Editor’s note: This story appeared in the Nov. 1, 1970, editions of the Lincoln Journal and Star.
BOULDER, Colo. — Nebraska and Colorado kept the television fan in suspense long enough for the sponsors to sell their products before the Huskers’ big play Big Red Machine exploded in the fourth quarter to post a 29-13 victory here Saturday afternoon.
In addition to the regional telecast that was beamed to better than 70% of the country, 50,881 fans, including an estimated 15,000 Nebraskans, were here in person to watch the Huskers push their season record to 7-0-1, their Big Eight mark to 4-0 and their unbeaten string over two seasons to 15 straight.
The crowd here was the largest ever to watch a sports event in this state, topping 50,705 who have watched two different Denver Broncos games earlier this fall.
And what they saw was a big play Nebraska machine refuse the buckle under heavy pressure from Colorado, which battled back from a 12-0 first-quarter deficit and had a chance to tie the contest in the fourth quarter before the Nebraska explosion came to put the game out of reach.
The big plays started early for the Huskers with two Van Brownson to Guy Ingles bombs staking coach Bob Devaney’s club to a 12-0 lead with the game only slightly more than 12 minutes old.
Another big play from the Huskers at the time was a 46-yard field goal by Paul Rogers in the third quarter that put the Huskers out front by 15-7.
This proved to be a big play when Colorado scored again with 11:22 left in the game and thus had to go for the two-point conversion in an attempt to tie.
But another big play, this one by defensive back Joe Blahak and defensive tackle Larry Jacobsen, tripped up CU’s Clifford Branch on the one-foot line as he appeared to be slipping into the end zone with the two points that would have knotted the count.
Then came the explosion that broke it open.
Jeff Kinney returned the ensuing kickoff from his own two-yard line to the Colorado 21 before being hauled down.
This set up a Husker insurance touchdown with (Joe) Orduna taking four plays to move the ball to the one and Brownson then sneaking it over behind the blocking of center Doug Dumler and guard Donnie McGhee.
When Rogers booted his first conversion of the day, Nebraska had a 22-13 lead with 9:27 left and Colorado would need two scores to overome that.
But the only scoring yet to come was provided by Nebraska again with tackle Larry Jacobson recovering a Branch fumble to give NU the ball at the Colorado 40.
A 22-yard Brownson to Ingles pass was the big play of the seven-play march that was capped by Kinney’s seven-yard touchdown burst over the left side with 5:34 remaining and Rogers made it 29-13.
In the first few minutes it appeared Nebraska might let the TV viewing audience get to an early nap or get to their yard work.
The Huskers drove 79 yards in eight plays with the opening kickoff to score with Guy Ingles outwrestling CU’s Jim Gooch for Brownson’s 35-yard pass in the end zone.