#8 Nebraska 45
Indiana 13

Sept. 18, 1976 • Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana

1 2 3 4 T
Nebraska 14 10 14 7 45
Indiana 0 0 7 6 13

Dear LSU: Having Fun, Wish You Were Here

Richard Berns swung around end and the cameras, from high in the stadium and at ground level, found him smacking into Derek Foree before completing three-yard NU touchdown in second quarter. THE WORLD-HERALD

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— Good news, Nebraska football fans. Tom Osborne, the Cornhusker coach, admitted Saturday afternoon that he has "a good football team." And Indiana is still on the schedule in 1977 and '78.

The Huskers, frustrated a week earlier in a 6-6 tie with Louisiana State, turned loose the offense they knew was there and whipsawed the Hoosiers, 45-13, before 41,289 bodies and 11,065 empty seats.

The near rerun of Nebraska's 45-0 trouncing of the Hoosiers in Lincoln last year included these vignettes:

— Osborne conceding he was "generally pleased" after his offense ran up a 408-302 total offense edge.

— Lee Corso, Indiana's coach, demonstrating he was retained his sense of humor after nine consecutive Saturdays of winless football. "I thought we had a chance to beat them, but then I'm sort of crazy," he said.

Jorgensen: That Was Fun

— Husker offensive guard Greg Jorgensen, walking off the field with a pleased smile on his face, saying, "That was a lot more fun."

— Richard Berns, the sophomore I-back, slashing for 79 yards while brilliantly complementing veteran regular Monte Anthony, who had four yards more. Each scored twice.

— Oft-injured Dave Gillespie, the third I-back, finally getting to play and powering nine yards to the final N.U. touchdown.

— Sophomore Tommy Sorley, the third Husker quarterback, making his varsity debut by running for 15 yards on his first carry and passing for 32 yards on his first toss. Afterwards, he simply kept repeating, "Awright, awright."

— Nebraska defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin showing midseason form by throwing his clipboard and calling a sideline caucus of his tropps after the first Indiana touchdown. He later drew a 15-yard penalty for his theatrics.

Knockdown Came Early

The Huskers, scoring in each quarter, knocked the Hoosiers down early with an opening 74-yard touchdown drive and never let them up. It was 14-0 at the quarter, 24-0 at the half and 38-0 before the Hoosiers lit their half of the board.

Nebraska didn't need the help, but Indiana handed the ball over via fumbles on its own 14- and 26-yard lines to set up first-half touchdowns.

Another touchdown came on an 18-yard drive following a 35-yard punt return by Dave Butterfield and an ensuing 15-yard penalty for a late hit.

But the Huskers asserted their authority this day with long range touchdown drives of 74, 80 and 87 yards. A 29-yard field goal by Al Eveland finished another lengthy hike.

Field Position Better

"It was a lot different game than last week," Osborne said. "Offensively, we had real good field position." Against LSU, the closest Nebraska drive started 61 yards from the goal.

"I think we fairly well dominated play, but Indiana moved the ball. But I think we ironed out a few mistakes."

Nebraska quarterback Vince Ferragamo turned in a business-like afternoon that included 8 completions in 12 passes for 115 yards.

"Our defense created those turnovers," said Ferragamo. "Offensively and defensively, we worked together today. When that happens, it's easy to put the ball in the end zone.

"When you get them down like that, it's hard to come back. The guys did a real good job of just driving down the field and scoring ... but there's a lot of room for improvement."

Pillen Left Our of Fun

Every player in the Husker 55-man traveling party joined in the fun except regular linebacker Clete Pillen, who sat out nursing a sore ankle. Indiana, which was unable to make much headway against the Blackshirt defense, enjoyed late-game passing success against the reserves.

Hoosier quarterbacks Bob Kramer, Terry Jones and Scott Arnett combined for 14 completions in 24 attempts for 213 yards. Jones, who led the Big Ten Conference in passing two years ago, hit 8-of-13 for 145 yards and a touchdown.

Flanker Keith Calvin pestered the Nebraska secondary with eight receptions for 123 yards. He caught Jones' three-yard pass for the first Indiana touchdown late in the third quarter.

Secondary Coach Warren Powers said he "thought the first unit played very well, but I don't think the second team was mentally ready to play. They fell asleep a couple of times."

The most costly nap came as Indiana was driving 86 yards to its first touchdown. Reserve defensive end George Andrews had knocked Jones nearly into his end zone, but a face-mask penalty moved the ball out to the Hoosier 28. Two plays later, split end Don Burrell beat cornerback Tim Fischer on a 48-yard reception.

Kiffin's 'Defense' Costly

It was on the final Hoosier touchdown drive, which ended with freshman Mike Barkrader's one-yard sweep with 1:05 left, that Kiffin charged onto the field to protest a fourth-down pass interference penalty. It cost the Huskers another 15 yards.

"The second-team kids are in there fighting their hearts out, and they get those..." he said.

Osborne was also giving the referee an earful at game's end. "I just asked him in the future would he protect our quarterbacks a little bit, too," he said. Nebraska had drawn a roughing the passer penalty on the final Indiana drive.

Redemption for Eveland

It was also an afternoon of grand redemption for Nebraska place kicker Eveland, who missed a field goal, had another blocked and saw his only extra-point attempt fumbled away at LSU.

Eveland knocked through six straight extra points in addition to the 29-yard field goal.

And veteran Randy Lessman enjoyed one of his finest days with four punts averaging 46 yards. His longest was 57 yards.

Nebraska fullback Dodie Donnell, the rushing leader at LSU, was an obvious target of the Indiana defense. His eight carries produced only 19 yards, but he started scoring with a one-yard leap over guard Jorgensen's back.

Jorgensen also led the charge to the second touchdown, also from a yard out by Anthony. That one followed Tony Samuel's recovery after linebacker Percy Eichelberger separated Kramer from the ball.

'Great Blocks' Aid Butterfield

After kicker David Freud missed a 47-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter, Nebraska padded the lead to 17-0 on Eveland's field goal. That drive included a 20-yard dash by Berns, a 25-yard Ferragamo-to-Ken Spaeth pass and a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

Linebacker James Wightman, who led Nebraska's tacklers with 11 stops, recovered Tony Suggs' fumble induced by tackler Ron Pruitt's hit. It led to Nebraska's third touchdown with Berns sweeping the last three yards for a 24-0 halftime lead.

Butterfield, who failed to gain a yard returning punts against LSU, kicked off the fourth touchdown drive with a 35-yard return and got 15 tacked on for a late hit. Anthony's second touchdown, from one yard, followed.

Butterfield, who also intercepted a pass on Nebraska's two-yard line in the second quarter, said he saw "countless great blocks on the return.

"Jeff Pullen really zapped one guy as I cut up behind the wall and Mike Fultz just blew another guy out. A punt return was something we didn't get last week. It really gives you a lift."

Corso: At Least We're Improving

Nebraska's second team drove 80 yards to the 38-0 touchdown after weathering an Indiana drive that included completions to Calvin of 21 and 32 yards, the second on a ricochet off Butterfield and tight end Kevin Westover.

Berns picked up his second touchdown from five yards before Indiana finally scored. That audacity was answered by Osborne sending his first offense back out.

Randy Garcia and Sorley directed Nebraska's final touchdown drive, culminated by Gillespie's sweep around left end for nine yards.

"We mixed it up pretty well, but we told our linemen about coming off the ball and blowing them out. They were pretty good," Osborne said.

Said Indiana's Corso: "At least we got something on them. That's progress. Last year, we didn't do anything. We didn't even get a hundred yards running, passing, kicking...and cheating."

The Huskers, 1-0-1 after two weeks on the road, will play for the first time in friendly Memorial Stadium Saturday against Texas Christian, a 56-14 Nebraska victim last year.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Game stats

Opp NU
Penalties-Yards 8-115
Rush yards 89 248
Rush attempts 40 57
Yards per carry 2.2 4.4
Pass yards 213 160
Comp.-Att.-Int. 14-24-1 10-16-0
Yards/Att. 8.9 10.0
Yards/Comp. 15.2 16.0
Fumbles 2 1

Series history

Nebraska is 8-10 all-time against Indiana.

See all games »

1976 season (9-3-1)

LSU Sept. 11
Indiana Sept. 18
TCU Sept. 25
Miami (FL) Oct. 2
Colorado Oct. 9
Kansas State Oct. 16
Missouri Oct. 23
Kansas Oct. 30
Oklahoma State Nov. 6
Iowa State Nov. 13
Oklahoma Nov. 26
Hawaii Dec. 4
Texas Tech Dec. 30

This day in history

Nebraska has played 9 games on Sept. 18. See them all »

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