Solich, Crouch Cite First-Half Dominance, Second-Half Caution
Husker postgame comments
by Ed Howard
September 08, 2001
But he did offer a dandy understatement in the wake of Nebraska's 27-10 victory over Notre Dame.
"I think we dominated in the first half,?" Crouch said.
Yeah. Sort of like Louis dominated Schmeling in that second fight. First round knockout. Painful, too.
Nebraska pounced on Notre Dame, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal in the first quarter.
"We were really excited to get out there and to show the country that we have a great offense. The thing about it was that we had a great week of practice and I think that carried over into the game," Crouch said.
Nebraska came out and landed on the seemingly hapless Irish like a panther on a chicken. Feathers and blood everywhere, and the chicken running in circles, looking for a coop. Not a pretty sight.
"Obviously, in the second half, we were a little bit conservative offensively," Crouch said. "We had a good lead, and we played power football. That's our game."
NU Coach Frank Solich had earlier said the same thing. He chose to have his squad sit on the first-half lead because, well, because they could.
"Of course, the opening drive and opening quarter showed very well," Solich said. "We probably did not give our offense a real fair shake in the second half. With the lead that we had, we came out and we were running the ball trying to eat up some clock in the beginning of the second half. As more time kept going off the clock and as our defense kept controlling the game, it just seemed to make sense not to try to get too fancy or too exotic. We have not been great at winning the turnover battle, so that certainly entered into that thinking a little bit."
Crouch was happy to be a part of NU's second victory over Notre Dame in as many years.
"It?s something that, two times in a row, probably doesn't happen to too many teams," he said. "Notre Dame is a great program with a top-notch tradition. Any time you play a team like that and you come out with a win, then you're doing something right."
Husker I-back Dahrran Diedrick had three times as many yards rushing as the entire Notre Dame offense. Diedrick netted 133 yards on 32 carries. Notre Dame netted just 43 rushing yards. And even if you didn't count the 65 negative yards the Irish suffered, they would still have had just 108 ground yards.
Crouch lost two fumbles in the first half.
The game marked Diedrick's second straight game with more than 100 yards rushing. Against Troy State last week, Diedrick carried 25 times for three touchdowns. Against Notre Dame he carried 32 times and had two TDs.
Solich had lots of good words for Nebraska's defensive unit.
"I think our defense controlled them so well in the first half that we had the field position needed to put points on the board," he said. "I thought we also did a pretty good job in special teams, which established field position for us. That field position, even though the defense continued to play well, wasn't quite there in the second half. If you add it all up, I think our starting point in the second half was certainly much worse than what it was in the first half. I think that also played into how we moved the ball in the second half."
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