Huskers rally past Buffaloes in 4th quarter
Nebraska spotted Colorado a 19-7 lead, then tore back in the final minutes to pull out a 21-19 victory and remain undefeated.
It was one of the great Cornhusker comebacks. Bob Churchich went on a pitching spree and fired the Huskers on drives of 63 yards and 65 yards in the final 13 minutes as a crowd of 46,112 (including more than 15,000 Nebraska fans) went wild.
Denied a TD at the end of the third period when the officials ruled Churchich failed to get in the end zone after a 72-yard drive, Churchich roared back.
He hit three passes, then a TD strike to end Dennis Morrison with 10:42 left, making it 19-14. The Huskers couldn’t move the next time, but three times the NU defense forced Buff punts.
With 2:32 left, NU got the ball again and Churchich hollered “Charge!” He hit passes of 8, 6, 12, 5 and a 16-yarder to Tom Penney at the CU 9 to set the stage. Three plunges sent Pete Tatman in for the game-winning TD with 53 seconds left.
Churchich set Nebraska records with 20 of 34 passes for 236 yards.
Nebraska scored first on a 14-yard pass to Ben Gregory, but the Buffs roared back late in the first quarter. Although the Buffs missed the PAT kick, they took the lead 13-7 in the second period as little QB Dan Kelly gave the Scarlets fits. Kelly hit a 29-yard pass to Larry Plantz for another TD with 3:39 left in the half.
It looked like a kayo for the Huskers, but they regrouped and came through like the champions they were in a magnificent final effort.
- Nebraska didn’t need to go far for its first TD. Colorado’s Charlie Greer muffed Joe Armstrong’s punt, and NU’s Dick Davis recovered the ball at the CU 16.
- Colorado quarterback Dan Kelly had a terrific first half, collecting 98 of his 115 rushing yards and 71 of his 99 passing yards.
- Needing a field goal to win, the Buffs drove to the Nebraska 38 in the final seconds, but Husker defensive end Bob Weinman sacked Kelly for a 14-yard loss, and then Larry Wachholtz intercepted a Kelly pass on the 28 with five seconds left.
- By the Denver Post’s estimate, 20,000 Husker fans were in attendance.