The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 03, 2000, Page 10, Image 10
SportsWeekend Kansas is perfect antidote Go on, get up. Rise and shine, Husker fans. Wipe away those tears. Open me uunus. Spike down a few Nuprins. Cook yourself some pan cakes. Take a nice, cold snower. it s a brand new John ^ Gaskins So, NU hbJSSShh lost. So, they stunk it up ... big time ... enough to make you vomit profusely. But get over it Get over your Oklahoma hangover. It’s over. Damage (and not significant damage, mind you) done. Welcome to your 2000 version of the Husker football loss recovery program. Step one: die Kansas game. Ah, Kansas. In this ever weather-changing season that brings sneezes and sniffles and NU losses, the word is the perfect medicine to soothe the soul It seems to be a trend. TWo years ago, it was Texas A&M that put you in rehab. Last year, it was those damn Homs. But remember the weeks after? The Huskers got to play Kansas. They didn’t play well in either of those games, bait man aged to win both, 41-0 and 24-17 - the latter a heart-stopping comeback in Lawrence that gave an eventual 12-1 team the In tf}e , shot in the nations arm it need longest ed*. . 57. And gave continuous you a reason rivalry, NU J° set <?ut of has won 82 ^luTsas of the 106 has been a _____ wonderful games wound healer since 1906, over the including each of the the Huskers last 31. ™\in 19f8 happened to be the same year NU last lost a homecoming game - a 12-0 klunker to lowly K-State. Saturday's game will mark the 10th time since -1969 that NU faces Kansas after a loss. The average score of those games? Nebraska 37, Kansas 8. And believe me, there have been a fair share of 70-0,54-2, 63-7,63-10 games. Before the Texas teams Oklahoma curse, there were two heartbreakers to Colorado in 1989 and ’90. KU had the pleas ure to get beaten severely, 51-14 and 41-9, the week after. After Florida State shocked Lincoln in 1980, the Huskers put a 54-spot shutout on the Jayhawks. Of course, you all know it’s soothing to be dominant in such a rivalry, as well. In the nation's longest continuous rivalry, NU has won 82 of the 106 games since 1906, including each of the last31. Nebraska has shut out KU 30 times along the way and have 12 homecoming victories over the Jayhawks. Lest we forget some other memorable poundings from the '80s and '90s. I think my favorite was the 1996,63-7 clas sic. An, Kansas. How soothing. Of course, in the spotlight, NU players and coaches do all but tell you to take this history baloney and shove it where the post-loss sun doesn’t shine. They could care less about last year’s KU and NU game, or the year before that and the year before that, and, wait a second... Actually, they do remember last year’s KU game. They remember it quite vividly. They remember how they hung their heads all week from the Texas loss and almost forgot about Kansas. They remember going nowhere for three quarters until Bobby Newcombe’s 86-yard punt-retum touchdown and 49 yard winning touchdown recep tion pulled them out of the Black Hole of Holiday Bowl Death. The consensus among them this week after OU: Their hang over didn’t last so long this time. The pieces are picked up... and Kansas, though mediocre in all Please see KU on 9 Odds stacked against Jayhawks ■ Kansas has not won a game with the Huskers for more than 30 years. BY DAVID DIEHL On paper, the Kansas Jayhawks have some astronomi cal odds against them in Saturday’s game with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers haven’t lost back-to-back games in 10 years. They haven’t lost two straight regular-season games in 24. The Jayhawks haven’t beaten Nebraska in 31 years. “Hopefully,” cornerback Keyuo Craver said, “we can keep up a good tradition.” Hopefully, Kansas players don’t have record books either. Their three-decade losing drought to NU is the second longest active losing streak to one team. Only Navy’s 37 straight losses to Notre Dame tops it Entering Saturday’s region ally televised game, Nebraska leads the all-time series with Kansas, the third-longest series in NCAA football, 82-21-3. Rush end KyleVanden Bosch sees the series, and KU's recent ineptness vs. the Huskers, from the other side. “We realize they're hungry,” Vanden Bosch said. That hunger in their stom achs probably corresponds with the bitter taste they have in their mouths, too. Nebraska escaped the Please see FOCUS on 9 DN file Photo Nebraska tight end Tracey Wfetrom and the Comhuskers will try to rebound Saturday from a loss to Oklahoma by beating the Kansas Jayhawks for the 32nd straight time. Rifle team aims for championship ■The young team is off to a strong start, winning a tourney and a dual. 9 BY GABRIEL STOVALL They're deep in talent, focused on success and are aim ing for a national championship -literally. NU's rifle squad is poised for big things in just its third year of NCAA competition. Many may think national championships are not realistic endeavors for such young teams. Ask Coach Karen Anthony, how ever, and she’ll tell you otherwise. “My job here each year is to win a national championship,” said Anthony, who has been die rifle team coach in each of its three years. “That’s always going to be a goal on my list” After the first two meets of the season, so far so good, said Anthony. The Huskers opened their season in Annapolis, Md., by claiming the overall match tide at the Great Eight Rifle Match held by the U.S. Naval Academy. NU then won its second match the very next day when it defeated the Virginia Military Institute. Rifling competition is divided into two categories: air rifle and smallbore shooting. In air rifle, competitors stand and shoot lead pellets from .177 caliber rifles at targets 10 meters away. Competitors have 80 minutes for 40 shots. A perfect match score for air rifle is 400. Terim Richards, NU’s air rifle specialist, tallied a score of394 in her first outing at Annapolis. Richards said she helps her team’s overall performance by JoshWolfe/DN Husker rifle team member Nicole Allaire takes aim during a Husker practice. Nebraska has enjoyed success this season, winning a tournament and a dual. Below, her bag. “My job here each year is to win a national championship. That’s always going to be a goal on my list ” Karen Anthony rifle team coach trying to focus on achieving the best personal score possible. “Personally, that's kind of how I am,” said the junior from Louisville, Neb. “Last year I aver aged in the low 380s. This year I’ve made a pretty big jump in setting my goal to 392.” Anthony, who fielded a respectable team with four walk ons her first season, said finding top athletes is key in rifling, just as in any sport. “Recruiting in any sport is extremely important,” she said. “Our situation was different starting out when I had the four walk-ons. Now we're looking for the best" Such lofty goal-setting by Anthony is a sign that the team has come a long way, talent-wise and in confidence, since its first Please see RIFLE on 9 Soccer match delayed ■The Nebraska-Baylor game was postponed until Friday afternoon. BY JAMIE SUHR The Nebraska soccer team was all dressed up with no place to go Thursday night. Rain and lightning cut short the scoreless Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma Big 12 Conference Tournament semifinal match. The game will resume at noon Friday with five minutes remain ing in the first half . After conference officials met with each team, the decision was to postpone the Cornhuskers' game against Baylor to 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio. NU goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc said the layover won’t affect the team. “This team is full of profes sionals," LeBlanc said. “We're going to attack the game with the same enthusiasm.” But LeBlanc may have some added incentive in today’s con test. Baylor goalie Dawn Greathouse was named Big 12 first-team all-conference, while LeBlanc was named to the second team. “I’m just focused on the game," LeBlanc said. “That’s just people’s opinions. The only opin ion I care about is my team's.” With a victory, the Huskers will advance to the championship game still scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Lack of tradition makes Homecoming game bland Homecoming is a time to reflect on the past and a time to honor tradition. The Nebraska football team has a storied past filled with a rich winning tradition. People across the Comhusker state love their foot ball, and they especially love the Big Red. ESPN analyst Lee Corso even named Husker fans the best fans in college football because of their class and in-depth knowl edge of college football. Not so fast, my friends. There are many other stadi ums across the nation that are rowdier and louder, and, more importantly, there are many uiner iootoau fans who wal low in the tra dition of their teams. Sure, every Husker fan wears red and white but so Jason does every fan ^RfleiTlh©W that cheers on ^" a team with the same colors. The fans are spoiled with a good football team year in and year out. If they had a sub-.500 year or two, would the sell-out streak remain intact? I doubt it. Being a native Nebraskan, bleeding Husker red since I was born, I was blinded to the fact that we lack true tradition. Homecoming Week at NU is nothing special. It is business as usual around Lincoln: no parade, no bonfires and no magic. If it weren’t for the greek sys tem's floats in the fronts of their houses, this week would blend in with the rest of the season. The Athletic Department tried to start a tradition last year with the infamous “Tailgate on the Turf." It was a great idea. It unified the student body inside the sta dium. A true collegiate atmosphere was felt around Memorial Stadium before any speakers spoke. There was free food, free stuff and free entertainment. Unfortunately it was horribly planned and executed. Tom Green humping Rick Schweiger's leg, while wearing the Lil’ Red suit, showed what homecoming week really is, a joke. We should have a real pep rally, complete with entertain ment. There should be a tradition night at the stadium before the season. Here the fans would be taught the words to the Nebraska fight song and chants unique to NU. Tradition night would allow coaches and players to meet and talk to a unified student body. It's still up to the fans to decide if they would want to keep a tradition. Unfortunately, tomorrow’s game and every other future Homecoming game will be busi ness as usual unless we change our boring ways.