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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 23, 1993)
Thursday, Saptamtoar 23,1893 ^#1 V/1V1 kJ
Wingback volunteers for QB but will stay put instead
By Jeff Griesch
For now, Nebraska wingback
Clester Johnson will stick to catch
ing footballs instead of throwing
With injuries thinning the
Cornhuskers at quarterback,
Johnson said he considered mov-.
ing to quarterback to give Nebras
ka some added depth.
But the coaches decided to keep
him at wingback.
“They like me where I am at
right now, and 1 just want to do my
part and do what the coaches tell
me to,” Johnson said.
The coaches might tell him to
start at wingback Saturday when
Nebraska takes on Colorado State.
First-string wingback Abdul
Muhammad, who has a sore knee,
is questionable for Saturday’s
For the first time since being
moved from quarterback when he
joined the Huskers, Johnson said,
he finally feels comfortable at
wingback. He has caught three re
ceptions for 46 yards in three games.
That’s three more catches than he
had last year.
“I feel like I have made a big
improvement from last year,
Johnson said. “Last year, I wasn’t
comfortable at all, and I was just
kind of running around out there.
“But now I know pretty much
everything that the offense asks of
Johnson said his suggestion to
move back to quarterback was driv
en by his desire to help the team in
any way he could. Nebraska’s quar
terbacks—Tommie Frazier (ankle
sprain). Brook Berringer (elbow),
Tony Veland (knee) and Ben Rutz
(knee) all are on the mend.
“It wasn’t a thing where I want
ed to show anybody up or prove
anything; I just thought maybe I
could help the team if Tommie got
injured to the point where he
couldn’t play,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s unselfishness, ironi
cally, iswhy he moved towingback
from quarterback when he came to
Nebraska. It’s also why he was
willing to take on a foreign funda
mental for a former quarterback—
“Blocking is probably even more
important than catching the ball in
our offense,” Johnson said.
Although Johnson has not played
quarterback since high school,
where he threw for 3,757 yards in
three years, he said he was com
And he said he still might get an
opportunity to demonstrate his pass
ing ability from the wingback posi
“We do have a play where the
receiver throws the ball, and we
have been working on that in prac
tice, so I might get a chance to do
that,” Johnson said.
Tommie Frazier takes off downfleld during Nebraska’s win over Texas Tech.
Frazier, still slowed by a sprained ankle, w expected to start Saturday.
Frazier says he’ll
play against Rams
despite bum ankle
By Mitch Sherman _ ^_
Staff Reporter • •
The way Nebraska quarterback Tommie
Frazier sees it, he can’t afford to rest now.
Fraziersaid he would not consider sitting out
this week against Colorado State to help his
ankle heal for the Big Eight opener against
Oklahoma State on Oct. 7.
“I want to play this week,” he said. “I can’t
just go out there and say, ’It’s Colorado State
and I can take a week off.’ I think I have to go
in there and stay in sync with everybody else.”
Although he does not want to take the week
off, Frazier said, he wouldn’t mind taking it
easy during the second half.
“I would like to go out there and score as
many points as I can in the first half,” Frazier
saidVThen in the second half, I could just sit
back and relax and get ready for the off-week
and then hopefully be healthy for the Oklahoma
Nebraska players haven’t seen a healthy
Frazier since the first snap of the season. Frazier
sprained his ankle at the end of the first play
against North Texas.
Twice during the UCLA game, Frazier laid
on the Rose Bowl grass after getting hit, appear
ing to be done for the day.
But he returned to lead Nebraska to a 14-13
win over the Bruins.
“The first time it was like a sharp pain that
went through my whole ankle,” Frazier said.
“Then the second time, it felt like someone just
came down on the pile and caught my ankle.
And that’s when I felt the immediate pain and
it was there for about three or four minutes.”
Despite the fact that his injured ankle in on
his plant foot, the sophomore from Bradenton,
Fla., completed 13 of 19 passes for 145 yards
and one touchdown against UCLA.
“I think that this sends a message (to the
team) that they have a quarterback who’s going
to play through the injuries no matter what,
Frazier said. ‘*If the team needs him, he’s going
to be there.”
I can’t just go out there
and say, ‘It’s Colorado
State and I can take a week
off. ’ I think I have to go In
there and stay in sync with
Frazier, who has completed 25 of 47 passes
for 351 yards and two touchdowns this season,
said that he never considered removing himself
from the UCLA game.
His attitude during the game, he said, rubbed
off on his teammates.
“It makes them better,” he said. “They saw
me go out a couple of times, so they sucked it
up. Then I got back in and it was like everyone’s
attitude had risen.”
Not only did Frazier boost the morale of the
other Nebraska players, he also impressed the
“Tommie Frazier has come up with two
performances in a row that have been stellar in
the area of 'Character," assistant coach Ron
Brown said. “Our players have a great deal of
confidence in him as well as our coaches."
Frazier said his ankle felt better now than it
felt at the same point in the previous two weeks,
but it was still sore. He said that he wouldn’t
work the ankle too hard in practice this week.
“During the week, you just try to do your
best not to aggravate it,” Frazier said, “then
gameday you just have to set your mind that
you don’t have an injury.
“If you go out there thinking about the
injury that you have, you probably could get
hurt worse from a different injury.
“The day of the game, I just pretend I don’t
Dream could foretell repeat oj 1990 Husker nightmare
It must have hit me while I was
dozing oft during the second quarter
of Nebraska’s 14 13 win over UCLA
Go figure, I entered that nutty realm
where your conscience lets you drift
off into a dream rather than subjecting
you to any more boredom.
I hit flashback mode.
Consider it a case of d6ja NU.
Images of Nebraska playing an
other well-respected but equally me
diocre team on television entered my
1990. Baylor, led by then-coach
Grant Teaff, entered Memorial Stadi
um with a stingy defense but veiy
little offense—much like UCLA this
Visions of Baylor holding an e ver
predictable Husker offense to few
points and yards in front of a televi
Images of the much-heralded
Blackshirts getting run over up the
middle by Baylor, but holding their
own come crunch time.
Visions of dads everywhere in their
red sweater vests and overstuffed
Lazyboys falling asleep, mouth ajar
with drool dribbl ing down their chins.
Images of boredom, with Nebras
ka escaping 13-0 in the fourth quarter.
Sketchy visions of... who?... Mel
Brooks? Close, but not it... the little
guy on ESPN who spits when he talks
... the curly-haired, former below
average coach who’s suddenly an
expert on college football ... LEE
Ugh. Lee Corso. Guys in commer
cials get to dream about leggy
supermodels like Cindy Crawford,
Rachel Hunter and Elle MacPherson.
I get the curse of Corso.
And so does Nebraska. Somebody,
quick, wake us all up.
Before the 1990 Baylor game—if
you dare to remember—Corso pre
dicted that Nebraska would win the
national championship that season.
He revised his prediction this sea
son — telling ESPN viewers that
Nebraska could win the national cham
pionship while placing them ninth in
his preseason poll.
Thar jinx aside, Nebraska’s real
curse lies not in the mouth of a blun
dering broadcaster, but in a too-weak -
to-be-justified nonconference sched
Pardon the cliche, but history does
repeat itself. And in 1990, after beat
ing Baylor, the Comhuskers cruised
through a schedule that included
Northern Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon
State and four Big Eight patsies. They
coasted to an 8-0 record and the No. 3
ranking in the nation.
Then they hit a Rocky Mountain
roadblock. Colorado came into Lin
coln with a 6-1-1 record, after the
nation’s toughest nonconference
schedule — which included a loss to
No. 21 Illinois, a tie with No. 5 Ten
nessee and wins over No. 22 Texas,
No. 12 Washington and Stanford.
This year, Colorado beat Texas
and Baylor before losing to No. 20
Stanford. This week, they take on No.
Nebraska’s first top 20 opponent
this season will be Colorado —just
like in 1990.
Unless Nebraska gets a crunch
time test in one of its Big Eight
matchups, the fourth-quarter night
mare of the 1990 Colorado game —
when the Buffaloes scored 27 points'
— could return.
The only difference this year is
that once Nebraska’s key players get
healthy, the offense should be more
potent than the sputtering 1990Chevy
See COOPER on 8
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