#4 Nebraska 65
Oklahoma State 31

Oct. 24, 1970 • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln

1 2 3 4 T
Oklahoma State 7 0 6 18 31
Nebraska 14 27 10 14 65

Cornhuskers Unsaddle Cowboys

NU's Johnny Rodgers breaks away from Oklahoma State defenders on Oct. 24, 1970.

LINCOLN — Defenses suffocated under a barrage of points as Nebraska ran its undefeated string to 14 Saturday.

The Huskers buried Oklahoma State, 65-31, in their most productive scoring since a 66-0 breeze past South Dakota in 1922.

Hardly worth mentioning, perhaps, in this scoring derby is the fact that Oklahoma State once led, 7-6. Then the two teams started an adding machine-type explosion that rolled up the most combined points in any N.U. game since E. J. “Doc” Stewart’s 1917 Huskers defeated Nebraska Wesleyan, 100-0.

The record two-team totals was set in 1905 when Nebraska spanked Creighton, 103-0.

Nebraska rolled to a 41-7 half-time lead and used nearly every mode of transportation to the end zone, including two pass interception returns for scores and another dazzler by Johnny Rodgers.

He sped up the middle for 56 yards for his second punt-return score of the season.

Oklahoma State shocked the Huskers with a 98-yard Dick Graham scamper after the initial N.U. touchdown, the Cowboy speedster running a variation of the Mickey Mouse kick-off play.

N.U. Trails

There was no Mickey Mousing around for Nebraska after falling behind, 7-6, though the Huskers yielded 393 yards and 31 points, the most scored by a loser against Nebraska since the 36-34 duel with Miami in the 1962 Gotham Bowl.

Seven Nebraskans scored touchdowns, with Joe Orduna the only Husker to tally twice.

Paul Rogers, the golden-toed Husker, was off to a shaky start as his first point after touchdown skittered to the left.

That ended a string of 25 straight conversions, but the Rock Rapids, Ia., specialist restarted another streak, reeling off six straight extra points. He added three field goals for a total of 15 points.

After missing his first three field goals this season, Rogers has five in a row after boots from 38, 41 and 42 yards Saturday. He owns 22 field goals in his college career.

Until the game was out of control, the Blackshirts did themselves proud. The way the Huskers functioned on offense, the defensive unit could afford to take it easy.

Quick Start

The Blackshirts also generated a little offense of their own, including the touchdown that put Nebraska in front to stay.

Nebraska took the opening kick-off 75 yards in 15 plays in methodic fashion and it was 6-0 at 8:39 as Orduna leaped in from the two.

Thirteen seconds later Oklahoma State had a 7-6 lead as Uwe Pruss converted after Graham’s fancy return.

In fact, the Nebraska rooters in a Band Day turnout of 67,822, second largest in history here, were a little uneasy when the Cowboys forced a punt on the next series.

Tony Pounds, who was to find his passing magic the last half, completed the first toss he tried. The next time he faded, in stormed Willie Harper, a rambunctious soph from Toledo.

He deflected the pass to Johnny Adkins, his defensive end. John lumbered 37 yards as Harper leaped for joy at the 35-yard line.

Orduna took a two-point conversion pass to make it 14-7. There was no stopping the Huskers then as the Blackshirts stifled the Cowboys at every turn the rest of the half.

Orange, Too

OSU had only two first downs and a total offense of 43 yards as the team left the field at halftime with a 41-7 score.

Some fun-loving Husker fan tossed an orange onto the field after Guy Ingles gathered in a pass from Van Brownson as the score mounted during a 27-point Husker scoring spree in the second quarter. Little Guy playfully pegged it back into the stands.

Nebraska had 316 of its season-high 545 total offensive yards by the half. Coach Bob Devaney used 59 players in the rout.

He relieved Brownson in the second quarter after the slender quarterback had completed 10 of 13 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown. Brownson appeared in only one second-half series and wound up with 11 for 15 and a total offense of 192 yards.

Air Assault

Rodgers touched the ball 12 times and had 240 yards, including 112 on five punt returns.

Credit the Cowboys for a strong effort in the last half. Pounds, a skinny, 163-pound junior, wasn’t the woebegone guy he might have been.

He connected on only two of nine passes the first half and two were intercepted. He has great recuperative powers.

The half-time rest did wonders for him.

Pounds warmed up with three straight completions as he steered the Cowpokes 80 yards in eight plays to open the second half. Hermann Eben, the Big Eight reception leader who was shut out the first half, made all the catches, including one for 10 yards and a touchdown.

The drive came at the expense of the No. 1 Blackshirts.

Pounds threw for three more scores, including an 84-yard dazzler to Graham on the final play of the game.

Pounds completed 18 of 32 for the game, the aerial circus accounting for 329 yards — all but 17 the last half.

The OSU quarterback was intercepted four times, with Johnny Decker wheeling 73 yards for a score with one to give the Blackshirts some salve for a leaky pass defense.

Balance Helps

Once again there was balance in the Nebraska attack. Jerry Tagge fired eight completions in 12 tries as the Huskers accumulated 275 yards through the air.

Their ground game produced 270 yards, with third-string fullback Bill Olds leading 11 ball carriers with 62 yards in seven carries.

Joining Orduna (runs of three and two yards), Rodgers, Adkins, Decker and Ingles in the scoring were Woody Cox, whose catch of a 26-yard Tagge pass ran Nebraska’s aerial touchdowns for the year to 13, and Jeff Kinney (two-yard run).

Ingles and Rodgers both had four receptions, good for 74 and 85 yards.

The reception leader, however, was Graham, who made 149 yards on seven catches. Eben snatched five for 92 as he ran his season total to 32.

For the second straight week, the offense took the pressure off the Blackshirts. But as Orduna said, “Colorado (Saturday’s foe at Boulder) will be tough. That’s the big test, so we don’t have time to gloat over this one.”


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Box score (PDF)

Game stats

Opp NU
Penalty yards 88
Rush yards 64 270
Rush attempts 23 65
Yards per carry 2.8 4.2
Pass yards 329 275
Comp.-Att.-Int. 18-32-4 19-29-0
Yards/Att. 10.3 9.5
Yards/Comp. 18.3 14.5
Fumbles 0 0

Series history

Nebraska is 37-5 all-time against Oklahoma State.

See all games »

1970 season (11-0-1)

Wake Forest Sept. 12
USC Sept. 19
Army Sept. 26
Minnesota Oct. 3
Missouri Oct. 10
Kansas Oct. 17
Oklahoma State Oct. 24
Colorado Oct. 31
Iowa State Nov. 7
Kansas State Nov. 14
Oklahoma Nov. 21
LSU Jan. 1

This day in history

Nebraska has played 20 games on Oct. 24. See them all »

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