REDS — BEHIND REDWINE, SUKUP AND QUINN — DEFEAT WHITES, 27-13
Lincoln, Neb. (May 5, 1979) — Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne had many questions positively answered during the Huskers' 30th annual Red-White intrasquad game, won by the Reds 27-13, before 20,119 fans in Memorial Stadium.
During spring drills, Nebraska concentrated on quarterback, the offensive line, kicker, linebacker and the defensive secondary. All came out with plus marks following the annual contest and there was even a double plus thrown in by the name of Jarvis Redwine, who transferred to Nebraska last season from Oregon State.
Redwine, who will be a junior this season, showed what he could do in the Spring Game, as star senior I-Back I. M. Hipp was absent because of a broken thumb. Redwine did not disappoint the fans, as he gained 94 yards in 16 carries and scored one touchdown. Redwine's speed — he's been clocked at 4.35 in the 40-yard dash — accounted for much of this yardage.
At quarterback, junior Jeff Quinn proved why he is the No. 1 signal caller going into fall camp. He was five of eight passing for 79 yards and also gained 34 yards rushing on eight carries. Another fine quarterbacking effort was turned in by sophomore Mark Mauer, who completed four of 10 passes for 92 yards, including a 52-yarder to frosh split end Todd Brown.
The Huskers' offensive line — tight end Junior Miller, tackles Dan Steiner and Mike Bruce, center Kelly Saalfeld, and guards John Havekost and Randy Schleusener — began to assert itself in the second half, following a 13-13 halftime tie. Overall, the Reds gained 250 yards on the ground, including two second half rushing touchdowns.
Senior Dean Sukup turned in a sterling kicking performance. He booted two field goals — a 27-yarder in the first quarter and a 52-yarder in the second — and also connected on all three of his extra points.
Senior Tom Vering and junior Brent Williams proved that the linebacker situation was in good hands. For the game, Vering had five unassisted stops, while Williams had four tackles and one pass broken up.
The Huskers defensive secondary — led by star 1978 starters, cornerback Andy Means and safety Russell Gary, along with cornerback Paul Letcher and monster Mark LeRoy — intercepted (Red and White combined) three passes and broke up eight others.
Other top performances were turned in by: junior I-Back Craig Johnson (eight carries for 48 yards and one score); sophomore quarterbacks Bruce Mathison (4-8-1 = 61 yards) and Steve Michaelson (5-8 = 56 yards); freshman split end Brown (three catches for 87 yards); senior split end Tim Smith (two catches for 50 yards); junior split end Scott Woodard (three catches for 40 yards); and senior Wingback Tim McCrady (two kickoff returns for 46 yards.)
In the first half, Sukup's 27 yard field goal, with 4:33 left in the first quarter, gave the Reds a 3-0 lead. But with 2:24 left in the opening period, junior Tim Bergkamp booted his own 29 yarder, to tie it at 3-3. The Whites took the lead with 17:34 left in the first half, on a one yard run by Mauer, but the Reds tied it with 9:45 left, on a two-yard jaunt by sophomore I-Back Walter Wallace. With :27 left in the first half, sophomore kicker Donnie Kirk booted a 28-yarder to give the Whites a 13-10 lead, but with only :05 remaining in the first half, Sukup boomed his 52-yarder to tie the score at 13-13.
In the second half, the Reds broke it open with two touchdowns, while holding the Whites scoreless. With 14:36 left in the third period, Johnson scooted 15 yards for the score, and with 13:09 left in the game, Redwine ran one yard for the touchdown.
Several key players who will be important to Nebraska this season were missing from the Spring Game because of injury. They were seniors I. M. Hipp (broken thumb), Kenny Brown (knee), fullback Tim Wurth (neck) and defensive back Dave Liegl (knee).
SOURCE: 1979 NU MEDIA GUIDE