The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 13, 1994, Page 5, Image 5

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Tuesday, September 13, 1994
Page 5
Huskers’ full potential still eludes Osborne
By Trevor Parks
Staff Reporter
The Nebraska football team may be the top
ranked team in the country according to the
coaches’ poll.
However, two games into the season, coach
Tom Osborne still isn’t quite sure how good his
team can be.
A Her dropping to second in the Associated
Press poll and looking back at the first two games
on the schedule, Osborne said the competition
Nebraska had played might not have been as
tough as he originally thought.
“I’m not real sure about the quality of our
opponents at this time,” Osborne said at Mon
day’s Extra Point Club luncheon.
Still, Osborne said he voted his team No. 1 in
the coaches’ poll.
Alter Nebraska beat West Virginia 31 -0 in the
Kickoff Classic, the Mountaineers won a 16-14
squeaker over Ball Slate and lost at Rutgers 17-12
“Obviously West Virginia isnot as good as last
year, Osborne said. “A 16-14 victory over Ball
State is not a real whitewash. Rutgers beat them,
and that doesn’t look good.”
Nebraska’s second opponent, Texas Tech,
impressed Osborne with the way it played in the
42-16 loss to the Comhuskers. Earlier this year,
the Red Raiders defeated New Mexico 37-31.
“I was impressed with thcirtenacity "Osborne
said. “They might have an outside chance at the
(Southwest) conference title.”
Osborne said this Saturday’s contest against
No. 13 UCLA would be asign ofjust how good the
Huskers could be.
“This week will be the first team we face that
has a comparable type of athletes,” Osborne said.
“We’ll play that by ear and see how we do.”
The Bruins arc coming o(Tof a 17-10 victory
at home against Southern Methodist Saturday.
“A lot of people might look at the score and get
a lot ofencouragcment,”Osborne said. “Some say
UCLA is not very good; I don’t think that’s the
Osborne said he was hoping to sec UCLA blow
out SMU, so the Bruins might come into the
Nebraska game confident in their abilities.
“They probably weren’t toocxcitedabout play
ing SMU,” Osborne said. “Now they may be
under a lot of scrutiny. They might want to make
a statement this week.”
Osborne said he expected the Bruin team that
defeated No. 15 Tennessee 25-23 to show up in
Lincoln, not the team that struggled against the
“You will see a way different team Saturday in
Lincoln than the one last Saturday in the Rose
Bowl,” Osborne said.
Jon Waller/DN
After his first game at Nebraska, split end Reggie Baul wasn’t
happy. Now after three years, Baul is the Huskers’ second
leading receiver.
Husker receiver Reggie Baul
catches on with four receptions
By Trevor Parks
Staff Reporter
Reggie Baul is happy to be a major
part of the Nebraska football offense
this season, and hisstatistics have shown
Aflcr playing in 11 games last year,
Baul caught only seven passes for 116
In the Federal Express Orange Bowl.
Baul hauled in his first touchdown pass
as aComhusker. Baul caught a 34-yard
touchdown pass that deflected off team
mate Clcstcr Johnson.
And he didn’t have to wail long to
catch another.
Against West Virginia in the Kick
off Classic, Baul pulled in his second
career touchdown pass on a 12-yard
diving catch.
Now only two games into the 1994
campaign, Baul has four receptions for
60 yards and one touchdown.
For his efforts in the KickofTClassic,
Baul was named Nebraska’s offensive
playcr-of-thc-game by the Huskcrcoach
ing stall
“I wasn’t even thinking about that,”
Baul said. “I need to keep doing my job
and don’t think about getting awards.”
Receivers coach Ron Brown said
Baul deserved the award.
‘‘Every play, play-in, play-out he
was blocking. When the time came for
him to catch the ball, he did,” Brown
said. “His big plays, as well as his
consistency, led him to achieving that
In Thursday night’s 42-16 victory
over Texas Tech, Baul had one recep
tion for 12 yards.
Thc5-foot-8,170-pound junior from
in a running program could be frustrat
ing at times, but it has paid dividends.
“I understand what our football phi
losophy is, so I’m content with block
ing,” Baul said. “That makes me a more
all-around receiver.”
Baul, who backed up Corey Dixon
last year, said changing his style of
receiving was tough, but now he’s glad
to see the progress.
“My first game here, I felt I needed
to be at more of a passing school,” Baul
said. “After you see how well your
blocking helps get bigger plays, you
start wanting to block more.”
Brown said Baul had improved his
overal I recci ving ab il i ty sinee com ing to
Nebraska as a walk-on in 1991.
“He’s improved tremendously,”
Brown said. “There is still some more
work to get done, but his work ethic has
increased dramatically.”
Although Baul may lack the si/c of
a receiver, his speed and quickness
more than make up for that problem.
“I have to be a little more quicker
because I’m not as tall as some other
receivers,” Baul said. “Speedand quick
ness are really an advantage.”
Brown agreed.
“He can stop on a dime,” Brown
said. “A receiver has got to have more
than just speed; he’s got to be able to
change speeds, and he’s still learning
that phase of the game.”
Coaches’ poll ranks five Big 8 teams
By Mitch Sherman
Senior Reporter
For the first time in 16 years, the Big
Eight conference boasts five teams
ranked in one of the major polls.
Kansas entered this week’s coaches’
poll ranked at No. 23. Along with No.
21 Kansas State, No. 190klahoma, No.
7 Colorado and No. 1 Nebraska, the Big
Eight has more ranked teams than it’s
had since Sept. 25, 1978.
But that isn’t the whole story.
Hard times have fallcnupon two Big
Eight programs that had fostered high
expectations heading into this season.
Iowa State, which returns 21 starters
from a year ago, has kicked ofTthe 1994
season with back-to-back losses.
In addition, Missouri, optimistic
heading into the season with new coach
Larry Smith, has looked hapless in its
first two games, including Saturday’s
42-0 loss to Illinois.
be made in the Missouri lineup before
Saturday’s game in the Astrodome
against Houston.
“If a guy is not giving you effort and
not making improvements,” Smith said,
“then you make changes. We find our
selves having to change goals, but this
team is completely capable of anything
right now.”
Cyclone coach J im Walden, who has
a 28-49-2 record in seven-plus seasons
al Iowa State, said he has had to shield
his players from harsh fan treatment
after two losses to in-slate rivals North
ern Iowa and Iowa.
Walden said he would rather be the
sole victim of criticism.
“You can call me a bum ifyou want,”
he said,“but don’t call our players that.”
• Nebraska I-back Lawrence Phillips
was named Big Eight offcasivc player
of the week for his efforts against Texas
Tech on Thursday. The sophomore from
West Covina, Calif., ran for 175 yards
on 19 carries and caught three passes for
39 yards in the Huskers’ 42-16 win.
Heisman hype arrives too early in season for Frazier
My mother always told me, “Don’t
count your chickens before they’ve
I. of course, misunderstood her as
saying.“Don’t surmount your chicklets
while on a velvet couch.”
As you may have guessed. I didn’t
know what the hell that meant, and so
I failed to leam this piece of life’s truth
until the beginning of this year’s
Hornhonkcr, I mean, Comhuskcr foot
ball season.
This brings me to the artistic portion
of today’s column:
Roses are red.
Clams arc mollusks,
If I hear one more thing about
Tommie Frazier winning the Hcisman,
I’m gonna yak with the immediacy
of Speedy Gonzalez.
Speaking of Speedy, did anyone see
Ihc time he played pingpong by him
sell? I toll you, if you failed lo see this
feat of table missed
out on a slice of something special.
For my money (and maybe I’m go
ing out on a limb), I think a healthy and
confident Speedy Gonzalez could take
Forrest Gump. Hey, pingpong is a sport
of concentration, and Speedy is just
stronger mentally, and plus — he’s a
MOUSE. Ya gotta love rodents.
OK, back to my original topic. Why,
as Nebraskans, are we so concerned
about Tommie winning the Heisman?
about the award; why the hell should
Now please don’t get me wrong. I
think Tommie “Dairy Queen” Frazier
is the best quarterback I’ve ever seen
wear a Comhoggcr uniform, but that
doesn’t mean Fve picked him for the
Heisman already after watching him
play for only seven quarters.
The Heisman is becoming less an
award for the best player in college
football and more a hypefest to see
which school's sports information de
partment is the slickest.
The play of players seems to mean
less in the Hcisman race than the adver
tising appeal of players.
That’s patently wrong, and it angers
me that the press and the colleges across
the country are trying to steal thedignily
of college football’s most prestigious
award and cheaply replace it with an
advertising slogan.
By the way, did you guys get that
“Dairy Queen” nickname I gave to
Tommie? C’mon — you know, Dairy
Queen Brazier—and then I said “Dairy
Queen" Frazier. Ya get it, ya gel it?
Ah, forget it. The only reason you al 1
arc reading this friggin' column is so
you don’t have to listen to the boring
professors you all have. Not only is this
column crappy, it’s facilitating igno
rance among mypeers. My life’sacrucl
Anyway, ifl could pick anyone in the
country to win the Hcisman, it probably
would be Tommie. Wait, actually I’d
most likely pick my sister, Ashley, but
that’s only because she throws more
accurately than Tommie. She’s got a
cannon, a CANNON 1 tell you.
No, ifl could pick any major college
football player in the country to win the
Heisman, the truth is that 1 couldn’t
right now. I’vc seen only 200 players so
far this season out of the vast multitude
that arc playing in the NCAA this year.
My point is there’s no real way to
select even a list of Heisman candidates
two weeks into the season, let alone a
So my suggestion is: Let’s chill a bit
on the Heisman banter. Let’s sit back,
graba fruit roll-upandjustenjoy watch
ing Tommie and the Cornlovcrs win a
national championship. Hey, if the
He isman comes—cool. 1 f i l docsn ’ t—
we’ve got something to bitch about.
NU Swimming Update: It has been
rumored that several drownings have
occurred in prcseason workouts this
The rumor mill claims this year’s
team is lacking something compared to
previous Husker swimming squads —
flotation devices.
Finley is a second-year law student and a
Daily Nebraskan sports columnist.