The winners of the What Have You Done For Us Lately Award are the Nebraska students who booed their Huskers as the team left the field at halftime in Lincoln, trailing 34-point underdog Missouri 6-0. Coach Tom Osborne was fuming about the ingrates after Nebraska's 26-18 victory. "A lot of class," sneered Osborne. "A bunch of baloney. I got no use for them."
The students were restless because the Cornhuskers weren't rolling up their usual zillion yards rushing on the way to their customary 83-7 victory. Instead, they were struggling mightily to solve the very same blitzing scheme Missouri had used to hold Nebraska to a 6-0 victory way back in 1981, when Turner Gill was the Nebraska quarterback.
On that day, Osborne remembered, "they knocked the tar out of Turner Gill." This time the tar was dislodged from senior quarterback Steve Taylor, who was forced into four fumbles (he lost three) by the three-man blitz and wound up with minus rushing yardage. After three quarters, the Huskers had run for eight yards.
Taylor found the air more hospitable, throwing an 82-yard TD pass to Todd Millikan and hitting Nate Turner with a 59-yarder to set up a field goal. And with Missouri (2-4 coming into the game) clinging to an 18-17 lead in the fourth quarter, Taylor finally read the defense well enough to call an audible that unleashed Bryan Carpenter on a 49-yard TD gallop, which sealed the victory.
Nevertheless, Tiger defensive coordinator Carl Reese's charges could be proud that they'd held Nebraska to only nine first downs, the Huskers' fewest since getting seven in a 47-0 loss to Oklahoma in 1968, and a meager 116 yards rushing.
"People will be upset with us because we didn't make the point spread," said Osborne, with all the wisdom of hindsight, "but that was the most ridiculous point spread I've ever seen in my life."
THE SEC'S BEST D
Asked about the fearsome Auburn defense, which made Florida its third straight shutout victim, 16-0, Gator offensive coordinator Lynn Amedee replied, "We got our dad-gummed fannies stuffed." And dad-gum if it didn't happen in front of a homecoming audience of 75,199 at Florida Field.
Without tailback Emmitt Smith, who is supposed to resume practice this week after missing 2� games with a knee injury, the Gators gained a pathetic 116 yards of total offense—and only 13 on the ground—against the aptly named defensive tackle Tracy Rocker and his jarring pals. Florida was so hapless that it never got inside Auburn's 29. Meanwhile, Tiger tailback Stacy Danley was hammering the Gators for 131 yards on 29 carries, Danley's 10-yard touchdown jaunt in the fourth quarter broke open what had been a taut defensive struggle.