The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 13, 1998, Page 9, Image 9

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    Wounded NU waits
for KSU matchup,
wants win for Solich
By Shannon Heffelfinger
Senior staff writer
For the first time since 1982, the
Nebraska football team has lost two
games in its season before November
began. The Corhhuskers have fallen
out of the nation
al championship
picture. They
probably will not
win the Big 12
To say that
No. 11 NU will
experience a total
role reversal
.... Saturday when it
Sollch travels to
Manhattan for a much-anticipated
battle with first and second-ranked
Kansas State would be an understate
But Husker quarterback Eric
Crouch said the Hunkers will have no
problems finding motivation.
He counted them off on his fin
gers Tuesday: Odds-makers have
labeled twice-beaten Nebraska, a
team that hasn't lost to the Wildcats
in 29 years, a 10-point underdog. The
Cornhusker offense will face one of
the nation's best defenses. NU has yet
to prove it can play well on the road
against a ranked opponent.
And the pride of the program is
on the line.
vvc jum nave a iui ui guyb wiiu
really want this - who really want to
go out and win,” Crouch said. “1 think
that’s what's holding us together,
despite the injuries and the losses.
There's been a lot of stuff we’ve had
to fight through to overcome a lot of
“We’re on a team that has been
great for so many years, and no one
on this team wants to be included in
the group that loses the tradition or
loses the pride.”
No. 11 Nebraska (8-2 overall and
4-2 in the Big 12 Conference) faces a
tall order Saturday against No. 2
Kansas State (9-0 and 6-0). The
Wildcats lead the country in scoring
offense, scoring defense and punt
returns and rank in the top 25 in all 12
NCAA major statistical categories.
“As I see them, they are a great
team with no weak areas,” NU Coach
Frank Solich said. “They have a
strong football team and are playing
on a championship level. We’ve
looked at all of their tapes from the
season, and they are just that good.”
Kansas State’s success this season
has centered around quarterback and
Heisman candidate Michael Bishop.
The senior leads the conference in
total offense (271.4 yards per game)
u —
We just have a lot
of guys who really
want this - who
really want to go out
and win. I think
that s what s holding
us together."
Eric Crouch
NU quarterback
and pass efficiency (164.3 points).
Bishop has thrown for 2,040 yards
and 18 touchdowns.
But the Wildcats' defense may
present the greatest challenge. KSU's
defense ranks in the top three in the
nation in three categories. Kansas
State has given up more than 10
points only once this season.
With Crouch making only his
fourth start of the year and 1-back
Dan Alexander making his second
start, Nebraska will need a strong
performance from the offensive line
in order to counter KSU's defense.
“1 know that their defensive line is
big and aggressive, and their tech
niques are very good,” Solich said. “I
think we’ve been imnrovine as an
offensive line. Hopefully, we’ve
improved enough to get some things
done both on the ground and in the
NU rush end Mike Rucker
believes the Huskers have improved
enough. And despite both Nebraska
and KSU’s motivational factors, he
said Nebraska may own the best one
- Solich.
“We’ve had some disappoint
ments this year,” Rucker said, “but we
want to do this one for him just as
much as we want to do it for our
Husker linebacker Jay Foreman
“Everyone wants to try to blame
Coach Solich, but it hasn't been him,”
Foreman said. “It's been the players.
We haven’t been making the plays,
and we haven’t been doing the things
that we should be doing. Everybody
cares about Coach Solich a lot, and
this is a chance to get everything
“I think our team is going to step
up this week. Everyone knows what’s
riding on it. A win would make a
statement that our program is not
going downhill.”
Dave Wilson
K-State fans
prepared for
upset ofNU
MANHATTAN, Kan. - On a
given afternoon at Rusty’s Last
Chance Saloon in downtown
Manhattan - better known as
Aggieville - you can find Mike
Arria slouching on his forearms
in rt Kor
He’s deep in thought, staring at
the stained-wood doors that block
the entrance.
Many days, the 24-year-old
might think about life in New York -
his former home. This week, howev
er, you’re probably more likely to
find him wondering just how crazy
Manhattan can get - Manhattan,
Kan., that is.
Without cracking a smile, Arna
will tell you about the time the
Wagner Field goal posts ended up
behind the bar following a 37-20
victory over Colorado rast season - a
team the Wildcats hadn’t defeated
since 1984. ? ;nsf .
But even Arria can’t imagine
what would happen if KSU downed
Nebraska on Saturday for the first
time in 30 years.
“If it’s a K-State win, it's going
to be something we've never seen
before,” Arria said. “I don't think
anybody thinks they're going to
From behind the counter at the
bowling alley in the Kansas State
Student Union, Nathan Killion, 21,
painted a similar scene.
“It will be total chaos,” Killion
said. “Everybody is all hyped up ”
The fans are ready. The KSU
piayers are reaay (dut not too reaav.
of course). And even the lovable
Coach Bill Snyder is ready - though
he won't directly answer any ques
tions regarding the issue.
“Will this be the loudest crowd
ever?” Snyder asked himself at
Tuesday’s news conference. “I
would hope so. It needs to be.”
Senior offensive lineman Jeremy
Martin is also expecting big things
from the Wildcat faithful.
“They’re going to be geeked-up
- stoked,” Martin said. “They’re
going to be crazy.”
This is the game that’s been
talked about since last January.
The students are already plotting
ways to get around security guards
to rip down the goal posts. Even
ESPN’s Lee Corso will be in town
for College Gameday.
“I think it means a lot to our
fans,” Martin said. “It’s time for
them to enjoy it and heckle Lee
The Wildcats haven’t had a legit
imate chance to beat the
Cornhuskers in as long as most KSU
players - or fans - can remember.
Manhattan is ready.
Better grease up those goal
David Wilson is a senior news
editorial major and a Daily
Nebraskan senior staff writer.