`We'll Just Keep Rising Up From Here'
BY Bill Haisten
Sep 1, 1995
5/16/08 at 12:21 AM
STILLWATER -- Nebraska started 12 seniors who are veterans of a national
championship season. Oklahoma State started four freshmen, and four
additional rookies saw extensive playing time. The second-ranked Huskers'
obvious physical superiority, coupled with the Cowboys' inexperience and
poor tackling, resulted in a 64-21, made-for-TV mauling Thursday night at
Most of what ails OSU cannot be corrected this year on the
practice field; a cure must come through better recruiting. But
first-year coach Bob Simmons believes the Cowboys can improve now
if they improve on the basics of tackling and offensive execution.
``Every big play they had came off of a missed tackle,'' Simmons
said. ``I want to build a team similar to Nebraska's. You can't be
a team like that unless you can play with a team like that. I
wanted us to play much better than we did, but I'm not discouraged.
``We just couldn't afford the penalties on offense, and we
didn't tackle well in the secondary or with our linebackers.''
At the 13:09 mark of the second period, when a Kris Brown field goal gave
Nebraska a 9-0 advantage, the Huskers had 151 total yards. At the same
point, OSU had as many penalties as total yards -- four.
Husker I-back Lawrence Phillips rushed for 153 yards on 12 carries and
scored on runs of 3, 80 and 27 yards. On his 27-yarder, he used a casual
stiff-arm to shuck the tackle attempt of safety Trent Fisher. During the
second OSU defensive series of the game, junior outside linebacker Jevon
Langford sustained a broken left hand. His status for next week's game at
Tulsa is uncertain.
``Their defense was overanxious a bit,'' said Phillips, who needed NCAA
clearance to play after an investigation into his relationship with an
agent. ``On the (career-longest 80-yard sprint), they were pursuing like
they wanted to stop the option. I just took off. It looked like great moves
by me, but I was just running as fast as I can.''
Two plays following Phillips' 80-yarder, O-State tailback David
Thompson ran 79 to set up an Andre Richardson score.
``I felt like it was time to do something,'' said Thompson, who totaled
128 yards on 16 attempts. ``Their linebackers were standing straight up; I
knew they were winded. It was time to make something happen.''
The most obvious OSU negative was Nebraska's complete up-front
domination on both sides of the ball. Both of the Cowboys'
second-half scoring drives (67 and 41 yards) were mounted against a
Husker defense comprised by backups.
OSU right offensive tackle Jeremy Offutt made his first college start
against a defending national champion. ``Everybody in our dressing room
believed we could win the game, but we didn't execute,'' he said. ``It was
frustrating. Nebraska talked a lot of trash. When they'd mess with one of
our guys, I'd talk a little myself.''
Some O-State positives: R.W. McQuarters, freshman from Tulsa Washington,
proved to be a triple threat as he played cornerback and wide receiver (one
catch, 12 yards) and averaged 23.5 yards on six kickoff returns. Tight end
Alonzo Mayes had four receptions for 72 yards.
``I thought I was going to break a long return right before halftime,''
said McQuarters, who sustained a nasty turf burn on his right elbow. ``The
game was played at a fast pace, but my teammates told me to expect that.
We'll just put this game behind and get ready for Tulsa.''
Cowboy freshman inside linebacker Taber LeBlanc said the speed
and power of the Huskers was a bit overwhelming.