Dec. 31, 1977 – A Key Win for Osborne
It was never said out loud. The idea that Tom Osborne’s job might have been on the line that late December when the Huskers, having lost back-to-back games to Iowa State and Oklahoma to end the season, played Texas Tech in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.
Let’s just sat the natives were a little bit restless and were looking for Osborne to deliver a positive way to end the 1976 season, which had started with Nebraska as preseason No. 1 before having three losses and a tie attached to its record.
NU got its key victory in Houston, a 27-24 win that was far from easy.
The Red Raiders took a 24-14 lead into the fourth quarter before a touchdown run from Rick Berns and a touchdown pass from Vince Ferragamo to Chuck Malito gave the Huskers the lead for good. Tech missed a 37-yard field with less than five minutes left in the game as Nebraska clung to a small lead. Ferragamo finished with a school-record 22 touchdowns passes for the season. That record stood for a long, long time in Lincoln.