LINCOLN, Neb., Sept. 14 - Jammal Lord knows the fans are booing. He just refuses to hear them. “They booed Scott Frost, too,” Lord said, referring to the quarterback who led Nebraska to the 1997 national championship.
THE DIFFERENCE WAS Frost was a first-year starter in 1996 when he was the target of criticism. He was new to the system after transferring from Stanford. He proved to be a quick study.
Lord, a fifth-year senior, has not. He set a Nebraska quarterback rushing record last season, but that didn’t earn him any slack from fans who put most of the blame on him for a 7-7 record.
The coaching staff — and Lord — promised a new-and-improved quarterback, one who had sharpened his passing skills enough to make him dangerous in new offensive coordinator Barney Cotton’s system.
But Lord attempted only six passes in Saturday’s 18-10 victory over Penn State, and Nebraska kept the ball on the ground for 43 of 44 plays in the second half.
“It’s obvious we have to get something going in the passing game,” Solich said. “Maybe we need to throw it more. We were 4-for-6, but we didn’t feel comfortable getting that thing off.”
Lord was intercepted in the first quarter, short-arming a pass into the end zone where an open Ross Pilkington waited. Solich said on at least two other occasions Lord didn’t see open receivers and opted to take off running.
Lord fumbled the ball away in the second quarter. And the fans started booing on his next series when he fumbled again, though he was able to fall on it.
Facing third-and-18 on the next play, the Huskers faced an obvious passing situation. But a run was called, and Lord was stopped after a 3-yard gain. He was booed off the field.
“We need to keep working on that phase of the game so that we are all comfortable, and we are feeling good putting it in the air,” Solich said.
Solich said he would have put freshman Joe Dailey into the game if Lord had another misstep in the third quarter. Dailey, though wearing a brace on his left shoulder, warmed up briefly in the second quarter.
“I know people want a true freshman to step in and look great,” Solich said, “but he didn’t have as good a week of practice as he did the last week. We do have confidence in (Lord).
“Jammal can give us some things when he’s scrambling and running, and occasionally with a pass.”
© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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