Nebraska backup QB ready to return to bench against Sooners

Wednesday, October 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska backup quarterback Jammal Lord knows there's only two ways he will get as much playing time this weekend as he did in the past two games.

One would be a Nebraska blowout of No. 3 Oklahoma, something that is very unlikely. The second would be if starter Eric Crouch gets hurt, something Lord and the No. 1 Cornhuskers don't want to see.

``Eric is The Man,'' Lord said. ``I knew when I came here that it would be a two-year plan.''

Lord is Nebraska's ``The Man'' of the future and has brought himself a lot closer to the title in the last two weeks. Nebraska put Texas Tech and Baylor away early and coach Frank Solich was able to give Crouch a break and get Lord in the game.

Against Baylor last week, Nebraska was up 38-0 after the first quarter and Lord replaced Crouch. Lord led the Huskers on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that he capped with a 2-yard TD run, his third of the season. Nebraska followed that with a seven-play, 87-yard touchdown drive.

``It's always good to move the ball, but it's not only me out there. I had the first-team line,'' Lord said. ``Everybody works hard out there and that is what's expected _ to move the ball.''

Lord, who finished with 37 yards on 10 carries, said he felt it Sunday morning.

``It was a real good sore. I haven't been that way since the spring,'' he said.

Lord also got in late the week before during a 56-3 blowout and scored on a 9-yard run and scored a fourth-quarter TD against Iowa State. The mop-up duty has been invaluable to Lord, a redshirt freshman from Bayonne, N.J., who played very little in the first five games because the games were closer than expected.

``It's gotten easier. I know what I'm doing. I know the plays. That redshirt year helped me a lot,'' he said. ``Spring ball helped even more. I was with the No. 1 offense. With the ones, everything happens a whole lot faster so you've got to learn it a lot faster.''

Lord was the No. 1 QB in spring practice as Crouch recovered from shoulder surgery. Lord got three weeks of practice in before partially tearing the patella tendon in his left knee. He did not have surgery and said the knee is fine.

Solich was glad to finally get Lord some game experience, just in case something were to happen to Crouch.

``We're confident that Jammal can take this football team and move it down the field,'' Solich said. ``I think he's gained a lot of confidence. I think the players have gained a lot of confidence in him from how he's played when he's gotten the opportunities.''

Lord has 22 carries for 103 yards in five games. He has completed 5 of 11 passes for 62 yards with one interception. He knows he made strides in the last couple of weeks, but also knows the starting quarterback job belongs to Crouch until the end of next season.

``Eric's more prepared for this team than I am. You can see that and I can see that. Everybody knows that,'' he said. ``I have to play my position. If Eric does go down, then I have to go out there and show what I've got.''