The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 18, 1989, Page 9, Image 9

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Utah’s plan includes confusion, trickery
ny lsurran rowier
Senior Reporter
If Nebraska’s defense was confused peri
odically by Utah’s offense in Saturday’s foot
ball game, it was not without reason.
Nebraska won the game 42-30 in front of
76,333 fans at Memorial Stadium.
Utah quarterback Scott Mitchell said the
Utes’ game plan was to intentionally try to
baffle the Comhuskers’ defense all day with
numerous offensive formations and trick plays.
“Part of our game plan going into the game
was to be pesky and try to do things to get them
frustrated and confused,’’ Mitchell said.
Part of that confusion and trickery came in
the second quarter when the left-handed quar
terback came off the field clutching his left
shoulder in obvious pain after being sacked by
Husker middle guard Mike Murray. While the
play was being negated by a holding call on the
Huskers’ defense, Mitchell was on the Utes’
bench being attended to by the Utah trainers.
Utah then gained five yards on the next play
with a run up the middle by Utah running back
Clifton Smith, before Mitchell returned to the
game lining up in the shotgun.
At the same time Mitchell was walking
toward the right side of Utah’s line pointing
and giving directions with the impression there
was a mix-up in the Utes’ Qffense, center Jeff
Parson gave a direct snap to Smith, who then
ran the ball.
Mitchell admitted after the game that he
was never injured and it was all part of the
Utes’ ploy to try to confuse Nebraska.
“In all honesty it was part of the game,”
Mitchell said. “That particular play was one
we used to try and confuse them.”
The play resulted in a loss of two yards as
Nebraska strong safety Reggie Cooper came
up to make the tackle, but it exemplifies Utah’s
endless attempts to try to befuddle Nebraska’s
And, some of those attempts were success
ful as Utah took leads of 7-0 and 13-7, and
trailed at halftime 21-16.
Smith and Mitchell said the Utes’ mood at
the half was one of optimism.
“At that time we were thinking, ‘Hey, we
got them where we want them,”’ Smith said.
Mitchell, who completed 26 of 41 passes for
297 yards and four touchdowns, said mistakes
hurt the Utes.
“At the beginning of the second half we
made some mistakes that I think cost us the ball
game,” Mitchell said. “I don’t think it’s the
best we can play. We made too many mistakes
to win. Nebraska’s a good team and I’m sure
they created a lot of those mistakes, but we can
play better.”
Mitchell said he wasn’t satisfied with the
Utes’ keeping the score close. With Nebraska
leading 42-16, Utah scored two touchdowns in
the game’s final four minutes.
Utah coach Jim Fassel said he told his play
ers after the game that they have improved a lot
since losing their season opener 52-22 at
Fresno State.
Fassel said the Utes’ defend played well.
“Any lime our defense plays well, we play
well as a team,” he said. “They played like I
expected them to. I was proud of the way our
defense didn’t give up the long runs. They got
some good gainers, but it wasn’t like an 80
yard burst for a touchdown.”
Mitchell was sacked four times for 38 yards.
“They just brought four people and it was
effective, Mitchell said. “They’re a good
solid defense.”
Utah blended the rush with the pass in its
first two scoring drives. The Utes’ first score
was a nine-play 59-yard drive -five passes and
four rushes - capped by a five-yard pass to
tight end Dennis Smith in the first quarter.
After Nebraska tied the score 7-7, Utah
answered with a five-play 76-yard drive -
three passes and two rushes - when Mitchell
again connected with Smith for a 43-yard
touchdown pass.
“We went after ihem early because they
were in a nickel package and they were bring
ing people in,” Fassel said. “So we were
running some traps and draws and it felt like
that would help us. I think it helped us early in
the ball game.”
Mitchell’s first interception of the season
.resulted in a five-yard touchdown return by
Husker linebacker Mike Croel in the second
quarter, giving Nebraska a 21-13 lead.
Nebraska linebacker Mike Petko and free
safety Tyrone Byrd also intercepted Mitchell.
“All interceptions are crucial and we
should be able to bounce back from something
like that,” Mitchell said about Croel’s inter
ception. “(Croel) was playing pretty good
man-to-man coverage and I thought (Croel)
was a little aggressive, but then again I’m not
the official. (Croel) made a heck of a play and
it was just unfortunate for us.”
Smith finished with 82 yards on 17 carries
and caught seven passes for 62 yards.
"I’m not tired right now, I’m beat up,”
Smith said. “I’m just bruised, but I’ll be ready
for next week.”
Smith said he was impressed with Ne
“Other teams they may be quick, but they
may not be as strong,” he said. “Others they
may be strong, but not as quick. Nebraska has
all the elements.
Dirksen praises
NU cross country
weekend efforts
By Scott Stream
Staff Reporter
Nebraska cross country coach Jay
Dirksen had high praise for both of
his teams after they opened their
seasons by competing in the Ne
braska Invitational.
Dirksen said he was pleased with
Nebraska’s performance Saturday at
Pioneers Park because both teams
had an abundance of runners finish
among the top competitors. The
Nebraska women had seven runners
finish among the top 10 finishers,
while the Comhusker men had six.
In addition to Nebraska, the meet
included teams from Kearney State,
Nebraska Wesleyan, Midland Col
lege, Tarkio (Mo.) College and
Northwest Missouri Slate. No team
scores were kept
Dirksen said he could not fault his
team’s efforts.
Nebraska’s men were led by Jac
ques van Rensburg, who captured the
men’s title with a 32:27.8 clocking.
Teammate Joe Kirby was second in
33:08, while Kevin Clark was fourth,
Harald Graham fifth, Tom Banks
sixth and Frank Graham seventh.
The Nebraska women were led by
Juliet Prowse, who finished second to
Midland’s Amber Anderson with a
time of 18:31.1. The Huskers’ Katie
Fletcher finished third with a time of
18:36.8, while teammate Michele
Marthaler was fourth. Tracy Smith
was sixth, Fran tenBensel was sev
enth, Lisa Darley was eighth and
Kelly Loos was ninth.
Prowse said she was pleased with
her performance because she has not
tapered yet. Tapering is a process in
which runners hope to improve their
times by resting.
Nebraska freshman fullback Brian Durtfavy
Huskers are motivated
to play against Bethany
By Chock Greco
Senior Reporter
In the last two seasons, Ne
braska's junior varsity football
, ., team has defeatedjtethany (Kan.)
Junior College’s Junior varsity
team by scores of 55-0 and 68-0.
Even so, Comhusker coach
Shane Thorell isn't taking today’s
game lightly. The game, which
will be broadcast live by KRNU
(90.3 FM) begins at 1 p.m. at
Memorial Stadium.
. * ‘We have no idea what kind of
team they’ll bring up here,” he
said. “There are different players
every year, so it’s hard to say
whether they’ll be better or worse
than last season.”
Thorell said his players will be
motivated for the game regardless
of the past scores.
“We only play five games, but
cxjrguy* get up for every game,”
Against Snow Junior College
two weeks ago, Nebraska faced an
offense simitar to Bethany’s,
Thorell said. The Hnsfcen tied
Snow 23-23.
Thorell said Bethany runs a
one-bock offense to highlight its
passing game, but occasionally
wilt rim an I-formation set similar
to Nebraska’s. He said many of
Bethany’s players are sophomores
and juniors.
‘Their varsity played (Satur
day), and a lot ot players who
dim ’ t play in that game me players
they’ll bring to Nebraska,”
Thorell said. They want to get a
look at them in a game situation.”
Thorell said injuries have
caused depth problems for Ne
braska’s defensive line. Tackle
Kevin Ramaekers injured his
Achilles’ tendon, and middle
guard Ryan Barry is out with a
pinched nerve in his neck.
Wingback Vernon Powell is
recovering from thumb surgery,
which repaired a tom ligament.
Thorell said Powell has been prac
ticing with acast, but ' ‘he’s having
trouble catching the ball.”
Powell may redshirt this sea
son, Thorell said.
Marvin Callies, who split play
ing time between quarterback and
J-back in Nebraska’s first game,
has been moved back to quarter
back and no longer will play I
Against Snow, Callies rushed
for 130 yards and a touchdown,
and completed 3 of 7 passes for 32
Shane McClanahan will start at
1-back against Bethany.
Thorell said the game against
Snow exposed several problems
with execution, particularly block
ing and defensive mental mis
He said the team isn’t practic
ing atthe level he would like to see
at this point of the season.
VIt*s really hard to keep up the
intensity when you play a five
game schedule,” Thorell said.
r‘The freshmen go a couple of
weeks without playing a game, and
that’s pretty tough.
“We’ve been telling them that
they need to practice as hard as
they can every day so that they
improve. I think they’ll be up for
this one.”
Coach says injuries no excuse for loss
By Darran Fowler
Senior Reporter __
Nebraska softball coach Ron Wolforth of
fered no excuses after seeing his team drop the
First half of a double header to Kearney State.
Wolforth said he could not use injuries as an
excuse, even though four Comhuskers either
missed or saw limited action in Friday’s games
at the NU softball complex.
Those injuries showed, as Nebraska lost for
the first time in nine years to Kearney State
when it dropped a 5-1 decision before defeat
ing the Lopers 11-1.
Wolforth said injuries arc not a legitimate
excuse because great teams have to adjust to
adversity. Center fielder Kristin Davidson,
catcher Kris Vucurevic, third baseman Lori
Cook and pitcher Tracy Smith all missed the
games or saw limited action because of inju
“I don’t want (injuries) creeping into our
subconscious, because we are 18 players and
we’re going to have to play with a couple key
people short,” Wolforth said. ‘‘I don’t care
how you slice it -- we’re still accountable for
our actions even though we’re a couple people
Wolforth said the loss was a big disappoint
ment for himself and his players.
“It was very disappointing and I think
they’re very disappointed in themselves,” he
said. “At the same lime, I probably have the
tendency to expect too much, but sometimes if
you don’texpect too much you don’t geta lot.’ ’
In the first game, Kearney State opened the
scoring in the third inning when shortstop
Wendy Welsh scored on a wild pitch by sopho
more Marie Bowie.
The Lopers then broke the game open with
a four-run sixth inning that was sparked by a
two-run double by freshman first baseman
Carrie Loudon. Nebraska right fielder Amy
Killman and left fielder Joy Rishel each com
mitted an error, which also benefitted the
Lopers’ rally.
Nebraska’s only run came in the sixth in
mng when first baseman Deanna Mays
doubled and scored on a single by Cook. Cook
was pinch hitting for catcher Khara Trenka.
Bowie surrendered five hits, walked three
and struck out three.
With the addition of former Husker pitcher
Lori Sippel to the coaching staff this season,
Wolforth said he expected Bowie to have a few
He said Sippel, who has 10 Nebraska pitch
ing records, has introduced the pitchers to
some different techniques.
‘‘It’s a new system and she’s not comfort
able,” Wolforth said. “I knew she was going to
struggle a bit.”
See LOSS on 13