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Official recap
A great passing performance by senior Jeff Quinn and a stout defensive effort enabled Nebraska to enjoy a successful return to the Sun Bowl by downing Mississippi State 31-17. The 1980 Classic marked a reunion of sorts, since it was in the 1969 Sun Bowl that the Huskers started their present streak of 12 straight bowl appearances.

The Huskers drew first blood, when Todd Brown took a pitch on an end around play and ran 23 yards for the score with only 2:30 gone in the game. Brown's score was set up on a fumbled punt by MSU's Mardye McDole on the previous play.

The Huskers added 10 points in the second quarter—on a 22-yard Kevin Seibel field goal and an eight yard Jeff Quinn to Jeff Finn pass—to take a 17-0 lead into the dressing room at halftime.

MSU finally scored in the 3rd quarter on a 47 yard field goal and appeared to be gaining momentum when Husker defensive end Jimmy Williams recovered a fumble at the Bulldog 25 to set up a 2 yard run by Andra Franklin.

After State scored to open the final quarter, Williams again thwarted any further MSU chances with a sack and another fumble recovery. The Huskers then iced the game with a 52-yard Jeff Quinn to Tim McCrady pass late in the game. For their efforts, Williams and Quinn were named the outstanding players of the 1980 Sun Bowl.

Full recap here.

Nebraska 31
Mississippi State 17

Dec. 27, 1980
El Paso, TX
Nebraska           7    10     7     7   -  31
Mississippi State  0     0     3    14   -  17

First Quarter
NEB - Todd Brown, 23 run (Kevin Seibel kick) 12:30
Second Quarter
NEB - Kevin Seibel, 22 field goal, 3:23
NEB - Jeff Finn, 8 pass from Jeff Quinn (Seibel kick) 1:57
Third Quarter
MSU - Dana Moore, 47 field goal 7:12
NEB - Andra Franklin, 2 run (Seibel kick) 2:16
Fourth Quarter
MSU - John Bond, 1 run (Bob Morgan kick) 11:44
NEB - Tim McCrady, 52 pass from Quinn (Seibel kick) 3:21
MSU - Mike Haddix, 3 pass from Bond (Morgan kick) 1:00
Attendance: 34,723

                                  MSU       NEB 
First Downs ...................... 15        16 
  Rushing ........................ 10        12 
  Passing ......................... 3         4 
  Penalty ......................... 2         0 
Rushing attempts-Net yards .... 53-93    54-159 
  Yards gained rushing .......... 173       187 
  Yards lost rushing ............. 79        28 
Net Yards Passing ............... 102       159 
  Comp-Att-Int ............... 7-19-2    9-19-1 
Total Offense ................ 72-195    73-318 
  Average gain per play ......... 2.7       4.4 
Fumbles-Lost .................... 5-4       1-1 
Penalties-Yards ................ 4-30      4-37 
Interceptions-Yards ............. 1-0      3-10 
Punts-Average ................ 5-50.0    8-42.0 
Punt returns-Yards .............. 1-3      3-32 
Kickoff returns-Yards ......... 4-116      2-39

RUSHING
MISS. STATE  Att. Gain  Lost   Net    TD  Long 
Bond......... 16    40    48     8     1    9 
Haddix.......  4    14     0    14     0    7 
King......... 23    96     0    96     0   12 
McDole.......  5    11     4     7     0    6 
Collins......  1     2     0     2     0    2 
Parenton.....  2     2     6    -4     2    0 
Wonsley......  1     8     0     8     0    8 
Moore........  1     0    21   -21
NEBRASKA     Att.  Gain  Lost   Net   TD  Long 
Quinn........ 11    16    21    -5     0    7 
Johnson......  3     5     2     3     0    4 
Franklin..... 17    67     0    67     1    6 
Brown........  1    23     0    23     1   23 
Redwine...... 13    47     5    42     0   12 
Kotera.......  2     7     0     7     0    4 
Craig........  5    13     0    13     0    6 
Steels.......  2     9     0     9     0    7

PASSING
MISS. STATE  Att.  Com.   Int.  Yds.  TD  Long 
Bond........  19     7     2    102    1   25
NEBRASKA     Att.  Com.   Int  Yds.   TD  Long 
Quinn.......  19     9     1    159    2   55

PASS RECEIVING
MISS. STATE        No.    Yds.     TD    Long 
Haddix............  1      11       1     11 
McDole............  4      69       0     25 
Price.............  1      25       0     25 
Doss..............  1       7       0      7
NEBRASKA           No.    Yds.     TD    Long 
McCrady............ 2     107       1     55 
Brown.............. 2      16       0     11 
Davies............. 1       9       0      9 
Steels............. 2      14       0      8 
Finn............... 1       8       1      8 
Kotera............. 1       5       0      5

PUNTING
MISS. STATE    No.  Yds.   Avg.   Long 
Moore.........  5   250    50.0     64
NEBRASKA       No.  Yds.   Avg.   Long 
Seibel........  8   334    42.0     45

FIELD GOALS
MISS. STATE   Att.  Made   Long 
Moore.......    1     1     47
NEBRASKA      Att.  Made   Long 
Seibel.......   1     1     22
      
ALL RETURNS
MISS. STATE   Punts   Kickoffs   Inter. 
McDole.......  1-3 
Young........           3-99 
Worsley......           1-17
NEBRASKA      Punts   Kickoffs   Inter. 
Liegl........  3-32 
Lindquist....                     1-6 
Van Norman...                     1-4 
Steals.......           1-18 
Simmons......           1-21
DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
MISS. STATE            UT AT TT
Keys................... 4  1  5
Barnes ................ 2     2
Collins................ 9  3 12
Jackson................ 5     5
Edwards................ 7  3 10
Cooks ................ 10  2 12
Martin ................ 3     3
Jackson................ 5     5
Evans ................. 3  1  4
Fesmire................ 7     7
Friday................. 1     1
Lambert................ 1     1
Haddix................. 1     1
Koontz................. 1     1
Peterson............... 1  1  2
Berry.................. 1     1
Price.................. 2     2
McDole................. 1     1
Worsley................ 1     1
George ................ 1     1
Robertson.............. 1     1
Stowers................ 1  1  2
      
NEBRASKA               UT AT TT
Williams, J............ 5  1  6
Clark ................. 2  2  4
Hineline............... 3     3
Waechter............... 6     6
Nelson................. 3     3
Damkroger.............. 4  1  5
Williams, B............ 4  2  6
Lindquist.............. 2  1  3
Gary................... 8  1  9
Sims................... 2  1  3
Means.................. 1  2  3
McCrady................ 1     1
Stromath............... 4  1  5
Schleusener............ 2     2
McElroy................ 2  1  3
Williams, T............ 4  1  5
Lindstrom.............. 1     1
Baker.................. 3  1  4
Lewis.................. 2     2
McWhirter.............. 4  2  6
Van Norman............. 1     1
Liegl ................. 1     1
Mississippi State-Fumble Recovery, Collins; Interceptions, Martin; Pass Deflections, Jackson, Fesmire.
Nebraska-Fumble Recovery, Davies, J. Williams (2), T. Williams; Interceptions, Lindquist; Pass Deflections, Lindstrom, Sims, Lewis (2).
 
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