Nebraska's hallmark on defense is its jailbreak pass rush. With Colorado unable to run between the tackles, the Huskers were free to put Buffaloes quarterback Koy Detmer in their crosshairs. They harassed him into a 12-for-38 day, intercepted two of his passes and gave him such a pounding that by the end of the game he was seeing more spots than Cruella De Vil. "They never let up," Detmer said.
Nebraska's throttling of Colorado's high-octane offense was all the more impressive because the Huskers were playing without All-America linebacker Terrell Farley, who was booted off the team again in the wake of his second drunken driving arrest this year. His replacement, senior Mike Minter, a 190-pound safety, made a smooth transition to linebacker, coming up with four tackles and providing a suffocating presence when the Buffaloes tried to throw underneath to negate the rush. "Nebraska is Nebraska," says Neuheisel. "The numbers change, but the bodies stay the same."
Actually, Nebraska isn't quite Nebraska, and that's what's interesting about this team. The Cornhuskers were so overpowering for the last two years that their success was almost anticlimactic. There has been something rather pleasurable about watching them sweat it out this season.
"Since Arizona State, we don't take anything for granted," senior defensive end Jared Tomich said last Friday evening. "That game was a wake-up call about just what it takes to be a championship team. Losing that game hurt all of us, but really I think it's turned out to be some kind of blessing."