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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 25, 1998)
Eric Crouch could be a bitter man.
He could have given serious
thought to transferring when he was
leading the scout team last fall and it
appeared that he might be a career
backup quarterback at Nebraska.
He could be on bad terms with fel
low quarterback Bobby Newcombe,
who won the starting position in the
spring, partially because of the expe
rience he gained last fall while
Crouch was injured.
He could be a little frustrated that
a hamstring injury prevented any sort
of quarterback controversy this week
as Newcombe returned from a knee
He could, at least, not sit by
Newcombe in class.
But somehow, despite coming to
the UNL at the same time, playing the
same position, and battling head-to
Tiead for one spot last spring, the duo’s
off-field relationship has not been
one of bitterness.
"When we first met each other
last summer, people were hyping us
up," Newcombe said. “We went to
each other and shook hands. Now,
we're pretty good friends."
The duo have two classes together
and sit next to each other in both.
Crouch says they share notes.
Newcombe says they sit and joke
Either way, that's gotta be a pretty
"You would think people are like,
'Those guys are so competitive. Why
would they want to sit next to each
other?'" Crouch said. “But that’s not
On the field, they push each other
- and their athletic abilities are very
“There’s really not a whole lot of
differences,” NU Quarterbacks
Coach Turner Gill said.
Hard work saw Crouch go from a
scout team player to the Comhuskers’
starting quarterback in less than a
year. That was with the help of a
strained ligament by Newcombe, who
started in NU’s season opener.
cut Lroucn will De tne tirst to
stand by his side this Saturday when
Newcombe makes his second career
quarterback start against eighth
ranked Washington in Memorial
“You never want to see a quarter
back out like that,” Crouch said.
“Especially with his athletic ability
and big-play potential.
“It looks like he’s getting back to
normal and that’s always good to see.”
So don't be surprised if you see
Newcombe rushing over to Crouch’s
place late Sunday night for a History
of American Jazz class cram session.
(There's a test Monday).
“It's a friendship thing,”
Newcombe said. “We’re not ene
Wilson is a senior news-editori
al major and a Daily Nebraskan
senior staff writer.
Huskers at full strength for UW
By Shannon Heffelfinger
Senior staff writer
The stage is set.
Second-ranked Nebraska and No. 8 Washington.
Two top-10 teams in a televised game. ESPN’s
Gameday crew sitting outside Memonal Stadium.
And as if that weren't enough, the Cornhuskers
expect the return of possibly five starters, including No.
1 I-back De Angelo Evans - who hasn't played since
1996 - and quarterback Bobby Newcombe.
Evans, for one, is ready for the show to start.
“1 know there are expectations,” Evans said. “People
expect a lot of me, and I don’t have a problem with that.”
The return of injured players Evans, Bobby
Newcombe, Mike Rucker, Jason Wiltz and possibly
Clint Finley will probably be positive for the
Cornhuskers (3-0) as they prepare to play host to
Washington (2-0) at Memonal Stadium.
/\na expectations win oe mgn at z: jo p.m. saruraay.
because Nebraska will take the field as close to full
strength as it has been all season.
NU Coach Frank Solich said the Huskers’ health is
the result of a bye week last week.
“As I see our team preparing for this game, the extra
week that we had I think has been beneficial to us,”
Solich said. “There are still some practicing now that are
questionable for the game and then there are those who
have come back and have responded very well. I think
we will be right at 100 percent.”
The five players returning - all listed at No. 1 on the
depth chart at their positions - have not competed
simultaneously in the same game this season.
Wiltz, a senior defensive tackle, started against
Louisiana Tech but missed the Alabama-Birmingham
and Cal games after spraining an ankle. Finley, the pro
jected starter at free safety, strained his knee in fall camp
and hasn’t played all season.
No. 1 right rush end Mike Rucker is close to full
speed after battling a groin injury, and No. 1 quarter
back Newcombe will start after sitting out the last two
games with a slight postenor cruciate ligament tear.
Standing on the sidelines proved particularly diffi
cult for Newcombe. who passed for 168 yards and two
touchdowns against Louisiana Tech.
“My knee didn't feel right, but 1 still tried to find a
Please see EVANS on 10
QUARTERBACK BOBBY NEWCOMBE is slated for the start against Washington on Saturday.
Newcombe has not taken a snap under center since his start against Louisiana Tech. Since then, he
has been sidelined with a knee injury.
Husker defense braces
for quarterback Huard
By David Wilson
Senior staff writer
Tony Coats saw it coming.
Washington’s matchup last
September with Nebraska was just over a
quarter old when Comhusker rush end
Grant Wistrom blew by Coats.
Husky quarterback Brock Huard
ended up on the turf, and he didn’t return
to the huddle.
“That was a tough play,” Coats said.
“I got kind of manhandled by Wistrom.
He got me going one way, then he got me
going the other way. 1 was looking back
and yelling to Brock to look out.
“Basically, I just got beat on the
A senior this season. Coats said he
plans to avoid a similar situation when
eighth-ranked Washington travels to
Lincoln Saturday to face the Huskers at
2:35 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
“That was a turning pomt for me last
year,” said Coats of the Huskies’ 27-14
loss to NU and Huard’s ankle injury. “1
kind of had to rethink things and do bet
ter. I did kind of have an embarrassing
game last year.”
Though Wistrom is now in the NFL,
Nebraska rush end Chad Kelsay said the
Huskers’ plan of attack is the same.
Nebraska has recorded 12 sacks in
three games - including two by Kelsay.
“I'm sure (Huard) is coming in here
and thinking to himself that he has to
prove that last year was a fluke,” Kelsay
said. “But it’s something we’re not wor
ried about. We have to come out and play
our style of game. We have to make sure
we get hits on him.
“I think if we can rattle his cage a lit
tle bit at the beginning of the game, he’s
going to be thinking about it. It will be in
the back of his mind. The more we can
get to him, the better off we’re going to
Huard threw for 29 yards vs. the
Huskers last year, but backup Marques
Tuiasosopo found success, completing
12 of 22 passes for 270 yards.
The NU defense knows Huard has
the same chance for success, free safety
Mike Brown said, and respects his talent.
Huard has completed 43 of 80 passes
this season for 496 yards in two games.
“He’s just a tremendous talent,” NU
Coach Frank Solich said. “He can hurt
you with the short passes to keep drives
going, and he can put the ball on the
money with the long pass.
“He's very talented. He's a great
leader and has the ability to come up
Please see HUARD on 10
Quarterbacks: Brock Huard is a three-year starter and as accurate a passer as there is in college
football. If he can avoid the rush, he’s as good as anyone in the nation. Bobby Newcombe and
Eric aren’t there...yet.
Running backs: With DeAngelo Evans returning, NU has a backfield that ranks among the best
in the nation. Washington’s backfield is slow and unproductive. Not up to Husker standards.
Offensive line: Both are fairly even and still learning. Whichever plays better may help determine
Receivers: Believe it or not, NU’s receivers are as good as any in the nation. They catch the ball
and they block better than most. Washington’s receivers are fast and can catch the ball. If Huard
finds them, they make plays.
Defensive line: Nebraska's struggling through injuries. Washington lacks experience. Neither is
yet a dominating force. Considering that both will be going against evenly-rated offensive lines,
playmaker Chad Kelsay will make the difference.
Linebackers: Nebraska has an experienced corps, and they’re just hitting their strides. Washington
again has a lack of size, but plenty of speed. Foreman and company are the better unit overall.
Secondary: Washington was roasted by Arizona State, Nebraska by Louisiana Tech. As an
individual, Ralph Brown is the best defensive back on the field. Still, both units have plenty to
prove coming in.
Edge: 4* #
Special teams: UW’s kicking game is a train wreck. NU has Kris Brown. Game. Set. Match.
Overall: Nebraska has the advantage in special teams and has a slightly better defense. What
does that mean? That NU has to play under its ability to lose. The Huskies are good offensively,
but they still don’t have a running game. Huard will be in for a long game if UW can’t sustain a
rushing game. It says here he will:
Nebraska 21 Washington 10
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