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Arizona State stops Nebraska in Fiesta Bowl

Huskers' consecutive bowl win streak ends at six

Tempe, Arizona (December 27, 1975) — In a game that was as seething as the Arizona sunshine, Arizona State defeated Nebraska 17-14 in the 1975 Fiesta Bowl, halting the Cornhuskers consecutive bowl game winning streak at six.

Right up to the end, the Huskers were in winning contention, even after Sun Devil kicker Danny Kush had put Arizona State on top 17-14, with a 29-yard field goal and only 4:50 left to play.

Then the Huskers, behind quarterback Terry Luck who had replaced starter Vince Ferragamo in the first quarter, gallantly started a drive at the Nebraska 27 yard line, following Curtis Craig's 17-yard kickoff return.

Nebraska hammered to the Arizona State 31 in 10 plays, where the Cornhuskers were faced with a first and ten situation. The Huskers' first two plays were incomplete passes from Luck to split end Bobby Thomas.

1975fiesta_tonydavis (41K)
Tony Davis fights for yardage
1975fiesta_tonydavis (41K)
Tony Davis fights for yardage
But on third down, Luck hit fullback Tony Davis with a pass at the ASU 21. There, Davis was hit hard by two Sun Devil players and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Arizona State, and the Huskers were on their way to their first bowl loss in six years. It was an unfortunate circumstance for Davis to end his great three-year Husker career. For during the Fiesta Bowl battle, Davis became the all-time leading Nebraska rusher, finishing his Nebraska stint with 2,445 yards, 25 more than Jeff Kinney (1969-71).

It was a defensive struggle all the way, with Arizona State scoring first, on a 27-yard field goal by Kush with 10:48 left in the first quarter.

Nebraska then countered to take a 7-3 lead with 7:50 remaining in the first half, when I-back Monte Anthony scored from one yard out, climaxing an eight play, one-penalty, 73-yard drive.

Kush, son of ASU coach Frank Kush, struck the Huskers again before the first half ended, this time on a 33-yarder with no time left on the clock, pulling the Sun Devils to within one, at 7-6.

In the third quarter, the Huskers put together their best drive of the day, 91 yards in 16 plays and a penalty, scoring on a four-yard run by Anthony with 5:49 left and increasing Nebraska's lead to 14-6.

But the Huskers could not stop Arizona State's fourth-quarter barrage, which included a 10-yard Fred Mortensen to John Jefferson touchdown pass and a two-point play to go along with Kush's winning field goal, giving ASU the final 17-14 win.

It was ironic that Nebraska's bowl winning streak would be stopped at six by a field goal, when that same mark was reached following Mike Coyle's field goal that gave the Huskers a 13-10 win over Florida in the 1974 Sugar Bowl game.