Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers scored on an 8-yard touchdown run as Nebraska took the lead at 7-0. In the second quarter, Gary Dixon scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to increase the score to 14-0. I-back Rodgers then found split end Frosty Anderson for a 52-yard touchdown pass and the Huskers led 20-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Rodgers scored on runs of 4 and 5 yards as Nebraska built a 33-0 lead. Quarterback Dave Humm threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Rodgers as Nebraska led 40-0 after three quarters. Notre Dame managed six points on a touchdown from Tom Clements to Demmerle against the Husker reserves to avoid a shutout.
Although 1972 was a letdown season after two consecutive national championships, the Huskers were the first to three-peat in the Orange Bowl. Johnny Rodgers scored four touchdowns and threw for another in his final collegiate game.