Huskers Play-by-Play

  • Pre-Game
  • 1st Quarter
  • 2nd Quarter
  • Halftime
  • 3rd Quarter
  • 4th Quarter

    Nebraska vs. Tennessee


    18:57 CDT
    Good evening and Happy New Year, football fans.
    Welcome to the final textcast of the season, the Orange Bowl, featuring the Huskers versus the Tennessee Volunteers.

    18:59 CDT
    My name is Mike Nolan, I'll be behind the keyboard tonight. For those who don't know me, I've been the manager of the Huskers Mailing List since starting it in 1991.

    For more information on the Huskers List, send e-mail to [email protected]. An archive of the List is also available on this web site, at

    19:01 CDT
    In case anyone's been in a coma for a month, this is the final game for Tom Osborne as the head coach of Nebraska, after 25 years.

    It is also Peyton Manning's final game for Tennessee, and he has a 3-0 record in bowl games so far.
    Some pundits, most notably ESPN's Lee Corso, are still saying that Nebraska can win a share of the National Championship. It would take 23 coaches to switch their vote for this to happen.

    19:15 CDT
    Charles Woodson told the press last night that the National Championship race was over, and there was no need to even watch the Orange Bowl. Scott Frost's reply was that the media hasn't watched Nebraska all season, why should they start now?

    19:20 CDT
    The key to tonight's game will be how the Nebraska defense handles Peyton Manning, and how Manning's sore right knee handles the stress. Nobody seems to doubt that Nebraska will score on Tennessee, but if Manning can get enough time to hit his receivers deep, he has the skills to make it an exciting game. And Tennessee has a fair running game, too.

    We're about 20 minutes away from kickoff.

    19:22 CDT
    Weather could play a bit of a factor. It's not too hot, but it is fairly windy, and it swirls in Pro Player Stadium.

    19:25 CDT
    Well, there's at least one million dollar arm on the field tonight, some guy just won $1 million passing the football through a 30 inch circle about 10 yards away.

    19:29 CDT
    With all of the hoopla over Manning's knee, a lot less has been said about Joel Makovicka's sore knee and Jason Peter's sore back. Both are expected to start, but until they see some action we may not really know how healed they are.

    Tennessee is taking the field.

    1st Quarter

    19:33 CDT
    The Huskers will kick off to Tennessee to start the game.

    19:35 CDT
    Chris Brown is kicking into the wind, which blows the ball off the tee. The kick bounces through the end zone.

    19:36 CDT
    Manning back, hits Bryson for a 7 yard gain, but Tennessee is called for holding.

    That puts the ball on the 8, 1st and 22. Manning passes to Price at the 12.

    19:37 CDT
    2nd and 18: Lewis gets the handoff, has a yard up the middle but not much of a hole.

    19:37 CDT
    3rd and 17, shotgun. Shovel pass to Bryson, to the 19, Tennessee will have to punt.

    19:38 CDT
    Tennessee calls a time out, they didn't have enough players on the field.

    19:41 CDT
    Hogue gets the punt off, it will roll dead at the 2 yard line, a 78 yard punt.

    19:42 CDT
    And that wasn't even an Orange Bowl record punt.

    Makovicka, no gain.

    19:42 CDT
    Frost rolls right, gets to about the 4.

    19:44 CDT
    3rd and 8: Frost back, passes over Sheldon Jackson's head. Frost gets dumped by Brown after releasing the ball.

    The punt is taken at the 42, no, it's fumbled, picked up by Tennessee, tackled at the 38.

    19:47 CDT
    Call it the 37. Flags before the play gets going. procedure on Tennessee.

    That makes it 1st and 15 at the 32: Manning back, hits Bryson, he's down at the 35 by Swiney.

    19:48 CDT
    Shotgun, pass to Price, he's down at the 34, they lost a little on that one, McFarlin on the stop.

    19:50 CDT
    3rd and 12: Pass to Edmonds, Swiney on the stop, short of the 1st down yardage at the 37.

    This punt is taken by Newcombe at the 12, he's ruled down at the 22, the ball came free and I'm not sure who had it, but Nebraska will take over at the 22. Joel Makovicka appears to be having problems with his hamstring.

    19:52 CDT
    Legate is in at FB. Green gets the ball, gets back to the line but that's all.

    19:52 CDT
    Makovicka may not be back. Frost is taken down back at the 20.

    19:53 CDT
    Pass up the middle to Cheatham to the 28, short of the 1st.

    19:54 CDT
    Not a great punt by Kosch, it bounces to the 37.

    19:56 CDT
    Halfway through the first quarter, it's a scoreless game of field position, with Tennessee holding the upper hand so far, not that they've done much with it.
    Here's a deep pass downfield, over everybody's head. Another flag on the play, Nebraska was offsides.

    19:57 CDT
    Somebody lined up in the neutral zone.

    1st and 5: Lewis gets a yard to the 43.

    19:58 CDT
    Lewis again, he breaks a tackle and gets to the Husker 48, good for a first down.

    19:59 CDT
    Call it the 49. Manning hits McCullough up the middle at the 32.

    Lewis is inside the 30, they spot it nearly at the 28.

    20:00 CDT
    Manning throws a pass over Martin's hands.

    20:01 CDT
    3rd and 7: Pass complete at the 20 to Bryson.

    20:01 CDT
    Pitch to Lewis, he's upended and the ball comes free, Rucker falls on it at the 22.

    20:02 CDT
    Ralph Brown made the hit that caused the fumble.

    Green up the middle to the 26.

    20:03 CDT
    2nd and 6: Green, no gain.

    20:03 CDT
    3rd and 6: Frost drops back, he has Sheldon Jackson inside Tennessee territory at the 48.

    20:05 CDT
    Pitch to Green, but the refs blow the play dead. False start on the Huskers.

    20:05 CDT
    Too bad, that play had some distance potential, Tennessee was caught in the wrong defense.

    Pass complete to Davison at the 35, 1st down.

    20:07 CDT
    Frost has Newcome inside the 15 on the left sideline, he's down at the 12.

    Pitch to Wiggins from the double wing, he goes around the right corner and dives for the end zone, but will be marked down at the 2.

    20:09 CDT
    Green up the middle, he stretches for the goal line, but there's a flag down. Illegal participation on Tennessee, Green was short of the goal line, they'll take the penalty.

    Green gets it, goes airborne, he's in the end zone.

    Touchdown Nebraska

    20:10 CDT
    The PAT is good.

    Nebraska: 7 Tennessee: 0
    20:11 CDT
    1:10 left in the quarter. The kick bounces at the 10, is picked up at the 5, brought out to the 17.

    20:12 CDT
    Lewis to the 21, a gain of 4.

    20:14 CDT
    Peebles, a Tennessee tight end, is assisted off the field, with a sore ankle.

    Levine gets the ball and has some running room, stopped by Ortiz at the 47.
    Manning's pass is nearly picked off by Mike Brown, it was short of the receiver, Bryson.

    20:15 CDT
    It's starting to rain.

    Pass is tiped and intercepted by Warfield, he takes it to the Tennessee 26. And that play will end the first quarter.

    2nd Quarter

    20:19 CDT
    Carlos Polk hurt his shoulder, they're taking him into the locker room for observation.
    That interception should be charged to the receiver, not to Manning.
    Frost keeps it, no gain.

    20:20 CDT
    There was a strange play, it was a reverse to Newcombe, but it almost looked like he wasn't expecting the ball, he's nailed back at the 31.

    3rd and 14: Frost on the draw play, he gets to the 25, a flag comes out, holding on Nebraska.

    20:21 CDT
    Tennessee takes the penalty, which may push the Huskers out of field goal range but gives them another play. Polk may have broken his collarbone.

    Pass complete to Green, he's down at the 42, a loss of 3 on the play.

    20:23 CDT
    So Kosch comes in for the punt, it's fumbled, Lance Brown comes up with it and runs it into the end zone, but the touchdown won't count, Nebraska ball on the 15.

    Makovicka is inside the 10 to the 8, that looks like the Joel Makovicka we've seen all season.

    20:24 CDT
    Some kind of flag on the Huskers, too many men on the field, that'll push the Huskers back to the 13, they couldn't get the time out called before the flag came out.

    Late pitch to Green, he's out just inside the 10.

    20:25 CDT
    Pitch to Wiggins, he breaks a tackle and gets into the end zone.

    Toucdown Nebraska

    20:28 CDT
    The PAT is good.

    Game period: 2nd Quarter
    Nebraska: 14 Tennessee: 0
    Time Remaining: 11:20
    20:29 CDT
    Wiggins is the leading rusher in the game.

    The kickoff is short, taken by Darden and brought out to the 35. Chris Brown isn't happy with that one.

    20:31 CDT
    Call it the 37. Lewis to the 43.

    2nd and 5: Pass complete across the 50 at the 47, there's a flag on the play. Holding on the Huskers is declined. 1st down from the play.

    20:33 CDT
    Manning gets the pass off, it's low but Copeland scoops it off the turf at the 34.

    Pass to Lewis, he's out of bounds at the 32.
    Lewis to the 30.
    3rd and 6: Pass complete to Copeland at the 27, he'll be short of the 1st down.

    20:34 CDT
    Hall in for a 44 yard field goal attempt, it's good.

    Field Goal, Tennessee

    Game period: 2nd Quarter
    Nebraska: 14 Tennessee: 3
    Time Remaining: 8:28
    20:37 CDT
    That was an important drive for Tennessee. They didn't get into the end zone, but they did get on the board. Manning looked under control, though I think he would have liked to go for it on 4th down.
    The ball blows off the tee, someone will hold it.
    Wiggins at the 5, spins through a tackle and gets to the 34.

    20:38 CDT
    Green breaks a tackle, gets to the 43.

    Green again, he has a first down at the 47.

    20:39 CDT
    It looks like the success passing may be opening up the Nebraska running game, now that's a switch. Frost keeps it, gets to the 49.

    2nd and 6: Frost keeps it, gets across midfield to the 49.

    20:41 CDT
    3rd and 4: Frost escapes being sacked, gets the pass off, Sheldon Jackson has it on the Tennessee 35.

    Frost over the middle, Newcome has it go through his fingers inside the 10.

    20:41 CDT
    Frost keeps it, goes left, he's pulled down from behind at the 36.

    20:43 CDT
    3rd and 10, shotgun, Frost is short trying to get it to Cheatham.

    Kosch comes in for the punt. It goes 7 yards deep into the end zone.

    20:45 CDT
    5:24 left in the first half. Lewis gets 5 up the middle.

    20:47 CDT
    Pass is a little short of the receiver, McCullough.

    3rd and 5: Manning under pressure, gets the pass off, but throws it over Lewis's head under pressure.

    20:47 CDT
    Newcombe has the punt at the 20, he's down at the 31.

    Game period: 2nd Quarter
    Time Remaining: 4:31
    20:50 CDT
    Pitch to Green, he slips at the 29, a loss of 2.

    2nd and 12: Frost rolls right, throws to Newcombe, who's knocked down. A late flag comes out, interference on the Vols.

    20:51 CDT
    That'll give the Huskers a 1st down, but Fulmer doesn't like the call.

    Green is close to midfield, but a flag comes out. Holding on the Huskers.

    20:52 CDT
    Shovel pass to Green, he gets to the right sideline and all the way to the Tennessee 36, that's a first down.

    20:53 CDT
    Newcombe got the block that sprung Green.

    Thompson comes off for Tennessee.
    Green up the middle, breaks a tackle and is finally stopped at the 27.

    20:56 CDT
    Green to the 26.

    They measure for the first down, 2:16 left in the half, first down Huskers.
    Late pitch to Sims, for a gain of 1.

    20:56 CDT
    Makovicka up the middle to the 23.

    20:58 CDT
    3rd and 7, about 1:30 left in the half, Wiggins to the 15, he'll be close to the 1st down, but they spot it well short. They finally decide to measure, it's about a foot short, the Huskers will go for it on 4th down. That took about 20 seconds too long. Frost sneaks for the 1st down, gets all the way to the 13.

    20:59 CDT
    Frost wants to change the play, he's hit and the ball comes loose, Tennessee has it. 34 seconds left in the half.

    21:00 CDT
    Tennessee has two time outs left, and plenty of time for a couple of deep ones by Manning.

    21:01 CDT
    Well, maybe the Huskers should have tried the field goal.

    Lewis has a big hole, he's dragging players with him all the way to the 42.

    21:05 CDT
    The Vols call time out with 26 seconds left in the half.

    Manning is hit just as he lets go of the pass, it isn't near a receiver as a result. Not a sack, but almost as good.
    Manning gets it off, Nash gets it, a great catch, he's down at the Nebraska 40. Tennessee uses their last time out.
    Pass complete to Polk, he'd down and they won't get another play off, that'll end the half.

    21:07 CDT
    Manning was really upset that they couldn't get up to the line and spike the ball. I guess he knows how Ryan Leaf felt yesterday.

    Game period: Halftime
    Nebraska: 14 Tennessee: 3


    21:20 CDT
    They got the Orange Bowl Spectacular cranked up faster than normal, I wonder if that means the 2nd half will actually start by 9:40 or so?

    21:22 CDT
    Some stats. The Huskers have 178 total yards, 69 on the ground, 109 in the air. Tennessee has 176 yards, 80 on the ground, 96 in the air. Manning is 13-19 passing with one interception. Frost is 7-10 passing with no interceptions. Tennessee lost two fumbles, Nebraska lost one.

    21:25 CDT
    More stats: Frost has 3 yards on 11 carries, Makovicka 11 yards on 4 carries, Green 31 yards on 11 carries, Wiggins 28 yards on 3 carries. Wiggins also has 46 yards on 3 receptions.

    21:27 CDT
    The teams are coming back on the field, this game might actually resume on time.

    3rd Quarter

    21:33 CDT
    The kickoff to start the 2nd half goes deep into the end zone, Nebraska will start at its own 20.
    Green to the 25.
    Frost pitches at the last minute, Green gets across the 30 and has a first down. Frost took a big hit on that.

    21:34 CDT
    Green to the 35.

    2nd and 6: Makovicka gets the quick hit through the line, he's all the way to the Tennessee 41 before Fair brings him down. Looks like Joel may have reinjured his hamstring on that one though.
    Frost keeps it, he's to the 37.

    21:35 CDT
    Green up the middle, upended at the 25 and down at the 22.

    21:37 CDT
    Green across the 20.

    2nd and 6 at the 19: Shotgun, draw play to the 13, close to the 1st down, they'll measure. first down.

    21:37 CDT
    Newcome gets the handoff from the double wing formation, he bulls his way inside to the 4.

    21:39 CDT
    Green is stacked up and finally stopped at the 2, that's first and goal.

    Green up the middle, just short of the goal line.

    21:39 CDT
    Frost over the middle, he's over the line.

    Touchdown Nebraska

    21:41 CDT
    Well, that's more rushing yardage on that drive than Nebraska had in the entire first half. Makes one wonder what Osborne told his team in the locker room, doesn't it?
    The PAT is good.

    Game period: 3rd Quarter
    Nebraska: 21 Tennessee: 3
    Time Remaining: 10:11
    21:44 CDT
    Peyton Manning looked a little stunned on the sidelines during that drive.

    The ball is brought out to the 27, now it's Manning's turn to see what halftime has wrought. Scott Frost has leg cramps.
    Lewis to the 28.

    21:44 CDT
    Lewis again, he gets back to the line, maybe to the 29.

    21:45 CDT
    3rd and 8, Manning back, he's sacked by Rucker back at the 17. That's the first time Manning has been sacked today, he was sacked just 12 times during the season.

    21:46 CDT
    Houge's punt hits around midfield and bounces to the 38, but Nebraska will be pushed back 10 for an illegal block, despite not touching the ball.

    21:48 CDT
    I don't really understand why Tennessee started off with two running plays on that drive.

    Green is to the 35.

    21:49 CDT
    Green to the 36 up the middle, not much of a hole on that play.

    21:50 CDT
    Pitch to Green, he's into the secondary and is pulled down at the 21.

    21:51 CDT
    Makovicka up the middle to the 16.

    21:51 CDT
    Green up the middle, stopped just outside the 10. 1st down.

    21:52 CDT
    Frost keeps it, breaks a tackle and gets into the end zone, but there's a flag, hold on, offsides on Tennessee is declined, touchdown!

    Touchdown Nebraska!

    21:53 CDT
    The PAT is good, and Nebraska has doubled its score in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half.

    Game period: 3rd Quarter
    Nebraska: 28 Tennessee: 3
    Time Remaining: 5:07
    21:54 CDT
    If Tennessee is to make a move, they better do it on this series, Nebraska is taking control of the clock and the game.

    21:57 CDT
    Brown's kick is picked up at the 10, brought out to the 27.

    Shotgun, Pass to Nash, gain of 4, it was low so he couldn't do much with it.
    Another pass to Nash is over the hands of the defender, a good catch.
    Ball at the NU 48. Lewis, tripped up at the 41.

    21:58 CDT
    Call it the 42, 2nd and 3: Manning back, pass to Nash, they wave it off.

    21:58 CDT
    Manning is under pressure, gets the pass off but it is short of the receiver.

    21:59 CDT
    The Vols go for it on 4th down, pass complete to Copeland, good for the first down at the 37.

    Lewis slips a tackle and is brought down at the 27.

    22:00 CDT
    Lewis is through into the secondary, runs into one of his own blockers and that's the only reason he didn't score. First down on the Nebraska 5.

    22:01 CDT
    Manning rolls right, under pressure, gets a pass off, complete to Price in the end zone.

    Touchdown Tennessee

    22:02 CDT
    They go for 2. Shotgun, Pass is short of the receiver.

    Game period: 3rd Quarter
    Nebraska: 28 Tennessee: 9
    Time Remaining: 1:58
    22:04 CDT
    A good drive for Tennessee, but it took a lot of time, and Tennessee needs to stop Nebraska from further scoring or they're not going to be able to make up the difference.

    The kickoff is downed in the end zone.

    22:05 CDT
    A Tennessee player is down on the kickoff play, DeAngelo Lloyd. He's helped off the field with a problem on his left leg.

    22:06 CDT
    Green up the middle, through the first wave and into the clear, they catch up with him but not until he gets 47 yards to the Vol 33.

    Makovicka up the middle to the 25.

    22:07 CDT
    Nebraska now has 271 yards rushing on the game.

    Green to the 22, another first down.

    22:08 CDT
    Pitch to Green, he's into the end zone standing up.

    Touchdown Nebraska.

    22:09 CDT
    The PAT is good.

    Nebraska: 35 Tennessee: 9
    22:11 CDT
    The ball blows off the tee just as Brown gets to it.

    The kick is taken at the 10, brought out to the 29.

    22:12 CDT
    Lewis gets to the 34, that should be the final play of the 3rd quarter.

    4th Quarter

    22:15 CDT
    Barring overtime, 15 minutes left to the coaching career of Tom Osborne, and it looks like his players plan to give him their best effort. The offense is in high gear, now it's the Blackshirts turn.
    Shotgun, Pass to Nash at the 36.

    22:16 CDT
    Pass to Lewis in the flag, he's brought down short of the 1st down by Harrison.

    22:17 CDT
    Tennessee sends in the punter, there's a flag before they get the play off, looks like Wistrom may have conned an offensive lineman into moving before the snap, the NFL is going to LOVE that move.

    The punt is taken by Wiggins at the 19, he gets to the 28.

    Game period: 4th Quarter
    Time Remaining: 13:32
    22:20 CDT
    Sims gets back to the line, but that's all.

    22:22 CDT
    Frost completes a pass to Sheldon Jackson for a 1st down.

    Frost keeps it, gets out to the 45.
    2nd and 3: Sims is across midfield to the Vol 48, another first down.

    22:22 CDT
    Frost keeps it, gets to the 37, another first down.

    22:23 CDT
    Green loses yardage on that play, back to the 39.

    Frost keeps it, he's down to the 27, that'll be close to the first down.

    22:24 CDT
    A little over a yard to go. Green tries to fight for the yardage, but he won't quite have it.

    22:25 CDT
    Nebraska will go for it on 4th and 1. A late pitch is behind Green, he can't get to it, the ball is bobbled around, Tennesse will take over at about the 40.

    22:28 CDT
    That gives Tennessee some life, but they need to score a lot of points in a hurry at this point, and the Nebraska offense is very good at taking time off the clock.

    The ball is at the 31. Pass up the middle, incomplete, the receiver, Nash, comes up limping after the play.
    Screen pass to Lewis, he'll lose yardage on it. Wistrom and Wiltz on the tackle. It's raining again.

    22:30 CDT
    3rd and 14, Manning throws it away under pressure.

    Here's Hogue to punt again, it bounces to the 34.

    Game period: 4th Quarter
    Time Remaining: 8:17
    22:32 CDT
    It's getting close to the time when one would expect the Huskers to go to the reserves. Sims has been spelling Green some already, and the Huskers have been doing a lot of substitution on defense to keep people fresh.

    The fans are cheering 'We're number 1'. Green to the 35.

    22:34 CDT
    Newcombe gets the pitch and is down to the 16, but there's a flag on the play downfield, and this one will probably come back. Illegal block in the back, that'll put the ball back at the Nebraska 38, 2nd and 6.

    Pitch to Green, he's to the 47. He's closing in on the Orange Bowl rushing record, he has about 190 and the record is 205.

    22:35 CDT
    Makovica up the middle through traffic for a first down.

    Ball at the 38. Sims gets to the 23.

    22:37 CDT
    Green is one yard short of the Orange Bowl record at the moment. Buckhalter in, he carries several Vols to the 15.

    22:40 CDT
    I may have lost some text here. Makovicka fumbled the ball, but the Huskers recovered. Frost just scored standing up from about 10 yards out.

    The PAT is good.

    Touchdown Nebraska

    Game period: 4th Quarter
    Nebraska: 42 Tennessee: 9
    Time Remaining: 4:24
    22:42 CDT
    Brown finally gets a kickoff into the endzone.
    Tee Martin comes in for Tennessee at QB>
    Manning looks a bit glum on the sideline. A gain of 1 on 1st down.
    Martin passes to Bryson at the 29.

    22:44 CDT
    3rd and 1: Running play, it just gets the 1st down yardage.

    Under 3 minutes left in the game.
    Martin hits McCullough at about midfield, he's out of bounds at the Husker 42.

    22:44 CDT
    Martin hits Wilson at the 28, another 1st down.

    22:46 CDT
    Martin goes down, he loses his helmet in the process, and there's flags on the field. Holding on Nebraska. 1st down at the Nebraska 18. 2:04 left on the clock.

    22:47 CDT
    Stevens to the 15.

    Martin goes left, he's down inside the 5.
    Tennessee calls time out with 1:02 left in the game.

    22:51 CDT
    1st and goal at the 3: Martin hits McCullough for a touchdown.

    Wistom and Peter have the Gatoraid jug and are heading towards Tom Osborne.
    The Vols go for 2, it's a pass to Stevens.

    Game period: 4th Quarter
    Nebraska: 42 Tennessee: 17
    Time Remaining: 0:58
    22:54 CDT
    The crowd is cheering "Osborne, Osborne".

    Tom hands his orange bowl championship hat to someone else, he's satisfied with the one he has, I guess.
    Tennessee will try the onsides kick. They touch it before it goes 10 yards, it went out of bounds, the Huskers will take over at the Tennessee 45.
    Osborne just got the Gatoraid.
    London in at QB. Alexander gets to the 43.

    22:54 CDT
    The crowd gets louder. Buckhalter to the 40, that will be the final play of the Osborne era at Nebraska.

    23:00 CDT
    Manning says the turnovers really killed them. It looks like there are only Nebraska fans left in the stands, the players from both teams appear to be saying a prayer together at midfield.

    Well, who knows what the voters will do at this point, CBS is doing its best to try to talk up the virtue of co-champions, but will Tennessee's late score be a factor? 42-17 is a pretty impressive victory, the Huskers had 340 rushing yards in the 2nd half, after getting just 69 in the 1st half.

    23:04 CDT
    Full statistics and plenty of debate on the polls will be on the Huskers List, in fact, it's probably already started.

    For more information on the Huskers List, send e-mail to [email protected].
    This will conclude today's textcast. Thanks, Dr. Tom Osborne, for the finest 25 years of football any coach has ever put together, 255 wins, 49 losses, 3 ties.
    I'm Mike Nolan, thanks for reading along. Goodnight.