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FREEDOM BOWL NOTES : Tulsa Offense Adjusting With Hughley Absent

December 25, 1991|SCOTT MILLER

IRVINE — The University of Tulsa held its first Southern California practice Tuesday morning, and the Golden Hurricane is still getting used to playing without tailback Chris Hughley.

Hughley, who finished fifth the nation with an average of 132.6 rushing yards a game and set a team record with eight consecutive 100-yard games, was left behind because he didn't meet Coach David Rader's academic requirements. He has been replaced by junior Ron Jackson.

"We'll miss Chris, no doubt," Rader said. "He's one of our teammates. But Ron Jackson was our starter the first of the year, and we have every bit of confidence in Ron Jackson.

"At the same time, we'll miss Chris. He was a big key to our success this year. We wish he was here, but it didn't happen."

Jackson was Tulsa's second-leading rusher this season with 674 yards. He started the first two games of the season and rushed for 171 yards against Southwest Missouri State and for 149 yards against Oklahoma State before Hughley took over when Jackson sprained his right ankle.

"It's a lot of pressure, but I've bee there before," Jackson said.

Jackson's backup will be sophomore Lamont Headd.

Don Andersen, Freedom Bowl executive director, said Tuesday that the bowl has sold about 39,000 tickets so far. He said Tulsa has sold about 6,000 and San Diego State is in the 6,000-7,000 range.

You'd figure more Tulsans had purchased tickets, though, if you listen to Rader long enough.

"Maybe we just keep running into the right people," Rader said. "Our Sunday school had its Christmas party the other night and almost everybody in the crew is coming out (for the game). Maybe if we don't play well, they'll pray hard and we'll play better."

He looked the same, but there was something a little different. As SDSU quarterback David Lowery boarded the bus for a trip to the Orangewood Children's Home Monday afternoon, the black SDSU Freedom Bowl jersey he was wearing was No. 17.

Trouble is, Lowery is No. 11. Seems SDSU forgot to order one of those, so a rush order was placed.

Gee, you'd think they would take care of the MVP.

The SDSU talent show--an initiation for newcomers--is scheduled for Dec. 27, and most rookies will wing it. Renditions of theme songs such as that from The Brady Bunch are usually quite popular.

But at least six Aztecs are taking this thing seriously. Junior Scott Oatsvall recruited freshman Darnay Scott, sophomore Carson Leomiti and senior Merton Harris to sing with him back in September, and they have recently added redshirt freshman Jamal Duff and Greg Parker, who handles video for SDSU.

The name of their group is Colorblind.

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