Nov. 18, 1978
Missouri 7 7 14 7 - 35 Nebraska 14 3 14 0 - 31 First Quarter NEB - Rick Berns 82 run (Billy Todd kick) 14:42 MIZ - James Wilder 9 run (Jeff Brockhaus kick) 9:45 NEB - Junior Miller 2 pass from Tom Sorley (Todd kick) 2:06 Second Quarter NEB - Todd 27 field goal, 11:32 MIZ - Kellen Winslow 14 pass from Phil Bradley (Brockhaus kick) 6:28 Third Quarter NEB - Berns 2 run (Todd kick) 10:44 MIZ - Wilder 1 run (Brockhaus kick) 7:13 MIZ - Wilder 4 run (Brockhaus kick) 5:58 NEB - Tim Hager 4 run (Todd kick) 0:52 Fourth Quarter MIZ - Wilder 7 run (Brockhaus kick) 3:42 MU NU First Downs............. 25 27 Rushing Net............ 289 381 Passing Net .......... 187 136 Comp-Att-Int .... 10-21-0 9-14-1 Total Offense.......... 476 517 Return Yards .......... 101 85 Punts ................ 3-35 2-33 Fumbles Lost .......... 2-1 1-0 Penalties-Yards ...... 6-67 2-10LEADING NU RUSHER:
Rich Berns, 255.LEADING NU PASSER:
Tom Sorley, 8-13-1 for 131 yards.ATTENDANCE: 75,850NU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF GAME:
Rick Berns, 255 yards on 35 carries.
(New NU single-game records.)NU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF GAME:
Lee Kunz, 13 tackles.
After a big win over Oklahoma the previous week, Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne was concerned heading into the season finale against Missouri about the chance of a mental letdown against a tough and upset-minded Tiger squad. Osborne's worries turned into reality in the form of a 35-31 loss.
Rick Berns churned to a record-breaking 255 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries to set the Nebraska single-game rushing mark and the career rushing record of 2,605 yards. But Berns' performance wasn't enough to counter a potent Missouri attack, led by the running of James Wilder - with 181 yards and four touchdowns - and the pass receiving of All-Big 8 tight end Kellen Winslow.
Berns led off the scoring on the first play of the game from scrimmage by ripping off an 82-yard run. The early score was a sign of what was to come as both teams moved almost at will throughout the game and it was the last team to score that came away with the win.
The loss dropped Nebraska back into a tie for the conference title and brought a surprising rematch with Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.