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In Retrospect.

Huskerthom

All Legend
5 Year Member
I just watched the Cal game from 1999. This was the height of the Crouch/Newcombe controversy. After watching that game. Not sure why there was a controversy. Crouch was CLEARLY the better player in that game. Newcombe should have just stayed at WR IMO. Even the announcers (Griese and Keith Jackson) commented at one point that they did not see how there was a controversy. Crouch was clearly the better QB IMHO. At the time I do not recall thinking that. My thought is that many of us still were remembering all he did to help the 97 championship team. (as a WR)
 

NUinID

Scout Team
2 Year Member
I just watched the Cal game from 1999. This was the height of the Crouch/Newcombe controversy. After watching that game. Not sure why there was a controversy. Crouch was CLEARLY the better player in that game. Newcombe should have just stayed at WR IMO. Even the announcers (Griese and Keith Jackson) commented at one point that they did not see how there was a controversy. Crouch was clearly the better QB IMHO. At the time I do not recall thinking that. My thought is that many of us still were remembering all he did to help the 97 championship team. (as a WR)
Newcombe pre injury was probably the overall better athlete of the 2. He was a better thrower and had more wiggle in tight spaces. He was probably not as fast as Crouch in a straight race, but he was fast enough. Post injury IMO he had lost a step and lost a little wiggle, which wasn't too much, but more importantly he had lost his swagger. He was skiddish and indecisive running the ball. He still probably had the better arm, but it wasn't the same.

Neither Newcombe or Crouch was a real big guy, but Crouch still had an inch or 2 on him and probably 20-25lbs. Newcombe was about 5'9 and may have weighed 180. I stood next to him in the training table cafeteria when he was rehabbing his knee. I am 5'10" and he wasn't as tall as I am. I don't think he was made to take the pounding at QB.
 

huskrthill

Crap
10 Year Member
I couldn't disagree more with the OP. Crouch obviously had a great career, but I always felt Newcombe was the better overall quarterback. Crouch was a great runner, but I don't think he was a complete quarterback.

I don't know why people think Newcombe's knee injury set him back that much. He turned into a phenomenal punt returner and was our best receiver during that period. He even ended up being drafted as a receiver.

I'm certainly not a Crouch hater. He was a great player for us, and he's a very humble man. He has freely given a ton of his time while simultaneously avoiding the spotlight. I just believe Newcombe likely would have been even more effective, and his style of play would have potentially led to a more dynamic offense that incorporated more of the team. Long term, that probably would have been better for the overall health of the program.
 

djlhuskerfan

Junior Varsity
10 Year Member
Newcombe had trouble with holding on to snaps. He was probably a better all around qb, but he was skinny as a rail and I don't think he would have held up if Solich hadn't convinced Crouch to come back to the tram
 

Power of Corn

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
as crazy good an athlete as newcomb was, its sinful how under utilized he actually was while he was here, as stated, he was never quite the same after the injury, but still better than 90% of the others. he was a fantastic athlete.
 

Huskerthom

All Legend
5 Year Member
I couldn't disagree more with the OP. Crouch obviously had a great career, but I always felt Newcombe was the better overall quarterback. Crouch was a great runner, but I don't think he was a complete quarterback.

I don't know why people think Newcombe's knee injury set him back that much. He turned into a phenomenal punt returner and was our best receiver during that period. He even ended up being drafted as a receiver.

I'm certainly not a Crouch hater. He was a great player for us, and he's a very humble man. He has freely given a ton of his time while simultaneously avoiding the spotlight. I just believe Newcombe likely would have been even more effective, and his style of play would have potentially led to a more dynamic offense that incorporated more of the team. Long term, that probably would have been better for the overall health of the program.
At the time I was 50/50. Yesterday I watched 3 games from 1999. I watched Cal and A&M, in which both played QB and I watched TX CCG (For the most part only crouch played QB) Literally every big play was Crouch being Crouch and making something happen. So I would encourage you to go watch some of those 99 games again. I went in not thinking crouch was significantly better. I came away thinking wow it was not as close as I remember.

For the record I am not branding anyone who simply disagrees as a Crouch hater. Even at the time It was probably the second most contested QB battle we ever had. 2nd only to TFraz, Brook.
 

CrabHusker

Alienating everyone, one post at a time.
5 Year Member
I just watched the Cal game from 1999. This was the height of the Crouch/Newcombe controversy. After watching that game. Not sure why there was a controversy. Crouch was CLEARLY the better player in that game. Newcombe should have just stayed at WR IMO. Even the announcers (Griese and Keith Jackson) commented at one point that they did not see how there was a controversy. Crouch was clearly the better QB IMHO. At the time I do not recall thinking that. My thought is that many of us still were remembering all he did to help the 97 championship team. (as a WR)
I never thought it was really close if the question was 'Who is the better player to run Nebraska's offense?' It was Crouch 10 out of 10 times. Newcombe was a more versatile player, better overall athlete and likely would have been a better quarterback in another offense (Like Frost's for example), but not the offense Nebraska ran during that timeframe. Sadly for Solich and Nebraska, bad habits were developed during that timeframe that ultimately led to Solich's demise. Crouch and then Lord were too much of the offense, which makes it really tough to beat teams with similar or better talent.
 

MadRat

God, Family, Football
2 Year Member
The question seems to be who was better at winning. Crouch got us to the big show at the expense of the team concept. We haven't recovered.

I'd rather of had Newcombe focus on the whole system and try to find better QB to compete with him in that way. Crouch had his place. Just didn't need to sell out the team to have him.

I was not a fan of Fred at MNHS and the way he ran one man shows. Its ironic how that defining change in the N concept involved him and Frank intervening to save the destruction of the team concept...
 
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DuckTownHusker

Blackshirt Sith Lord
5 Year Member
The problem with Tommie vs Brook is that Brook obviously was taken from its tragically. Had he lived, I think he would have been drafted and had a solid NFL career.

That would have made the debate even tougher as Tommie didn't have much success at the professional level. But as it stands, and based solely on their collegiate play, you have to give the nod to Frazier. The guy was MVP of three straight national title games, including one he LOST.

Regarding Crouch and Newcombe, I think Crouch was the better QB. Flip it around and who would Newcombe have thrown the ball to? It's not like that roster was full of Johnny Rodgers, Kenny Bells and Stanley Morgans.
 

HuskerNash

Recruit
2 Year Member
The question seems to be who was better at winning. Crouch got us to the big show at the expense of the team concept. We haven't recovered.

I'd rather of had Newcombe focus on the whole system and try to find better QB to compete with him in that way. Crouch had his place. Just didn't need to sell out the team to have him.

I was not a fan of Fred at MNHS and the way he ran one man shows. Its ironic how that defining change in the N concept involved him and Frank intervening to save the destruction of the team concept...
Frank never could figure that out. It carried over to an unhealthy reliance on Jamaal Lord.
 

Huskerthom

All Legend
5 Year Member
The problem with Tommie vs Brook is that Brook obviously was taken from its tragically. Had he lived, I think he would have been drafted and had a solid NFL career.

That would have made the debate even tougher as Tommie didn't have much success at the professional level. But as it stands, and based solely on their collegiate play, you have to give the nod to Frazier. The guy was MVP of three straight national title games, including one he LOST.

Regarding Crouch and Newcombe, I think Crouch was the better QB. Flip it around and who would Newcombe have thrown the ball to? It's not like that roster was full of Johnny Rodgers, Kenny Bells and Stanley Morgans.
Interesting that in the Cal game Newcombe threw a TD to Crouch. It was a shallow slant that EC took to the house for 60 yards.
 

HuskerNash

Recruit
2 Year Member
Part of that was he did not recruit well at RB.
I don’t think he recruited DeAngelo Evans but he quit and was probably when healthy the best RB that played for him. Buckhalter wasn’t bad and the other bigger back that played with him who I can never remember both had decent careers and decent success in the NFL. Overall I don’t think he recruited the RB or QB position well. It is compounded when you had never before and can’t learn to call an offense.
 
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