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Nebraska's visits to play UCLA have had mixed returns

September 07, 2012|By Chris Foster
  • Mark Harmon (7) runs the ball against Nebraska in 1972.
Mark Harmon (7) runs the ball against Nebraska in 1972. (Los Angeles Times )

This is will be the sixth time Nebraska has come west to play UCLA. A look at the previous visits:

Nebraska 14, UCLA 13, 1993

A coulda-been moment: Nebraska lost three fumbles and had one pass intercepted, yet UCLA could not pull off an upset of the No. 8 Cornhuskers.

The Bruins had one touchdown called back for holding, and Bjorn Merten missed a 44-yard field goal just before halftime.

Lawrence Phillips, Nebraska’s third-sting I-back, got into the lineup and finished with 137 yards rushing. Later on, Phillips appeared in many more lineups.

UCLA 41, Nebraska 28, 1988

The "Greatest Season In UCLA History" picked up speed when the fifth-ranked Bruins buried the second-ranked Cornhuskers in the second week.

It was 38-7 before Nebraska fans had a memorable moment. Erik Toupal Van Fleet of Upland, a native of Omaha, and Suzanne May Snyder, a native of Grand Island, Neb., were married in the stands at halftime.

Troy Aikman threw three touchdown passes. Eric Ball ran for 148 yards. Coach Terry Donahue tempted the football gods, saying, "I told the players that if we were ever going to win a national championship, we'd have to beat Nebraska."

The "Greatest Season In UCLA History" was derailed when the top-ranked Bruins were upset by Washington State in October. Another loss to USC denied UCLA a Rose Bowl appearance.

Nebraska 42, UCLA 3, 1984

Then-UCLA quarterback Matt Stevens "fondly" recalled this game last week.

"I just remember being on my back all day," Stevens said during the broadcast of the UCLA-Rice game. “Nebraska brought its second team in and I was still getting sacked.”

Nebraska had eight sacks and the top-ranked Cornhuskers won for the first time in California. But there would be no national title. Nebraska lost at Syracuse the following week. The Cornhuskers had climbed back to No. 1 by the final week, but lost to Oklahoma.

UCLA 20, Nebraska 17, 1972

The Shucker Shocker.

No. 1 Nebraska, the two-time defending national champion, had not lost since 1969. The Cornhuskers brought a 32-game unbeaten streak and 23-game winning streak to the Coliseum.

This perfectly scripted for an upset. What was needed was a talented actor to play the lead. UCLA quarterback Mark Harmon threw for a touchdown on his first college pass and later scored on a two-yard run.


UCLA 18, Nebraska 0, 1946

UCLA had 70 veterans back from World War II on the roster.

"We had guys who knew how to command, knew how to take charge," running back Gene Rowland said.

One of those was quarterback Ernie Case, who threw for 112 yards and a touchdown in the regular-season finale against Nebraska.

UCLA finished fourth nationally, but lost to Illinois in the Rose Bowl.

Nebraska? Well, the Cornhuskers finished as "Kansas State Champions," beating Kansas and Kansas State for two of their three victories.

How long ago was this? Tulane was in the Southeast Conference. Idaho was in what became the Pac-12. The Big 12 was the Big 6. And Army finished the season ranked second.


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