The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on November 14, 1976 · Page 33
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · Page 33

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Sunday, November 14, 1976
Page:
Page 33
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November 11,1179, Uocofai, Neb., Sudiy Jovial lad Hu SC I Emotional Bruce Views Win as Greatest in ISU History By Randy York Staff Sports Writer Ames, Iowa — Earle Bruce, happily married and father of four daughters, said here Saturday he had just experienced the most exciting moment in his 43 years on planet Earth. ' I’ve never been this excited. Never," said Iowa State's fourth- year head football coach after hts Cyclones swept Nebraska out of No Name Stadium. 37-28. Then, spotting his father in the back of the interview room, Earle Bruce let himself go. Jumping out of his chair and swinging his right arm like a boxer. Bruce yelled: "By God, by gum, you want to know what did it? Luther Blue’s 95-yard kickoff return. That’s what did it. That's something when you break one of those.’’ Actually, it was a convenient excuse for him to duck in the hallway and try hiding another emotional explosion that was quickly building up. Bruce, by nature an emotional person, fought back the tears and suppressed his emotions through the first 10 minutes of his post-game huddle with UTiters. Walking toward his father, 72- year-old Earle Bruce Sr. from Cumberland. Md.. Iowa State’s head coach concluded his interview “I can’t talk anymore,” Bruce said, his eyes getting redder than a Nebraska cowboy hat. "This is the best victory for Earle Bruce,” he screamed above the noisiest locker room in America Saturday. "I don’t even know what would come in second. Maybe when we beat Michigan (while he was an Ohio State assistant), 50-14, to go to the Rose Bowl. But this ... this is more exciting than that’ll ever be. "This is really something when you think about it.” Bruce V said. "Look back at last year. Fifty-two to nothing. Nebraska beat us 52 to nothing. What a helluva effort for a football team to come back the next year from ’ something like that! “This is more than the high point of my career. This is the greatest thing to ever happen in the history of Iowa State’s football program. Maybe now, everyone will believe what I’ve been trying to tell them — that we have a good football team — one of the best in the country." The Cyclones, who Saturday became the highest scoring team in Iowa State history, earned their first triumph over Nebraska since 1980. ‘ Beating Oklahoma in 1960 for the first time in 17 or 18 years Earle Bruce was a big win for us. But this is certainly the most important victory Iowa State has ever had," ottered Harrv Burrell, the Cyclones' sports information director the past 35 years. Burrell said it’s been 38 years since Iowa State was involved in a more important game than Saturday’s Big Eight showdown with the league lead at stake so late in the season. "We were 7-0-1 going into the Oklahoma game in 1938 with the winner set to go to the Orange Bowl." Burrell recalled. "We lost, 10-0. Oklahoma lost to Tennessee in the Orange Bowl.” Despite the impact of ISO’s triumph, throwing the Big Eight race into a five-team deadlock for the lead, the Cyclones were remarkably restrained with regard to bowl games. “Whatever bowl game we go to. this will stick m my mind far. far longer," Cyclone middle guard Maynard Stensrud said. "Breaking Nebraska’s tradition has got to mean more than a bowl game. I don’t care if you’re talking about the Orange Bowl or what." Bruce also chose to bake in the sunshine of Nebraska over guessing, the bowl picture. “The Orange Bowl is going to have to make some decisions. I guess," he said, forgetting the subject almost as quickly as it was brought up. Someone handed Bruce an unofficial statistics sheet Geeeeeeeeeeeemenee Christmas." he shouted. "We held Nebraska to 77 yards rushing’’ Oeoeeeeeeeeeemenee Isn't that something’’ And we got 321 them? yards rushing against That isn’t bad either." Bruce experienced one other emotional outbreak during his post-game interview. A white-haired, red-faced man emerged at the door of the interview room He and Earle Bruce shared a spontaneous handshake and a tear. It was the father of Jim Wmgender. last year's leading Cyclone rusher from Omaha Creighton Prep ’ I’ve been waiting 60 years for this. Earle." he said. This is pretty emotional for John Wingender, too.' Bruce said, explaining the brief intrusion He has to live with Nebraska fans all the time, you know’’’’ Off and flying ... Luther Blue (91) stunned Nebraska when he broke loose and raced 95 yards for a kickoff return touchdown moments after the Huskers had closed an early deficit to 10-7. Loose Again! .\nother loose football' Dodie Donnell (45) and Vince Ferragamo (15). In addition to causing Mavnard Stensrud (90) chase the ball which the turnover. Penne eventually ended up with popped free when Lenzy Ferine (93) tackled the recover}’. Mike FulU (72) looms ahead so Wayne Stanley Glover Rogers (89) and starts to reverse lus (18) puts on the brakes, picks up a blocker in direction. m Defeat is tough to accept. Huskers James Wight- mao (59) and Keith Steward ponder the rcahty of losing to a "for real" Iowa State football team.

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