Critics wondered whether Nebraska would be able to recover quickly enough from the previous week's heart-breaking loss at Penn State to handle a tough, unbeaten Auburn team on the Tigers' home turf-and for more than a half, there was plenty of reason to wonder.
The Huskers struggled to a 14-7 halftime lead and had an anything-but-safe 21-7 advantage after three quarters. Nebraska had benefited from two drive-ending Tiger fumbles to establish that lead, but the Huskers made some key defensive adjustments in the second half to shut off the home club's outstanding outside speed, and then scored on three-straight possessions in the fourth quarter to make the final score a deceptively-comfortable 41-7.
On the minus side, Wingback Irving Fryar sprained an ankle, starting a series of injuries that kept him far from full speed for the next six games.
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
SEASON STATS | NU ROSTER
Oct. 2, 1982
Nebraska 7 7 7 20 - 41
Auburn 7 0 0 0 - 7
NU - Doug Wilkening 15 run (Kevin Seibel
AU - Bo Jackson 4 run (Al Del Greco kick)
NU - Todd Brown 58 pass from Turner Gill
NU - Mike Rozier 2 run (Seibel kick)
NU - Rozier 12 run (Seibel kick)
NU - Mark Schellen 41 run (Seibel kick)
NU - Tim Brungardt 13 run (kick failed)
First downs 31 13
Rushes-yards 68-342 43-171
Passing yards 162 116
Return yards 13 18
Passes 19-10-1 11-7-1
Punts 2-50.5 4-43.0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 3-3
Penalties-yards 3-45 3-15
Time of possession 36:44 23:16
Nebraska, Rozier 24-88. Wilkening 9-60. Schellen 5-54. Gill 11-50. Jeff Smith 8-42.
Auburn, Lionel James 8-69. Ron O'Neal 8-40.
Nebraska, Gill 19-10-1-162.
Auburn, Randy Campbell 10-6-1-91.
Nebraska, Brown 2-78, Jamie Williams 2-24. Shane Swanson 2-18.
Auburn, Chris Woods 3-59, Ed West 2-25.