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Official recap
Quarterback Randy Garcia came off the bench in the fourth quarter to throw two touchdown passes to rally Nebraska from a 17-7 fourth-quarter deficit to a 21-17 win over North Carolina in the 19th annual Liberty Bowl.
 
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Garcia, who replaced starter Tom Sorley, first hit wing­back Curtis Craig with a 10-yard touchdown pass (a sensational diving catch) with 10:51 left to cut the Husker deficit to 17-14, then threw a 34-yard scoring pass to Tim Smith with 3:16 left in the game to cap a rally that frustrated UNC's upset hopes.
 
The Tar Heels drew first blood early in the second quarter on a 12-yard scoring pass from Matt Kupec to tight end Brooks Williams. Then, after the Huskers had tied the game at 7-7 on a 15-yard touchdown run by fullback Dodie Donnell, Kupec threw a 10-yard scoring pass to fullback Bob Loomis late in the half, giving North Carolina a 14-7 halftime lead.
 
Carolina upped its lead to 17-7 late in the third quarter on a 47-yard field goal by Tom Biddle, and the Tar Heels appeared to have the game well in control until Garcia's heroics brought NU back.
 

FULL RECAP HERE
 
H’MAX NOTES: George Andrews’ 19 total tackles set a Liberty Bowl record that still stands. ... Nebraska was the only team to score more than 14 points against the 1977 Tar Heels, who led the nation in scoring defense in the regular season (7.4 ppg). ... NU's TD drives covered 64, 74 and 57 yards. The Huskers drove to the UNC 6 yard line at the end of the first half but came away with no points. ... Nebraska completed just 44.8 percent of its passes during the regular season but was 14-for-17 (82.4 percent) in this game. ... UNC tailback “Famous” Amos Lawrence left the game after injuring an ankle in the second quarter. ... North Carolina finished 8-3-1.
LibertyBowlTicket (55K)
Nebraska 21
North Carolina 17

Dec. 19, 1977
Memphis, TN
Nebraska          0    7   0   14  -   21
North Carolina    0   14   3    0  -   17

First Quarter
UNC - Brooks Williams 12 pass from Matt Kupec
     (Tom Biddle kick), 13:52
NEB - Dodie Donnell 15 run (Billy Todd kick), 11:00
UNC - Bob Loomis 10 pass from Kupec (Biddle kick), 3:11
Third Quarter
UNC - FG Biddle 47, 4:17
Fourth Quarter
NEB - Curtis Craig 10 pass from Randy Garcia
     (Todd kick), 10:51
NEB - Tim Smith 34 pass from Garcia (Todd kick), 3:16


Attendance: 49,456

                                   NEB       UNC
First downs ....................... 21        17
 By rushing ....................... 11        10
 By passing ........................ 9         6
 By penalty ........................ 1         1
Net yards rushing ................ 206       169
 Attempts ......................... 52        55
 Yards gained .................... 231       213
 Yards lost ....................... 25        44
Net yards passing ................ 161        93
 Comp-Att-Int ................ 14-17-0    8-13-1
Total offense plays-Net yds ... 69-367    68-262
Interception returns-Yards ....... 1-1       0-0
Punts-Average ................. 3-37.0    3-40.3
Punt returns-Net yards ......... 3-(-2)      l-0
Kickoff returns-Net yards ....... 4-71      3-61
Times penalized-Yards ........... 2-10      5-35
Fumbles-lost ..................... 4-2       3-2


NEBRASKA RUSHING Att. Net TD Long Berns 7 38 0 11 Hipp 18 52 0 8 Sorley 8 21 0 14 Donnell 9 59 1 17 Craig 1 5 0 0 Anthony 6 39 0 12 Garcia 3 -8 0 1 TOTALS 52 206 1 17 PASSING Att. Com. Int. Yds TD Long Sorley 13 11 0 105 0 22 T. Smith 1 0 0 0 0 0 Garcia 3 3 0 56 2 34 TOTALS 17 14 0 161 2 34 RECEIVING No. Yds TD Long Craig 4 53 1 19 T. Smith 4 78 1 34 Berns 2 9 0 5 Hipp 2 6 0 3 Miller 1 3 0 3 Spaeth 1 12 0 12 TOTALS 14 161 2 34 PUNTING No. Yds Avg. Long T. Smith 3 111 37 37 RETURNS Punts Kickoffs Int Brown 2-(-2) 0-0 0-0 DuFresne 0-0 1-13 0-0 Craig 0-0 3-58 0-0 Wurth 1-0 0-0 0-0 Cotton 0-0 0-0 1-1 TOTALS 3-(-2) 4-71 1-1 DEFENSE T A FR PBU BK Anderson 1 1 0 1 0 Valasek 2 3 0 0 0 Pillen 0 3 0 0 0 Carpenter 2 3 0 0 0 Kunz 11 7 0 1 0 Vering 5 5 0 0 0 Hansen 1 0 0 0 0 Weinmaster 9 2 1 0 0 Davis 1 0 0 0 0 Cotton 3 4 0 0 0 Lee 1 2 0 0 0 Poeschl 4 3 0 0 0 DuFresne 1 0 0 0 0 Pensick 5 2 1 0 0 Young 0 1 0 0 0 Andrews 10 9 0 0 0 Barnett 1 2 0 0 0 Samuel 6 6 0 0 0 Sims 2 0 0 0 0 Fischer 1 1 0 1 0 Rick 0 1 0 0 0 TOTALS 66 55 2 3 0
NORTH CAROLINA RUSHING Att. Net TD Long Collins 2 8 0 4 Lawrence 8 35 0 13 Kupec 14 -3 0 16 Paschall 16 77 0 28 Loomis 8 33 0 6 Johnson 6 16 0 6 Lee 1 -2 0 -2 TOTALS 55 169 0 28 PASSING Att. Com. Int. Yds TD Long Kupec 11 7 1 75 2 16 Lawrence 1 1 0 18 0 18 Lee 1 0 0 0 0 0 TOTALS 13 8 1 93 2 18 RECEIVING No. Yds TD Long Williams 4 44 1 18 Paschall 1 16 0 16 Loomis 1 10 1 10 Finn 1 16 0 16 Collins 1 7 0 7 TOTALS 8 93 2 18 PUNTING No. Yds Avg. Long Elam 3 121 40.3 48 RETURNS Punts Kickoffs Int Collins 1-0 0-0 0-0 Powell 0-0 3-61 0-0 TOTALS 1-0 3-61 0-0 DEFENSE T A FR PBU BK Menapace 3 4 0 1 0 Cale 3 1 0 0 0 Caldwell 7 4 0 0 0 Winters 5 1 0 0 0 Dowdy 4 4 0 0 0 Gay, B. 6 4 1 0 0 Curry 8 10 0 1 0 Rhames 4 3 0 0 0 Broadway 3 4 0 0 0 Hardison 7 3 0 0 0 Lancaster 2 0 0 0 0 Simmons 7 5 0 0 0 Sheets 2 1 0 0 0 Biddle 1 0 0 0 0 McDaniels 1 7 0 0 0 Taylor 1 0 0 0 0 Mack 1 0 0 0 0 Donnalley 1 0 0 0 0 Duncan 1 1 0 0 0 Mabry 0 0 1 0 0 TOTALS 67 52 2 2 0
 
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