The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 12, 1998, Page 4, Image 20

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The Nebraska football play
ers saw more emotion than
usual from NU Coach Tom
Osborne after the Orange Bowl
Jan 2. With the crowd chanting
his name, Osborne - who
announced his retirement last
month - jogged off the field and
met with his players in the lock
er room one last time.
“You could hear his voice
crack every now and then but it
wasn’t like you’d expect,” NU
left guard Aaron Taylor said.
“He got a little emotional and he
told us thanks for everything.”
Prior to the Orange Bowl
kickqff, Roswell, Ga., native
Terry Pledger won $1 million
dollars in the Gillette
Touchdown Challenge. Pledger,
who was randomly selected
from more than one million
entries in a sweepstakes, tossed
a football 10 yards through a
target that was 30 inches in
diameter. *
Despite his winnings,
Pledger, who is married and has
four kids, said he will not quit
his job as a parking-lot line
His newfound fortune also
earned him interviews on
numerous national television
shows, including Primetime
Live and the Late Show with
David Letterman.
Tennessee pupter Chris
Hogue’s 78-yard punt in the
first quarter set a Tennessee
bowl record. Hogue also set the
Volunteer bowl record for punt
ing average with 52.3. The mark
also broke the Orange Bowl
average for punts.
NU’s Shevin Wiggins, used
primarily as a return specialist
and receiver during the regular
season, scored on his second
rushing attempt of the game for
his first career touchdown.
It was his first score since
1993, when he ran for 32 touch
downs as a senior at Manatee
High School in Florida. He was
named the Florida High School
Offensive player of the year.
Some fans partied all day
long outside of Pro Player
Stadium before the Orange
Vendors at the Coors Light
Tailgate Paily jised 200 kegs to
serve an estimated 32,000 glass
es of beer. But it didn’t come
cheap. — m
Fans, who began arriving at
10 a.m., had to pay $10 to get
into4 the party and then pay
$4.25 per glass of beer.
Orange Bowl notebook
compiled by senior reporter
Shannon Heffelfinger
Bowl victory convinces
coaches NU is No. 1
By Antone Oseka
Staff Reporter
MIAMI - Michigan had already
put the finishing touches on an unde
feated season, but that didn’t stop the
Nebraska football team from pleading
its case for a national championship.
A 49-17 win over then third-ranked
Tennessee in the Orange Bowl Jan. 2
earned the Comhuskers (13-0) the top
spot in the USA Today/ESPN poll by
two votes. Michigan (12-0), which
defeated then eighth-ranked
Washington State 21-16 Jan 1, finished
first in the Associated Press poll.
1-back Ahman Green led the way
for the Buskers as NU Coach Tom
Osborne ended his 25-year head
coaching career with his third national
championship before 72,385 fans at
Pro Player Stadium.
Green took 29 carries for an
Orange Bowl record 206 yards. The 6
foot, 215-pound back from Omaha,
who announced Wednesday that he
will take his chances in the NFL draft
rather than return for his senior season,
was named the game’s MVP.
“It means a great deal to me,”
Green said. “My line, they’ve been
blocking for me well all year. I’ve got to
give it to" my line and the offense as a
The Buskers totaled 534 yards of
offense - including 409 yards on the
ground. But their success wasn’t
They were getting fatigued in the middle
of the second quarter, you could hear them
huffing and puffing!’
Aaron Taylor
NU offensive guard
instant. Nebraska was forced to punt in
three of its first four possessions and
only took a 14-3 lead into the locker
room at halftime.
But NU senior guard Aaron Taylor
said it quickly became evident that the
Volunteers were beginning to wear
down. Tennessee finished the season
11 -2 and ranked seventh in the AP poll.
“They were getting fatigued in the
middle of the second quarter. You could
hear them huffing and puffing,” Taylor
said. “They eventually rolled over, and
we could do what we wanted to them.”
Nebraska and Tennessee seemed to
do a role reversal in the first half, as NU
went to the air to open up the running
game. Green carried the ball 11 times
for 31 yards in the first half.
NU senior quarterback Scott Frost
completed seven of 10 passes for 109
yards in the first two quarters. His
counterpart, Heisman trophy runner
up Peyton Manning, was 13 of 19 for
96 yards.
“They (Tennessee’s defense) came
out fired up and stopped our run,”
Taylor said. “We had to loosen up their
defenses with our passes.”
The Volunteers, conversely, went to
the ground to open the passing game
for Manning. Running backs Jamal
Lewis, a freshman, and Mark Levine
rushed 11 times for 80 yards at the half.
Defense and special teams came up
big for NU in the first half, contributing
to both Husker touchdowns.
NU rush end Mike Rucker recov
ered a Lewis fumble and wingback
Lance Brown recovered a fumbled
punt to set up both scoring drives. At
the end of the half, Eric Warfield
picked off Manning, but Nebraska
couldn’t capitalize on die possession.
“Coach Osborne said we had to
come out in the second half and put
points on the board, keep pounding on
them as much as you can,” Green said.
“We pounded on them, drive in, drive
out, driving the ball on them, passing
Please see BOWL on 8
Football Gam Review
Nebraska Tennessee
No. Name
I— —6—1
17 Tee Maw 4 . 4 0 53 1 f
Game Stats iwwh --- nniwm --
Passing attempts 12 35 Punt returns? yards 3/31 2/4
Passing yards 125 187 lime of possession - 3653 2357
Total yards 534 315 Fourth-down conversion 1 of 2 left
Tr ■iliw f—in
•Gvnng Mramnnf
Team Qtr Scoring play Conversion Playa-Yds Score
NU 2nd Shevin Wiggins 10 yd ran kris Brown kick 3-15 14 0
NU 3rd Scott Frost 1 yd ran Kris Brown kick 12-80 21 3
mmmmBsmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmm * && wmmm. wmmsmmm
UT 3rd Peariess Price 5yd pass from P. Manning Manning pass failed 9-72 28 9 |
NU 4th Scott Frost 9 yd run ^ Kris Brown kick 9-66 42 9