1970 Day by Day: Sept. 14

Dan Schneiss
That First Championship Season
Sept. 14: Too much surf on the natural turf.

Nebraska’s grass practice fields were soggy Monday from rain, so the Huskers practiced on Memorial Stadium’s AstroTurf. It wasn’t an ideal situation given that Saturday’s big game at Southern Cal would be played on natural turf.

USC’s 485 yards rushing against Alabama had Nebraska’s attention. “We’ll have to wait and see if our defensive line can do the job,” coach Bob Devaney said.

The coaching staff, he said, was still sorting out “our 11 best football players” on defense. Sophomore Willie Harper “showed fine potential” Saturday at one of the more unsettled positions, defensive end.

Devaney said the offensive line’s performance against Wake Forest was the best he’d seen in his nine season openers at Nebraska. Pass protection wasn’t the issue, he said, when quarterback Jerry Tagge opted to run several times on a bruised thigh.

“We tell our quarterbacks that they should run if there’s a big opening,” Devaney said. Also, Tagge “figured it wouldn’t hurt as much to get hit if he was running as it would if he were standing still.”

As for sore-elbowed quarterback Van Brownson, Devaney said there was hope he’d make the traveling squad. “We’re trying to rest his arm this week, and we probably won’t make a decision until Wednesday or Thursday.”