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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 5, 1997)
When talking about the most
overly hyped hunk of bronze in col
lege football, two names come to
mind as candidates for this year’s
Heisman Trophy. Sadly, the field
was narrowed to two players long
Over the course of the season,
Tennessee quarterback Peyton
Manning and Michigan corner
back Charles Woodson have been
compared in every aspect by just
about every college football guru.
What about the other top play
ers in the nation - including NU I
back Ahman Green?
Not a chance.
It seems to me that when peo
ple determine Heisman candidates,
it's almost before their senior year,”
Nebraska Running Backs Coach
Frank Solich said. “If you’re not
one of the top five or so guys that
they're looking at coming out of
the box, it's an uphill battle.”
It’s pretty crappy that the “out
standing college football player of
the year” might not actually be the
Green, a finalist for the Doak
Walker Award, ranks second in the
nation with 1,698 rushing yards
behind Texas’s Ricky Williams’
1,893. But Green has had fewer
carries and averages seven yards
every time he touches the ball -
better than any other back in the
He plays for the undefeated
Comhuskers and ran for an average
of 170 yards against three current
ly ranked teams, but Green isn’t
even listed on ESPN SportsZone’s
Heisman Trophy watch.
The bottom line may be the fact
that Green is a quiet runner. Five
yards here, 10 yards there - but not
a lot of runs that make
“That’s me,” Green said. “I’m a
quiet person. I don’t say much. I
play how I am: quiet.”
Green ranks second among
NU’s top career rushers with 3,701
yards - behind Mike Rozier’s
4,780. He holds the record for most
points scored in a season by a
junior with 114 - breaking the old
record of 102 held by Johnny
Rodgers (1971) and Rozier (1982).
Both Rodgers and Rozier won
the Heisman Trophy as juniors.
Green probably won’t even be
invited to the Downtown Athletic
Club of New York on Dec. 13.
“I think it’s very difficult to
pick a guy out this year because
there are a number of guys that
have played tremendously well for
their football team,” Solich said. “I
think Ahman is one of them.”
Too bad he didn’t get the hype.
David Wilson is a junior
news-editorial major and a Daily
Nebraskan senior reporter.
Osborne urges: Forget polls
By David Wilson
This year's national champi
onship may come down to a decision
by the pollsters, but the Nebraska
football team still must win its last
two games - both against ranked
opponents - to remain in contention
for the national title.
NU Coach Tom Osborne said he
hoped the Cornhuskers (11-0 overall
and 8-0 in the Big 12 Conference)
would remain focused on the game at
hand rather than worrying about the
polls and risking their second-con
secutive Big 12 Championship loss.
No. 2 Nebraska will travel to San
Antonio, Texas, Saturday to face No.
14 Texas A&M (9-2 and 6-2) in the
Big 12 Championship at 3:35 p.m.
The game will be televised nationally
In last year's league champi
onship, the Huskers fell to Texas 37
27, but NU was without starting I
back Ahman Green and many players
were hit by a flu bug.
This year, Nebraska rush end Grant
Wistrom said the Huskers are ready.
“We just went out and got embar
rassed last year,” Wistrom said ‘'and
that's the last thing that we want to
happen this year.”
A year ago at this time, Nebraska
was coming off a 17-12 win over
Colorado that may have emotionally
drained the Huskers.
“I think last year's Colorado game
was played in the rain and was a very
hard-fought game,” Osborne said.
“And this year, it was at the end but I
don’t know if we put as much into the
game emotionally that we did a year
“Another thmg that happened last
year was we lost early to Arizona
State. It seemed like it took all the
focus we possibly had to just kind of
climb ourselves out of a hole we dug
and get back into contention for the
national championship. This year it
hasn’t been as big of struggle.”
Last Saturday, the Huskers played
a three-point game against the
Buffaloes, but the 27-24 win
appeared closer on the scoreboard
than it actually was, Wistrom said.
The Aggies also struggled to
down the Buffaloes and left Boulder,
Colo., with a 16-10 win Oct. 4.
Texas A&M ranks among the
nation’s top 25 in 12 statistical cate
Please see POLLS on 8
NEBRASKA SENIOR LISA REITSMA will more than likely close out her impressive career at the NU Coliseum as a Husker when NU begins competition in the
NCAA Tournament this weekend. The two-time All-American and last year’s national player of the year runner-up leads the Huskers in kills, attacks and
assists by a non-setter.
Nee hopes to refine Lue, offensive play
By Darren Ivy
This weekend the Nebraska football team is play
ing in the Big 12 Championship in San Antonio,
Texas, hoping to avoid a loss that would end its nation
al championship hopes.
Meanwhile, tonight, the Husker men’s basketball
team is looking to rebound from its first loss of the sea
son to Tulsa Monday.
The football mentality is “Lose one game and
you’re out,” said NU Basketball Coach Danny Nee.
“In basketball, we have the good fortunes of the
(NCAA) tournament,” Nee said. “For us to lose three,
four or five games is not going to be the end of our sea
son at this point.”
NU (5-1) will take on the University of North
Carolina-Wilmington, 3-3, at 6:30 p.m. in the first
round of the 11th Annual Ameritas Classic at the Bob
Devaney Sports Center.
The winner of that game will play the winner of
the Comell/Grambling game at 8:15 p.m. Saturday
while the two losers in the first round will meet in the
consolation game at 6 p.m. Saturday.
UNC-Wilmington believes in playing a tough
nonconference schedule, Nee said. The Seahawks
already have played three rated teams including
Clemson, Rhode Island and Princeton.
“They are not the best team in the nation, but they
are a team that can really make you look bad and beat
you if you are not ready to play,” Nee said.
Nee said NU’s main objective of the early season is
to win every nonconference game, but he also wants
NU to improve and be ready for conference play.
“No matter how we cut it,” Nee said, “how we do
in the conference sets us up for what we are going to do
One player Nee wants to get on track before the
conference schedule starts is junior point guard Tyronn
Lue. Lue is averaging 19.5 points a game and also has
31 assists but has committed 31 turnovers.
Lue, a preseason All-America candidate, has had a
target on his chest each game, Nee said.
“Players guarding Lue have a gleam in their eyes
and come at him like he is a marked man,” Nee said.
Lue hasn’t met their emotional challenge, Nee said,
but it should be just a matter of time before he adjusts.
Former Huskers Jaron Boone, Erick Strickland
and Eric Piatkowski experienced similar problems
when other teams focused on them, Nee said.
Lue has sought advice from former Colorado and
current NBA player Chauncey Billups to help him adjust.
“I talked to Chauncey last night and he said he
went through the same thing,” Lue said. “He told me to
try to draw more fouls and get to the line.”
In six games this season, Lue has attempted 24
free throws. Lue is just one player, though, and Nee
said the other players need to step up as well.
“We are not going to win with just Tyronn Lue,” he
This week, NU has worked on making adjust
ments on offense, Lue said.
When he penetrates in the lane and draws help
defense, NU’s wing players. Cookie Belcher and Troy
Piatkowski, will move to a better passing lane, Lue
said. A lot of balls have been deflected when Lue tried
to pass the ball to the comer, Nee said.
By making this adjustment, NU hopes to get better
shots and cut down on its turnovers. Through six
games, the Huskers have 101 turnovers or nearly a 17
per game average. The Huskers are shooting 43.6 per
cent from the floor.
“Its reality check for us,” Nee said. “There is still
a lot of work that needs to be done at both ends of the
floor for Nebraska basketball.”
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