1992 Nebraska-Iowa State football, Marc Hansen column 2 The Des Moines Register · Newspapers.com


1992 Nebraska-Iowa State football, Marc Hansen column 3 The Des Moines Register · Newspapers.com


A unlikely hero for Iowa State 1 mes, la. Marv Seiler has a been keeping a scrapbook since bis high school days in Illinois. It’s not a large scrapbook overflowing with big photos and gushy newspaper stones. Once you get past Seiler’s exploits as a second-team all-conference quar terback at Joliet West, you ve gone about as far as you can in the glowing tributes department. “There’s plenty of room in there,” Seiler said after starting his first game Now that he’s tasted glory, Marv Seiler doesn’t even wish he had another year or so to relive it. in five seasons as an Iowa State student-athlete. No doubt. Before Nebraska came to town with its No. 7 ranking, Marv Throneberry had been soaked in more printer’s ink than Marv Seiler. Saturday there was plenty of room in the scrapbook. Starting today, after Iowa State’s almost incomprehensible 19-10 football victory against the Cornhuskers, it should be standing room only. Henceforth and forever forward, Marv Seiler will be known as the quarterback of the most stunning upset in Iowa State football history. Biggest upsets and best victories are always debatable, of course. That goes for this one, too. But wasn’t the spread 29 points? Didn’t Bob Devaney, the legendary former coach and athletic director, call this Nebraska team the greatest he’d ever seen? Didn’t Johnny Orr almost get run out of the studio when he picked the Cyclones to win on “Beat the Bear,” the prediction show on WHO-TV? Even though he was going with Iowa State purely out of loyalty? Can anyone name a Cyclone football victim ranked higher than seventh? Can anyone remember the last Tom Osborne squad that lost to a team with a losing record at the end of the season? Nobody can because Osborne never coached one, until Saturday. Even Harry Burrell, the former Iowa State sports information director and unofficial historian, couldn’t note a more startling victory. Maybe it isn’t the mother of all Iowa State upsets. But if it is, Marv Seiler helped remove this baby from the womb. “I can’t really put into words how good I feel right now,” he said. “I’ll probably remember it the rest of my life.” Probably? If he doesn’t, there were 42,008 eyewitnesses, not all of them Cyclone fans, who will. If Iowa State has delivered a more stunning blow to a more powerful foe, nobody could recall it Saturday night. But that’s a story for later. The story for now is a fifth-year senior who came to Iowa State because Iowa State was the only Division I-A school that recruited him. “He played awfully well,” Osborne said. “He made a lot of yards after contact.” That ‘s not the half of it. He came out of nowhere in the process. A trivia question for the future. “A triv ia question,” Seiler said with a smile. “Exactly.” Here is a kid who sits around for five years, closing in on a degree in management information systems, winning academic all-Big Eight honors and watching everybody else play quarterback. At least he’s a member of a major-college football team. At least some body’s paying his way through school. At least he’ll get a decent job out of it when he leaves. Besides, there’s Norman, the site of Seiler’s previous career landmark. The old highlight was a crucial 23-yard pass to Troy Moore that came out of a punt formation in the third quarter of Iowa State’s 33-31 victory against Oklahoma in 1990. Two years later, Seiler has his first It takes an injury to the No. 1 quarterback and two losses under the No. 2 quarterback. Seiler doesn’t really mind playing a back-up role. He doesn’t moan or think once about transferring. “I wasn’t too confident with the offense for the first three years,” he said. “The option was more my style.” The Cyclones waited until Seiler’s fifth year to haul it out of moth balls. Here he is, one of the most unlikely heroes in school history. Now that he’s tasted glory, Seiler doesn’t even wish he had another year or so to relive it. “Five years is a long time,” he said. “I think I’m kind of ready to get out.” Not a bad way to go out and come in at the same time. “It looked like he’d been playing all year.” receiver Chris Spencer said. “He did an excellent job.” More than that. He walked into the history books. Actually, he ran into the history books with a 78-yard dash that helped sew up the game. ‘ I’ve never seen so much green field in my life,” said Seiler, who does not shatter stopwatches with his time in the 40-yard sprint. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a breakaway run in my life. I kept waiting for someone to catch me. Finally, somebody did.” They caught him all right, several gulps of air later on the Nebraska 2-yard line. Before Seiler could even catch his breath, Chris l lm h was putting the Cyclones ahead by more than a touc hdown. “That’s when I believed in my heart we could actually do it,” said Seiler, who rushed for 144 yards and threw four passes. “Realistically, you had to look at it and say we don’t have a chance. But if we go out there and play anything can happen.” Seiler is proof. The Cyclones had been gaining steam, yards and confidence as the afternoon grew longer. This was no fluke victory, decided by an extra down or an official’s call or a crazy bounce. In fact, the scoreboard did an injustice to Iowa State’s dominance. The Cyclones caught a few breaks. They fumbled four times without losing possession. The Huskers were without their top two tight ends. An injury at the end of the first half limited Tommie Frazier’s mobility at quarterback. But this was not a stolen victory. This was earned yard by yard, point by point. One by one the players entered the interview room, grabbed the statistic sheets and stared incredulously at the numerical imbalance. Dan Watkins, a defensive end, glanced at the yardage: 399 yards for Iowa State, 24G for Nebraska. Two hundred forty-six for Nebraska, a team that had been swallowing yardage in chunks against the likes of Kansas and Colorado. “Damn,” Waikins said softly to himself. Malcolm Goodwin, a linebacker who should got his share of all-con-feremv votes, let out a histle. When the game was over, friends and strangers poured out of the stands to tear down the goalposts and hug the players. For a while it looked as if they’d gotten it the oi her way around. “I pretty much g’t attacked.” Seiler said “I was just hoping to prt back into the lin ker room. I think I received more huj;s today than I ha e in my entire life.” Why not’.’ Tins was mh h an im nnl-ibly obvious caso of one team dominating another, not even an Olympic l BNAM)K1THI KtCISTlH clones’ 373 rushing yards. Nebraska was leading the Big Eight Conference in rushing defense entering the game, allowing 1 17.4 yards per game. boxing judge could have picked the wrong winner. Nebraska’s touchdown came on a broken play born of the crealhe juices and athletic genius of Frazier. a true freshman. Frazier squirmed rijjit. lie slithered left, lie squirmed riKht a;.un He whirled and fired a desperation touchdown pass. Jim Walden and a few other mem- ?esr ‘ M4m, . ” Lcrs of tlie Iowa State sideline party -aid they thoucht the Huskers had a few linemen amirped illicitly down-field hut the to ichdow n MikkI. Nolmdy figured it would stand alone Not the Milkers, who were takirjZit liard afterward. “It’s i V’lhahiv the worst loss I’ve had suv-e I’ve been aLve.”tt liter Jim S o!t ak! That’, what vou all a bad loss