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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 11, 2000)
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Kevin "Fuzzy" Lierman and Scott Haber cheer for Nebraska at the Round the Bend tavern in South Bend, Neb., on Saturday afternoon; they couldn't get tickets to the game. A
group of about ten people came from Beemer to watch the game in "South Bend."
GAME from 9
"Standing on the sideline, it
looked like a complete collapse,"
NU Coach Frank Solich said.
"Their ball carrier was going
almost virtually untouched on
both of those to put points on the
board. My feeling was, I don’t know
if you’re ever getting control of a
game like this, but if we could have
stopped them on the next drive
and... if we could keep going and
get another drive going and put a
touchdown on the board, then you
might be dealing with a whole dif
ferent ball game."
Considering the near-calami
ty, the final statistics surely made
Solich and Kicking Coach Dan
Young’s stomachs turn: Nebraska
outgained Notre Dame by 153
yards, ran 19 more plays, had twice
as many first downs and held onto
the ball an ungodly 12:08 longer
and almost lost
The most irritating number
was kick return yardage: Notre
"We will take a very strong look
at our special teams,” Solich said.
"We’ll look at personnel on it, we’ll
look at schemes, we’ll look at how
we coach it”
Said Young: “That was as bad
as our kicking game has ever been
The two huge plays almost
overshadowed a delicious battle
between two revved-up, power
option offenses and defenses
stingy enough not to let the other
team run away. The teams com
bined for 458yards and three play
ers rushed for 80 or more yards -
Alexander (112), Irish QB Amaz
Battle (107) and Crouch (80).
Crouch was brilliant with the
exception of one costly intercep
tion, and for two-and-a-half quar
ters, the NU attack did its job, slow
ly but surely. The Huskers couldn’t
muster prolonged scoring drives
on their first three possessions and
didn’t need to on the fourth.
Crouch charged 62 yards for
the first score of the game, putting
NU up 7-0 with 2:38 left in the
Countering the cagey veteran
Crouch was the ripe Battle, starting
his second career game. Battle
never flowed when trying to throw
- he finished 3 of 15 passing for 40
yards and an interception - and
had jitters early, but answered
Crouch’s score by leading the Irish
on an all-rushing, 11 -play, 82-yard,
5:26 scoring drive of Big Red pro
With the score tied 7-7, Crouch
and Co. kept cool and answered
with a 15-play, 65-yard drive that
chewed up over eight minutes and
saw but one pass. The Huskers
took a 14-7 lead to the locker room.
Alexander’s score at the 8:47
mark in the third signaled the
expected Husker takeover. That’s
when momentum carried the 14
point underdog Irish back into the
Jones returned the ensuing
kickoff, and the stadium awoke.
Four-and-a-half minutes later,
Crouch threw a pass off freshman
fullback Judd Davies’ hands that
landed in ND comerback Shane
Walton’s. On NU’s next possession,
Getherall took Hadenfelt’s punt to
the house to tie the game at 21 with
“From that point on, I don’t
think there was any doubt from
this team that we were going to
win,” said embatded fourth-year
ND Coach Bob Davie, who despite
a couple of unpopular calls he later
regretted, surely became more
popular after the near-victory.
From that point on, both
offenses made threats, but not
serious ones. Notre Dame had its
chances. On fourth-and-one at the
NU 30 with 6:48 left, Davie gam
bled and called for a pass, which
Battle threw incomplete to tight
end Dan O’l^eary.
The Irish could have made a
drive for the win with 1:07 left and
the ball at their own 30, but Davie
Husker fullback Judd Davies brings down Notre Dame comerback Shane Walton
after and interception in the third quarter.
was not about to take chances with Alexander draw.
Rattle Two nlavs later. Crouch took
Notre Dame sat on the ball and
sent the game into overtime.
Nebraska won the coin toss
and made Notre Dame attempt to
score from the 25-yard-line first. A
15-yard Batde scramble gave the
Irish a first down only 8 yards from
the end zone. But Jones went prac
tically nowhere on two rushes,
then NU defensive tackle Jeremy
Slechta made the sack of his life on
Battle on third-and-goal.
Nick Setta booted a 29-yard
field goal to put the Irish up 24-21,
and the Huskers walked onto the
field to go against the deafening
ND student body chanting “kill.”
“I went over to (the offense)
before the overtime and told them,
you know, you never want to look
back and say you would have, you
never want to have any regrets,”
“I think I saw the look in every
one’s eyes, and they didn’t want to
have any regrets, either.”
But the job almost didn’t get
done. Then Crouch connected
Wistrom on what Crouch consid
ered the play of the game and
fooled Davie, who thought the
Huskers would run an option or
the option left into daylight, assist
ed by a world-beating block by
Alexander, to complete one of the
more exciting regular season
games since NU’s Miracle in
Missouri three years ago.
Afterward, none of the
Huskers were thrilled with their
performance or with giving the
Irish a chance of victory.
To overcome the luck of the
Irish on a day when it seemed like
there was no better time for the
Notre Dame mystique to over
whelm Husker powerheld some
clout in post-game emotion. Even
the stoic Solich, who looked like he
had escaped a few ghosts after the
game, held strong.
"If you’re involved in athletics
and you win a game like that,”
Solich said, “if there’s no elation,
then something’s wrong.
“If there’s no relief, then some
thing's wrong. So, I think there was
probably a bit of both, and for
good reason. They do believe in
themselves, and I want to press
that again. And there was never a
moment that they doubted that
they were ever going to get it
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