Nebraska exploded for two touchdowns within six seconds midway in the third quarter to break up a close game, and the Huskers went on to crush Florida State, 34-14, in the home opener.
The Huskers were leading, 10-7, when Irving Fryar returned a punt 82 yards for a TD with 8:31 left, then, on the ensuing kickoff, Tony Felici picked a fumble out of mid-air and ran 13 yards to score at the 8:25 mark to give Nebraska an insurmountable 24-7 lead.
The Seminoles did pull back within 27-14 midway in the fourth quarter, but Roger Craig's 94-yard touchdown run put the game away—in addition to tying the Nebraska record for longest touchdown run and wrapping up a 234-yard day for Craig, which earned him national back-of-the-week honors.
Felici came off the bench to record 13 tackles, earn Big Eight defensive player-of-the-week honors and nail down a starting job at defensive right end.
Florida State 14
Sept. 19, 1981
Florida State 0 7 0 7 - 14 Nebraska 10 0 14 10 - 34 1st quarter NEB - Nate Mason 8 run (Kevin Seibel kick) NEB - FG Seibel 24 2nd quarter FSU - Ricky Williams 1 run (Mike Rendina kick) 3rd quarter NEB - Irving Fryar 82 punt return (Seibel kick) NEB - Tony Felici 13 fumble return (Seibel kick) 4th quarter NEB - FG Eddie Neil 21 FSU - Dennis McKinnon 3 pass from Rick Stockstill (Rendina kick) NEB - Roger Craig 94 run (Seibel kick) FSU NEB First downs 15 22 Rushes-yards 41-54 63-472 Passing yards 173 31 Return yards 1 151 Passes 16-26-1 3-8-1 Punts 8-51.1 2-33.5 Fumbles-lost 3-2 4-4 Penalties-yards 3-43 9-71 Time of possession 30:25 29:35 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS Rushing FSU: Williams 13-29, Billy Allen 5-16. NEB: Craig 20-234, Mike Rozier 11-72, Phil Bates 8-66, Mason 13-63. Passing FSU: Stockstill 16-25-1-173. NEB: Mason 2-7-1-15, Turner Gill 1-1-0-16. Receiving FSU: Sam Childers 5-47, Williams 4-86, McKinnon 3-24. NEB: Jamie Williams 3-32. Attendance - 76,289