ellis, who threw a 35-yard
touchdown pass to Bethea in the
second quarter, opened the second
half by completing an 80-yard
touchdown pass to Sharpe.
Sharpe said the Gamecocks
decided to throw deep at halftime
because the Husker defense was
playing tight
“I just made an inside move and
the defender took the fake and
Todd laid it up for me,” Sharpe
said. “It was just like you would do
in your back yard.”
South Carolina’s remaining
touchdown occurred on a 17-yard
reverse by Bethea.
Bethea said the fact that Colo
rado burned Nebraska with the
reverse last season didn’t affect
South Carolina’s decision to run
the play. Colorado split end Jeff
Campbell burned the Huskers in
1986 when he scored on a 39-yard
reverse during the Buffaloes’ 20
10 victory over Nebraska.
“We’ve been running that play
since my freshman year,” Bethea
said. “I was surprised it was so
open. We ran Sterling the other
way, and the whole defense pur
sued him.” »f'
Bethea said he was “halfway
pleased” with his play.
(Nebraska’s) just as good as
they said they were,” Bethea said.
We beatourselveS'butlcan’ltake
anything away from (Nebraska)/’
“Our defense played great, and
our offense has to come around and
help them,” Sharpe said. “You
can’t keep turning the ball o verand
keep expecting your defense to
hold them.”
South Carolina linebacker Matt
McKeman, who had 11 tackles,
said he was pleased with the pres
sure that the Gamecock defense put
on Husker quarterbacks Sieve
1 aylor and Clele Blakeman.
“I was happy with the penetra
tion we got and the sacks we laid on
(Husker quarterback Steve) Tay
!or,” McKeman said. "If we can get
penetration on Nebraska, we can
get penetration on anybody.”
McKeman said Nebraska’s best
weapon was its inside running
Morrison said this year’s loss
didn’t hurt any worse than last
year’s. The Gamecocks dropped a
-7-24 decision to Nebraska last
reason in Columbia, S.C., when an
Hlis pass was intercepted by for
tocr Nebraska safety Bryan Siebler
with 38 seconds remaining.