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Kelly King
September 22, 2003
D as in DominantInvigorated by a new coordinator, Nebraska's defense showed its old form in shutting down Penn State
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September 22, 2003

College Football

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UNLV Shocks Wisconsin
Rebels' Defense Sacks Badgers

It would be easy to credit UNLV's stunning 23-5 win over No. 14 Wisconsin last Saturday to an injury to Badgers junior tailback Anthony Davis, who went down early in the first quarter with a sprained left ankle. Rebels coach John Robinson, however, is quick to note that his offense was also operating without its top rusher, senior tailback Larry Croom, who sat out the game with a strained right thigh. "We feel like it was one for one," says Robinson.

What won the game for the Rebels was the inspired play of their defense. Led by junior safety Jamaal Brimmer, who had 11 tackles and two interceptions, UNLV flew around Camp Randall Stadium, blitzing on nearly every down and sacking Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi eight times. "We're not very fast and we're not very big, so we've got to play frantic," says Robinson.

The 68-year-old coach, now in his fifth season with the Rebels, won 104 games and the 1978 national championship while coaching at USC from 1976 to '82 and again from 1993 to '97. He has enjoyed bigger victories than Saturday's, but few wins have been more satisfying.
—Mark Beech

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