An 11-point underdog against third-ranked Southern Cal, Nebraska never trailed. The No. 9 Huskers might have won if not for a botched chip-shot field goal in the fourth quarter.
Instead, a 21-21 tie was what they had to show for their toils Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Afterward, the Huskers were a frustrated bunch. But at least it wasn’t a loss.
“We wanted this one bad,” said co-captain Dan Schneiss, “but we’re too proud to let down now just because we didn’t get it.”
Joe Orduna rushed for 135 yards, including a 67-yard gallop that put the Huskers on top, 21-14, with 5:34 left in the third quarter. Four minutes into the final period, a 10-point lead appeared imminent when Paul Rogers lined up to attempt a field goal from the USC 12. But the snap was low, the kick was wide, and the Trojans responded with an 80-yard drive to tie things up at 21 apiece.
Neither team came close to scoring again until USC’s Jimmy Jones launched a Hail Mary from midfield on the final play. Nebraska’s Jim Anderson and Tom McClelland broke up the pass at the goal line, averting disaster for the Huskers.
After a week of uncertainty and conjecture about Nebraska’s health at quarterback, Jerry Tagge took every snap.
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