Close early game had UM fans fuming

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 7, 2001

Sports Editor

Over a month ago in Lincoln, the Troy State Trojans were given an endzone standing ovation by the Nebraska fans as they filed off of Tom Osborne Field and headed to the dressing room, following a 42-14 defeat at the hands of the No. 4 ‘Huskers.

The Trojans had actually held their own for awhile against the heavily-favored Cornhuskers. TSU’s defense stopped Nebraska three times inside the red zone, including two fourth and goal situations. The offense had been able to convert an early Big Red turnover into a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

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Saturday’s game against top-ranked Miami was similar in some respects. The Trojans fought the Hurricanes for four quarters, achieving some measure of respect and national recognition in the 38-7 loss.

But instead of applause at the conclusion of the game, all the Trojans received from the few Hurricane fans that had gathered over the visiting team’s exit tunnel were jeers and taunts.

Most of it was directed at one player in particular – Trojans’ tailback Demontray Carter. The senior transfer from Auburn had turned his share of big plays during the game, rushing for 83 yards on 15 carries and catching four passed for 26 yards.

The Miami fans jeered Carter by repeating his name over and over again as he and his teammates slowly made their exit.

Only 36,617 attended the game, many of them expecting to see an early blowout, as was indicated by the 50-point spread.

But by the end of the second quarter, TSU and Miami were deadlocked at 7-7. Troy State’s ‘Trojan Spread’ had the Hurricanes’ defense confused and quarterback Brock Nutter was in a zone, hitting 13-of-17 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown by the end of the second half.

The No. 1 Hurricanes led by just ten at the intermission, 17-7.

And most Miami fans weren’t too happy about it, vocalizing their disgust throughout much of the second quarter.

They booed the Miami defense when they couldn’t stop Nutter, Carter and the rest of the Trojans’ offense. They booed the Miami coaching staffs decision to attempt a field goal that gave the ‘Canes a 10-7 led in the second.

Nutter found it all humorous.

"I was kind of surprised at it," he said. "They’re the No. 1 team in the nation. I know they were expecting to come out and jump on us quick and get their guys out of there. They (the fans) wanted a real highlight game in the first half. It kind of shocked me. But I got a kick out of it."