Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 25, 2000)
at low point
It was a scene all too
familiar at Memorial
Stadium this season.
Iowa receiver Kevin
Kasper, having just caught a
29-yard touchdown pass,
motioned with his index fin
ger to his mouth for the
Husker faithful to hush.
While doing so, the wide Joshua
receiver epitomized the play Camenzind
of Nebraska’s defense at
home this season.
The score capped a seven-play, 76-yard drive
after the Hawkeyes had just marched down the
field on the opening possession of the game and
taken the lead on NU.
Anyone else having flashbacks of Deonce
Whitaker and San Jose State?
The Hawkeye offense jumped on the
Blackshirts early and marked the second-straight
game an inferior team has come into Lincoln and
thrown a big* scare at the Big Red.
NU, which thought its defensive woes were
over after holding Notre Dame to just one touch
down, looked confused by an Iowa team that
managed just seven points against Kansas State,
was unable to outscore Western Michigan and fell
ierea against m-siate nvai lowa
Plain and simple, the
Hawkeyes will never be mistaken
for a good offensive football
team. But on Saturday, this 0-4
team looked like gangbusters.
The Blackshirts were unable
to put any pressure on Iowa's
Scott Mullen in the first half and
even looked susceptible to the
run at times, giving up 75 yards to
Ladell Betts. Granted, the
Huskers did hold Iowa to 47 yards
on the ground for the game,
thanks to six sacks that raised
their season total to eight.
Defensive Coordinator Craig
Bohl’s new “special group,"
coined "Cobras,” started to take
hold and shut out Iowa in the sec
ond half after looking more like
gardener snakes at the start of the
Bohl’s adjustments at half
time worked to a point - as NU
gave up only 88 yards after the
break - pointing to problems that
were fixed internally in the locker
room - both in attitude and
But does anybody remember
that it was 14-13 with only four
seconds remaining in the half?
NU seemed content to let the
dam leak but held steady when it
to let the
s to two
was about to break, holding the -
Hawkeyes to two field goals when
it looked as though Iowa would put up seven.
Those eight points may have been a differ
ence-maker, meaning Iowa led 21-14 when
Crouch was under center just before halftime.
Can you recall that the score was only 28-13
until only 1:27 was left flashing on the clock?
Only winning by two touchdowns and a two
point conversion doesn’t look too convincing
when you are a 40-point favorite coming in.
Bigger tests will come, that is for sure.
They likely won’t show themselves next week
versus Mizzou (who gave Michigan State, a team
that beat the Irish on Saturday, a tussle a week
ago) or the week after at Iowa State, but games
against Texas Tech and Oklahoma loom large
before the Nov. 11 trip to Manhattan, Kan.
If Iowa can put together Nebraska-esque
drives and consume 29:12 of possession time,
what will better teams do?
Linebacker Carlos Polk chalked up his team’s
early ineffectiveness to jitters. Jitters? Come on
Carlos, your defense is playing in their third game
after already playing a home game and escaping
adversity at Notre Dame. There should not be one
knot in any Husker stomach.
So what is the problem? Polk said it is not the
play calling, and when it comes down to it,
nobody has an answer, except that the defense
finds itself back at square one.
Polk is tired of the sub-par play.
“We played at their speed in the first half,” said
Polk of the defense that gave up 11 first downs and
211 total yards in the first half. “That is something
that the Blackshirts don’t usually do.”
Kyle Vanden Bosch, who is part of a rush-end
group that showed signs of life after being dor
mant in the first two games, said NU has a ways to
“We have the talent to get the job done,” he
said. “We just have had a few too many break
Polk said if NU’s record was based on defen
sive performance alone, the team could be 0-3,
Let’s just say he hit the nail right on the head.
All this said, in the end the Huskers are 3-0 -
something that the Badgers and Bruins aren’t. But
the Huskers' Northwestern or Oregon will come
along at some point in time.
And at that point, the Blackshirts better be
A tale of two talents
Crouch excels in passing attempts,
while defense shows weakness
BY SAMUEL MCKEWON
Ice pack draped over his knee,
Nebraska senior rush end Kyle
Vanden Bosch softly vented his anger
to an audience of one over another
defensive performance that lived
below his expectations.
Breakdowns, blown coverages
and seven conversions on third down.
Not a standard Nebraska perform
A few feet away, wet-haired quar
terback Eric Crouch had a reporter
scribbling notes over what may have
been Crouch’s most impressive per
formance as a Cornhusker.
Aside from a few errant pitches - it
seems like it wouldn't be a Crouch
performance without them - the jun
ior was near-flawless, an “A-plus”
according to Coach Frank Solich, as
he tied a school record with five
touchdown-passes to go along with
his 252 total yards.
“Like our new offensive approach
today?” joked Crouch, who set a sin
gle-game quarterback rating record
of 306.6 after completing 10 of 13
passes for 159 yards and the five
The two players served as micro
cosms for their respective units after
No. 1 NU beat winless Iowa 42-13 on
Saturday at Memorial Stadium, a
game Solich termed “closer than the
score actually reflected.”
So it was. And though the Husker
offense squandered a few chances
inside Hawkeye territory, it was the
Blackshirts who, in the words of sen
ior middle linebacker Carlos Polk
“played down to the level of the oppo
The opening drive looked as
though Nebraska was playing even a
step below that. Iowa, using draw
plays and short passes to running
backs to counteract a stiff wind in its
face, scooted down the field like an
elite West Coast offense and capped
the seven-play, 76-yard drive with a
29-yard pass from Scott Mullen to
Kevin Kaspar, who grabbed the ball in
the midst of two Husker defenders.
The Memorial Stadium record
crowd of 78,070 went silent. And the
defense wasn’t happy.
“We were frustrated through the
first half,” Defensive Coordinator
Craig Bohl said. “We were frustrated
at halftime. I know I was. This is a
young football team, but this is our
Said Polk, who had nine tackles
and a sack: “We were sitting back, not
attacking. (Iowa) started slowing
down, then we started slowing down.”
Nebraska (3-0) answered with an
opening-drive touchdown of its own,
covering 86 yards in 10 plays and four
minutes, 12 seconds. Crouch hit a key
third-down pass to tight end Tracey
Wistrom, then capped the drive with
a 31-yard pass to Matt Davison on an
out-and-go pattern to tie the score.
Please see GAME on 11
Dan Alexander is
from behind by
Kevin Worthy on
the 4-yard line
late in the fourth
would score one
play later on a
pass from Eric
Crouch to Tracy
Powered by Open ONI