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In Retrospect.

NUinID

Scout Team
2 Year Member
Nobody has mentioned that Dan Alexander was recruited by Osborne to be a super fast Fullback. Solich converted him to I-back because we had Makovicka for '98 plus Willie Miller in the same year class. Every criticism about him NOT being shifty, etc., becomes meaningless if he's blowing up LBs with blocks on Iso plays before running straight ahead with incredible speed for a FB on the Traps and Dives. He also would have been an excellent hammer as a RB in the Ace formation. I also think that Frost wouldn't mind having his clone for this fall to run between the tackles.

As for Buckhalter, he was an NFL RB. How spoiled were/are we that he was somehow a disappointment because he followed Ahman Green? That's kind of crazy, folks.
Dan Alexander was a good back. If fact he was a real good back. Buckhalter was better IMO. I never understood why Solich was the only one that couldn't see it. They were a great 1-2 punch, but the roles should have been reversed. Buckhalter should have got the the heavier load. With Dan being the change of pace.
 

wcbsas

All Legend
15 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.
Disagree ... NU's offensive system was night and day different than the NFL.

Hard to disagree that BB was a better NFL prospect; but projecting NFL success beyond that is a bit of homerism!
 

wcbsas

All Legend
15 Year Member
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.
Dan Alexander ... could arm tackle him pretty easily ... but the boy was a big load!
 

HuskerJ

Recruit
5 Year Member
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.
This thread immediately got me thinking about where exactly we started 'gravitating towards mediocrity'. It certainly wasn't those two guys. In that timeframe I remember Solich making a statement that things were changing and he knew they needed to start passing the ball a little more. I don't thing we won RB recruiting battles for a few years, and clearly didn't have the receiving corp both recruited and developed to make those changes immediately. One could argue that too much was made of the starting QB while everything else withered away. This is to your point.

There's many threads on this whole topic. But I still find them entertaining and relevant to discuss. We chose a recruiter over a coach to prevent the slide, then chose a coach over said recruiter, then recruiter(of sorts) over a coach...I think we've learned quite a bit over the years.
 

HuskerJ

Recruit
5 Year Member
Evans could have been great for us. Unfortunately, so many things were going wrong then that it's hard to pinpoint just a few. I still don't remember just how many Athletic Pubalgia cases we had, I suspect more than a couple of the assistants had lost some of the fire for recruiting and maybe weren't as motivated by Solich, and some of the programs around us had just flat out caught up on the things we did and surpassed us....
Wonder what would have happened if Crawford had come here? Hard to blame him - saw he has a net worth of 65M somewhere and it might be higher based on that last contract he got.

Interesting thought for me on the Newcombe/Crouch debate. Where are they in Frost's offense?

I think Crouch plays Duck-R position and Newcombe plays WR. Having 2 guys like that in space with a QB who could get them the ball would be terrifying for most defenses!
I agree with you. I think you now have the foundation to do something like that. Don't think Frank was either able to do that with what he had on the roster or between his ears.
 

Greatest Fan of All

The Legend
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.
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.
I agree with Huskrthill about the Crouch-Newcombe situation. I wish BN had fought for the QB job rather than immediately switching positions....he would likely have won the job back the very next week given the horrible performance Crouch put in against a stout defense. We'll never really know if things might have played out differently if BN had stayed in the QB competition.

I also disagree that this situation or the TF-BB situation were among our most contested QB competitions, though they probably were the most highly discussed by fans. As noted, BN dropped out at QB as soon as FS made EC the starter leaving an absence of competition, and truly, as good as he was, BB was always just TF's outstanding backup...he was #1 through most of 94 only because of the TF health concerns. IMO, the most competitive QB races have been:

#1 - Tagge-Brownson
#2 - Duda-Churchich
#3 - Quinn-Hager
#4 - Ferragamo-Luck
#5 - Mauer - Gill
#6 - Joseph - Grant
 
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Huskerthom

All Legend
5 Year Member
I agree with Huskrthill about the Crouch-Newcombe situation. I wish BN had fought for the QB job rather than immediately switching positions....he would likely have won the job back the very next week given the horrible performance Crouch put in against a stout defense. We'll never really know if things might have played out differently if BN had stayed in the QB competition.

I also disagree that this situation or the TF-BB situation were among our most contested QB competitions, though they probably were the most highly discussed by fans. As noted, BN dropped out at QB as soon as FS made EC the starter leaving an absence of competition, and truly, as good as he was, BB was always just TF's outstanding backup...he was #1 through most of 94 only because of the TF health concerns. IMO, the most competitive QB races have been. That being said I did think about Tagge-Brownson, Also I can not agree with the Mauer-Gill discussion.

#1 - Tagge-Brownson
#2 - Duda-Churchich
#3 - Quinn-Hager
#4 - Ferragamo-Luck
#5 - Mauer - Gill
#6 - Joseph - Grant
I disagree with your criteria which is why we disagree on choice. (That is what boards are for) That being said I did think about Tagge-Brownson, Also I can not agree with the Mauer-Gill discussion. Mauer was not even close to Gill. IMO Gill is the QB that had the best understanding of TO and his offense. He ran it like a virtuoso on a piano. (This is not saying he is the most talented). His knowledge and understanding was why we had so many great QBs when he was the QB coach. Which is also why I said FS would have done better if he would have made Gill his OC.
 

Greatest Fan of All

The Legend
10 Year Member
I disagree with your criteria which is why we disagree on choice. (That is what boards are for) That being said I did think about Tagge-Brownson, Also I can not agree with the Mauer-Gill discussion. Mauer was not even close to Gill. IMO Gill is the QB that had the best understanding of TO and his offense. He ran it like a virtuoso on a piano. (This is not saying he is the most talented). His knowledge and understanding was why we had so many great QBs when he was the QB coach. Which is also why I said FS would have done better if he would have made Gill his OC.
Well, Mauer DID win the starting position to begin the season, though once he lost it the competition was over. It was a low ranking example of a once truly competitive QB race that was short-lived. We've had very few truly competitive QB races, so many are simply in the fans' minds rather than on the field. I'm a bit surprised you didn't mention the Frost-London competition, which was another big controversy that the fans created. It ranks right in there with EC-BN and BB-TF.
 

Huskerthom

All Legend
5 Year Member
Well, Mauer DID win the starting position to begin the season, though once he lost it the competition was over. It was a low ranking example of a once truly competitive QB race that was short-lived. We've had very few truly competitive QB races, so many are simply in the fans' minds rather than on the field. I'm a bit surprised you didn't mention the Frost-London competition, which was another big controversy that the fans created. It ranks right in there with EC-BN and BB-TF.
Frost London would have definitely been a fan creation. I do not think that there have been many or any better athletes at NE than SF. There may have been better QBs but definitely not better athletes. (London was also not a better QB than Frost.)
 
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