Defending national champion Nebraska opened the 1971 season with a convincing 34-7 victory over Pac-8 power Oregon. It was Nebraska's 20th straight game without a defeat.
A crowd of 67,437 at Memorial Stadium saw the Cornhuskers shut out the Ducks until late in the fourth quarter when a fumbled punt by a Husker reserve gave Oregon a shot at seven points.
While the NU defense was halting the potent Ducks with only 86 yards rushing and 118 yards through the air, the Husker offense flashed great opening form.
Nebraska's star I-back, Jeff Kinney, ran for 124 yards to completely overshadow Duck ace Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad), as the Cornhuskers piled up 298 yards on the ground. NU added another 117 yards as Jerry Tagge hit 8 of 10 passes.
Kinney's 1971 debut was complemented by the fine backup performance of junior college transfer Gary Dixon, who scored three TDs. Actually, all NU tallies came from the I-backs — one by Kinney, three by Dixon and one by Randy Butts.
Nebraska was off and running.
NOTES: Quarterbacking the Ducks was junior Dan Fouts, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer.
UPI | AP | SERIES HISTORY
SEASON STATS | NU ROSTER
1971 OREGON RESULTS
Sept. 11, 1971
Oregon 0 0 0 7 — 7
Nebraska 7 7 7 13 — 34
NEB — Jeff Kinney 1 run (Rich Sanger kick) 1:21
NEB — Gary Dixon 2 run (Sanger kick) 8:55
NEB — Dixon 1 run (Sanger kick) 7:47
NEB — Dixon 6 run (kick failed) 14:46
NEB — Randy Butts 2 run (Sanger kick) 5:18
ORE — Bobby Moore 7 run (Mike Battle kick) 3:21
First downs 18 23
Rushes-Net yards 22-86 73-298
Passing, net 118 117
Comp-Att-Int 13-25-3 10-13-0
Total offense 204 415
Punts 6-31.5 4-38.0
Fumbles lost 0 2
Yards penalized 49 30
LEADING NU RUSHERS: Jeff Kinney 124, Gary Dixon 42,
Jerry Tagge 41.
LEADING NU PASSER: Jerry Tagge, 8 of 10—98.