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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Jun 07

30/1980 BEST GAMES: No. 26


By HuskerLocker

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Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Games since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout June to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below. One key to remember throughout the “best game” portion of this series: Not every selection in this list is a win. In fact, more than a handful are losses. In gauging the “best” games we were not only looking for quality of play, but significant and memorable aspect. Hence, there are not a bunch of 58-3 wins over the Little Six on this list. Instead, it’s 30 games that mattered over the last 30 years - and some of those games NU didn’t win, although it played well.

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Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!


Nov. 4, 1989 - Colorado 27 Nebraska 21

Thanks to a handful of dubious calls - a phantom pass interference penalty among them - NU lost a chance to play for the national title in the Orange Bowl. The Huskers acquitted themselves beautifully, however, against a veritable cast of CU all-stars - especially quarterback Gerry Gdowski, who threw for 211 yards and amassed 280 total yards. Tom Osborne dialed up a gem of a first play, as Gdowski floated a “throwback” pass to fullback Bryan Carpenter, who weaved 51 yards for the game’s opening touchdown. The game went back and forth from that point forward.

NU outplayed and outgained the Buffaloes 389-227. The game turned on two Jeff Campbell punt returns - one in which referees missed a clear Buff block in a Husker back and another that set up CU’s final touchdown. Nebraska actually intercepted an ill-advised halfback pass from Eric Bieniemy, but was flagged for pass interference even though the NU defender was in front of the Colorado receiver.

The Huskers had their chances in the fourth quarter. One drive died inside Colorado territory on downs. NU’s final gasp was a 42-yard Hail Mary knocked down in the end zone, which wouldn’t have counted because Gdowski stepped over the line of scrimmage.

Check out the whole list!

Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27

Tags: 30 best games since 1980

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