It was definitely a "good news-bad news" game for Nebraska, but the Huskers' 31-7 win over Iowa State was certainly no laughing matter.
First, the good news. Nebraska erupted for 24 fourth-quarter points to break a 7-7 tie and down the stubborn Cyclones. The win was the seventh in a row for the Huskers, and combined with Missouri's 19-14 win over Oklahoma the same afternoon, clinched Nebraska's first outright Big Eight title in 10 seasons.
Now, the bad news. At some point in the second half, quarterback Turner Gill received what at first appeared to be a relatively minor leg bruise, but one which later that night caused nerve damage in his leg, forcing him to miss the rest of the season, and at least temporarily called in question his athletic future.
In that fourth quarter, though, the Husker rally took place in just 5:20, with the back-breaker a 63-yard punt return TD by Irving Fryar.
HMAX NOTES: Husker wingback Anthony Steels sang the national anthem before the game and caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. ... ISU running back Dwayne Crutchfield rushed for 98 yards in the first half but was held to minus-1 yard in the second half.
Iowa State 7
Nov. 14, 1981
Iowa State 0 7 0 0 - 7 Nebraska 0 7 0 24 - 31 ISU - Dwayne Crutchfield 2 run (Alex Giffords kick) NEB - Mike Rozier 4 run (Kevin Seibel kick) NEB - FG Eddie Neil 49 NEB - Irving Fryar 63 punt return (Seibel kick) NEB - Anthony Steels 3 pass from Turner Gill (Seibel kick) NEB - Phil Bates 11 run (Seibel kick) A-76,258 ISU NU First downs 13 15 Rushes-yards 43-161 51-205 Passing yards 85 67 Return yards 6 110 Passes 17-25-2 7-17-1 Punts 8-39.4 6-47.0 Fumbles-lost 3-2 4-3 Penalties-yards 5-48 3-36 Time of possession 31:33 28:27INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Iowa State, Crutchfield 25-97, John Quinn 8-25. Nebraska.
Rozier 14-62, Roger Craig 11-52, Bates 9-43, Gill 8-22.
Iowa State, Quinn 16-23-2-77.
Nebraska, Gill 5-15-1-50, Mauer 1-1-0-10.
Iowa State, Jerry Lorenzen 4-17, Doran Geise 3-25, Tommy Davis 3-10, Rocky Gillis 2-12, Crutchfield 2-11.
Nebraska, Steels 3-28, Todd Brown 2-22.