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Story ran on October 23, 1994

There was little disputing that Joe Freeman's second-quarter fumble, lost as
he lurched within inches of the goal line, represented Missouri's largest
opportunity gone unfulfilled yesterday in a 42-7 loss to Nebraska.

What remained unclear hours after the loss was why Freeman was in the game at
that time and carrying the ball. Tailback Brock Olivo had pushed through
red-clad defenders for 9 yards on the previous play. He put the Tigers a yard
away from pulling within 14-7 of Nebraska and sculpting an entirely different
texture of the game heading into halftime.

Nobody either could or would explain the reasoning behind substituting Freeman
for Olivo, who this week coach Larry Smith identified as having the best
vision of all the Tiger ball carriers.

``We just made a switch,'' Smith said. ``And, again, coaches make a switch
when they feel something's right. So, sometimes you make decisions and they're
right, and sometimes....''

Was anything wrong with Olivo?

``I can't tell you,'' Smith said. ``Can't tell you, can't tell you.''

Olivo and Freeman, a senior, had been splitting time. But after Olivo's 9-yard
gain, a few eyebrows arched in the huddle when he exited and Freeman appeared.

``I thought that really seemed strange,'' said left tackle Trey O'Neil, a
senior.

Olivo, a true freshman who rushed for 87 yards in the second half of last
week's victory at Oklahoma State, said he didn't think anything of the
substitution.

Nobody knows what Freeman thought. He did not do interviews after the game.

The whole episode, which was set up by a Nebraska fumble, left coach Tom
Osborne thankful.

``I think we were a little lucky there,'' Osborne said.
By SCOTT CAIN


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