Houston, Texas, Dec. 31, 1976--In the most exciting bowl game of the year, the Nebraska Cornhuskers edged a determined Texas Tech team, 27-24, in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.

Twice Nebraska rallied to overcome 10-point deficits. With Texas Tech ahead 17-7 and time running out in the second quarter, quarterback Vince Ferragamo moved the Cornhuskers 80 yards in less than two minutes to score on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Mark Dufresne. But Texas Tech running back Billy Taylor countered early in the third quarter with an 8-yard TD run to open the gap to 24-14.

Once again, the Cornhuskers started to work on the Texas Tech lead. I-back Rick Berns broke around the right end and dashed untouched 18 yards into the end zone to put Nebraska within three. The Huskers took the lead when Ferragamo connected with split end Chuck Malito for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Malito gained 107 yards in three catches to earn most valuable lineman honors in the game. Malito's touchdown, which proved to be the winning score, was set up by a partially blocked punt by defensive backs Ted Harvey and Kent Smith.

The final score was in doubt until defensive end Reg Gast recovered a Red Raider fumble with 1:34 left in the game. The fumble killed a Tech threat and allowed Nebraska to run out the clock.

1976 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl

Teams

1

2

3

4

Final

Nebraska

7

7

13

0

27

Texas Tech

3

14

7

0

24


Statistics

NU

TTU

First Downs

21

24

Rushing, Net

164

191

Passes Att., Comp., Int.

24-14-0

23-15-0

Passing, Net

232

193

Total Offense

396

384


Scoring Summary

First Quarter
NU-Rick Berns 1 run (Al Eveland kick), 5:42 remaining.
TT-FG Brian Hall 28, 1:22.

Second Quarter
TT-Billy Taylor 14 pass from Rodney Allison (Hall kick), 12:08.
TT-Taylor 11 pass from Allison (Hall kick), 2:14.
NU-Mark Dufresne 22 pass from Vince Ferragamo (Eveland kick), 0:33.

Third Quarter
TT-Taylor 8 run (Hall kick), 11:32.
NU-Berns 18 run (Eveland kick failed), 9:19.
NU-Chuck Malito 23 pass from Ferragamo (Eveland kick), 7:01.