The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 02, 1998, Page 11, Image 11

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    NU playing down
defense’s showing
By Adam Kunker
Staff writer
After giving up 590 yards in the
air to Louisiana Tech in Saturday’s
56-27 win, the Comhusker defense is
- looking for a
chance at
^ I redemption.
Coach Frank
Solich put a dif
■> ferent spin on it,
Solich said
the higher stan
dards his defen
5tllCII give players set !
for themselves may be the reason ]
why there is so much talk of resilien
cy this week against Alabama- i
Birmingham. ]
“I don’t know if I’d call it a
bounce-back,” Solich said on i
Tuesday. “They’ll play really good i
football; I’ve got no doubt about it.
They’re intense, and they’re ready to
Solich said the defense didn’t fare ]
as badly as some might have thought.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s
game with the UAB, NU Secondary i
Coach George Darlington said he’s
going to stick with man-to-man
coverage in the secondary, in spite
of the Bulldogs’ passing perfor- 1
Darlington said he feels confident
in the defensive backs’ ability and in
knowing the UAB offensive attack is
more varied than that of Louisiana
“We know occasionally we’re
going to give up the deep ball,”
Darlington said. “We live by the
sword, and we’ll die by the
Solich said UAB will run a more
balanced offense, splitting 50/50 on
rush plays and pass plays, including
the jailbreak offense similar to what
Louisiana Tech ran.
UAB Head Coach Watson Brown
used to be the offensive coordinator
at Oklahoma in 1993 and 1994.
Under Brown, the Sooners ran and
passed the ball out of many forma
tions and ran a number of trick plays.
Junior right cornerback Ralph
... we're
going to give up the
deep ball We live by
the sword, and we 'll
die by the sword!*
George Darlington
NU secondary coach
Brown said whatever offense the
Blazers bring into Lincoln on
Saturday, the defense will need to
>lay a complete game.
He said last Saturday’s perfor
nance showed hints of lackadaisical
slay in the second half.
“When we came out (after half
:ime) everyone relaxed on our lead,
ind that was when we had them tak
ing advantage of that,” Brown said.
Both Brown and Darlington said
he secondary was looking forward to
claying against UAB on Saturday.
Darlington said redemption
would probably be foremost on the
lecondary's mind after Troy
Bdwaids’ record-breaking 405 yards
receiving against the Huskers.
Brown said he wasn’t as disheart
;ned about getting beat by Edwards
on a 94-yard touchdown pass, but
rather he said he won’t forget the
record Edwards set.
“I’ll remember the record,”
Brown said. “But whatever happens
on the field, to me, is not the end of
the world. I’m going to come back,
md I know I’m going to play hard on
;very play.”
Brown stressed a need to improve
the defense as the driving force
oehind practice this week.
He said the sense of chemistry
md communication among the
defense has continued to play an
important role following last
Saturday’s game.
Brown said improving will come
naturally for die NU defense.
“I think we’ve bounced back,”
Brown said. “We’ve put that behind
ns. Now we just need to go out and
play in that game and improve.”
____ _ . _ . I
Race incl lump of Death’
BIKE from page 7
featured several sections o’ car
The most dangerous spot was
the turn to start the back stretch.
The fastest line for die turn forced
racers to shoot the gap between a
trash bin and a pile of junk.
Further augmenting the danger
level, the apex of the turn was right
in the middle of where the pave
ment met the loose gravel of the
By dark, a good 50 people had
gathered around the keg, and the
colorful adjectives of trash talk
filled the night air. Now, most of the
competitors fit the description of
the average lush, with one glaring
difference: Many in attendance
were among the ranks of the area’s
top competitive cyclists.
The only performance-enhanc
ing drug among this crowd was the
consumption of light beer, in hopes
of not being too weighed down.
While everyone finished their
warm-up, so to speak, I found Rich
Rodenburg, owner of Bike Pedalers
and founder of the Chicken-N-Crit,
minding a flaming heap of poultry.
Before I was completely soused, I
had to know how the insanity
began. '
“We were hanging out at the
shop one day, getting hungry and
needed a way to establish a pecking
order. It’s kind of embarrassing
though to come into work the next
day and find I’m on the bottom,”
said Rodenburg as he stoked the
fire to an eyebrow-scorching level.
Finally, the official stopwatch
was found, and the race was set to
After a spat of crashes hobbled
the first few racers, the fireworks
began as times dropped under the
minute mark.
How did I fare? My time wasn’t
among the leaders or even close,
but I have a good excuse. As I flew
through the turn to the back stretch,
I felt the sudden urge to do a
Superman impression, flew over
the handlebars like a duck being
shot out of the sky and managed to
impale myself on the aerobar.
I finished the race, bleeding like
a stuck pig and unable to breathe.
Rodenburg was at the finish to
boost my spirits with a chicken leg.
“Eat it. It’ll make you feel bet
ter,” he said.
By 10:30, it was time for round
two. In a drunken fury, The Jump of
Death was constructed. It was 10
feet over a sand pile or instant
doom. There was no room for error.
An abundance of beer courage
turned the race into an all-out melee
as racer after racer failed miserably
with the jump.
Ironically, it was Rodenburg
who fared the worst. A broken col
larbone meant a trip to the hospital,
but not until he finished his beer.
After that little mishap, the jump
became as taboo as a priest visiting
a brothel.
That is, until Alex Snell mount
ed the bike for his second run.
No doubt it helped he was the
drunkest, but when he became the
first to clear the jump in true Evel
Knievel style, the crowd exploded.
Unfortunately, that’s when the
police arrived and ordered a halt to
the fun, but not before Alex almost
took out the Po-po when he
launched off the jump a second
Before everyone was forced
home, the official results were tab
ulated, and it was Matthew Slaven’s
first-round time of 55.21 that set
the standard. Just what was going
through his mind during his win
ning run?
“I was just dreaming of some
greasy chicken, that’s all.”
Inspiring words from an inspir
ing athlete. Do you think Sheldon
Jackson had chicken on the brain
when he scored the first Husker
touchdown of the 1998 campaign?
Probably not, but of course all
he had to do was catch a football
and run 46 yards, mere child’s play
compared to the Jump of Death.
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