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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 11, 2000)
BY JOHN GASKINS
Northwestern senior quar
terback Zack Kustok doesn’t feel
insulted that his team is a two
touchdown underdog to No. 9
Nebraska in the Dec. 30 Alamo
Led by second-year Coach
Randy Walker, the 19th-ranked
Wildcats finished the season 8
3 and tied for the Big 10
Conference Championship at
6-2. They beat Michigan. They
have the nation’s third-best
Still the same "experts” who
picked them to finish last in the
Big 10 after winning just one
out of 16 league games the pre
vious two seasons tabbed for
mer doormat Northwestern as
heavy underdogs against the
we re used to it, said
Kustok, who transferred to
Northwestern his freshman
year from Notre Dame.
“We've been underdogs
since the beginning of the sea
son. I remember telling a bunch
of media guys last spring I
thought we were going to be
one of the best teams in the Big
10 and they looked at me like I
was from another planet. We’ve
come out and proved people
wrong almost every game.”
Much of that has to do with
the Wildcats’ unique and dan
gerous spread offense, which
has amassed 475 yards and
scored 38.5 points per game.
They do it with both the run
(averaging 257 yards per game,
eighth in the nation) and the
pass (218 yards per game, 50th).
And they do it without a
huddle most of the time. It’s
been enough to throw defenses
into panic mode. Some believe
the NU Blackshirts - the
nation’s No. 26 defense, allow
ing 321.8 yards per game -
might fall into that mode.
“They have an offense that
has been able to move the ball
against everybody they've
played," NU Coach Frank
Solich said. “It will be no small
task to try and slow them
The Cats use the talent of
several receivers, a steely offen
sive line, and their playmakers -
Damien Anderson and Kustok.
Anderson has rushed for 22
touchdowns on 1,914 yards
while Kustok has thrown for 27
touchdowns on 2,251 yards.
Sometimes the Wildcats use
a huddle but not usually.
Instead, when a play ends,
Kustok immediately darts or
looks to the sideline and takes
the next play's call from Walker
- already considered an offen
i ne team lines up - usually
with more than two receivers
-with plenty of time on the play
clock, and Kustok spends sever
al seconds reading the defense.
Based on that and Walker’s call,
Kustok calls the play with his
“You definitely have to be
smart to run the offense,”
Kustok said. “When you run a
no-huddle offense, you have to
make sure everybody’s on the
same page. You don’t have a lot
of time to just sit there in the
huddle and think about what
you are going to do.”
What Kustok does a lot is go
to Anderson. When he doesn’t,
he runs the option, throws a
pass or throws on the run. It
usually works, and it compen
sates for the Cats’ iffy defense,
which ranks 89th in the nation
and allows 30.4 points per
That's why many people will
expect a shootout at the Alamo.
"It will be a great opportuni
ty for us,” Anderson said. “It's an
opportunity to beat one of the
nation’s quality programs on
national TV and put
Northwestern football on the
With this new-age offense, it
already is, even if odds-makers
still aren’t giving it respect.
Pros draft Huskers
FROM STAFF REPORTS
A U.S. professional women’s
soccer league has die cities, team
names and the mascots all lined
Now it has players, including
Next year, when the Women's
United Soccer Association begins
play, two current and two former
Nebraska players will find them
selves on the rosters.
In the first eight rounds of the
draft, Husker seniors Jenny
Benson, Karina LeBlanc and for
mer Huskers Sharolta Nonen and
Amy Walsh were selected.
“I'm overwhelmed,” said
LeBlanc, NU’s goalkeeper this
season “This is definitely an
opportunity that I’ve been looking
forward to. It’s such an honor. I’m
going to be playing against the
best players in the world.”
Nonen, a defender, was the
first Husker taken in the draft. She
was chosen by the Atlanta Beat
with the 17th pick. During her
career, which lasted from 1996
1999, she was a three-time All
American and Big 12 Player of the
Year in 1999.
Benson was selected 18th by
the Philadelphia Charge. As a
defender, she was a first-team All
American this year. She also was a
four-time All-Big 12 selection.
Benson finished her career as the
school’s all-time assist leader.
Charge Coach Mark Krikorian
said he is excited about Benson’s
“Benson is a fierce competitor
with great speed who can attack
out of the back(fidd),” he said.
With the 21st pick, the Boston
Breakers selected Husker goalie
LeBlanc. She was the second
goalie picked in the draft LeBlanc
was a second-team Big 12 selec
tion and a finalist for the
Hermann Trophy, which is given
to the nation’s best soccer player.
Walsh, who played for NU
from 1997-1999, went to the Bay
Area CyberRays with the 24th pick.
Walsh earned All-Big 12 honors
her junior and senior years.
Benson was glad to have a
chance to play professionally in
“I just think that it’s a really
good opportunity for us to start
this league off and get it going,”
die said. “Hopefully, younger kids
will have something to strive for
that we didn’t have.”
The draft will continue today
with rounds nine through 15.
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Huskers Grekhaly Cepero and Lindsay Wisdtmeier celebrate after a Nebraska kill on Saturday night on the way to defeating Arizona for the NCAA regional championship.The
Huskersnowmoveontothe Final Four in Richmond Va., Thursday.
Final Four bound
No. 1NU headed for Richmond afterthiee-game victory
BY SEAN CALLAHAN
Coming off a disappointing
third-round exit from the NCAA
Tbumament in 1999 and without
the services of redshirting All
American Nancy Meendering,
the 2000 Comhusker volleyball
team and the words “Final Four”
didn’t seem to fit together.
It didn’t take too long for first
year Coach John Cook and his
team to change that
By defeating No. 5Arizona 15
7,19-17,15-11, top-ranked NU
earned itself a spot in the Final
Four held in Richmond, Va., on
The only other time the
Huskers (32-0) entered the Final
Four undefeated was in 1995 -
the year they won their first and
only national title.
“This is why I came to
Nebraska volleyball,” Cook said.
“Because I knew this team could
win a national championship .”
Saturday’s one-hour, 55
minute match against the
Wildcats (28-5) will go down as
one of NU's finest
Coming into tournament
play, the Pac-10 champion hadn't
even dropped a single game in its
previous three NCAA matches.
After being swept, Arizona
Coach David Rubio said all he
could do was tip his hat to the
near-flawless performance by
“This one hurt,” Rubio said.
“The Nebraska players played
extremely well, and we weren’t
‘This is why I came to Nebraska volleyball.
Because I knew this team could win a national
NU volleyball coach
able to execute. We couldn’t get
them into a position where we
might be able to pressure them...
“Tonight, the better team
After easily dispatching the
Wildcats in the first game, NU
quickly found itself down 8-4 in
the second set. The Huskers
clawed their way back and actu
ally had a serve for the game at
But the Wildcats wouldn’t
give up either and gained the
upper hand at 16-15.
In the end, though, NU was a
little too much for Arizona in the
second set and in the match. The
Cats served for the win five times,
and five times the Huskers
turned them back before string
ing together enough points for
the 19-17 win.
It was a game that Rubio said
Please see WIN on 11
Nebraska women get needed win after road swoon
fouled by Beth
Ann Dickinson of
St Petert dur
70 win Sunday.
BY JOHN GASKINS
Right before the second half
of Nebraska’s 83-70 victory over
St. Peter’s commenced, an ill
Felecia Harris of St. Peter’s bent
down and vomited into a towel.
Many of the 3,018 in atten
dance at the Bob Devaney Sports
Center could feel the SPC for
ward’s pain. Like Sunday’s
Lincoln weather and Harris’
spillage, the game was not a pret
However, after the game,
Huskers Head Coach Paul
Sanderford found one aestheti
cally pleasing thing about it - an
added mark in NU’s win column.
It was the first one in four games
and 14 days.
A reporter asked Sanderford if
Please see ST. PITER on 11
NU can't win own classic
BY JOSHUA CAMENZIND
This wasn’t quite the weekend
Barry Collier had in mind for his
Nebraska basketball team.
For the second straight year,
the Huskers claimed third place in
their own tournament by beating
Division II Alaska-Fairbanks 84
55 on Saturday night.
But NU came out flat and lost
its first round game in the Husker
Team Classic - formerly the
Ameritas Classic - to the
University of Missouri-Kansas
City 82-71 on Friday night. UMKC
then lost to Pacific in the champi
onship game. .
Nebraska’s ability to draw
even at 3-3 over the weekend did
not satisfy Collier or the rest of the
“I think we overlooked UMKC
to be honest,” NU guard Cary
Cochran said. “I think all 18 guys
on our team did. I think that the
majority of the fans and the audi
ence did. And with the exception
of our coaches, everybody did."
Cochran said the Huskers,
who lost to Western Carolina in
last year's first round matchup
and never led in its game against
UMKC, were disappointed in their
effort in the opening round.
Collier said NU didn't totally
recover against UAF despite
shooting better than 50 percent
for the fifth time this season.
“I thought our effort was bet
ter tonight in the first 12 minutes,”
said Collier, who earned his 199th
career win against the Nanooks.
Please see CLASSIC on 11
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