Husker defense delivers when needed vs. Cowboys
When things were looking dire, cornerback Ardell Johnson saved Nebraska’s bacon on Homecoming Day in Lincoln.
Trailing 7-3, Oklahoma State was at the Nebraska 5-yard line, threatening to take the lead with a little over three minutes remaining. As OSU quarterback Charlie Weatherbie ran a wishbone keeper over OSU’s right side, monster back Wonder Monds laid a shoulder into him. The ball came loose, and there to pounce on it at the 1-yard line was Johnson.
Husker fans could exhale, but only briefly. After a Nebraska punt from the end zone, OSU took over at the NU 38 with 1:16 to work with. The Cowboys immediately threw deep, and once again it was Johnson coming up big, tipping the ball away from the reach of an OSU receiver inside the NU 10. Not until cornerback Jimmy Burrow picked off Weatherbie’s fourth-down heave at the 15 was this one truly over.
Thanks to the defensive effort, fullback Tony Davis’ four-yard scoring run in the third quarter was all Nebraska needed to win. The Cowboys’ only score came with 12:01 left in the game when Abby Daigle booted a 32-yard field goal.
Davis was named Nebraska’s offensive player of the game, and Johnson was the honoree on defense.
In addition to making big plays late in the game, Johnson, a senior from Chillicothe, Mo., was in on six tackles and blocked an OSU field goal attempt. Other defensive standouts for Nebraska were linebacker Tom Ruud, 18 total tackles; middle guard John Lee, 11 total tackles; and defensive end Bob Martin, 10 total tackles.
Although the Huskers kept OSU out of the end zone, Cowboy fullback George Palmer gave the Huskers fits. He gained 120 yards on 27 carries before he was injured in the fourth quarter.
Recap by HuskerMax; contains some material from the 1975 media guide.