(AP)- Nebraska quarterback Jerry Tagge leaned across the heavily manned
Louisiana State goal Friday night to give the Cofnhuskers a 17-12 Orange
Bowl victory and a stout claim on the national football championship (video).
Nebraska punished the Tigers during much of the first half, holding the
Southeastern Conference champions to an embarrassing minus 45 yards on
The Huskers got a break when Chris Dantin fumbled at the Nebraska 44.
Tagge came out throwing, hitting little Guy Ingles for nine, tight end
Jerry List for 17 and List again for 14. LSU managed to stem the tide at
the 10 yard line, however, and Nebraska settled for a 3-0 lead on Paul
Rogers' 26-yard field goal with 2:45 left in the opening quarter.
Nebraska had another stroke of fortune seconds later when LSU
quarterback Buddy Lee fumbled the ball after being smashed by Husker
lineman Larry Jacobson at the Tiger 15. Willie Harper, voted the most
valuable lineman, pounced on the fumble for Nebraska and Joe Orduna
immediately slashed through the vaunted LSU defense for 12 yards to the
three. Orduna jammed across for a touchdown on the next play and the
Huskers were on top 10-0 at 2:06 of the first period.
Neither team was able to generate much excitement in the second quarter
until Lee finally began to dent Nebraska's defense late in the period.
Lee hooked up three straight times with flanker Andy Hamilton for 22, 12
and six yards and scrambled himself for 10. The march faltered at the
Nebraska 20 and LSU's Mark Lumpkin kicked a 36-field goal 49 seconds
before the half ended.
LSU had a tough decision to make after Lumpkins' three-pointer. The
Huskers were called for holding and, if LSU had accepted the penalty,
the Tigers would have faced a fourth-and-one at the 10. LSU decided to
keep the three points instead of gambling for seven.
Nebraska's tough defensive line broke through LSU's pass protection 14
times for 114 yards in losses.
The Tigers did generate enough second half offerings to wind up with a
plus 51 yards on the ground.
Dantin led the LSU rushers with 79 yards in 20 carries. Orduna gained 63
in 13 tries. Tagge gained 173 yards through the air and was a landslide
choice as the game's top back.
LSU, which finished the season with a 9-3 record, passed for 227 yards.
Nebraska was a slim 293-278 winner in total offense.
Fired by Texas' loss in the Cotton Bowl and Ohio State's misfire in the
Rose Bowl, Nebraska outslugged the Bayou Bengals before a record 80,699
fans and yelled "We're No. 1."
LSU slammed 75 yards to score on the third quarter's final play to take
a 12-10 lead over the favored Big Eight champions. Buddy Lee hit a
stumbling Al Coffee for the Tiger touchdown.
Tagge ignited Nebraska's go ahead drive with a 16-yard keeper as the
red-clad Midwesterners smelled a chance at the top Associated Press
250-pound junior from football-crazy Green Bay, Wis., fired passes for
six yards to Dan Schneiss, nine yards to Johnny Rodgers and 17 to Jeff
Kinney. Kinney's clutch catch put the ball at the LSU five and three
plays later Tagge- belted at the one yard line- stretched his arms to
push the ball into the end zone with 8:50 remaining in the game.
LSU fired out of the halftime dressing room bent on wiping out a 10-3
deficit against the five-point choices from Nebraska.
Dantin zipped the husky Nebraska defense for 25 and 17 yards as the
Tigers bounced down the artificial field. LSU ran out of gas at the
Husker 8 and Mark Lumpkin booted a 25- yard field goal that made it
Nebraska finished the season with an 11-0-1 record. Ranked third at the
end of the regular campaign, Coach Bob Devaney's troops came on to the
Orange Bowl field amid.banners claiming they were No. 1.
Top-ranked Texas was a 24-11 victim of Notre Dame at Dallas. The
Longhorns' apparently blew the national title along with their 30-game
Nebraska warmed up for the LSU test as Stanford cut down No. 2 Ohio
State 27-17 at Pasadena.
The final AP poll will be taken over the weekend and it appears to be a
voting battle among Nebraska, Notre Dame and Tennessee, the fourth-rated
club that smashed Air Force in the Sugar Bowl, 34-13.
LSU got one last shot with 52 seconds left when a Tagge pitchout went
wild and the Tigers' Buddy Millican recovered at the midfield stripe.
Alternate quarterback Bert Jones, mauled often by the onrushing Nebraska
front four, during the 55-degree evening, cut the chance short by
throwing an interception to Bob Terrio.
NU- FG Rogers 25
NU- Orduna 3 run (Rogers kick)
LSU- FG Lumpkin 36
LSU- FG Lumpkin 25
LSU- Coffee 31 pass from Lee (kick failed)
NU-Tagge 1 run (Rogers kick)
LSU- Chris Dantin 20-79, Walker 5-30
NU- Joe Orduna 63
LSU- Lee 12-23-182
NU- Tagge 12-25-153
LSU- Hamilton 9-146, Chaffee 2-39
NU- List 4-63