The Huskers, who had had four weeks of uncertainty regarding the starting quarterback situation, suddenly found all questions answered when sophomore Turner Gill got his first start. He responded by completing nine of 14 passes for 178 yards and a school-record-tying four touchdowns, and guiding the Big Red to 719 yards' total offense and an NCAA-record 42 first downs in a 59-0 romp over Colorado in the Big Eight opener.
With Gill at the controls, Nebraska scored on its first three possessions and rolled to a 38-0 halftime lead. The Huskers added three more scores in the third quarter, then coasted to the win.
The game also marked the starting debut for Mike Rozier at I-back and the first shutout of the season for the Black Shirt defense. Rozier, who alternated the rest of the season with Roger Craig, rushed for 95 yards and scored two TDs, while the defense held the Buffs to 146 yards of total offense and nine first downs.
Oct. 10, 1981
Colorado 0 0 0 0 - 0 Nebraska 14 24 21 0 - 59 NU - Mike Rozier 3 run (Kevin Seibel kick) NU - Anthony Steels 15 pass from Turner Gill (Seibel kick) NU - Rozier 5 run (Seibel kick) NU - Phil Bates 9 pass from Gill (Seibel kick) NU - Todd Brown 45 pass from Gill (Seibel kick) NU - FG Seibel 37 NU - Brown 38 pass from Gill (Seibel kick) NU - Bates 9 run (Seibel kick) NU - Mark Moravec 11 run (Tim Hagerman kick) CU NU First downs 9 42 Rushes-yards 40-107 74-541 Passing yards 39 178 Return yards 0 50 Passes 4-15-2 9-16-0 Punts 8-46.0 2-36.5 Fumbles-lost 0-0 5-1 Penalties-yards 3-18 6-71 Time of possession 26:27 33:33 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS Rushing CU: Rich Johnson 11-64, Derek Singleton 13-41. NU: Roger Craig 11-96, Rozier 11-95, Bates 7-53, Bruce Mathison 7-53, Gill 6-46, Moravec 7-46, Steels 4-44, Tim Brungardt 8-43, Bill Patterson 2-21. Passing CU: Randy Essington 4-15-39. NU: Gill 9-14-0-178. Receiving CU: Vic James 1-17, Dave Hestera 1-10. NU: Steels 3-45. Brown 2-83, Craig 2-25. A-76,168