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Official Husker Locker Blog

2009 Nov 29

MONDAY LIST: 10 Unforgettable NU-UT Moments

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1960 Big Win for Bill: Bill Jennings is bit a punchline around these parts now, but he kicked off the 1960 season with a surprising upset of the No. 4 Longhorns.

1971 Thanks Ara! Texas is a heavy favorite for the AP national title heading into the bowl season – indeed, the Longhorns have already tied up the UPI crown for the regular season – when Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian devises a “wishbone defense” for the Cotton Bowl that slays UT 24-11. Once Ohio State chokes in the Rose Bowl vs. Stanford, the door is open for Nebraska to win its first national title with a 17-12 win over LSU in the Orange Bowl

1974 A Runty Trumps Roosevelt: Nebraska backup quarterback Steve Runty takes over for David Humm and leads NU to two second-half touchdowns in a 19-3 Cotton Bowl win over the Longhorns. UT running back Roosevelt Leaks – Earl Campbell before Earl Campbell, if you will – is shut down; his third-quarter mid-air fumble is returned 67 yards to set up NU's first touchdown. It's one of the finest defensive performances in Husker bowl history.

1996 Roll Left: A Texas team loaded with skill players – try Ricky Williams, Priest Holmes, Wane McGarity and Mike Adams – stuns a flu-ridden Nebraska squad behind the play of quarterback James Brown and the daring playcalling of coach John Mackovic, who dials up a rollout pass on a crucial fourth down play late in the fourth quarter. Leading 30-27, Brown narrowly escapes a sack to hit tight end Derek Lewis for a 61-yard gain; Holmes scores on the next play to seal the win. Oft-forgotten is DeAngelo Evans' finest performance (172 total yards, three touchdowns) and a crucial drop in the end zone by tight end Vershan Jackson that would have given NU a 31-23 lead.

1998 A Major Moment: Texas ends Nebraska's seven-year home winning streak with a 20-16 win on Halloween. Redshirt freshman quarterback Major Applewhite is knocked out with a concussion, but returns in the fourth quarter to lead a 14-play, 85-yard game-winning touchdown drive. Heisman Trophy winner Williams ices the game with some key runs in the closing minutes.

1999 How'd That Happen?: No. 2 Nebraska dominates the Longhorns in Austin, outgaining UT 429-275, but still loses 24-20. Three lost fumbles, some questionable trick play calls from Frank Solich, and another vintage Applewhite performance doom the Huskers' national title hopes.

1999 Fourth Down Crouch: Nebraska gets its revenge less than two months later, as NU smothers Texas 22-6 in the Big 12 Championship game. Quarterback Eric Crouch puts Texas in an early hole with a 31-yard touchdown run on fourth down.

2002 Kick the Field Goal, Frank: NU head coach Frank Solich wastes a career performance from quarterback Jammal Lord – 332 total yards, including 234 on the ground – when, instead of tying the game with a Josh Brown field goal, he opts to let Lord throw one pass to the end zone before Brown trots on. Lord throws an interception right to All-American corner Nate Vasher. Texas wins 27-24. In hindsight, a win there posssibly saves Solich's job long-term.

2006 The Classic: Somebody had to lose – and Nebraska got the duty in a 22-20 heartbreaker. NU wide receiver Terrence Nunn's crucial fumble in the waning moments – when he had secured the game-winning first down – sets up UT's game-winning 22-yard field goal from walk-on Ryan Bailey. The best game in the series, featuring memorable performances from Zac Taylor and Colt McCoy.

2007 Colt's Crucible, and the Dawn of Joe: With virtually nothing to lose, Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove chooses to blitz Colt McCoy on every down. And, for three quarters – it works, as NU holds a 17-9 lead. But the fourth quarter ensues, Texas employs the zone read, and Jamaal Charles runs wild, finishing with 290 yards for the game (216 in the quarter alone) as the Longhorns surge ahead 28-17. After starter Sam Keller gets hurt, he's replaced by Joe Ganz, who never relinquishes the starting job for the rest of his career. Ganz promptly throws a touchdown pass and converts a two-pointer.

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See also: Big 12 Postseason Awards, 10 Unforgettable NU-UT Moments, Big 12 Rankings, Bowl Watch, Onward to DFW, Huskers Giving Back and [url=http://www.huskerlocker.com/blogs/view/bid/2363/i/podcast

Tags: colt mccoy, big 12 championship, joe ganz

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