The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 28, 1999, Page 11, Image 10

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    Passing game makes Stoops a winner
By Joshua Camenzind
Staff writer
The wishbone is out and the fun
and gun are in at Oklahoma. And they
are winning doing it - winning big.
New Head Coach Bob Stoops has
the Sooners off to a 3-0 start and a
No. 23 national ranking. OU doubled
up Louisville on Saturday with a 42
21 win at Louisville.
Stoops has implemented a pass
ing offense at a school primarily
noted for its ground attack.
The. Sooners are outscoring oppo
nents at an average of 44 to 10. They,
have the No. 1 passing offense in the
country with 399.7 yards per game.
Spearheading this air attack is junior
college transfer Josh Heupel.
Heupel, a quarterback, passed for
2,308 yards and 28 touchdowns at
Snow Junior College in South
Dakota. If he keeps up his current
pace, he will surpass those numbers
on the Division I level before
An offensive captain in his first
year at OU, Huepel has passed for
1,190 yards and 13 touchdowns. The
southpaw has completed 71.3 percent
of his passes and
is the No. 1 rated
passer in the Big
12 Conference
with a 170.5 rat
He has been
named the Big
12 Offensive
Player of the
Week twice,
Stoops while breaking
the school
record in passing yards in both of
those games leading up to the award.
Stoops said he is pleased with his
quarterback and his quick start.
“We knew from spring ball that
Josh was a very calm, very sharp per
son,” Stoops said.
“A quarterback with Josh’s ability
has the opportunity to be successful
in this offense.”
The new offense that Stoops has
put in is not just focused on one tar
get. The wealth is being spread
around while OU has racked up 536
yards per game. Four wide receivers
have more than 100 yards receiving
and six have more than 50 yards.
Jarrail Jackson is Heupel’s favorite
target with 10 receptions, three of
them for touchdowns.
Stoops, a former assistant at
Florida, where scoring and airing it
out is the way of life, brought Gator
Coach Steve Spurrier’s attitude to
Norman, Okla., along with Spurrier’s
patented visor.
“The Steve Spurrier attitude - I
believe I’ve got a lot of it,” Stoops
said. “I just believe in what we can do
in this style of offense with the
defense, and I believe it can be suc
The Big 12 style of play is not for
eign to Stoops, as he was the
Assistant Head Coach and co-defen
sive coordinator at Kansas State
under Bill Snyder for seven years in
the Big Eight.
A defensive coordinator for the
Gators for the last three years, Stoops
has Oklahoma playing solid defense
as well. The Sooners are ranked No.
16 in the country in total defense but
are No. 8 in the Big 12, giving up 263
yards per game. OU is also scoring
just over 10 points per game on
Stoops said he is rarely involved
in the offense and would prefer to
leave that preparation to his assis
The first-year head coach brought
in Mike Leach to be his offensive
coordinator after a two year stint at
Leach has implemented the same
type of offense that he had at
Kentucky, which is similar to the one
that Heupel ran at Snow.
The folks down in Norman expect
a lot and are pleased for the moment
with what Stoops has produced.
“Nobody’s complaining about
(the offense) right now.” Stoops said.
“I don’t know how popular I am. I am
just trying to be a good husband and
With all of the success that the
offense has seen, Stoops said there is
still room for improvement.
“I believe our offense can be bet
ter,” Stoops said. “Without question.
We are going to see stronger defens
es. We realize that. But we can play
better, execute better in many situa
tions better than we have. I still
believe we will run the ball better, and
we plan to as the year goes.”
The offense will have to maintain
its high level of play if OU is to be
successful in the next three games.
The Sooners visit South Bend, Ind..
on Oct. 2 to face Notre Dame. The
next week offers no letdown as it trav
els to Dallas to face Texas in the Red
River Shootout, one of the greatest
rivalries in college football today.
“Being ranked in the Top 25 does
not mean anything,” Stoops said.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us.
We are not looking at that.
“Our goal going into the season
wasn’t to be No. 25 in the country.
Hopefully, as the year goes we will
find ways to get stronger and better as
a team.”
Oklahoma State and Nebraska
enter this week’s meeting with the
No. 3 and No. 4 ranked defenses in
the country, respectively, OSU has
allowed 182.3 yards per game as
compared to NU’s 195.3. Eight of
the Big 12 Conference teams are
ranked in the top 16 nationally in
total defense. NU is followed by
Iowa State at No. 5, Texas A&M at
7 and Kansas State at 11. Texas
Tech, Texas and Oklahoma are
Nos. 14-16.
For the second week in a row,
Oklahoma quarterback Josh
Heupel earned Big 12 Offensive
Player of the Week honors. Heupel
passed for 429 yards, a school
record he has broken for the third
week in a row now, and five touch
down passes. He led the Sooners
to a 42-21 victory over Louisville
on Saturday, which preserved
OU’s undefeated start at 3-0.
Defensive Back Jason Webster
of Texas A&M was the Big 12
Defensive Player of the Week after
leading the Aggies to a 23-9 win
over Southern Mississippi.
Webster had 10 tackles and an
interception, while providing solid
coverage in the secondary to hold
the Golden Eagles to nine points.
David Allen, running back and
punt returner from Kansas State,
was selected as the Special Teams
Player of the Week. Allen, who
broke a KSU record with his sixth
career punt return for a touch
down, moved within one more
touchdown of tying the NCAA
mark held by Nebraska’s Johnny
Rodgers and Oklahoma’s Jack
Allen helped lead the Wildcats
to a comeback victory over Iowa
State on Saturday. KSU was down
28-7 at halftime but managed to.
fight back and win behind Allen’s
94-yard punt return. ISU Coach
Dan McCamey called the return a
“back-breaker” and “turning point
of the game.”
Texas Tech Coach Spike
Dykes has come under fire recent
ly from the local media in
Lubbock, Texas. The Red Raiders
are 1-2 after early losses to
Arizona State and North Texas.
Dykes responded Monday to his
critics during the weekly Big 12
Coaches Teleconference.
“When you lose to somebody
that you are supposed to beat by a
big margin, as far as what people
say, I think that takes a lot of wind
out of your sails,” Dykes said.
“And certainly, it makes the
wolves howl. I understand that, I
have been in this business for a
long time. The distractions are
there, like them or not, and if you
really worry about them then I
think they are effective. I don’t
have any control over what they
say anyway. We’ll just plug them
up and go about our business.”
The Athlon Sports Big 12 bas
ketball predictions are out, and
Kansas owns the league’s No. 1
spot in the preseason rankings.
Texas, Oklahoma State,
Oklahoma and Texas Tech round
out the top five. Nebraska is No. 9
and guard Cookie Belcher was
selected to the preseason All-Big
12 First Team.
Also selected to the team were
Marcus Fizer of Iowa State, Chris
Mihm of Texas, Eduardo Najera of
Oklahoma and Rayford Young of
Texas Tech.
Fox Sports Network has
picked up the Nebraska vs. Iowa
State football game on Oct. 9. The
game will be televised nationally
starting at 6 p.m.
Notebook compiled by Staff
Writer Joshua Camenzind.
lst-year starter brings
intensity to trenches
RAIOLA from page 10
two players - Junior Togoai and
Toniu Fonoti - to the mainland, and
Fonoti is playing as a true freshman.
“Dorn’s influence affected the
decision of a couple of those kids we
got this year,” Tenopir said. “Not
just because you had another
Hawaiian guy here but because he
said, ‘Hey, I like it here. You might
like it here, too.’”
Raiola’s influence spreads to his
teammates, too. Volk said the inten
sity the sophomore brings to the
field is unique, but it rubs off on the
rest of the line.
“He’s vocal. He’s a leader,” Volk
said. “He doesn’t make a lot of mis
takes. When we go one vs. one in
practice, he gets everybody fired up.
He gets it up to game intensity right
As he’s been able to stay rela
tively injury-free at Nebraska,
Raiola’s progress has been steady,
Tenopir said. His understanding of
the game - not only his role, but
others - is among the best on the
With two seasons left, Raiola
I-back records
first 100-yard
game for NU
BACKS from page 10
of the running backs’ success came
from the early passing game Nebraska
displayed. With the Missouri defense
not knowing what to expect, holes that
were clogged in the first three games
opened Saturday.
Buckhalter said the early passing
didn’t allow Missouri to “key on the
run” as Nebraska’s first three oppo
nents did, but the main reason for suc
cess on the ground was because of how
prepared the team was to perform.
“If we come out and play the way
we did against Missouri, we’ll have
100-yard rushers every game no matter
how the defense plays,” Buckhalter
He s vocal. He s a
leader. He doesn ’t
make a lot of
Dave Volk
NU offensive lineman
could finish among the best centers
to play at Nebraska. There’s been
some great ones: Dave Rimington,
Mark Traynowicz, Jake Young and
Aaron Graham, among others.
Tenopir figures Raiola could be
mentioned with those players before
he’s done.
“He’s just a pup,” Tenopir said.
“But he’s got the work ethic. He’ll
end up being one of the better ones
we’ve had around here.”
That suits Raiola just fine.
“In high school I figured out this
is where I want to be, not anywhere
else on the field,” Raiola said. “This
type of position is for me.”
NU golfers
in 1 Oth after
first round
in Colorado
From staff reports
The Nebraska womens golf team
shot a 309 Monday, which put the
Cornhuskers in 10th place through
the first day of the Heather Farr
Memorial at the Coal Creek Golf
Course in Louisville, Colo.
NU was led by senior Elizabeth
Bahensky, who fired a 75 to finish
17th individually.
The Kearney native is five
strokes behind leader Laura Torrisi of
Sophomore Sarah Sasse, from
Lincoln, and junior Amy Roux, from
Kearney, both shot 77s to finish the
day tied for 27th place.
Rounding out the Husker lineup
was sophomore Catha Fogelberg,
from Helsingborg, Sweden, who shot
an 80, and freshman Amanda Krane.
from Wantagh, N.Y., who shot an 86.
The final round of the tourna
ment will begin this morning at 8:30.
Buy Husker stuff ONLINE. Lots of it.
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