The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama on January 2, 1972 · Page 25
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The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama · Page 25

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Anniston, Alabama
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Sunday, January 2, 1972
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Page 25
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- i r '; '-" i'i, - . , " 9 tin .it ! II ' - i I i f j i . 1 - ' . ' ' ; ,j 1 4 i I By GEORGE SMITH -Star Sports Editor- MIAMI - Nebraska coach Bob Devaney never did quite call Saturday night's Orange Bowl game with Alabama "the" biggest game ever" before it was played, but he was ready, after winning big, to say "It was the biggest win of my career." Maybe Devaney, before the game,' was remembering a couple of other bowl games that had seen his Nebraska team lose big to a Bear Bryant team and maybe he didn't want another loss to be a big one. He had absolutely nothing to worry about on that score as his 1971 Cornhuskers, defending national champions, ripped in 38-6 to give perhaps just cause to say "It was .the biggest win of my career." ' . And there was some more, one thing being that the victory came easier than expected and that Devaney would now ir if V K -i rank Oklahoma number two in the land. -'No, I really didn't think it would be this easy. I do think we played a real fine first half. The second half, well, we didn't play quite as well, but we did play wen enough to stay ahead. y . ( "I think when you put 28 points on the scoreboard by halftime it's a little hard to keep up your momentum. ' "Too, Alabama played a lot tougher defense in the second half." . . "Running away at halftime, someone wanted to know if perhaps Devaney got a call from the President at intermission." , "No, I didn't get a call from the President at halftime," he laugnea. "K naan t gotten mat far yet," Which was biggest, the win over Oklahoma or the win over Alabama? ' "The Oklahoma victory was a very important one for us -we won the Big Eight championship with it, and there was probably more excitement in that game than this one "But this one was for the national championship. It would have to be the biggest. Sure. "But I think I would have to vote for Oklahoma now as the number two team in the nation." If there is a turning point in a rout of this kind, then this , turning point Saturday night came when Johnny Rodgers raced 77 yards with an Alabama punt on the final play of the -first period, pushing Nebraska out to a 14-0 lead "It looked like they had Rodgers cornered for a while and then he broke loose for that touchdown. "He's the finest kick return man I have ever seen." And, finally, Devaney had some praise for a Nebraska .defense that .held LhighrjngBamai3L2 points pet game) to a mere six points. . , "Our defense created some breaks with some good hard tackling in the first half. That helped a lot. Like I said, I think we played a real fine first half." 61D ooi ' jqd on my-p aft A says ziiaBaoia s JOHNNY RODGERS IS OFF TO THE RACES ...this is start of 77-yard punt return for TD Ifi- JU-JJSL 11 JLIQJ AP wirepliotos vMmmksv miMm ' ALABAMA Rushing Art NET L.Gtin TD Musso 15 79 22 0 Bisceglia 7 20 5 t Beck 2 7 4' 0 Gantt 1 17 -7 0 Davit NEBRASKA 3C Oft AttntatOtt fetr Sunday, January 2, 1972 14 i Hobton is 59 Knapp 2 -10 LaBue 1 11 Spivey 1 1. Totals 58 265 rr 26 6 II 1 21 Rushing Kinney Dixon Olds Jagg- Alt 20 9 2 5 - Damkroger 3 Brownson 4 Rodgers 4 Totals 47 Net L. Gain 99 32 14 27 19 TD 1 BY GEORGE SMITH Star Sports Editor MIAMI Alabama and Paul Rain causes Houndstooth to be put up MIAMI Alabama fans back home watching their Crimson Tide play- Nebraska here Saturday night in the 1972 Orange Bowl may have been wondering why their coach, Bear Bryant, didn't show up in his familiar houndstooth hat. Well, it rained buckets and buckets of water for at least an hour prior to kickoff time and Bryant went to his rain gear for the. game L.-incruding an- Alabama baseball cap. It didn't rain during the came and the rain gear was not needed, but it's doubtful if even the Houndstooth hat would have stayed the power that is Nebraska in 1971. Certainly Bryant didn't use it as an excuse GEORGE SMITH "Bear" Bryant, had just come home a non-bowl winner for the fifth straight time and Bryant, as usual, was putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the winningest coach in the land Paul "Bear" Bryant. "I must have done a poor job of getting them ready for the game," offered Bryant. "If I had it to do over agin, we would stick 'to basics in our; game plan a little longer. "I said early in the, week that coaching was six points of the game. Actually it's worth five times that much." But, there too, was some credit for Nebraska that had won easily, 38-6, and kept a national football championship it won here last year by defeating LSU." " "We were beaten soundly by a far superior football team," said Bryant. "They were much better prepared than ours, and they toyed with us most of the time. They were just one of the greatest, if not the greatest, I have ever seen.. "We did manage to come back a little in the second half, but not for long," Bryant added. Bear Individually Bryant called (Jerry) Tagge "superb"- "And (Johnny) Rodgers hurt us with the big plays, "I felt like I had a poor game plan, not talcing anything away from Nebraska, but we had too much in our game plan and we should have stuck to our basic stuff early in the game." . Pausing a. .minute, Bryant added "we made a lot of mistakes, but you have to also say that Nebraska forced us into a lot of them." , And Bryant would agree that Nebraska also forced its way to a 1971 championship, 38-6 style. 9 22 10 163 "7 7 16 4 32 Passing Att Com Int Yds L. Pass TO Davis 9 3 1 47 17 0 -wHobson 3 0 0 0 0 0 Rlppetoe 10 10 0 0 Totals 113 3 2 17 17 0 -Passing Art Com INT Yds L.Pasj TO Si Pass Rec. Caught Yds L. Pass T0 P. Recv. No. Yds Wheeler i 10 -Bay 1 Musso 0 Totals 3 22 47 Punting Gantt No. Yds 7 303 L. Pass 5 15-12 15 Avg 43.3 TD 0 0 0 0 L. Punt 55 Koogers 4 LIST J uixon Damkroger 1 Cox Anderson Totals Punting Hughes 2 II No. 5 84 21 n t 22 6 159 5 15 20 6 15 6 56 YdiPntd Avg. L. Punt 212 42.4 48 Nebraska (Continued from Page 1C) Again Bama couldn't move and again Gantt line-drived a fourth-down punt to Rodgers. The hammer clicked on a loaded cylinder that time and when Rodgers, after a couple of dips and darts in and out at Alabama's coverage broke 77 yards for a second touchdown. That one came on the last play of the quarter and Tagge got two more by hitting Maury Damkroger on a little sideline spring. That made it 14-0. It was going to get worse. The first play of the second quarter wasn't any better than the last play of the first. Steve Williams fumbled the kickoff at the Tide 27 and seyen plays from there Tagge sneaked across to make it read 20-0. Sanger converted. Swapped fumbles led to a fourth score seconds later. Rodgers, after catching a mini-bomb from Tagge, fumbled at the 20 and the ball squirted to the Tide, one where Bama started. But not for long. Bisceglia fumbled on the second play at the four and Bob Terrio recovered. Dixon got two and then two more. Another touchdown. That shoved it to 27-0 and Sanger made it 28-0. Sanger did, however manage to hold the score down some when he missed a 25-yard field goal from dead center with time running out in the period. It was some better from intermission on, but also some too late. ' ' Alabama, in the third period, actually dominated and, except for an interception in the end zone, might have, just might, have gotten back in the football game. That one came after Bama's defense blunted Nebraska's opening series and forced a punt. From its own 43, the Tide worked Nebraska's defenses fop nd less than three first downs, the last one at the 19. But three plays from there Davis, trying to loft one to David Bailey, just didn't lift it enough.' It settled into the hands of Nebraska's Joe Blahak. But again Nebraska couldn't move and again it was kicking time, this one to Bobby McKinney at the Bama 29. McKinney, on a good return, got it back to the 45. After Bisceglia worked it for three Davis came with the quarterback draw. It covered 28 whopping big yards to the Nebraska 28, and seven plays from there, on a fourth down, Davis lugged it the final three yards: That, with 9:11 gone in the third, cut.it to 28-6, but when a try for two failed, a faint glimmering of hope just up and glimmered away. , . It wasn't official, but Alabama was dead. . Sanger from 21 yards away, went about the business of making it official, by booting it to 31-6 on the last play of the Minafone for the Cornhuskers'came in the fourth when second-string quarterback Van Brownson sneaked over from the one-yard line! . - , . , The door for that final little bit of unhappmess for Alabama was opened when Jim Anderson intercepted a Benny Rippetoe pass at the Alabama 31 and returned it to the one. ','' "J FY1 i (I mmmkmmmmmmmmmmtmmmmmmmm fA, I) If-'- ft ) fi-tv -,. " 'I'' ' - ' I v '1 i ; ' - i 1 v JT ! J - t i in i i - - - - - - , , WALLACE OFFERS CONDOLENCE ... Beard (77) and Patterson in dressing room JOHNNY MUSSO IS OUT BLOCKING ...that's Terry Davis running the ball Tide's bowl mark now 25 MIAMI - Alabama's appearance here Saturday in the 1972 Orange Bowl was number 25 since its 1&5 team played in the Rose Bowl, keeping alive a record of being the bowlingesf team in all the land. That Alabama's "silver" anniversary was an embarassing one is now a matter of record. But something more than that can be found in the record book. The Tide's Bowl record is not a glittering one, now standing at 15-7-3, and it has been the past five trips that has dimmed the glitter once there. Fact is, the Tide hasn't won a' post-season game since beating this same Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl, 34-7, back on Jan. 1, 1967. Since then Alabama has lost to Texas A & M, 20-16, in the Cotton; to Missouri, 35-16, in the Gator; to Colorado, 47-33, in the Liberty; and, last year, was tied by. Oklahoma, 24-24, in the Astro-Bluebonnet. Nebraska, 1971, didn't heal any hurting - GEORGE SMITH 1 Ci l(m , & O K mil mi mm m n in .iHiiiimi . 1" : a k- mX i, . - r ft m-J I V- 7 ' . it GARY DIXON HAS A NEBRASKA TOUCHDOWN HERE ...Tide defensemen just can 't get to him

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