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Nebraska Finds a New Outlet--With Glitches

September 03, 2000

It wasn't on television, so thousands of Nebraska football fans hit the Internet on Saturday to watch the San Jose State game.

That's right, the Internet.

It was far from perfect, but in a land where the game can be heard on grocery store radios, the free Webcast's choppy video, lost-then-heard-again audio and system crashes did little to stem passions for the game against San Jose State.

"It's better than listening to it on the radio," said Tim Goodman, who sat at DJ's Dugout bar in Lincoln, Neb., sporting a Nebraska jersey. "It is a little delayed, but it's good."

The tavern threw the Webcast onto its television screens, and it had advertisements for the event plastered on its front doors.

There was some confusion. The bar had trouble connecting to the streaming Webcast, and it lost, then regained that connection several times.

But many at the bar expected technical trouble in the first college or pro football game ever produced and shown on a Web site directly linked to a major television network.

"There's just too much traffic," said Bill Sutton, a fan at the bar in Omaha. "The infrastructure for this isn't ready yet."

Danny Greenberg, senior vice president at, said he was pleased overall and hoped the Webcast was the first of many.

"It's emerging technology," Greenberg said. "It is not perfect yet. It will continue to improve."

Nebraska-San Jose State is only the beginning of Webcasting of football games. The Yahoo! site said Thursday it had signed an agreement with three sports marketing and Web development organizations to provide live webcasts of football and other sports for 22 colleges, including Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana and Michigan.


The Battle plan worked.

And an inspirational phone call didn't hurt either.

Notre Dame Coach Bob Davie kept things simple early in Arnaz Battle's first start at quarterback. As Battle's confidence grew, so did his production. So did his coach's confidence in him.

"I just thought we gained a little bit of confidence at the end of the first half," Davie said after Notre Dame's 24-10 victory over No. 25 Texas A&M. "I think Arnaz got in sync a little bit."

Battle threw a nine-yard scoring pass on the Irish's final possession of the first half and a 46-yard score on the second possession of the second half to give Notre Dame the lead.

Davie said Battle, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 133 yards and also rushed for 50 yards in 12 carries, reminded him of a Notre Dame quarterback from the recent past.

"You can see how explosive he is," Davie said. "If you look at Jarious [Jackson's] first game against Michigan two years ago, Arnaz is further along than Jarious was at the game."

Battle said he got a phone call from Jackson on Friday night.

"He just told me to go out there and put Notre Dame back where it should be," he said.

And after a 5-7 season last year, the Irish may have taken step one.


J.P. Losman, once thought to be UCLA's quarterback of the future--he left the Bruins before playing a game because of his impatience to become the starter--saw his first action for Tulane in a 49-20 loss to No. 18 Mississippi.

Losman, a former Venice High standout who entered in the third quarter, completed five of 10 passes for 35 yards.

But the redshirt freshman might soon inherit the No. 1 role, depending on the status of starter Patrick Ramsey, who left the game because of a sprained right shoulder.

Funny how these things work out.


Lee Corso's rental car was nowhere in sight, but that didn't prevent the weather from affecting the Kent State-Pittsburgh game, which was delayed because of lightning strikes outside Three Rivers Stadium.

The game was delayed twice for a total of 1 hour 2 minutes.

At the time of the first delay, however, skies were partly cloudy and there was no visible lightning.

Thunder could be heard in the distance when the game was halted at 2:28 of the first quarter with Pitt leading, 7-0.

Fans were caught off guard by the suspension, booing the announcement. Many of the estimated 15,000 fans stayed in their seats, impatient for the game to resume.

Later in the day, the Kentucky-Louisville game at Louisville was suspended with 8:11 left in the third quarter because of a severe thunderstorm. The game resumed after a delay of 74 minutes.

Last Sunday, the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech game at Virginia Tech was not played after lightning bolts struck repeatedly outside the stadium just before game time, with one hitting a car--Corso's--in a stadium parking lot. That game will not be made up.


--Compiled by JIM BARRERO

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