Sept. 7, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The game on Saturday marks the first time the Irish have played the Cornhuskers since 1972. The series stand at 7-6-1. Today, the FANSzine takes a look back at the last meeting between these two teams in the 1973 Orange Bowl.
The Cornhuskers stunned the Irish 40-6 in the one-sided battle. Nebraska sent of its head coach Bob Devaney on high note. In his 11 years as head coach of the Cornhuskers, Devaney won a pair of National Championships in 1970 and ’71, seven Big Eight titles and his squad made nine appearances in bowl games.
Heisman trophy winner Johnny Rodgers dominated for the Cornhuskers and proved to the masses why he earned one of college football’s most prestigious awards. He rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries and scored four touchdowns.
The `Huskers posted a shutout heading into the fourth quarter, 40-0. Then in the fourth quarter, Irish quarterback Tom Clements completed a five-yard pass to Pete Demmerle. The duo posted the only points on the board for Notre Dame, which enabled the team to keep, is 72-game scoring streak alive.
Notre Dame found trouble early, by not being able to capitalize on good field position. Irish drives stalled at the Nebraska 25, 29 and 30-yard lines. The Irish finished the game with only 207 yards of total offense while the Cornhuskers finished with 560.
“It was embarrassing,” defensive back Mike Townsend said after the game. “But we’re than what people saw on that scoreboard tonight. Nebraska played a good game. Everything they did was right and everything we did was wrong.”
The Irish finished the 1972 season with a record of 8-3 under the leadership of Parseghian. The Orange Bowl loss marked the worst loss for Parseghian since taking over the program in 1964.
Townsend followed up his comments on the game by remarking, “Nest year is going to be tremendous for us.”
The following year, the Irish went undefeated and finished with a record of 11-0. The Associated Press recognized Notre Dame as National Champions.