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Thursday, October 05, 2006

T. Rose's Top 10 - Nebraska Home Games

Call this a guest entry on the DXP blog. I’ve had the unfortunate privilege of knowing the 3 guys who run this site for some time and thought I’d contribute a weekly Top 10 list to keep a married guy from lovely dinners at the Olive Garden and Saturday trips to Home Depot and Bed, Bath, & Beyond (I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time). It’s the least I can do for these three guys, who have given me countless rides home and kept me from making at least two 175 lbs. mistakes at Mardi Gras 2000. Here we go.

As a Husker transplant in the desert of Arizona, I’ve had to endure 4 years of jerk-offs reminding me of the 1996 Debacle in Desert. The sports radio talk shows in Phoenix celebrated the 10-year anniversary of that Arizona State victory last week as the biggest home win in ASU history (Note to Sun Devil fans: try reminiscing about a January Bowl victory). There were more than 25,000 Nebraska fans at that game in “Fair Weather Stadium” and it got me thinking about the most memorable Nebraska home victories of all-time. Here’s how one blacked-out late 90s Husker grad remembers it.

10. Nebraska 77 - Arizona State 28 (September 16, 1995) – Clinton Childs broke off a 65-yard TD on the first play of the game as the Huskers rolled up 63 points in the first half and almost 700 yards of offense for the game. The Husker scoring was capped off by a 39-yard TD pass from Matt Turman to Lance Brown late in the fourth quarter. Lance Brown celebrated his first score with a back flip on the sidelines. This was just the first event in a long string of douchebaggary by LB14. In the end it was listening to Bruce Snyder cry like Dick Vermeil in the post-game that makes this one Top 10 worthy. Of course, the 60 Thetas sitting in the two rows in front of me didn’t hurt either.

9. Nebraska 14 - Notre Dame 7 (November 10, 1923) – Ok, so I wasn’t around for this one, but my boy Blue was there and tells me that this marked the only time the vaunted Four Horsemen lost to a team more than once (the Huskers won the prior year 14-6). The wins over Notre Dame put the Huskers on the map and Touchdown Jesus into early depression.

8. Nebraska 16 - Texas 20 (Oct 31, 1998) – Before I take any abuse for listing a home loss, as well as for playing jazz flute, let me just say that in my opinion, this game, more than any other, showed the class of Nebraska football fans. After countless free beers at Mouse’s Library with Sammy Vegas and Dr. D, Husker fans watched Eric Crouch give Nebraska the lead late in the 4th quarter only to see freshman QB Major Applewhite bring the Longhorns back and end the ‘Skers 47-game home winning streak. In line with tradition, Nebraska fans applauded the Texas team as they left the field. The Longhorn players would later state that they initially thought the fans were mocking them, but soon realized that they appreciated the game and their effort. This was just further evidence of why Nebraska fans are the most underrated in all of college football.

7. Nebraska 42 - UCLA 10 (September 24, 1983) – Being at this game and finding my dad’s stash of Playboys are really the only things I recall from the age of six. Of Mike Rozier’s 159 yards rushing that day, it was a ridiculous 7-yard, pitch sweep left, turn around and run all the way back across the field right, touchdown that Husker fans will never forget.

6. Nebraska 69 - Oklahoma 7 (November 1, 1997) - Not only was this Dr. Tom’s 250th career victory, but it was also the worst loss in the history of Oklahoma football. The Blackshirts were dominant and the Sooners lost four fumbles and produced just 154 yards of total offense. Call this one a little payback for Coach Captain Kangaroo - Howard Schnellenberger.

5. Nebraska 63 - Oklahoma St 42 (October 15, 1988) – The 11th ranked Cowboys brought quite possibly the best RB to ever play football into Lincoln for a showdown with the 8th ranked Huskers. The game was over, however, before it began as NU rolled to a 35-0 1st quarter lead capped by Charles Fryar’s 86-yard INT return for a TD. Barry Sanders weaved through traffic like Lawrence Phillips on the 405 while single-handedly keeping OSU in the game. His 189 yards rushing and 4 TDs was quite possibly the best individual performance by an opponent I’ve ever witnessed at Memorial Stadium.

4. Nebraska 52 - Colorado 7 (October 31, 1992) – This marked the only meeting ever between two teams tied for the same spot in the AP Poll (8th) and came in front of a Halloween night crowd that was crazier than Tom Cruise. The frenzied crowd witnessed Tommie Frazier’s coming out party as the true freshman dominated the Buffs. The Huskers out gained Colorado 428-144 and Husker fans had to know there was something special in store for the next 3 years.

3. Nebraska 17 - Oklahoma 14 (November 11, 1978) – No. 4 Nebraska used a stingy defense and recovered six of nine OU fumbles to pull this one out. Your dad will tell you that watching Billy Sims fumble at the Husker 2-yard line late in the 4th quarter to preserve Tom Osborne’s first victory over Barry Switzer and his #1 ranked Sooners was much sweeter than seeing a future cry-baby sideline reporter catch a reverse pass to win a Heisman.

2. Nebraska 20 - Oklahoma 10 (October 27, 2001) – The first regular season match up between the #1 and #2 ranked BCS teams didn’t disappoint Husker fans. The game was highlighted by excellent defense, as well as one of the most memorable plays in Nebraska football history. As Eric Crouch caught the now famous 63-yard TD pass from Mike Stuntz, Memorial Stadium erupted like I have never heard before or since. Little did Husker fans know what was in store 5 weeks later in Boulder.

1. Nebraska 24 - Colorado 7 (October 29, 1994) – The 200th consecutive sellout game at Memorial Stadium tops my list of Husker home games for a number of reasons. Playing behind a seemingly unproven back-up QB in Brook Berringer the 3rd ranked Huskers were actually home underdogs to the 2nd ranked Buffs who were loaded with talent and had beaten 5 ranked teams. It was Nebraka, however, that would go out and dominate every phase of the game. As the Huskers methodically built a 17-0 lead by the half, fans were cautiously optimistic. Then, in the 3rd quarter, Brook Berringer, who was an efficient 12-for-17 for 142 yards and a TD, hit Eric Alford for a 30-yard TD and a 24-0 lead and the party in Lincoln was on. Nebraska would leapfrog Penn St. in polls and the Huskers would defeat Miami for Tom Osborne’s first, of three, national titles.