The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 15, 2000, Page 10, Image 10

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Buck solid
NU career
It seemed
beneath the
snow, sleet and
the many small
pieces of
dreams, there was the ninth lead
ing rusher in the Huskers’ storied
rushing history.
Senior I-back Correll
Buckhalter needed just five yards
against Kansas State on Saturday
to pass former Husker and NFL
star Roger Craig and occupy the
No. 9 spot on the all-time rushing
He got 12 - and it took six car
ries to do so. No fanfare. No bois
terous commentary from the
media. Just 12 yards on six carries,
and the native from Collins, Miss.,
climbed one notch higher in the
NU football history books.
It was quiet. Ordinary, to say
the least. But nevertheless, an
extraordinary feat and a fitting
way for him to achieve it
Despite the yards,
Buckhalter’s NU career has most
commonly been described as
Members of the Husker
Faithful and members of the
media will remind you he’s just an
ordinary back.
They'll tell you he doesn’t
have Lawrence Phillips' elusive
ness or Calvin Jones’ speed. And it
goes without saying that he does
n't have Mike Rozier’s Heisman.
Buckhalter says he’s heard it
all, though. It doesn’t bother him.
But you would expect him to say
that, right?
Well, the talk shouldn't bother
him. Not after passing up such
Husker household names as for
mer quarterbacks Steve Taylor
andTbmmie Frazier, option-run
ning gurus of their time.
And what’s more, such self
serving talk shouldn’t bother him
when he knows in his own heart
he has given his all on the football
field for his coach and his team.
“When I go out there I give my
110 percent to help the team,"
Buckhalter said. “Nothing less."
Sure it sounds dichd, but I still
can’t help but be refreshed by it
College football is now in an
era of stat-padding and Heisman
ballots' being cast for players who
still have the smell of their high
school lunchrooms’ milk on their
People have forgotten these
athletes aren’t just mindless
robots thrown into the Husker
Power assembly line to entertain
the Saturday morning armchair 1
back. They’re college kids just like
every non-athlete at NU
They are people who are try
ing to find their ways in this
unpredictable box of chocolates
we call life.
God forbid someone would
consider me a failure if I don’t
make as much money as Johnny
Carson just because we both
attended NU.
With 2,454 career yards, sev
eral Big 12 championships and
one national crown on his man
tle, what man, woman or child
can look at Buckhalter’s Husker
career as a disappointment?
People come to play for the
Big Red for a variety of reasons,
and believe it or not, every
Busker’s not unsatisfied with his
career just because his name isn’t
in lights.
“I think any player that's come
through here wishes they could
have done some things better,”
Buckhalter said.
“I'm pleased, though, with my
career. God led me here to play
and to fight through some ups
and downs. I’ve done that, and
lm sausnea.
He is satisfied as the ninth
leading rusher indeed, as would
any NU running back. But the
Buck won’t stop here, he said.
The NFL does await for him,
he said. And as crazy as it may
seem to some, Buckhalter said he
is confident his hard work ethic
and reliability will make him suc
cessful in the real football world.
Say what you want about the
guy's speed and quickness, but
his presence for the Huskers has
almost always been a constant
And out of all our endless
adjectives that tell about a foot
ball player’s worth, the word “reli
able” is the one he wants us to
remember him by.
I’d say it is only fitting.
Crouch banged up against K-State
_ _ _
■ NU quarterback aggravated a
shoulder injury against KSU, but
says it doesn't excuse poor play.
For the second straight year,
the losing quarterback from the
Nebraska-Kansas State matchup
has come down with the injury
bug following the game.
Cornhusker Coach Frank
Solich revealed on Monday’s Big
12 Teleconference quarterback
Eric Crouch was bothered by an
injured shoulder in NU’s 29-28
loss to KSU.
Crouch completed only two of
13 passes in the loss Saturday
NU’s second of the year.
Solich said after Tuesday’s
practice that Crouch had been
hindered by the injury which was
suffered during the Iowa State
game Oct. 7.
But Crouch did practice
Hiesday after the whole team took
Monday off, Solich said.
"He did more than I thought
he would be able to do,” Solich
said. “We did throw some today
with him and went through all of
the running game.”
Crouch said he did not prac
tice at frill speed - something he
had not been able to do all year.
And he said he wasn't using his
injured shoulder, which is not
related to off-season surgery he
had last season, as an excuse.
“For the most part, I felt pretty
good today,” Crouch said. “Of
course my shoulder is a little sore
and I have a sore leg, but those are
not excuses for losses.
“I have played hurt all year
and have played hurt all my
Crouch, who looked much
like KSU’s Jonathan Beasley, who
DN File Photo
NU Coach Frank Solid) reported Monday that quarterback Eric Crouch had been playing with an injured shoulder for the past five weeks. Crouch aggravated the injury against
Kansas State but practiced Tuesday.
completed only three of 19 passes
against NU last year with a hurt
shoulder, said his shoulder didn’t
matter in the outcome.
“I don't think that was a huge
factor why I went two for 13,” he
said. “We threw a lot of deep balls
and just didn’t connect on any of
Crouch said he aggravated the
injury in the first or second quar
ter against the Wildcats when his
shoulder was driven into the
ground on a run.
The junior said traction on
Wagner Field was hard to come by,
which hindered Nebraska’s
option game.
“We got our power running
game going there and probably
should have come back to it earli
er than we did," Crouch said.
Solich said Crouch’s injury
would most likely not require sur
gery and would heal with time.
NU Notes: Solich said some
coaches would go on the road at
the end of the week with the
Huskers having Saturday off in
preparation for the Nov. 24
matchup with Colorado. Solich
also said pro scouts would be
allowed into practices this week in
accordance to team policy which
allows scouts around the team
only on bye weeks.
Huskers:There will be life after BCS bid
A second quarter field goal
attempt nearly kisses the
upright but passes by on the
A purple fullback nearly gets
dragged down, but breaks loose
continuing a charging offense to
a game-winning score.
A fourth quarter, last-gasp
pass is just a bit high, held on to
for a split second before falling
uselessly to the snow-covered
All are instances portraying
how close Nebraska was to fin
ishing on top. Instead, the
Huskers pulled up just short in
the end against Kansas State
and, ultimately, for the 2000 sea
But Nebraska still has to
show up for the rest of its games
and the players said they are still
looking to salvage something
from the rest of the year.
“The season didn’t pan out
the way we planned it,” senior
co-captain Carlos Polk said.
"But at the same time, we just
can't pack our bags and go
home. We still have two games
left, and we have to make the
best out of them.”
Polk, who had a team-high
17 tackles against the Wildcats,
had a chance to halt KSU’s
game-winning drive and maybe
send the rest of NU's season in a
different direction.
The middle linebacker broke
into the backfield and crashed
into fullback Rock Cartwright,
seemingly forcing K-State into a
long yardage situation. But Polk
lost his grasp on tackle No. 18,
and Cartwright ran loose for 13
yards. The Wildcats then drove
on to the game winning score.
Polk said his missed tackle,
and the other memorable near
‘You always want that national championship
and that Big 12 Championship, but it’s a part of
life. You don’t always get what you want.”
Eric Crouch
NU quarterback
misses against the Wildcats,
weren’t the deciding factor in
the loss.
“One play like that fullback
play didn’t win or lose the game
for us,” he said. “It takes more
than one play to lose a game. We
felt like we didn’t execute well
enough to win that game.”
That leaves Nebraska, a pro
gram that has won three nation
al titles in the past six seasons,
looking to salvage something
from the rest of the season when
a national championship is
nowhere in sight.
“If we finish the rest of the
season the way we want and win
the rest of our games, we had a
good season,” quarterback Eric
Crouch said.
"You always want that
national championship and
that Big 12 Championship, but
it’s a part of life. You don’t always
get what you want.”
Because of that, Nebraska
fans probably aren’t booking
many flights to Miami for the
Orange Bowl.
Assuming NU beats
Colorado on Nov. 24, specula
Please see SEASON on 9
Final exhibition is laugher for Huskers
It’s been a while since the Bob Devaney
Sports Center has seen tension like it saw
TUesday night.
When Yugoslavia Select forward Predrag
Kovacevic let a three-point bomb fly as the
game-ending horn sounded, every student in
the building eyed it all the way to the hoop,
screaming loudly, as if their shrieks would
somehow reject the shot
The score stood 89-49 Nebraska, but if the
shot would fall, Yugoslavia would surpass 50
points. If the Yugoslavians scooted past 50,
there would be no free six-inch Blimpie sand
wich for poverty-stricken college students.
"There was some pride out there in trying to
get a stop,” Nebraska Coach Barry Collier said,
recalling the dramatic last defensive stand.
Collier's team got the stop as the shot
clanked off the rim. Fans reveled in their free
sandwich certificates while the Comhuskers
reveled in a confidence-boosting 40-point rout
The Huskers finished its exhibition season
at 1-1. The real thing begins Saturday when NU
travels to Oral Roberts.
"I thought we played much better tonight,”
Collier said. “It’s tough to evaluate playing
against a team that was probably worn down
on their trip. But we played better, and I
thought our concentration was better.”
NU was led by the hot shooting of senior
guard Cookie Belcher, who overcame last
week’s first-game jitters with a 13 for 15 shoot
ing effort, leading all scorers with 31 points.
"It felt good out there tonight,” Belcher said.
"I’ve been waiting for this for a long time."
Belcher scared the 4,476 in attendance
when he was undercut on a first-half dunk,
causing him to land on both of his wrists. It was
a right-wrist injury that kept him off the floor
last season.
"I was shaking on the floor," Belcher said. “I
Scott McClurg/DN
Husker guard Cary Cochran steals the ball from Yugoslavia Select's Aleksander Golubovic in the first half Tuesday
evening at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Cochran had 15 points in NU's 89-49 blowout.
was almost scared to get up.” Yugoslavia struggled against the Husker
Belcher sat out for only a few minutes man-to-man defense, compiling only a 35-per
before returning to the gamevbut the Huskers cent field goal rate, knocking down 26 percent
flourished with whomever they put on the
Please see BASKETBALL on 9
looks to
clinch title
■ NU goesforthe Big 12title
against hapless Iowa State,
who has only two wins.
The last three times a
Nebraska volleyball team has
played Iowa State the
Cornhuskers have outscored
the Cyclones 135-22.
Tonight’s match-up
between the Clones (2-24,0-17)
and Huskers (24-0,16-0) looks
no different than the last three
except for one thing - NU can
guarantee itself a Big 12 title
with a victory.
Clinching the conference
crown isn’t the only important
business NU has against Iowa
State, Coach John Cook said.
Tonight’s game is the first step
in a stretch the Huskers hope
lead to bigger titles.
i tnink tne next two weeks
are critical for us to get a good
rhythm, to understand the
mentality we have to play with
and to finish the Big 12 season
on a stroifg note,” Cook said.
“We want to head into the
NCAA tournament with a great
seed, a chance to host a regional
and the mentality to win a
national championship.”
Nebraska has had plenty of
time to get ready for the final
stretch. The team hasn’t played
a game since its four-game vic
tory at Texas A&M on Nov. 8, a
win that snapped A&M's 28
match home win streak.
Alter the emotional victory,
and with a bye date last
Saturday, Cook said he decided
to give his team three days off
this week.
The rest period is something
Cook thinks will help give his
team some mental time off.
Giving a team that many
days off this late in the season
might be a concern for some
coaches, but Cook said his
team’s ability to perform takes
away any concern for a let
"As a coach you never know
if that’s a positive or if that’s
going to backfire on us,” he said.
"My gut feeling with this team is
the rest and the break mentally
will really set us up to have a
Please see CYCLONES on 9