Phillips stars as Reds cruise to win in spring game
Nebraska has lost a top I-back to the NFL draft in each of the last two years. So why is coach Tom Osborne optimistic that his Cornhuskers could be better than last year’s team that lost by just 2 points to Florida State in January’s Orange Bowl?
It could be because Osborne had just watched freshman I-back Lawrence Phillips roll up 156 yards and a touchdown during the annual Red-White spring scrimmage Saturday.
“I don’t see very many questions he didn’t answer today. He looks like a great player,” Osborne said following the Red squad’s 43-19 victory.
I-backs Clinton Childs, Damon Benning and Marvin Sims also earned positive comments from Osborne after the scrimmage. But Phillips clearly was the star. His 16 carries included runs of 32, 24 and 19 yards. It left Osborne, who watched running backs Derek Brown enter the pros after the 1992 season and Calvin Jones leave early this year, feeling pretty good.
“My impression is we have a chance to have a little better football team coming up than we did last year,” he said. “That doesn’t necessary translate to a better season.”
Osborne and Phillips are optimistic heeding into the 1994 season, which begins Aug. 28 in the Kickoff Classic against West Virginia.
“If we play like this, I think we’ll be back in the Orange Bowl for the notional championship again,” Phillips said.
Quarterback Tommie Frazier opened the game’s scoring with a 6-yard run that capped a 62-yard drive. The White squad answered when quarterback Brook Berringer found Riley Washington with a 51-yard pass, the first of Washington’s two touchdowns.
The Red went on top to stay when Benning scored on 1-yard run late in the first quarter. Phillips added a 4-yard run on the first play of the second period to give the Red a 20-7 lead.
The White team never got closer than 10 points. An estimated 29,000 people attended.
• BABCOCK COLUMN
• SPRING GAME HISTORY
• 1994 RESULTS