The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 18, 1989, Page 10&11, Image 10

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    Defensive tackle Ray Valladao sacks Utah quarterback Scott Mitchell.
Fullback Bryan Carpenter takes out Utah’s Koba Afu, setting up a touchdown run by quarterback Gerry Gdowski.
Utah quarterback and offense
pose surprise for Comhuskers
By Chuck Green
Senior Reporter
Las Vegas bookmakers, college football
fans and media personnel all knew No. 4
ranked Nebraska would rout Utah Satur
day. They were all sure of it.
But there was one problem: Somebody forgot
to tell Utah’s team.
Especially quarterback Scott Mitchell.
Mitchell passed for 297 yards and four touch
downs, leading the Utes to 402 yards of total
offense against the Cornhuskers in a 42-30 Ne
braska win at Memorial Stadium.
“We played a pretty good team today,” Ne
braska coach Tom Osborne said. “I know a lot of
people will be upset with the score, but I’m
pleased with the win.”
Osborne was not pleased, however, with the
Huskers’ “defensive breakdown” at the end of
the game, which resulted in two Utah touchdowns
in the game’s final 3:38.
Nebraska led 42-16 when Utah linebacker
Howard Reeve intercepted a pass from Husker
quarterback Keilhen McCant and returned it to the
Nebraska 16-yard line. Three plays later, Mitchell
drilled a 1-yard pass to Darrell Hicks for the
The ensuing two-point conversion attempt was
stopped when Nebraska defensive tackle Kent
Wells sacked Mitchell.
After failing to convert on fourth down, Ne
braska turned Die ball over to the Utes with 1:06
left in the game. A 20-yard pass to Bryan Rowley
capped a six-play, 64-yard drive to end the game.
“I’m sorry we let a little bit get away at the end,
but that’s to Utah’s credit,” Osborne said
Utah’s offense caused problems for Ne
braska’s defense throughout the game with its
variety of offensive formations, shifts and mo
tions. Three Utah receivers had more than 60
yards receiving, and tailback Clifton Smith rushed
17 times for 82 yards.
Nebraska defensive coordinator Charlie
McBride said the defensive players “knew they
were in a football game” after Utah’s first offen
sive drive.
“I think (Mitchell) is the best quarterback to
come out since (former Stanford quarterback
John) Elway,” McBride said. “He moved around
belter than I thought.”
Utah’s receivers are a primary reason for
Mitchell’s success, McBride said.
‘ ‘They run as good of pass patterns as any team
we’ve seen,” he said. “The only difference be
tween them and Miami is that Miami’s faster.”
Utah scored on its first possession of the game,
capping a nine-play, 59-yard drive with a 5-yard
pass from Mitchell to Dennis Smith with 9:24 left
in the first quarter.
The Huskers came back two drives later to tie
the game on an 8-yard touchdown run by quarter
back Gerry Gdowski with 4:00 left in the quarter.
Chris Drennan added the extra point.
Gdowski rushed for 104 vards and three touch
down on 15 carries. He also completed 3 of 6
passes for 27 yards.
Utah took the lead again with 1:43 left in the
first quarter on a 43-yard pass from Mitchell to
Smith, but a bad snap on the extra-point attempt
kept the score 13-7.
Gdowski scored on an 8-yard run, and outside
linebacker Mike Croel returned an interception
six yards for another score in the second quarter,
extending Nebraska’s lead to 21 -13. The intercep
tion was Mitchell’s first of the season.
Utah cut Nebraska’s lead to 21-16 with 5:16
left in the first half on a 45-yard field goal by
Wayne Lammle.
Osborne said Nebraska’s pass rush improved
during the second half. "
“We seemed to be more confident on defense
in the second half,” he said. ‘‘It was hard, because
Utah gave us so many formations and sets and
motions. But we settled down a little bit and
started to execute.”
I-back Ken Clark scored the only touchdown of
the third quarter, a 2-yard run with 6:57 remaining %
in the quarter.
Clark rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries. Full
back Bryan Carpenter carried five times for 102
yards and a touchdown.
Osborne said Carpenter’s high rushing output |
was due to Utah’s defensive slants.
“Most of his yards came on read options,”
Osborne said. “If the (defensive) tackle pulls out,
the quarterback hands off. Gerry did a good job of ;
reading that today.”
Carpenter bolted 29 yards for a touchdown on
the first play of the fourth quarter on the same type
of play. The score extended Nebraska’s lead to 35
Gdowski scored his last touchdown four min
utes later on a 4-yard run.
Nebraska strong safety Reggie Cooper, who §j|
led the Huskcr defense with 10 tackles, said he
didn’t expect the variety of offense Utah used in
the game.
“I wasn’t ready for a lot of what they were j|
doing in the first half,” he said. “Scott Mitchell is M
about the best I’ve ever seen. He has good touch,
but he can wing the ball in there, too. He’s the best m
I’ve ever played against.” ■
Freshman outside linebacker David White raises his arms in triumph after sacking
Utah quarterback Scott Mitchell. a
Heisman hopeful Ken Clark dives for extra yardage.
Photos by
Al Schaben
David Hansen
NU quarterback Gerry Gdowski hands off to fullback Sam Schmidt.