Huskers Fall to Texas, 20-16
Lincoln -- Despite one of the best individual defensive performances in school history, No. 7 Nebraska saw its 47-game home winning streak end as Texas upset the Huskers, 20-16, on Halloween.
The loss overshadowed a standout performance by junior rover Mike Brown. The junior from Scottsdale, Ariz., made 17 tackles, including eight solo stops, the most tackles in a game by a Husker since 1981, as he held Heisman Trophy favorite Ricky Williams to 150 yards, 60 below his average.
The Longhorns struck first, scoring a touchdown on their first possession as Major Applewhite connected with Derek Lewis on a 16-yard touchdown pass to give Texas a 7-0 lead. UT extended the lead to 10-0 on a 36-yard field goal by Kris Stockton early in the second quarter.
The Nebraska offense struggled until late in the second quarter when reserve quarterback Eric Crouch drove the Huskers 88 yards in the final three minutes, setting up a Kris Brown 27-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
Trailing 10-3, the Husker offense responded by scoring the first 10 points of the third quarter. NU closed the UT lead to 10-6 on a Brown 47-yard field goal before taking its first lead at 13-10, on a 38-yard touchdown run by Crouch. The freshman from Omaha accounted for all 49 yards on the scoring drive and finished with a career-high 108 yards rushing.
Texas struck back, driving 89 yards on eight plays before Stockton added a 19-yard field goal. Texas had first-and-goal at the NU 5, but the Blackshirts held firm. Nebraska regained the lead 16-13, as Brown connected on the third of his three field goals, hitting a 42-yarder. Browns three field goals were a season high.
The lead would not last as Texas drove 85 yards to take a 20-16 lead on a two-yard pass from Applewhite to Wane McGarity. Applewhite completed 14-of-26 passes for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The home winning streak was the fifth longest in NCAA history and the loss was the first at home to an unranked team since 1978.
Nebraska Postgame Notes, Oct. 31, 1998
The No. 7/7 Nebraska Cornhuskers were upset by the Texas Longhorns, 20-16 in Lincoln, which ended the Huskers nation-longest home winning streak at 47 games. That streak ranked fifth nationally. NU had not lost at home since a 36-21 loss to Washington on Sept. 21, 1991. UT scored on a 16-yard pass from Major Applewhite to Derek Lewis to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and added a field goal for a 10-0 lead. NUs Kris Brown kicked a 27-yard field goal with no time remaining in the first half and Texas led 10-3 at halftime. In the third quarter, Kris Brown kicked a 47-yard field goal and quarterback Eric Crouch scored on a 38-yard run to give NU its first lead at 13-10 with 3:28 remaining in the third quarter. UTs Kris Stockton and NUs Brown exchanged field goals in the fourth and NU held a 16-13 lead with 8:33 remaining in the game. Texas took the lead for good on a 2-yard pass from Applewhite to Wane McGarity with 2:47 remaining. NU was unable to score on its last drive which began at the NU 23 with 2:35 remaining in the game. The loss is Nebraskas first on Halloween (16-1).
* QB Monte Christo...became just the second modern-day Husker walk-on to start a game at quarterback, and the first since Matt Turman started against Kansas State in 1994. It marks the first time this season and the first time since the 1994 that three different quarterbacks started at least one game. Christo was 4-4 passing for 58 yards but was -3 rushing on seven carries.
* QB Eric Crouch...came in for starter Monte Christo with 8:24 in the second quarter and NU trailing 10-0. Crouch had not played since limited action in the Oklahoma State game, missing the last three games with a hip pointer. On Crouchs first drive, NU began on its own 2-yard line, but Crouch ran a trap play for a gain of 17, and led the Huskers down field to set up a 27-yard Kris Brown field goal with no time remaining. On Nebraskas go-ahead drive, Crouch scored on a 38-yard run and was responsible for all the yardage on the five-play drive, carrying five times for 49 yards. Crouch rushed for a career-high 108 yards on a career-high 17 carries and scored NUs only touchdown on the day. It is the first 100-yard rushing day for Crouch and the first by a Husker quarterback this season. Crouch also completed 6 of 13 passes for 59 yards with no interceptions.
* SE Matt Davision...has caught at least one pass in every game this season. Against Texas, Davison had one catch for 7 yards.
* Punter Bill Lafleur...punted five times for an average of 47.8. His first four punts pinned Texas inside its own 20-yard line (at the 11, 8, 10 and 8-yard lines).
* Place-Kicker Kris Brown...Brown scored 10 points, boosting his career-record total to 366 in his four years at NU. Brown missed his first field goal attempt, a 37-yarder with 10:36 in the second quarter, but hit a 27-yarder to put NU on the board as time expired in the first half. Brown hit on a 47-yarder with 10:53 in the third to pull NU within 10-6. It was his third field goal of 40 yards or more this season and 12th of his career. His season best is a 48 yarder vs. Oklahoma State. Brown hit his third field goal with 8:33 remaining in the fourth to put NU back up 16-13. It marks the second time in his career he had two 40+ yard field goals in a game, also vs. Kansas State in 1996 (45, 27, 28, 50--all good, and a 34-yard miss). This marked the seventh time in his career, and first time this season, that Brown has hit at least three field goals in a game (career-best of four vs. KSU in 1996). Brown has had at least two field goals in the last three games and is 7-10 in the last three contests (2-2 vs. Kansas, 2-4 vs. Missouri, 3-4 vs. Texas). The four attempts ties his season high (also four vs. Missouri). Brown has made 10-15 this season, 26 of his last 31 attempts and 53 of 71 in his career and extended his Nebraska record of consecutive PATs to 116. He has connected on 207-211 PATs and is nearing the NCAA record in both categories (216 PATs made and 222 PAT attempts).
* Defensive Notes...Linebacker Jay Foreman had eight tackles including two tackles for loss. He had a key 1-yard loss in the first quarter when NU was down 10-0 and he stopped Ricky Williams on third and one, forcing a Longhorn punt. Foreman also sacked Major Applewhite on 3rd and 8 for an 11-yard loss. NU received the ball on a short punt at UTs 49 and went on to score five plays later to take its first lead of the game at 3:28 in the third (13-10). Rover/FS Mike Brown had a career-best (and team season-best) 18 tackles, including a career-best and team-season-best nine solo stops, playing both rover and free safety after Clint Finley went out with a knee strain. Brown had a key tackle for loss of Ricky Williams for a loss of one on second and two on the 1-yard line and had one breakup. Linebacker Eric Johnson had a 6-yard sack, six tackles and two tackles for loss. RE Mike Rucker had 10 tackles and CB Ralph Brown had four tackles, two breakups and an interception.
* Turnovers...NU - 1; UT - 1; After Nebraskas go-ahead TD at 3:28 in the third, the Huskers pushed UT back to their own 10, and under pressure from linebacker Julius Jackson, Major Applewhite threw a pass that was picked off by cornerback Ralph Brown. It is Ralphs eighth interception of his career and second this season. NU did not convert the turnover however, as Crouch fumbled on the UT 8-yard line (J.J. Kelly caused, recovered by Donald McCowen). After a 76-yard pass from Applewhite to Bryan White, Kris Stockton hit a 19-yard field goal to convert the turnover into three points and tie the score at 13-13.
* UTs Ricky Williams...entered the game leading the nation averaging 212.0 yards per game, he had 13-82 in the first quarter and 18-87 at halftime. He reached the 100-yard mark at 9:45 in the third quarter. Williams had 25-122 after three periods and 37-150 in the game, 60 yards below his average. He is the fourth player to rush for more than 100 yards against the Huskers this season. Texas is the fourth team to rush for more than 100 vs. NU this year (also UAB, OSU, and a season-best 259 by A&M). Williams 37 carries and 150 yards is the most against NU this season. Williams 150 yards is the most vs. NU since Ken Oxendine (Virginia Tech) rushed for 150 in the 1996 Orange Bowl. His yards are the most by a rusher in Memorial Stadium since Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State) rushed 35 times for 189 yards in 1988 (NU won 63-42). Before today, Iowa States Troy Davis was the last opponent individual to rush for more 100 yards in Memorial Stadium when he rushed 28 times for 121 yards in 1995 (NU won 73-14)
* When NU Trails...Texas scored the games first points on a 16-yard pass from Major Applewhite to Derek Lewis to take a 7-0 lead with 9:36 in the first quarter. This marked the fourth time this season NU has trailed in a game (also Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Missouri). Texas led 10-3 at halftime, marking the third time this season NU trailed at the half (also A&M and MU). Texas A&M led 14-7 at half and went on to hand NU its first loss of the season (28-21). Last week vs. Missouri, NU trailed 13-6 at half, but went on to win 20-13. NUs three points in the first half is its fewest in the first half of a home game since trailing Oklahoma 14-3 at the half in 1991 (NU went on to win the game 19-14).
* Losing to an Unranked Opponent...The last time NU lost to a non-ranked opponent at home was to Missouri in 1978, when No. 2 NU lost 35-31. The last time NU lost to an unranked opponent before today, was to Texas in the 1996 Big 12 Championship game, 37-27. The last time NU led in the fourth quarter and lost the game was the 36-21 loss to Washington in 1991. In that game, NU led 21-16 after three quarters. Against unranked (AP) opponents, Nebraska has lost just 13 games in 214 games since 1973 (199-13-2 overall), four times in the 90s (at OU in 1990, at Iowa State in 1992, at St. Louis to Texas in 1996 and today at home).
* NU Season Team Totals...NU out-rushed the Longhorns 194-129, but UT held the total offense edge at 398 - 311.
* Team Highs and Lows...NU low -- 16 points; Opponent High -- Four sacks by UT ties team high (also four by A&M).
* Known Husker Injuries...T.J. DeBates (left MCL sprain); Clint Finley, reaggravated right knee sprain; Joel Makovicka, right shoulder sprain
Head Football Coach Frank Solich after Nebraskas 20-16 loss to Texas
On the game against Texas
I thought it was a ballgame where both teams had chances. They made more of their opportunities than we did. I thought that offensively, we really didnt get anything going. The inside game was a little bit of a struggle and we didnt get anything done there, and that takes away some of your offense. Both of our quarterbacks handled themselves very well and played well. We had our opportunities and we didnt get enough points on the board when we had the opportunities and that was the ballgame.
On the missed opportunities
We had a turnover after we intercepted one of their throws where we could have gotten some points on the board. That was just one play. I think Texas played very well. Defensively they played very well. Offensively, Major Applewhite was able to get some things done through the air and that with their running attack; it made it difficult to control. I think there is a combination of things, certainly our execution, at times, was not great. Turnover and balls on the ground did not help either. I thought the kids played hard to the end but it did not get done.
On the Texas Defense
I thought they had the capabilities of being a good defensive football team. They have been making progress as the season goes along.
Did Texas do anything different up front?
Their schemes were similar so it wasnt anything that was new.
On Ricky Williams
Hes a great running back. I dont have any doubts that hes one of the best around. I thought he ran hard and got a lot out of plays. Ive always been impressed with Ricky and certainly just as impressed after seeing him play here today.
What are the biggest concerns that you have about your team?
I think anytime you lose a ballgame there is always a concern. They played hard but didnt get it done so they are not feeling very good about a lot of things now.
Does the end of the winning streak make this loss more painful?
I think it does for our players. No one wants to have a streak come to an end and be a part of it coming to an end. Its been a great streak and we dont have any choice than to come back and try to get rolling again.
Did Texas throw the ball a little better than you anticipated?
No. I knew that they were a good throwing team as well as a good running team. I knew that they were capable of throwing it very well. Applewhite is a very good quarterback.
Quarterback Eric Crouch
On the Nebraska offenses final series:
We were in our shotgun, hurry-up formation and we wanted to move the ball as quickly as we could. There was no confusion, we just didnt the job done. We need to complete some passes and get out of bounds, but that didnt happen.
Overall feeling on the game:
All game long both teams fought hard. It was a great struggle that went down to the final play. All you can say is that we didnt get the job done today. Sometimes you need to come up big late in the game. They did, but we didnt in the situation. Overall, we gave it our best shot and no player on our team didnt give less than 100 percent.
Kicker Kris Brown
On his feeling of a loss:
Really, there are no words to describe it. We are disappointed. We are hurt, but we have to go on and come out next week and give everything we have.
I-Back Dan Alexander
On the Texas defense:
They seemed to be everywhere. They were getting to the ball extremely quickly. It seemed like they blitzed on almost every play. Sometimes they hit us before the ball was there and we couldnt get anything done. They were very fast.
Center Josh Heskew
On the offenses execution:
We just didnt execute today and that is a big reason why we lost. We had a lot of good opportunities, but we didnt take advantage of them. We are going to have to do some soul searching and figure out what is going on. We have to continue the rest of the season in a positive manner.
Rush End Chad Kelsay
On Ricky Williams:
He is a very good back. I didnt even know he had 150 yards until I looked at the statistics. He got his yards, but if we could have eliminated some of the big plays that would have been the key.
On having to rebound from a loss:
Youve got to dig down deep. We are going to have to play for a lot of pride the rest of the season, but we are not going to give up. A lot of people could fold, but that is not the character of this team around here. We are going to come out the rest of the season and look to win every game. This hurts, but we need to put it behind us. We need to come out hard on Monday and get ready for the next game.
Mike Linebacker Jay Foreman
On playing Texas:
The last time we played Texas in 1996, I didnt play that much, but I knew what type of team they could be. They are a good team and they came in here and took it to us. Any time I face a challenge, I want to step up. Its hard to take this loss.
University of Texas Football Game Notes
* Ricky Williams' 150 yards rushing today gives him 1634 yards rushing this season and 5,789 yards rushing for his career, which places him 293 yards behind NCAA all-time rushing leader Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh 1973-76) with three regular-season games to play. (Williams needs 294 yards over the last three regular season games of 1998 to break Dorsett's all-time NCAA record). His effort this afternoon against Nebraska marks the seventh game this season in which he has rushed for 100 or more yards. He now needs three more 100-yard games this season to tie Earl Campbell (10 - 1977) for the UT single-season 100-yard rushing games record. Williams also extends his UT career record for 100-yard rushing games to 25.
* Texas' 20-16 win over Nebraska this afternoon gives the Longhorns their fifth-consecutive victory, which matches their longest winning streak since 1996. UT won five games in a row to close out the 1996 season, which culminated in a victory over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game. That victory ended the Cornhuskers 31-game conference winning streak while today's win concluded Nebraska's 47-game home winning streak, which was the fifth-longest in NCAA history.
* Texas is now 36-6-1 (.849) when leading at halftime over the last seven seasons. The Longhorns led the Huskers 10-3 at the half today.
* With Derek Lewis' first quarter 16-yard touchdown reception, he now has seven touchdown receptions for his career which ties him for sixth on the school's all-time touchdowns receptions by a tight end list with Lawrence Sampleton (1978-81). Pat Fitzgerald holds the Texas record for career touchdown receptions by a tight end with 12 from 1994-96. The touchdown also puts him in sole possession of second place on the Texas single-season touchdown receptions by a tight end list with five this year.
* With his 269 yards passing today, Major Applewhite has extended his UT-freshmen record for consecutive games of 200 or more yards passing to six and moves within one of tying the school record set by Peter Gardere (7) in 1992.
* Texas has scored in 209 straight games dating back to a 16-0 loss at Baylor in 1980 - second only to BYU (295) among active scoring streaks.
* Donald McCowen's third quarter fumble recovery was his fourth of the season, which leads the Texas team.
* Bryan White's third quarter 76-yard reception was the longest of his career, while his 113 yards receiving were also a career-high. Texas has had three different receivers this season tally 100 yards or more receiving, and had at least one receiver with 100 or more yards in seven of eight games