The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 23, 1998, Page 9, Image 9

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Jay Saunders
No madness
to be found
at Nebraska
Kansas fans had a lot to cheer
about this weekend.
It had nothing to do with the
Jayhawks’ 41-0'loss to Nebraska.
What KU fans were excited about
was the opening of the doors at
Phog Allen Fieldhouse.
At the stroke of midnight last
Saturday morning, college basket
ball season officially began.
So Friday night, students and
other Jayhawk faithful lined up out
side Allen Fieldhouse for several
They weren’t crazy. They were
mad - midnight mad.
The midnight practices have
turned into fanfare more than an
actual drill session. Schools pro
mote the event by giving out prizes,
and ESPN usually stops by to tele
vise live from some of the schools.
At Kansas, the students call it
“Late Night with Roy Williams.”
But KU isn’t alone. This year, Duke
had a midnight practice. So did
Several Big 12 schools also
opened the doors at midnight.
Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor all
had similar events.
But at midnight Saturday morn
ing, the Bob Devaney Sports Center
was silent. The doors were locked.
No one was practicing.
It has been four years since the
Huskers put on the jerseys for a
midnight run.
But why not this year? The
Huskers actually have something
going for them. NU made it to the
NCAA tournament last year, and
one preseason magazine has the
Huskers third in the Big 12.
Besides that, last weekend was
homecoming. Alumni from all over
the country were in Lincoln to pro
mote Husker spirit.
The athletic department could
have turned it into a three-sport pep
In addition to introducing the
men's and women's basketball
teams, a 14,000-person crowd
could have ignited a Husker foot
ball team.
But it didn't happen, and that
makes a horrible statement.
It's saying these Nee troops
aren't worthy of the excitement of a
midnight hoopla at the Devaney.
But even Xavier, a small private
school in the Atlantic 10, had a mid
night practice.
But maybe the statement rings
true. This is the same team that has
sold fewer than 400 student season
tickets. This is the same team who
only sold out one game last year.
On the flip side, Kansas sold out
their first practice of the season.
A lack of a midnight practice is
telling the rest of the country that
Nebrasketball is a symbol of medi
Saunders is a sophomore
broadcasting major and a Daily
Nebraskan staff writer.
Solich’s preparation avoids The Play
By Jay Saunders
Staff writer
No matter where they turn, peo
ple involved with Nebraska or
Missouri football can’t escape ques
tions about The Play - that Scott
Frost to Shevin Wiggins to Matt
Davison thing.
Well, forget about it. NU Coach
Frank Solich has.
Solich said Tuesday that play
won’t have anything to do with this
year's rematch of a 45-38 NU over
time win.
“I don’t dwell on it,” Solich said.
“In my mind that doesn't have any
thing to do with the upcoming
What Solich said is important for
the No. 7 Huskers (6-1 overall and 2
1 in the Big 12 Conference) is to
continue to achieve success after the
Texas A&M loss.
The No. 18 Tigers (5-1 and 3-0)
will be the first ranked team NU will
play since the trip to College Station,
Texas, and the first home game
against a ranked team since the 55-7
win over then-No.8 Washington.
“You need your team to move
forward,” Solich said. “All we can do
is correct the mistakes that we made.
We’ve moved on.”
One of the mistakes Solich said
the Huskers are starting to rectify is a
struggling running game.
Against Kansas, NU racked up
466 rushing yards. That included a
133-yard performance by sopho
more Correll Buckhalter, who filled
in for injured I-Back DeAngelo
Evans is doubtful for Saturday’s
game, but Solich said Buckhalter
and the other backs are filling in well
in the Huskers’ rushing attack.
“Anytime you try to run a power
offense,” Solich said, “you need to
up the field runners. We pride our
selves in having that style of runners
in our program.”
I he Missouri running game also
is a concern for Solich. Last season,
the NU defense held the Tigers to
153 yards on the ground.
But this year, MU has not had a
problem rushing with senior Devin
West. West is averaging 175.2 yards
per game - second in the nation.
Another weapon is MU quarter
back Corby Jones. The senior picked
apart the Huskers’ secondary last
season for 233 yards.
Even though Jones might not be
at 100 percent for tomorrow’s game,
rush end Mike Rucker said Jones is a
player the Huskers must contain.
“If he doesn’t have a receiver
down field, he will just take off run
ning,” Rucker said. “He is like
Football Starters * &
u ._L- . ._ JUSS* TV; Chan. 9 KPTM
Nebraska starters Rad° 41° 1290 am
90.3 KRNU
Offense Defense
Pos. No. Name Ht. ,Wt. Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt.
QB 12 Bobby Newcombe 6-0 195 LR 57 CbadKelsay 6-3 250
IB 36 Correll Buckhalter 6-0 225 NT 96 Steve Warren 6-1 305
FB 45 Joel Makovicka 5-11 240 DT 91 Lorart Kaiser 6-5 280
WB 5 Shevin Wiggins 5-11 200 RR 84 Mike Rucker 6-6 260
SE 3 Matt Davison 6-0 180 SLB 37 Tony Ortiz 6-0 215
TE 88 Sheldon Jackson 6-4 245 MLB 44 Jay Foreman 6-1 240
LT 69 AdamJulch 6-5 315 WLB 27 Eric Johnson 6-1 205
LG 63 James Sherman 6-2 295 LCB 16 Erwin Swiney 6-0 185
C 59 JoshHeskew 6-3 290 FS 19 Clint Finley 5-11 200
RG 72 BenGessford 6-2 290 ROV 21 Mike Brown 5-10 205
RT 85 Jason Schwab 6-1 300 RCB 22 Ralph Brown 5-9 180
PK 35 Kris Brown 5-10 205 P 23 Bill Lafleur 5-11 200
Missouri starters
Offense Defense
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt.
X-WR 6 KareemWise 6-3 216 OLB 9 Marquis Gibson 6-2 225
LT 64 Chris Meredith 6-5 296 G 90 Justin Wyatt 6-4 275
LG 70 Cliff Smith 6-5 284 NOSE 93 JeffMarriot 6-5 288
C 76 Rob Riti 6-3 285 T 94 Steve Erickson 6-4 280
RG 57 Craig Heimburer 6-3 313 E 96 Justin Smith 6-5 267
RT 69 Todd Neimeyer 6-5 310 SAM 48 Al Sterling 5-11 246
TE 88 Jake Stueve 6-3 252 WILL 39 BarryOdom 6-0 219
QB 7 Corby Jones 6-1 222 SS 1 Caldrinoff Easter 5-10 188
TB 32 Devin West 6-2 225 HB 5 Carlos Posey 6-0 202
FB 30 Rob West 6-0 240 FS 2 Harold Piersey 6-2 202
Z-WR84 Kent Layman 5-11 187 - CB 22 Wade Perkns 6-1 189
another (running) back back there.”
With a lot of the emphasis this
week on last season’s game and the
loss to A&M two weeks ago, Solich
said team morale has been high so
far this week.
“I like the attitude and spirit of
our players right now,” Solich said.
“We’ll play a very physical football
game against Missouri.”
Ortiz content as linebacker for Cornhuskers
By Darren Ivy
Staff writer
The hunter or the hunted?
That's the question Tony Ortiz had
to ask himself when he was being
recruited as a running back and line
backer at Crosby High School in
Waterbury, Conn.
There was Penn State, just four
hours from his home.
Or there was Nebraska, fresh off
its third national championship but
nearly halfway across the country.
Penn State had plenty to offer: A
spot as a running back, and the oppor
tunity to be named among Nittany
Lion backs Lydell Mitchell, Franco
Harris, Curt Warner, John
Cappelletti, Ki-Jana Carter, Lenny
Moore, Matt Suhey and Blair
Thomas. A long list, indeed.
Or he could go to Nebraska,
where he would be a linebacker.
“Penn State told me Cordell
Mitchell and 1 were the only two run
ning backs who were being recruit
ed,” Ortiz said.
Mitchell now starts for the
Nittany Lions. He has rushed 84
Please see ORTIZ on 11
Heather Glenbost/DN
NEBRASKA LINEBACKER TONY ORTIZ decided to play defense for the Huskers instead of offense for Penn State. It’s
paid off so far, as Ortiz has a national championship to his name and a starting spot in the NU defense.
Davison hopes to make more memories
By Shannon Heffelfinger
Senior staff writer
The Play has a spot on most col
lege football highlight reels. The
sequence - Nebraska receiver Matt
Davison diving for a touchdown pass
deflected off Shevin Wiggins’ leg
and pushing the Cornhuskers to an
eventual overtime victory against
Missouri - even won NU a 1997
ESPY award for best college football
play of the year.
But as many times as he has seen
The Play, Davison remembers few
details about the actual catch that
made him a household name among
Nebraska Missouri
Nebraska football fans.
“I just know that I was in the
right place at the right time,”
Davison told a room full of reporters
on Tuesday. “I knew I had to make a
great effort to get the ball before it
hit the ground. I felt the grass in
between my fingers a little bit. I
guess that’s when my instincts just
took over.
“I’ve made better catches. It’s
just that the tim
ing was so good
for that one. If
that play had been
against Akron, I
wouldn’t be sit
ting here today.”
Davison is
doing much to
ensure that fans
remember him for
more than just
one play. He has established himself
as one of the Huskers’ best posses
sion receivers in his second season at
The Tecumseh native caught 10
passes for a school-record 167 yards
I ve made better catches. It s
just that the timing was so
good for that one.1’
Matt Davison
NU receiver
against Texas A&M on Oct. 10. And
with 25 catches for 321 yards this
season, Davison has already eclipsed
his 1997 total of 232 receiving yards.
Please see THE PLAY on 11