"I wouldn't say I was frightened," Turman said after the game. "I was anxious." For a kid whose high school graduating class had 32 students, Turman came up big, getting Nebraska in the end zone three times. All in all he turned in a respectable performance but with unbeaten Kansas State and Colorado ahead on the schedule, the Turmanator's role could be terminated; Veland may be moved back to quarterback, full time.
Veland? Turman? Berringer? It was Frazier who made Nebraska's offense most effective. "Tommie was the best quarterback in the country for our offense," says offensive tackle Zach Wiegart. "But you can't let the loss of one guy ruin your season. With our offensive line, I don't care if the quarterback is Rudy."
Hey, Zach, your quarterback was Rudy.
"I'd like to get people to think of Youngstown, Ohio, as a place where there's a good football team," says Jim Tressel, coach at Youngstown State. "Not as the place where the steel mills used to be."
That task may prove impossible, but Tressel is making progress. By leading the Penguins to Division I-AA national championships in 1991 and '93, and a 52-9-2 record since 1990, he has generated nationwide respect and unprecedented support for his team. For Saturday's homecoming game against defending Division II champion North Alabama, a school-record crowd of 17,411 turned out as Youngstown won 17-14.
"The program is vital to our community," says Youngstown mayor Patrick Ungaro. "Losing the mills took a tremendous psychological toll. We're starting to regain confidence, and YSU football has been a big part of that."
Between 1977 and '81, nearly 25,000 Youngstown steelworkers, almost 40% of the city's workforce, lost their jobs. Today unemployment holds at 13.6%, and roughly one fourth of the city's 95,732 residents live below the poverty level.
"It's grim," says Thomas Finnerty Jr., senior researcher at Youngstown State's Center for Urban Studies. "But the team gives us something to rally around. Winning can take your mind off other things."
When Tressel took over in 1986, Youngstown State, situated in an area—northeast Ohio—with a rich high school football tradition, was overlooked by local football fans. Tressel set out to turn the situation to his advantage. Emphasizing community pride, he coined the phrase "the State of Youngstown" to refer to the area within a 60-mile radius of the city, where he has done most of his recruiting. It is no accident that the heart of the Penguins' offense—center Chris Sammarone, quarterback Mark Brungard and running back Shawn Patton—grew up within a short drive of campus.