Playing without star quarterback Dave Humm for over half the game, Nebraska's bubble burst earlier than expected as the Huskers fell to the Wisconsin Badgers 21-20.
Playing before a regional ABC-TV audience and 73,381 in Camp Randall Stadium, the Huskers, playing without Humm, who suffered a hip pointer in the first quarter, battled courageously to a 17-14 fourth-quarter lead against the fired-up Badgers.
Then with 4:21 left in the game, Mike Coyle successfully kicked a 22-yard Husker field goal, giving Nebraska a 6-point lead with little time remaining. But catastrophe was about to strike.
Badger quarterback Gregg Bohlig, faced with a second and 16 from his own 23, rolled right and hit flanker Jeff Mack with a 77-yard TD pass, and with the successful kick, Wisconsin led Nebraska 21-20. It was also to be the final score.
Humm's injury proved costly for the Huskers. Nebraska outrushed the Badgers 258 to 77, but Wisconsin outpassed the Huskers 242-47.
H'MAX NOTES: Coyle's field goal with 4:21 remaining came after the Huskers had picked up a first down at the Wisconsin 2 yard line. NU's offense was stymied on its three plays before the kick. ... The Badgers sealed the victory when safety Steve Wagner intercepted an Earl Everett pass with 2:40 left. ... The Huskers entered the game as 15-point favorites.
Sept. 21, 1974
Nebraska 7 7 3 3 — 20 Wisconsin 0 7 0 14 — 21 First quarter NEB — Don Westbrook 22 run (Mike Coyle kick), 6:13 Second quarter WIS — Ron Egloff 9 pass from Gregg Bohlig (Vince Lamia kick), 6:14 NEB — John O'Leary 6 run (Coyle kick), 0:20 Third quarter NEB — Coyle 30 field goal, 10:15 Fourth quarter WIS — Bill Marek 1 run (Lamia kick), 14:16 NEB — Coyle 22 field goal, 4:21 WIS — Jeff Mack 77 pass from Bohlig (Lamia kick), 3:29 NU WIS First Downs ................ 19 14 Rushing, Net............... 258 77 Passing, Net............... 47 242 Comp-Att-Int ......... 5-13-2 14-21-1 Total Offense ............. 305 319 Return yards ............... 35 6 Punts-Avg. ............... 5-40 5-32 Fumbles-Lost .............. 4-2 3-2 Penalties-Yds. ........... 3-15 2-20 LEADING NU RUSHERS: John O'Leary 86, Tony Davis 76. LEADING NU PASSERS: Dave Humm 2-6-0, Earl Everett 3-7-1. NU TOTAL OFFENSE LEADER: John O'Leary 94. ATTENDANCE: 73,381 NU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: John O'Leary (Note: O'Leary played three-quarters of the game with a broken jaw. He was lost to the Huskers for the next three games.) NU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tom Ruud.