Huskers fall just short of national championship
Byron Bennett’s 45-yard field goal attempt with one second left sailed wide left, and Florida State won an Orange Bowl thriller, 18-16, for the Seminoles’ first national title.
Nebraska, 17½-point underdogs entering the game, earned the nation’s respect and finished No. 3 in both polls, its highest final ranking since 1983.
Set up by Lawrence Phillips’ 17-yard scamper and Tommie Frazier’s 32-yard sprint to the 4-yard line, Bennett appeared to have kicked the game-winning field goal with 1:16 remaining. But with Nebraska up 16-15, Florida State began its game-winning drive at its own 35, and Scott Bentley kicked his fourth field goal of the game with 21 seconds left to give FSU an 18-16 lead.
Nebraska’s final drive started at its 43 with about 15 seconds on the clock after Barron Miles returned the Seminole kickoff 23 yards. Frazier missed tight end Trumane Bell at the sidelines but hit Bell on a second try over midfield for a 29-yard gain to the FSU 28. Nebraska immediately called time out as one second remained.
Bennett waited to set up for his second field goal of the game as officials cleared the field of those who thought the game was over, but his kick was wide left.