Washington St. 19
Nebraska 10

Sep. 10, 1977 - 1:30 p.m. Central
Memorial Stadium | Lincoln, NE
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Washington St. 0 7 7 5 19
Nebraska 0 7 0 3 10
Second quarter
WSU: Brian Kelly 19 pass from Jack Thompson (Paul Watson kick) 7:30
NEB: Rick Berns 20 run (Billy Todd kick) 3:27
Third quarter
WSU: Kelly 20 pass from Thompson (Watson kick) 4:05
Fourth quarter
NEB: Todd 19 field goal, 11:35
WSU: Watson 35 field goal, 8:06
WSU: Safety, Randy Garcia tackled in end zone, 6:18

                      WSU        NEB
First Downs .......... 14         24       
  By rushing .........  5         14        
  By passing .........  9          9        
  By penalty .........  0          1        
Rushing Net....... 32-120     59-247   
Passing Net  ........ 174        223      
  Comp-Att-Int .. 18-30-0    12-21-0  
Total Offense..... 62-294     80-470   
Punts ............ 9-44.3     3-39.0   
Return yards .........  4         61        
Penalties .......... 4-20       2-15     
Fumbles-Lost ........ 0-0        4-4      

Attendance: 75,922

RUSHING
WSU: Thompson 3-minus-4; Washington 13-75; Ena 13-41; Kelly 1-2; Doernik 2-6

NEB: Garcia 12-19; Berns 26-153; Craig 1-minus-3; Sorley 6-32; Steward 14-46.

PASSING
WSU: Thompson 18-30-0 174
NEB: Garcia 3-5-0 64; Sorley 9-16-0 159

RECEIVING
WSU: Ramson 1-18; Ena 1-2; Washington 4-3; Kelly 8-102; Levenseller 4-49

NEB: Spaeth 5-121; T.Smith 2-39; Steward 1-10; Berns 2-17; Craig 1-7; Brown 1-29

MORE INDIVIDUAL STATS

NU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF GAME: Rick Berns
NU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF GAME: Lee Kunz

Coverage

Recap
Bill BarnettBill Barnett

Nebraska defensive tackle Bill Barnett pressures quarterback Jack Thompson. | Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

Cougars feast on fumbles, pull off upset

Former Nebraska assistant Warren Powers launched his head coaching career at Washington State by spoiling the Huskers’ 1977 debut, 19-10, before 75,922 fans.

Nebraska dominated the game, but the Cougars were the beneficiaries of numerous Nebraska turnovers and capitalized on them to pull off a major upset.

The Huskers fumbled inside the Cougar 10-yard line three times and also fumbled a punt at the NU 25 to set up Washington State’s first TD.

Despite two fumbles and a missed field goal, Nebraska pulled out a 7-7 tie at halftime. A third-quarter march ended in futility again when the Huskers fumbled at the WSU goal line. The Cougars drove to a 14-7 lead – both TDs on passes from Jack Thompson to Brian Kelly – and Nebraska closed the gap to 14-10 on a Billy Todd field goal.

However, the Cougars countered with a field goal, nabbed Husker quarterback Randy Garcia in the end zone for a safety, and recovered another fumble at the WSU six to clinch the upset.

Nebraska had 470 yards but only 10 points, and the result was a disappointing start for 1977, with a date with Alabama on TV the next week.

Recap & photo source: 1978 media guide

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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