Huskers display new wrinkles on offense
I-back Derek Brown rushed for 131 yards and quarterback Tom Haase accounted for three touchdowns as the Reds topped the Whites, 43-21, in Nebraska’s spring game.
Some new wrinkles on offense were on display, including a spread formation with only the I-back behind the quarterback, a trips set with three wide receivers on one side of the field, and a greater emphasis on short passes to backs and receivers in the flat.
Haase completed 10 of 16 passes for 162 yards. Keithen McCant was 5 of 11 for 65 yards, and Mike Grant was 6 of 14 for 49 yards. Returning starter Mickey Joseph sat out with a sore shoulder.
“I think we’ll have four guys who can play pretty well in a ballgame right now,” coach Tom Osborne said afterward. A starter isn’t likely to be named until after fall camp, he said.
Wingback Nate Tuner had 154 all-purpose yards, including 82 on three pass receptions. He might have topped 200 yards if a clipping penalty hadn’t nullified his 59-yard punt return.
I-back Brown’s 131 yards came on 12 carries. He scored the Reds’ first touchdown on a 44-yard run.
Redshirt freshman Calvin Jones gained 99 yards on 13 carries despite playing most of the day against the No. 1 defense.
- There were no turnovers, which Osborne said may have been a first for a spring game.
- Fullback Lance Lewis did cough up the ball near the goal line, but his teammate Ray Reifenrath covered it in the end zone for the Reds’ second touchdown.
- Osborne said he’d like to see a better pass rush from the defensive line.
- The Reds’ John McMillen, a junior reserve quarterback, broke loose for what would have been an 85-yard run if not for a clipping penalty on the 19 that brought the ball back to the 34.
- Former Husker fullback Tom Rathman was on hand to help with the halftime anti-drug pledge.
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