Miami, Fla., Jan. 1, 1979--In the first-ever matchup of Big Eight teams in a bowl game, Nebraska just missed duplicating its 17-14 win over Oklahoma several weeks earlier in losing to the Sooners 31-24, in the 45th annual Orange Bowl.
Nebraska got off to a fast start in trying for an unprecedented double over OU, driving 80 yards in 15 plays after the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead on Tom Sorley's 21-yard touchdown pass to Tim Smith. But the Huskers watched the revenge-minded Sooners score 24 unanswered points.
Nebraska's rally started with 9:12 left in the game when I-back Rick Berns capped a 78-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run that reduced the deficit to 31-17. A little more than a minute later, defensive tackle David Clark recovered quarterback Thomas Lott's fumble at the OU 42, and the Huskers were back in the game. Oklahoma's defense yielded 35 yards to the seven, but stiffened to stop I-back Craig Johnson on a fourth-and-one with 4:24 to go to seal the win. The Huskers did march 58 yards in 10 plays to score on a 2-yard pass from Sorley to Junior Miller on the final play of the game.
1979 Orange Bowl
Passes Att., Comp., Int.
Scoring Summary First Quarter NU-Tim Smith 21 pass from Tom Sorley (Billy Todd kick), 8:29 OU-Billy Sims 3 run (Uwe von Schamann kick), 0:01
Second Quarter OU-Thomas Lott 3 run (von Schamann kick), 6:22
Third Quarter OU-Sims 11 run (von Schamann kick), 13:30 OU-FG von Schamann 26, 9:18 NU-FG Todd 31, 4:24 OU-Lott 2 run (von Schamann kick), 0:15
Fourth Quarter NU-Rick Berns 1 run (Todd kick), 9:12 NU-Junior Miller 2 pass from Sorley (Todd kick), 0:00
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