Tribune Online Sports

[Back | Archive]


Story ran on November 10, 1996

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Missouri sophomore cornerback Randy Potter had two days to
think about his first collegiate start. That might have been two days too
many.

``I should have just gone out there and played,'' Potter said. ``I

wanted to do well so much, I was thinking too much. I've just got to let loose
next game. I know I played a terrible first game. But I'll bounce back, and
definitely you won't see this peformance next week.''

Potter replaced Shad Criss, who was suspended for the season on Thursday.

Potter fumbled his first punt return, giving Nebraska the ball on Missouri's
25. Three plays later, Brendan Holbein beat Potter for a 14-yard touchdown
reception.

``They knew it was my first start,'' Potter said. ``I guess they were picking
on me. Like I said, I've just got to bounce back. I've just got to play the
game, have fun.''

The loss of Criss, Missouri's best man-to-man coverage player, left Missouri
in a bind in the defensive backfield.

``A lot of confusion,'' safety DeMontie Cross said. ``Guys were playing safety
when they'' used to ``play linebacker on nickel and then vice versa. Young
guys in there, and in the heat of the moment, I don't think you want to open
up against Nebraska.

``We didn't really have the substitutions down pat. The guys didn't know what
they had. We just didn't review enough. We thought we could handle it, but it
in the heat of the moment we just couldn't handle it.''

GETTING THE POINT:For the second time this season, MU quarterback Corby Jones
was knocked out of a game with a hip pointer.

Midway through the second quarter, Jones took a vicious shot from 250-pound
linebacker John Hesse on an option keeper. Jones limped off and was replaced
by Kent Skornia. Jones played one more drive in the first half but didn't
return to the game after halftime. Jones said he wouldn't have returned even
if the game was close.

The injury is to the right hip, the same one that was hurt in the Southern
Methodist game last month.

``The one at SMU was low,'' MU coach Larry Smith said. ``It was on the hip
joint. This is up above the hip. ... That in a lot of ways can be more serious
from a standpoint of it's just so doggone sore, it's hard to get back.''

Unlike the SMU game, Skornia couldn't rally the team. He continues to struggle
with interceptions. He threw two yesterday, giving him 10 on the season.
Overall, Skornia completed four of 12 passes for 45 yards.

GRIPES WITH STRIPES:Two Missouri penalties in the second quarter led directly
to Nebraska scores. Missouri coach Larry Smith wasn't thrilled with either
call.

The first was a very iffy intentional-grounding penalty on Jones. On a
third-down play from Missouri's 26, Jones rolled right. Under heavy pressure,
he threw the ball away. He obviously was trying to avoid a sack, but receiver
Torey Coleman was within 5 yards of where the ball landed.

The penalty backed up Missouri 22 yards and caused a loss of down. On the
ensuing play, punter Vince Sebo, who was standing in his own end zone, dropped
the snap, giving Nebraska a safety.

``The thing that bothers me is that quarterbacks try to make plays now, and
they get called for intentionally grounding,'' Smith said. ``I think all he
was trying to do was make a play and get it down there. He wasn't throwing it
away. To me, intentionally grounding is when you intentionally throw it into
the ground.''

On Missouri's next possession, Skornia completed a pass to Bill Lingerfelt for
a first down. But Rahsetnu Jenkins was called for offensive pass interference.

``Our receiver ran a hook pattern which is a 10-12 yard route,'' Smith said.
``The guy was playing man-to-man on him. We had a tight end coming to the
flat. The man that was covering the tight end was not picked. They called a
pick on us after we had about eight picks on us that scored on us in the last
two weeks.''

Facing third-and-18 two plays later, Skornia threw an interception that Mike
Minter returned to Missouri's 4. That led to a Frost touchdown run that gave
Nebraska a 16-0 lead.

CAN'T HOLD HOLBEIN:Holbein's touchdown reception in the first quarter was his
third in three years against Missouri.

``I have become quite successful against Missouri,'' Holbein said. ``I don't
know what it is. My dad keeps telling me it's because my mom and dad are
alumnus from Missouri.''

BRIGHT SPOT:Missouri third-string quarterback John McArthur was one of the few
bright spots for the Tigers. The redshirt freshman got his most significant
playing time of the season and responded by completing three of five passes
for 48 yards.

His 24-yard pass to Jay Murchison was the first touchdown pass of his career.

``I think he did an outstanding job,'' Smith said.

EXTRA POINTS:For the second straight game, every MU offensive starter was a
Missouri native.... The Tigers have played in Lincoln five times in the 1990s.
Clayton Baker, Jenkins, Lingerfelt, Joe Love, Derrick Miller and Mark Norris
played in Memorial Stadium for the third time in their careers.... Missouri
has lost 17 straight games to ranked opponents and 18 straight to Nebraska....
The Tigers had scored on their opening drive three straight times, but the
Cornhuskers halted the streak.... Center Russ Appel, who has a bulky cast on
his right hand, did not play.

By JOE WALLJASPER

CUTLINE

Nebraska's Ahman Green gets a block from Eric Anderson on his way to a 56-yard
touchdown on NU's first play from scrimmage in the second half.


[Back | Archive]

Send questions or comments to: webmaster@trib.net