TIDE BOMBS NEBRASKA EARLY, COASTS TO SUGAR BOWL VICTORY, 34-7New Orleans, La. — (Jan. 2, 1967) — Nebraska's hopes for a revenge victory over Alabama's Crimson Tide in the 1967 Sugar Bowl Classic ended abruptly — the first play of the game, to be exact.
The Cornhuskers, 39-28 Alabama victims in the 1966 Orange Bowl, picked the Sugar Bowl for a chance to meet the Tide again, and by doing so became the only Big 8 team to land a spot in the four major bowls. But that was the only satisfaction the Huskers could gain as The Tide struck early and quickly established dominant superiority.
On the first play after the opening kickoff, Tide quarterback Kenny Stabler blazed the ball through the soggy, leaden skies to All America end Ray Perkins sailing full speed at the NU 40. Perkins wasn't hauled down until he hit the Husker 27. Seven plays later Alabama scored and launched the rout that was to see the Tide lead, 17-0 at the quarter, 24-0 at the half and 27-0 before the Huskers could muster a fourth-quarter touchdown and avert a shutout.
It was a convincing display of Alabama speed, quickness and determination as the Tide sought to become the only major unbeaten claimant to the national title.
Stabler's pin-point passing, Perkins' amazing pass catching skills and some fine running by Stabler — he won the Miller-Digby Memorial Trophy as the outstanding player of the game — put the Cornhuskers in a huge hole early and they were never able to regain the initiative.
The heavier Cornhuskers, unable to utilize their ball-control strategy against the lighter, swifter Tide, were forced to play catch-up from the opening gong and simply couldn't master Alabama's rock-ribbed defense until the final period.
Nebraska, led by quarterback Bobby Churchich, made a game try — Bob tied a pass attempt record (34), set a new completion record (21) and passed for 201 yards — but five interceptions (two against Churchich) dashed comeback hopes at every turn.
Alabama's win was bolstered by a solid edge in statistics. The Tide out-rushed Nebraska 157-84, out-passed the Huskers 279-213 and out-downed NU, 19-16.
The Cornhuskers finally broke the scoring ice on the first play of the fourth quarter when Churchich capped a 70-yard, 9-play with a 15-yard, scoring toss to junior fullback Dick Davis. Davis took the ball at the 10 and powered in for the Husker TD and Larry Wachholtz kicked the PAT.
Following the game, Nebraska Coach Bob Devaney confirmed what most of the fans were thinking when he said: "The Alabama team today is the best football team I've ever seen — they're No. 1, all right."
While the Cornhuskers had to lick their wounds for the second straight year after meeting Alabama, fired by national title hopes, they could look back on a scenic and entertaining visit to hospitable New Orleans and a pleasant (but work filled) training session in Brownsville, Tex., as a rewarding climax to another outstanding Nebraska football season.
PS: And Nebraska will play Alabama again — in 1977, if not before. As a result of the fine relations between the two schools during two bowl clashes, the Tide and the Huskers have signed for a home-and-home series in 1977 and 1978.
SOURCE: 1967 NU MEDIA GUIDE
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