#1 Nebraska 84
Minnesota 13

Sept. 17, 1983 • Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis

1 2 3 4 T
Nebraska 21 21 21 21 84
Minnesota 0 10 3 0 13

Nebraska's Saturday Night Live Kills Gophers


The Huskers opened lots of holes in the Minnesota line. Mike Rozier rips for 52 yards to the Minnesota 27 in the first quarter to set up the first touchdown. John Sherlock, No. 66, helps open the way for Rozier, who gained 196 yards. JIM BURNETT/THE WORLD-HERALD


MINNEAPOLIS — Irving Fryar, the lead character as Nebraska's offense displayed its television version of Saturday Night Live against Minnesota, still insists he wants Mike Rozier on center stage.

Fryar, who scored three touchdowns and compiled a whopping 253 all-purpose yards as the Cornhuskers whipsawed the Golden Gophers 84-13, said he doesn't want his performance to bring out any mention of the Heisman Trophy.

"I still concede the Heisman to Mike," said Fryar, who said after last week's win over Wyoming that Rozier should win college football's most prestigious award. "I still feel that way.

"Mike is a great running back. He deserved to win the Heisman last year. Since he didn't, I want him to win it this year. I'll just push him to do better."

Fryar did a load of pushing against Minnesota.

The Mount Holly, N.J. product caught two passes for 138 yards, rushed three times for 92 yards and returned three punts for 23 yards.

"I was just having fun out there," Fryar said.

Both of Fryar's pass receptions resulted in touchdowns. He hooked up with quarterback Turner Gill on 68 and 70-yard scoring passes. When Fryar added a 41-yard touchdown run and caught a two-point conversion from Gill, he had outscored Minnesota 20-10 the first half.

Fryar was wide open on the 68-yarder in the first quarter.

"We caught them in a blitz," he said. "The pass was supposed to come to me anyway, but Turner threw it early. Both our eyes got very big when we saw them blitzing because we knew it was going to be a touchdown."

Fryar said the team's goal each week is to score 35 points. He said that the when the score got out of hand, the game became a bit of an embarrassment for the Huskers.

"We were sitting on the sidelines talking about all those points," Fryar said. "We thought, "golly, what must those guys on the other side of the field be thinking and feeling.' But they were good guys after the game. And we tried to be humble."

Nebraska center Mark Traynowicz said he didn't find the 71-point blowout an embarrassment.

"I loved it," Traynowicz said. "We didn't come up here to make friends. As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to score that many points every game.

"I don't feel embarrassed because we played our second team an awful lot. But we have some great second team players who are going to score a lot of points, too."

Rozier said he didn't feel any remorse for the lopsided score. He said he hoped the Huskers would be able to soundly whip the Golden Gophers because of the comments the Minnesota players made before and during the game.

"They were talking a lot of junk on and off the field," Rozier said. "They were telling us we were no good and how we were not going to win the game. We just kept our mouths shut and went out and did our jobs."

Informed that Fryar still endorsed him for the Heisman Trophy, Rozier said the award wasn't on his mind. Rozer also said he didn't spend Saturday afternoon watching the Oklahoma-Ohio State game on televison.

"I watched television, but I watched the Wild, Wild West," Rozier said. "Why do I want to watch Oklahoma? I'll see enough of them in November."

It was suggested that Rozier, who finished with 196 yards on 15 carries, might have wanted to watch Marcus Dupree. The Oklahoma running back has been mentioned as Rozier's stiffest competition for the Heisman.

"I heard he (Dupree) left the game early with an injury," Rozier said. "I also heard he had a some fumbles. That's probably why he got hurt.

"But he isn't on my mind and neither is the Heisman. I just want to go out there, do my job, and win the national championship."

Rozier, Fryar and the rest of the Husker offense did their job so swiftly, that they gave the defense very little time for any breather.

The Huskers scored on so many big plays that they spent very little time on the field.

Linebacker Mark Daum said the defense started to feel the strain of having to rush back on the field after the Huskers' scoring explosion.

"We really had to suck it up," Duam said. "But I think that's good experience for us. And it will help us get in that much better condition."

Minnesota came out throwing the football on almost every down.

Daum said the Husker defenders expected the Golden Gophers to put the ball in the air most of the night.

"But they threw it a little more than we thought," Daum said.

"But I think that experience is good too because we expect UCLA to throw a bunch against us next week. This will help us get ready for them."

Linebacker Mike Knox said he was looking forward to playing UCLA because "I think UCLA will be a good test for us. And I want them to be a good test for us because there's still a lot of people out there that don't think we've played anybody.

"But I think these blowouts are just making this team get all that much closer. We're having a lot of fun out there."

Gill said he was surprised by the final outcome. The senior quarterback said he thought the Huskers might be in for a long evening when Minnesota forced Nebraska to punt on its first series of downs.

"I thought it was going to be a tough game," Gill said. "But they were playing a gambling defense and it was only a matter of time before we broke it open."

Although he had the scoring bombs to Fryar, Gill did not have one of his better nights passing. He completed just three of 12 passes.

"My timing was off all night," Gill said. "And I wasn't making the right reads on their blitzes. It's just one of those things; some nights you are great and some nights you are just so so.

"But I think Irving showed tonight what kind of talent we have.

Irving, Mike and myself are supposedly the top talk of the team. And Irving and Mike showed tonight that all we have to do is get the ball and we're going to do our thing."

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More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Game stats

Opp NU
Penalties-Yards 8-89
Rush yards 162 595
Rush attempts 49 55
Yards per carry 3.3 10.8
Pass yards 115 195
Comp.-Att.-Int. 8-31-2 5-15-1
Yards/Att. 3.7 13.0
Yards/Comp. 14.4 39.0
Fumbles 0 2

Series history

Nebraska is 25-33 all-time against Minnesota.

See all games »


1983 season (12-1)

Penn State Aug. 29
Wyoming Sept. 10
Minnesota Sept. 17
UCLA Sept. 24
Syracuse Oct. 1
Oklahoma State Oct. 8
Missouri Oct. 15
Colorado Oct. 22
Kansas State Oct. 29
Iowa State Nov. 5
Kansas Nov. 12
Oklahoma Nov. 26
Miami (FL) Jan. 2

This day in history

Nebraska has played 10 games on Sept. 17. See them all »

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