Nebraska 21
North Carolina 17

Dec. 19, 1977 - 8 p.m. Central
Liberty Bowl | Memphis, TN | ABC
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Nebraska 0 7 0 14 21
North Carolina 0 13 3 0 17
Second Quarter
UNC: Brooks Williams 12 pass from Matt Kupec (Tom Biddle kick) 13:52
NEB: Dodie Donnell 15 run (Billy Todd kick) 11:00
UNC: Bob Loomis 10 pass from Kupec (Biddle kick) 3:11
Third Quarter
UNC: Biddle 47 field goal, 4:17
Fourth Quarter
NEB: Curtis Craig 10 pass from Randy Garcia (Todd kick) 10:51
NEB: Tim Smith 34 pass from Garcia (Todd kick) 3:16

                          NEB      UNC
First downs .............. 21       17
 By rushing .............. 11       10
 By passing ............... 9        6
 By penalty ............... 1        1
Net yards rushing ....... 206      169
 Attempts ................ 52       55
 Yards gained ........... 231      213
 Yards lost .............. 25       44
Net yards passing ....... 161       93
 Comp-Att-Int ....... 14-17-0   8-13-1
Total offense  ....... 69-367   68-262
Int. returns-Yds ........ 1-1      0-0
Punts-Average ........ 3-37.0   3-40.3
Punt returns-Yds ...... 3-(-2)     l-0
Kickoff returns-Yds .... 4-71     3-61
Times penalized-Yds .... 2-10     5-35
Fumbles-lost ............ 4-2      3-2
Possession time ........30:33    29:27

Attendance: 49,456

NEBRASKA
RUSHING    Att.      Net     TD     Long
Berns        7       38       0       11
Hipp        18       52       0        8
Sorley       8       21       0       14
Donnell      9       59       1       17
Craig        1        5       0        0
Anthony      6       39       0       12
Garcia       3       -8       0        1
TOTALS      52      206       1       17

PASSING    Att. Com. Int.  Yds  TD  Long
Sorley      13   11    0   105   0    22
T. Smith     1    0    0     0   0     0
Garcia       3    3    0    56   2    34
TOTALS      17   14    0   161   2    34

RECEIVING   No.     Yds      TD     Long
Craig        4       53       1       19
T. Smith     4       78       1       34
Berns        2        9       0        5
Hipp         2        6       0        3
Miller       1        3       0        3
Spaeth       1       12       0       12
TOTALS      14      161       2       34

PUNTING     No.     Yds     Avg.    Long
T. Smith     3      111      37       37

RETURNS     Punts     Kickoffs       Int
Brown       2-(-2)       0-0         0-0
DuFresne    0-0          1-13        0-0
Craig       0-0          3-58        0-0
Wurth       1-0          0-0         0-0
Cotton      0-0          0-0         1-1
TOTALS      3-(-2)       4-71        1-1

DEFENSE      T     A     FR    PBU    BK
Anderson     1     1      0     1      0
Valasek      2     3      0     0      0
Pillen       0     3      0     0      0
Carpenter    2     3      0     0      0
Kunz        11     7      0     1      0
Vering       5     5      0     0      0
Hansen       1     0      0     0      0
Weinmaster   9     2      1     0      0
Davis        1     0      0     0      0
Cotton       3     4      0     0      0
Lee          1     2      0     0      0
Poeschl      4     3      0     0      0
DuFresne     1     0      0     0      0
Pensick      5     2      1     0      0
Young        0     1      0     0      0
Andrews     10     9      0     0      0
Barnett      1     2      0     0      0
Samuel       6     6      0     0      0
Sims         2     0      0     0      0
Fischer      1     1      0     1      0
Rick         0     1      0     0      0
TOTALS      66    55      2     3      0
NORTH CAROLINA
RUSHING    Att.      Net     TD     Long
Collins      2         8      0        4
Lawrence     8        35      0       13
Kupec       14        -3      0       16
Paschall    16        77      0       28
Loomis       8        33      0        6
Johnson      6        16      0        6
Lee          1        -2      0       -2
TOTALS      55       169      0       28

PASSING    Att. Com. Int.  Yds  TD  Long
Kupec       11    7    1    75   2    16
Lawrence     1    1    0    18   0    18
Lee          1    0    0     0   0     0
TOTALS      13    8    1    93   2    18

RECEIVING   No.     Yds      TD     Long
Williams     4       44       1       18
Paschall     1       16       0       16
Loomis       1       10       1       10
Finn         1       16       0       16
Collins      1        7       0        7
TOTALS       8       93       2       18

PUNTING     No.     Yds     Avg.    Long
Elam         3      121     40.3      48
RETURNS     Punts     Kickoffs       Int
Collins      1-0         0-0         0-0
Powell       0-0         3-61        0-0
TOTALS       1-0         3-61        0-0

DEFENSE      T     A     FR    PBU    BK
Menapace     3     4      0     1      0
Cale         3     1      0     0      0
Caldwell     7     4      0     0      0
Winters      5     1      0     0      0
Dowdy        4     4      0     0      0
Gay, B.      6     4      1     0      0
Curry        8    10      0     1      0
Rhames       4     3      0     0      0
Broadway     3     4      0     0      0
Hardison     7     3      0     0      0
Lancaster    2     0      0     0      0
Simmons      7     5      0     0      0
Sheets       2     1      0     0      0
Biddle       1     0      0     0      0
McDaniels    1     7      0     0      0
Taylor       1     0      0     0      0
Mack         1     0      0     0      0
Donnalley    1     0      0     0      0
Duncan       1     1      0     0      0
Mabry        0     0      1     0      0
TOTALS      67    52      2     2      0

Coverage

Recap

Garcia rallies Huskers past Tar Heels

Quarterback Randy Garcia came off the bench in the fourth quarter to throw two touchdown passes and rally Nebraska from a 17-7 fourth-quarter deficit to a 21-17 win over North Carolina in the Liberty Bowl.

Randy Garcia
Garcia
Curtis Craig
Craig
Tim Smith
Smith

Garcia first hit wing­back Curtis Craig with a 10-yard touchdown pass (a sensational diving catch) with 10:51 left to cut the deficit to 17-14, then threw a 34-yard scoring pass to Tim Smith with 3:16 left in the game.

The Tar Heels drew first blood early in the second quarter on a 12-yard scoring pass from Matt Kupec to tight end Brooks Williams. Then, after the Huskers had tied the game at 7-7 on a 15-yard TD run by fullback Dodie Donnell, Kupec threw a 10-yard scoring pass to fullback Bob Loomis late in the half, giving UNC a 14-7 halftime lead.

Carolina upped that to 17-7 late in the third quarter on a 47-yard field goal by Tom Biddle, and the Tar Heels appeared to be in control until Garcia’s heroics brought NU back.


FULL RECAP HERE


H’MAX NOTES: George Andrews’ 19 total tackles set a Liberty Bowl record. … Nebraska was the only team to score more than 14 points against the 1977 Tar Heels, who led the nation in scoring defense in the regular season (7.4 ppg). … NU’s TD drives covered 64, 74 and 57 yards. The Huskers drove to the UNC 6 at the end of the first half but came away with no points. … Nebraska completed just 44.8 percent of its passes during the regular season but was 14-for-17 (82.4%) in this game. … UNC tailback “Famous” Amos Lawrence left the game after injuring an ankle in the second quarter. … North Carolina finished 8-3-1.

Recap source: 1978 media guide

1977 Liberty Bowl ticket
Game stories
Pregame & team info
1977 schedule
04/30 Reds 23, Whites 21
09/10 Washington St. L 10-19
09/17 Alabama W 31-24
09/24 Baylor W 31-10
10/01 Indiana W 31-13
10/08 @ Kansas St. W 26-9
10/15 Iowa St. L 21-24
10/22 Colorado W 33-15
10/29 @ Oklahoma St. W 31-14
11/05 @ Missouri W 21-10
11/12 Kansas W 52-7
11/25 @ Oklahoma L 7-38
12/19 North Carolina W 21-17
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