When football historians review the 1970s, they'll probably list the Nebraska-Southern California 21-21 tie in 1970 as one of the great games of the decade.
It was that kind of game as Nebraska's two-TD underdogs three times led the highly regarded Trojans in a game that left 73,768 fans breathless on the last play — a 50-yard incomplete USC pass.
Nebraska got the jump on the Trojans in the second quarter — Husker Joe Orduna early had fumbled at the USC 5 — when fullback Dan Schneiss took a handoff from quarterback Jerry Tagge and threw a surprise 17-yard pass to Guy Ingles.
USC tied it on a 4-yard run by Jimmy Jones, but Nebraska roared back for a 14-7 halftime lead on Tagge's 15-yard pass to Johnny Rodgers to cap a 74-yard drive.
Back stormed the Trojans in the third quarter to tie it at 14-14, but on the second play after the next kickoff, Orduna tore 67 yards on a great run to put Nebraska ahead again, 21-14.
Nebraska's chance for icing a victory misfired in the final quarter when a bad snap caused Paul Rogers to miss a 22-yard field goal that would have given NU a 24-14 lead.
USC then moved 80 yards for the tying TD, with Clarence Davis going the last nine yards with 8:16 left in the game.
Both teams had final chances in the wild finale, but a great college game ended 21-21.
H'MAX NOTES: Johnny Rodgers' 30-yard punt return helped set up the Huskers' first TD. ... The tie preserved USC's 23-game regular-season unbeaten streak. Coach John McKay said he would have gone for a two-point conversion if the last touchdown had occurred with five minutes or less remaining. ... The Trojans entered the game ranked third nationally by AP, Nebraska ninth. .. USC's Davis finished with 116 rushing yards on 27 carries. Orduna had 135 yards on 18 attempts.
Southern Cal 21
Sept. 19, 1970
Los Angeles, CA
Nebraska 0 14 7 0 — 21
Southern Cal 0 7 7 7 — 21
NEB — Guy Ingles 17 pass from Dan Schneiss
(Paul Rogers kick), 10:09
USC — Jimmy Jones 4 run (Ron Ayala kick), 3:35
NEB — Johnny Rodgers 15 pass from Jerry Tagge
(Rogers kick), 0:54
USC — Charlie Evans 1 run (Ayala kick), 6:21
NEB — Joe Orduna 67 run (Rogers kick), 5:34
USC — Clarence Davis 9 run (Ayala kick), 8:16
First Downs .............. 19 22
Rushing, Net ............ 208 175
Passes, Att-Comp ...... 18-12 25-14
Passing, Net ............ 157 191
Comp.-Att.-Int. .... 12-18-3 14-25-2
Total Offense ........... 365 366
Punts-Avg. ............. 4-41 4-37
Fumbles lost .............. 3 2
Yards penalized .......... 42 45
LEADING NEBRASKA RUSHERS
Joe Orduna 135, Jeff Kinney 31.
LEADING NEBRASKA PASSER
Jerry Tagge 11 for 17 — 140 yds
NU BACK OF GAME
Joe Orduna: Rushed for season high of
135 yards and a 7.5 average. His 67-yard
TD run gave NU a 21-14 lead to ensure tie.
NU LINEMAN OF GAME
Jerry Murtaugh: Sensational defensive job,
with 14 unassisted tackles and 11 assisted
tackles. Also deflected a pass.