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Notre Dame gets another shot at Nebraska

Posted: Thursday, September 06, 2001

Last time Notre Dame saw Eric Crouch, the Nebraska quarterback was rolling left and running 7 yards for the game-winning touchdown in overtime.

On Saturday night, the 17th-ranked Fighting Irish roll into Memorial Stadium for the first time since 1948 with even higher hopes of upsetting the fifth-ranked Cornhuskers.

A rare Nebraska home loss -- the Huskers are 51-1 since 1992 -- would do wonders for Notre Dame, which used to win big road games like these in piling up eight national championships, but none since 1988.

''There's some of that aura still alive,'' Irish coach Bob Davie said. ''This is a huge game in Lincoln, Neb., as well. ... What that aura has been built on has been going and winning big games. For whatever reason, your team was an underdog; you're going in there as a coach and a player as an underdog ...

''That's what I think we have to do. At some point, we have to go win.''

A year ago, the Irish had a great chance against the then-No. 1 Huskers in South Bend. A 100-yard kickoff return and 83-yard punt return for touchdowns sent the game into OT at 21-all. Notre Dame kicked a field goal on its first possession, but Crouch hit tight end Tracey Wistrom for 9 yards on a third-and-9 from the Irish 24. Two plays later, Crouch scored and the Huskers won, 27-24.

The picks:

Rutgers (plus 44) at No. 1 Miami

Staying on top will be a breeze this week ... MIAMI, 56-0.

Louisiana-Monroe (plus 57) at No. 2 Florida

Demoted Gators have hard time winning by nine TDs ... FLORIDA, 70-7.

North Texas (plus 40) at No. 3 Oklahoma

Sooners still prepping for first big game in two weeks vs. K-State ... OKLAHOMA, 45-0.

North Carolina (plus 22 1/2) at No. 4 Texas

Tar Heels facing 0-3 start against former coach Mack Brown ... TEXAS, 49-14.

No. 17 Notre Dame (plus 14) at No. 5 Nebraska

Irish nearly pulled upset in '00, but Huskers up for this one ... NEBRASKA, 31-21.

UAB (plus 27) at No. 6 Florida State

Seminoles' defense is scary, offense isn't -- yet ... FLORIDA STATE, 42-13.

Utah (plus 16) at No. 7 Oregon

Ducks QB Harrington is real Heisman deal ... OREGON, 41-14.

No. 8 Tennessee (minus 13) at Arkansas

Hogs' offense needs fine-tuning to deal with Vols ... TENNESSEE, 31-20.

Western Michigan (plus 15 1/2) at No. 9 Virginia Tech

Hokies won't miss a beat without RB Suggs ... VIRGINIA TECH, 42-17.

No. 10 Georgia Tech (minus 24) at Navy

Final dress rehearsal for next week's BIG one at Florida State ... GEORGIA TECH, 44-7.

No. 11 Michigan (plus 3) at No. 15 Washington

First start for Huskies QB Pickett ... MICHIGAN, 28-27.

No. 12 Kansas State (minus 3 1/2) at USC

Trojans not usual cupcakes for Wildcats ... USC, 24-21.

Utah State (plus 23) at No. 13 LSU

Tigers tame another weakling before SEC West game vs. Auburn ... LSU, 38-10.

No. 14 UCLA (minus 13) at Kansas

If Bruins can win in Tuscaloosa, winning in Lawrence is no sweat ... UCLA, 37-17.

No. 16 Northwestern (minus 3) at UNLV (Friday)

Watch out 'Cats! UNLV, 28-27.

No. 19 Fresno State (plus 4) at No. 23 Wisconsin

Bulldogs have rough road trip ... WISCONSIN, 28-21.

Wofford (no line) at No. 20 Clemson

Tigers QB Dantzler ready to put up big running and passing numbers ... CLEMSON, 49-7.

No. 21 South Carolina (minus 1 1/2) at No. 25 Georgia

Richt's new 'Dawgs won't forget year-old loss to Gamecocks ... GEORGIA, 24-20.

No. 22 Oregon State (minus 16 1/2) at New Mexico State

Beaten Beavers will rise again, Aggies will fall for third time this season ... OREGON STATE, 44-21.

Akron (plus 24) at No. 24 Ohio State

Finally, Jim Tressel debuts as coach of Buckeyes ... OHIO STATE, 28-10.

LAST WEEK: 15-3 (straight); 10-7 (vs. points).

SEASON: 20-5 (straight); 12-12 (vs. points).



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