HUSKERS SHAKE LSU, WIN SUGAR BOWL, 28-10
NEW ORLEANS, La. (Jan. 1, 1985) - Nebraska spotted Louisiana State a 10-0 lead, then roared back on the passing arm of quarterback Craig Sundberg to take a 28-10 victory in the 1985 Sugar Bowl.
It was the second Sugar Bowl title in three attempts for the Cornhuskers, and the crowd of 75,608 in the Superdome saw a wide-open contest right from the start.
LSU took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on Ronnie Lewis' 37-yard field goal, and Dalton Hilliard bucked over from the 2 in the second quarter to put the Tigers up, 10-0.
It took the Huskers just six plays to fire back into the game as I-back Doug DuBose began to flash the form that netted him over 1,000 yards and the Big Eight rushing title during the regular season, and Sundberg unlimbered his arm. After DuBose picked up chunks of 10 and 12 yards, Sundberg flipped a screen pass to the dazzling sophomore and Doug streaked 31 yards to score.
LSU had another scoring opportunity before halftime, but the drive stalled with an unsuccessful field goal and it stayed 10-7, thanks to a pair of LSU interceptions and a Nebraska fumble recovery by Ken Graeber and a Husker interception by Marc Munford (the first of five against LSU).
Nebraska thwarted the Tigers early in the third quarter when Chad Daffer intercepted at the Husker 33, and the Huskers wasted no more time in grabbing the lead. The drive, which included a pair of runs by DuBose and a 17-yard Sundberg pass to tight end Brian Hiemer, resulted in a 14-10 led for Nebraska when Sundberg kept and sprinted 9 yards to score.
In the fourth quarter, the Huskers used a long drive and a turnover for a quick touchdown to slam the door on the dogged Tigers. With DuBose leading the ground attack, Nebraska marched from its own 17 to score. Once again, it was Sundberg spotting tight end Todd Frain and firing a 24-yard TD strike.
Three plays later, with Nebraska leading, 21-10, Tiger quarterback Jeff Wickersham attempted a pass and it was intercepted by Husker end Scott Strasburger at the LSU 34. After Shane Swanson gained 11 on a Wingback reverse, and Scott Porter gained six on a fullback plunge, Sundberg again took to the air and hit Frain with a 17-yard touchdown toss. Dale Klein again converted for a 28-10 lead and Nebraska had clinched another bowl victory.
Sundberg won the Miller Digby Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player over teammate DuBose, and it was a fitting climax to a frustrating senior season for the Lincoln standout who lost the starting job to Travis Turner midway through the year because of an shoulder injury.
But what a night he had in the Superdome: completed 10 of 15 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns, and scored once himself on a 9-yard run.
The victory brought Coach Tom Osborne his seventh post-season win in 12 consecutive games, and boosted Nebraska's all-time bowl mark to 13-10. The Huskers have now appeared in 16 consecutive post-season games, the top current mark in the country.
SOURCE: 1985 NU MEDIA GUIDE
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