The distance: 69 yards
The star: Matt Davison
The date: Dec. 30, 2000
The outcome: Huskers 66, Northwestern 17
The story: The noise down on San Antonio's River Walk was impossible to miss.
Smack-talking was heard from both the Nebraska and Northwestern camps in the days leading up to the 2000 Alamo Bowl.
It’s the one non-BCS bowl game you can’t miss, ESPN advertised. And thankfully for all our sakes, Skip Bayless chimed in too.
A Chicago Tribune columnist at the time, Bayless suggested Nebraska was the most overrated team in college football that year. Northwestern was the co-Big Ten champ. The Wildcats would win, Bayless wrote.
The game was chippy from the start. When it was done, those on Nebraska’s side spoke of cheap blocks, in-the-pile punches and pulled facemasks by Northwestern players.
Nebraska players weren’t without blame. Linebacker Carlos Polk laughed during the postgame news conference and offered an apology of sorts to Northwestern for saying some things on the field he shouldn’t have said.
“I was kind of emotional, but my mom always told me not to lie,” Polk joked.
We bring all this up to help put in context the 69-yard touchdown that joins our “100 Club.” It came late in the third quarter, with Nebraska leading 52-17. And it came on a trick play.
Eric Crouch threw a backward pass to Bobby Newcombe — quarterback to former quarterback — then Newcombe threw the ball deep to a wide-open Matt Davison, who had snuck behind the Northwestern defense.
No stepping off the pedal on this night.
By game’s end, the Huskers had 636 yards, 476 on the ground, with Dan Alexander racking up 240.
My bad, Bayless admitted in the day-after column. “Maybe the heady dreaming was inspired by too many tequila shots on the River Walk.”
The Daily Northwestern provided yet another take, running the headline: “Forget the Alamo.”
-- Brian Christopherson