Tom's Time
Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics

Tom’s Time: Pacific QB Sees the ‘Makings of a National Championship Football Team’ in NU 1995

October 06, 2022

Early in the second quarter of Nebraska’s 49-7 victory against Pacific at Memorial Stadium, on third-and-6 at the Tigers’ 36-yard line, Brook Berringer passed 15 yards to tight end Tim Carpenter.

The reception was the second of Carpenter’s career. The first had come in a 70-21 victory against Pacific the previous year, a 12-yarder from Matt Turman.

Carpenter, a sophomore, would not catch another pass as a Husker.

Two career catches, both against Pacific.

“I was basically a tackle on the end,” Carpenter has said.

Blocking was an important part of Nebraska’s run-oriented offense, of course, and this afternoon, the Huskers ran the ball 70 times for 569 yards, an average of 8.1 yards per carry.

Fourteen Huskers carried at least once, led by Damon Benning, who carried 10 times for 173 yards and three touchdowns, and Ahman Green, 15 carries, 112 yards and two touchdowns.

Benning’s touchdowns came on runs of 26, 17 and 43 yards.

Tommie Frazier and James (Jay) Sims ran for the other touchdowns.

Frazier, Berringer and Turman also passed for 162 yards, completing passes to eight receivers besides Carpenter. You can do the math. Nebraska had 731 yards of offense.

It was the Huskers’ fourth consecutive game with 666 or more yards.

“I think they’ve taken their kind of offensive football to another level,” Pacific Coach Chuck Shelton said. “They’ve improved it to a point where it’s very difficult to deal with.

“Even if you could match up physically, it’s difficult to deal with, and certainly, we couldn’t match up physically. They’ve done about as an amazing job (as possible) of keeping you on your heals.”

When he started watching film the week before the game, he “bawled,” said Shelton

The game was more lopsided than the score indicated, and it indicated a blowout. Pacific managed 197 yards and a lone touchdown, late in the third quarter against the reserves.

  • The Tigers didn’t snap the ball in Nebraska territory until 6:59 remained in the third quarter.
  • Nebraska used 102 players, everyone suited up and healthy. The Tigers used 38.
  • Terrell Farley led the defense with four tackles, including two for losses, one a sack.
  • The Memorial Stadium sellout, 75,630, was the 203rd in a row.
  • Pacific punted 11 times, the Huskers once, with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Benning started in place of Clinton Childs, sidelined by a knee sprain.

Less than 5 minutes into the game, Nebraska led 14-0. “It’s hard when you’re expected to beat a team and you go out and score 14 quick points,” Frazier said. “Then the tendency is to drop off, and that happened a little bit this game with the offense.

“We have to stay focused on the whole 60 minutes and not just the first.”

Defensive tackle Christian Peter, a co-captain, echoed Frazier. “It’s great blowing these teams out,” he said. “But sometime down the line we’re not going to.”

As for Nebraska’s defense, “they’re real strong up front, and their linebackers are very fast,” Pacific quarterback Nick Sellers said. “Then they have an offense that complements their defense, and they may be better (than the defense). You have the makings of a national championship football team. I don’t know of a team that can play with these guys right now.”

Pacific running back Joe Abdullah added to the compliments.

The Huskers had “a professional offensive line and a professional defensive line,” Abdullah said. “I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a perfect college football team.

“But they’re about as close as you can come.”

Speaking of perfection, Carpenter caught the only pass thrown to him that afternoon and, as noted earlier, there wouldn’t be any more, even though he started the next two seasons.

Because of his two career catches, “they shut down their program,” a friend told Carpenter, jokingly.

Pacific—Athletic Director Bob Lee was the father of Husker quarterback Zac Lee (2009-10)—had opted out of a contract to play in 1996-97. That didn’t matter. Pacific dropped football following the 1995 season.

Next up: Cougar predictions, oops

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