Official recapNo. 1 ranked Nebraska, seeking its third straight national title, had its 32-game success string abruptly snapped by UCLA in the 1972 opener. With 67,702 fans packing the LA Coliseum, Efren Herrera kicked a 30-yard field goal with only 22 seconds left in the game to trip the Cornhuskers, 20-17. It was the first loss in 33 games for the Huskers, dating back to the Missouri game in 1969. It also snapped a 23-game winning streak — both marks tops in the nation.
UCLA, pepped by new quarterback Mark Harmon and running back James McAllister, jumped off to a 10-0 lead before the sputtering Huskers got on the board with a 28-yard Rich Sanger field goal. Johnny Rodgers' 11-yard TD run made it 10-10 at halftime, but UCLA refused to fold.
Continued miscues in the second half — Nebraska had four fumbles and two pass interceptions — gave UCLA a solid opportunity, and the Bruins capitalized. A pass interception that was returned to the Husker 15 set up a third-quarter Bruin score, provided on Harmon's two-yard run.
Humm countered by pitching a 44-yard TD pass to Jerry List for a 17-17 tie. However, the Huskers couldn't move in two subsequent possessions and UCLA finally marched from its own 43 to the NU 12 before Efren Herrera kicked the winning field goal.
Sept. 9, 1972
Los Angeles, CA
Nebraska 0 10 0 7 - 17 UCLA 3 7 7 3 - 20 First Quarter UCLA - Efren Herrera 27 field goal, 4:26 Second Quarter UCLA - Brad Lyman 46 pass from Mark Harmon (Herrera kick) 13:25 NEBR - Rich Sanger 28 field goal, 5:48 NEBR - Johnny Rodgers 11 run (Sanger kick) 2:26 Third Quarter UCLA - Harmon 2 run (Herrera kick) 7:21 Fourth Quarter NEBR - Jerry List 44 pass from Dave Humm (Sanger kick) 14:01 UCLA - Herrera 30 field goal, 0:22 NU UCLA First Downs ............ 18 13 Rushing, Net ....... 48-174 61-219 Passing, Net............146 65 Comp-Att-Int ...... 8-21-2 4-8-0 Total Offense ......... 320 284 Punts-Average ...... 2-37.0 7-38.0 Fumbles-Lost .......... 4-3 1-0 LEADING NU RUSHERS: Gary Dixon 15-65, Johnny Rodgers 7-43, Dave Goeller 6-45, Bill Olds 10-20, Maury Damkroger 6-19 LEADING NU PASSER: Dave Humm, 8 of 21 - 146. LEADING NU RECEIVERS: Jerry List 3-74, Johnny Rodgers 3-63 NU TOTAL OFFENSE LEADER: Dave Humm - 126. ATTENDANCE: 67,702 NU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF GAME: Johnny Rodgers. NU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF GAME: Rich Glover. MORE INDIVIDUAL STATS