Mike Rozier 13

The boxscore may have read 2-yard touchdown run, but Mike Rozier certainly covered a lot more ground than that en route to a TD against UCLA in October 1983.

LJS file photo

The distance: 2 yards

The star: Mike Rozier

The date: Sept. 24, 1983

The outcome: Huskers 42, UCLA 10

Never mind how many yards Mike Rozier actually covered on his wild 2-yard touchdown run against UCLA.

What about those poor guys blocking for him?

It’s one thing for a Heisman Trophy-winning I-back to start one way, change his mind, reverse field, make a couple of cuts and finish the play successfully.

But for a 280-pound lineman to try to keep a step ahead?

“I came off the field, and Coach (Clete) Fischer told me I looked tired,” right tackle Scott Raridon said after Nebraska’s 42-10 victory over UCLA in 1983. “I said I was; I’d just run 60 yards.”

It’s been estimated that Rozier ran some 80 yards on what initially looked like a short, easy touchdown run.

The play was “49 pitch,” and Raridon pulled to his left to help provide a block for Rozier.

Rozier, nearing the left sideline, suddenly changed direction and looped around to his right. Wingback Irving Fryar said after the game he had the end sealed off (at the goal line), and that Rozier should’ve kept running.

What Fryar probably didn't see is Rozier encountering a UCLA defender at the 5-yard line.

“They told me the hole was there,” said Rozier, who shed the Bruin rather easily, “but I didn’t see it and I was the one running with the ball.”

And run he did.

Rozier backtracked to the 17-yard line, waited for a couple of blocks as he ran across the field, finally angled toward the end zone and crossed the goal line inside the right pylon. The 2-yard run lasted 11 seconds.

“That was the longest 2-yard run I’ve ever seen,” Raridon said.

It gave Nebraska a 21-10 lead with 8:16 remaining in the third quarter, and was the first of four touchdowns on four straight possessions.

That made up for a first half in which the Huskers lost three fumbles and fell behind 10-0. Nebraska scored 42 unanswered points, helping Tom Osborne collect career victory No. 100 before 76,510 fans — at the time, the largest Memorial Stadium crowd for a nonconference game.

Reach Brian Rosenthal at 402-473-7436 or brosenthal@journalstar.com. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBR.


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