CU Bubble Bursts; Huskers Roll 33-15
By RALPH ROUTON GT Sports Editor
LINCOLN, Neb. — Once upon a time, Colorado was the No. 3-ranked college football team in the country. Saturday afternoons have a way of changing all that, and the last two have mutilated the Buffaloes’ once-lofty hopes of being in the fight for the 1977 national championship — and probably even the Big Eight title as well. That Colorado teetering last week at Kansas became an avalanche here Saturday in th<‘ damp chill of Memorial Stadium. Nebraska continued The Hex by rampaging over, around and through the battered Buffaloes, 33-15, before 76,486 delighted Cornhusker fans. Even the unsuperstitious fan from Colorado w’ll be wondering now. Nebraska made it 10 in a row and 15 out o 16 in this st.’O’o; er-than-usual Big Eight rivalry, which has become the No. 1 frustration for the Buffaloes and head coach Bill .Mallory. From 5-0, Colorado has now dropped to 5-1-1 and an abysmal 1-1-1 in league wars. Nebraska is 5-2 and 2-1, .still alive for the Or-‘couple of plays that might have ange Bowl. affected the outcome. Nothing can be called typical Like, with 13 minutes left in in this series, except for Colora-;the game and Nebraska’s lead do inventing a new and differ- only 19-15, v/hen Buff tight end |Cnt way to succumb every Octo- Bob Niziolek’s reception of a her. What the Buffs produced third-and-20 pass at the Nebr- this time was abnormal — even aska 2-yard-line was ruled a by those standards. ¡trap. Niziolek protested bitterly, At one point, if you can be- claim was backed up by lieve this, Colorado was enjoy- IjaGarde. But the ing a 15-3 lead and had the foot- official, who had been on the ball at the Nebraska ,34-yard spot, staunchly refused to line with eight minutes still left orgue. in the first half. The Corn- And just moments later, after husker fandom was getting res- a paltry nine-yard punt gave tless, and the press box talk Nebraska the ball at its 27, was that NU head coach Tom’ (Continued on Page 7C) iOsborne was in the process of digging his own grave. Those folks must not have believed in The Hex. Before the half was over, all die remaining nonbelievers had ‘oeen permanently Summary 7 8 0 0 -15 3 13 3 14- 33 Colorado Nebraska Neb-PG Todd 42 Col Bailage 98 Kickoff return (Dadlotis converted.! ^ . 1 , Coi-Mayberry J run (Knapple run) .Not only did the Huskers .stopi Ne& hiop 28 run (Todd nickj their slide, but they managed to wrest a 16-15 lead by the end of an in.sane fTst half. In the last 30 minutes, Nebraska’s defense look charge while I.M. Hipp and Company put together a textbook demonstration of ball control. Despite all that, though. Colorado still can look back on a Hipp fumbled on a Prst-down carry. A CU player was closest ‘ Nizioiek said he had it, and to the loose ball, but Husker LaGarde said so too.” said Mal■ lineman Stan Waldemore dived ,cry. “That was a crucial caU i lal’e”! down that broke the Buffs’; back. Instead, tJie key was probably What will no doubt sting Co>o- Nebraska’s second-half ball Conrado most, though, is the chain trol. In the third period, with of events that undermined the i j • j j Buffs’ 15-3 lead Colorado enjoying the wind ad- It slarled with Mike Holmes’ “?”‘”*?’ /A” fumble on a second-and-one f A dive play with 3:21 left in the;'””?”!^“”?.’’ ’ij” half. U.rry Young recovered for'”” a s side of the 50- the Huskers at the Buff 31, and“’” two plays later Hipp finally’ the pressure on in that broke one for a 28 yard touch- quarter, Nebraska down. Billy Todd’s conversion ‘‘^‘‘^”^hed 74 and 59 yards for made it 15-10 with 2:43 left in touchdowns. The Buff defense, the half. already weakened by the ab- Colorado was stopped one sence of linebacker Brian Cabr- yard short of a first down, and ol and two other starters, sim- had to punt. Nebraska look over Ply oould not stop the Huskers’ at its 39 with 1:04 on the clock,: ver.satility in the last 12 min- and soon it was third-and-12 at utes. ttio 37. jiipp wound up with 172 yards With the defense laying back, on 31 runs and two TDs, but Hipp burst through for a 26- just as important was fullback yard gain and a face-mask pen- Dodie Donnell’s 84 yards. Buff alty put the ball at the Buff 22. fullback James Mayberry once NU quarterback Tom Sorley ; again carried the load with 113 faded back on first down and yards, but he didn’t have much found wingback Ken Brown help. whde open for the touchdown, asi He didn’t need it in the first j Colorado collectively gaped in half, when Colorado was con- I disbelief. After a penalty, TodJ | structing that 15-3 lead. Nebr: k’cked wide right. i aska got its three first, pre- I But it was still 16-15 with 0:07 dictably after a CU fumble at showing. And the Buffs got an- (he Buff 30. Todd nailed a 42- Iother odd-ball chance to go to yard field goal for a 3-0 Husker the dressing r»oom with t’nejedge. lead TThe ensuing kickoff| Ballage electrified bounced off a CU lineman and [the crowd on the next kickoft went all the way to the Husker;„¡th a 98-yard touchdown re- 29, where the Buffs recovered, turn, giving the Buffs almost F’ete Dadiotis came on to try a 46-yard field goal, which was blocked. But Nebraska was offside, so Dadiotts got another chance, this time a 41-yarder. He kicked it wide left, and the half was finally history. “We let them out of there.” Mallory would say later. “We had good momentum at times, and then we’d lose it. We just haven’t done it. I don’t know whether it is a poor job on my part or not. We weren’t sound enough. We need four quarters of good soundness, and that’s what has been lacking. F’um’oles can cut your gut out, but no one guy loses a game.” Mallory did not miss the “al- giving enough momentum to last until halftime. Trailing by 7-3, Nebraska failed on two serious threats with the wind advantage, and Sorley took over from starter Randy Garcia for t’ne last three quarters. It still took awhile for the Huskers to wake up, though. They gave Colorado an easy ticket on a fumble that CU end Stuart Walker covered at the Husker 20. Four plays later, Mayberry dived the final yard. Dadiotis’ PAT was blocked, but Nebraska was offsides. Now the Buffs chose to go for two, and Jeff Knapple’s option keeper succeeded.