The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 30, 1991, Page 8, Image 7

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I Huskers focus on ‘quite confidence
I am numb. A sort of paralysis, I
think. And it isn’t because of frost
There’s a swelling in my veins and
it isn’t blood a-pumping. No, there’s
some sort of stuffing in my arteries
going into Saturday’s Comhusker
match-up with Colorado.
5S3 Todd
I Cooper
I’ve been asked repeatedly who’s
going to win the Boulder rumble this
week. Instead of firing a typically
juicy prediction, I simply garble and
mumble, “I don’t know,” with glazed
Such a coma-calmness is condi
tioned. Last year’s Colorado game
and this year’s Washington game were
enough to tranquilize anyone.
Even the players seem subdued
I entering Saturday’s game.
Johnny Mitchell, the most flam
boyant tight end in Husker* history,
held a sort of composed cockiness
after Nebraska’s 63-6 victory over
Missouri on Saturday.
“We’re just calm and focused,”
Mitchell said. “We’re trying not to be
over-intense this year.”
Not revenge, not bitterness, not
hatred toward the Buffaloes, just “calm
and focused.”
I-back Derek Brown held a similar
disposition after Saturday’s blowout.
Brown didn’t have a comment when
asked if Colorado is comparable to
No comment, no brash words, no
A far, pleasant cry from last year,
when, in the words of Mitchell, Ne
braska was “overintensified” going
into the Colorado match-up.
Mitchell guaranteed that Nebraska’s
attitude won’t match the altitude this
year in Boulder, Colo., then fall off
like a boulder should the Huskers lose
like last year.
Nebraska already proved that ear
lier in the year, when the Huskers
responded to Washington’s 27-point,
come-from-behind rampage with a
win against Arizona State.
No, last year was different.
As outside linebacker Trev Al
berts said, “It seemed like last year
we just blew everybody out. And you
saw the result”
Yet, are Husker fans supposed to
be reassured Saturday because Ne
braska clawed by Kansas State and
Arizona State? A close game with
Washington certainly will help Sat
urday. But by how much?
“That helps a lot,” Brown said.
“We’re going to let it all hang out in
the fourth quarter this time.”
Receivers coach Ron Brown al
luded to that very problem after last
year’s loss. He noted that Nebraska
was too tentative and maybe loo happy
after going up by 12 points late in the
third quarter of last year’s 27-12 loss
in Lincoln. Nebraska was penalized
for celebrating after their last, 46
yard touchdown by Mitchell.
More importantly, Brown said they
lacked that “quiet confidence.”
Not this year. Mitchell, the man
who was so exuberant last year, said
he’ll be “calm and focused.”
Forget about the just another game
attitude Husker Coach Tom Osborne
mentions this week. This game, this
attitude, is different. Players have
admitted this game is big, but this
time their approach isn’t.
Defensive coordinator Charlie
McBride said the mood of his defense
was hard to read before Saturday’s
game with Missouri.
“They were really quiet... really
focused — like they were all busi
And that’s the way the whole team
seems this week. After Osborne’s press
conference Tuesday, several players
from Brown to quarterback Keithen
McCant to split end Tyrone Hughes
said last year hasn’t beien brought up
this week in practice.
Nary a word.
In fact, the only words they men
tion arc Mitchell’s unusually modest
ones: “calm and focused.”
Of course, what “calm and fo
cused” gets them Saturday is “tense
and cloudy” right now.
But the attitude is admirable for a
game that has so many implications:
national respect, probably the Big
Eight title and respect at home which,
amazingly, is the hardest to earn.
As Colorado quarterback Darian
Hagan said last week, “Nebraska fans
are just getting spoiled. You can’t
win everything, every time.”
When Nebraska fans realize that
(as the players have), maybe those
fans can then be “calm and focused.”
Or, better yet, numb.
Cooper is a sophomore news-editorial
major and the Daily Nebraskan senior sports
Continued from Page 6
she was impressed with Nebraska’s
hitting ability.
“We were having trouble with all
their hitters tonight,” she said. “It
seemed like the block wasn’t there. 1
1 don’t even know if they had to go
I around us. It seemed like there were a
j lot of holes in the block.”
Nebraska improved its record to
17-3, 9-0 in the conference, while
Kansas fell to 21 -5 and 4-4.
The Huskers will travel to Texas
this weekend, taking on Houston Fri
day and No. 8 Texas Saturday.
Continued from Page 6
Oliver said he, like Stull, was dis
appointed with the way he and his
teammates played against Colorado
and Nebraska.
“Today wasn’t Missouri football,”
he said after the loss to Nebraska.
“When you get beat that bad, it hurts.
We know we’re a good team. That’s
why this loss hurts so much.”
Missouri defensive end Stacy Elli
ott had a more direct approach to
predicting the outcome of the Ne
braska-Colorado game.
“Colorado, all the way,” he said.
“Playing out there, in front of their
fans, and with that defense ... Colo
rado should definitely win the game.
“I’m not taking anything away from
Nebraska,” he added. “I just think
Colorado is the better team at this
Tiger fullback Michael Washing
ton, who was Missouri’s leading rusher
against Nebraska with 11 carries for
48 yards, said he thought both teams’
defenses were equivalent.
“They both are fast, and they both
hit hard,” he said. “Nebraska showed
a lot of learn speed out there (last
Saturday), and Colorado showed just
as much last week.”
Any predictions?
“No way,” Washington said, laugh
ing. “I’ll tell you next Sunday.”
Stull also declined to offer a pre
diction on the game.
“I’m not worried about those guys,”
he said. “I’m worried about our own
score.” <
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Continued from Page 6
quarterbacks, but the similarities end
there, Vance said,
“We re very different players on
the field,” Vance said. ‘‘I consider
him as being more of a runner but I
think I can pass a little belter than he
Vance’s abilities have not been
limited to the football field. The so
phomore from Marrero, La., was
named to Colorado’s “Academic
Starters” for having the best grade
point average of all of the Buffalo
Vance spent lime as Colorado’s
first-string quarterback during spring
practices when Hagan was rehabili
tating from knee surgery. Vance said
getting that playing time was valu
able as he prepares to take over the
Buffalo offense after Hagan completes
his eligibility after this season.
“I had a lot of pressure on me last
spring when Hagan was hurt, so I had
to improve a lot and gain some needed
experience,” Vance said, “Hopefully,
now I’ll be ready to take over for
Hagan after this year.”
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