The distance: 38 yards
The star: Harry Wilson
The date: Nov. 25, 1965
The outcome: Huskers 21, Oklahoma 9
Nebraska’s first unbeaten regular season in 50 years didn’t come without resistance.
Then again, when Oklahoma is the final opponent. …
The Huskers, who’d already clinched an Orange Bowl berth, were supposed to beat the Sooners that Thanksgiving Day in Lincoln. But Nebraska lost three fumbles, had a punt blocked and fell behind 9-0.
Fortunes changed, thanks to Harry Wilson.
First, Wilson had a spectacular 66-yard touchdown run where he bounced off two tacklers and broke free. But it’s his game-clinching touchdown in the third quarter that makes this list.
Nebraska had taken over at the 50-yard line late in the third quarter. A 3-yard run and a 9-yard run put the Huskers at the OU 38, and quarterback Bob Churchich threw a couple of incomplete passes.
On third down, Churchich rolled to his right toward the Nebraska sideline and lofted a pass that Wilson caught behind two Oklahoma defenders at the 15. He ran into the end zone without resistance, and the touchdown put Nebraska ahead 21-9 with 4:52 to play in the third quarter.
Churchich had replaced starting quarterback Fred Duda, who’d taken the starting role from Churchich in early October in the conference opener against Iowa State.
“It seemed like (today) was an easier situation than it was from the Iowa State game, when I first had to go in for Fred,” Churchich said. “It was a big thrill to be back in there playing again.”
Oklahoma had a couple of scoring chances thereafter, advancing to the NU 27 and the NU 10, but defensive end Jerry Patton thwarted both drives, first with a fumble recovery, and then with an 11-yard sack.
Nebraska finished 10-0, its first unbeaten season since 1915. The Huskers improved to 38-5 under coach Bob Devaney, who did postgame interviews soaking wet.
“Any time we can go 10 and nothing I’ll take that shower with my clothes on very gratefully,” Devaney said.