1972 Orange Bowl

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1972 Orange Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 6 0 6
Nebraska 14 14 3 7 38
Date January 1, 1972
Season 1971
Stadium Orange Bowl
Location Miami, Florida
MVP Offense: Jerry Tagge
  QB - Nebraska
Defense: Willie Harper
  LB - Nebraska
Favorite Nebraska by 6
Referee R. Pete Williams (SEC)
Attendance 78,151
United States TV coverage
Network NBC
Announcers Jim Simpson
and Kyle Rote
Orange Bowl
 < 1971  1973

The 1972 Orange Bowl was played the night of January 1 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. In the final game of the 1971 college football season, top-ranked and defending national champion Nebraska soundly defeated the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, 38–6.[1][2][3]

Six-point favorite Nebraska entered the game on a 31-game unbeaten streak,[4] and scored first on a 2-yard touchdown run by Jeff Kinney. Future Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers scored on a 77-yard punt return on the final play of the first quarter, as Nebraska led 14–0. In the second quarter, quarterback Jerry Tagge and Gary Dixon added touchdown runs of one and two yards respectively, as Nebraska led convincingly 28–0 at halftime as the Husker defense stifled the Tide's previously potent Wishbone offense with All-American running back Johnny Musso.[5]

In the third quarter, Bama's Terry Davis scored on a 3–yard touchdown run making the score 28–6, eliminating the shutout. Nebraska's Rich Sanger kicked a 21-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter, and a 1-yard touchdown run by reserve senior QB Van Brownson made the final score 38–6.[2]

With top-ranked Nebraska's 32-point victory, the 1972 Orange Bowl was one of the most lopsided meetings of #1 vs #2, specifically in a season-ending bowl game.

Nebraska (13-0) was the consensus national champion, having defeated the next three teams in the final AP Poll released on January 3: Oklahoma, Colorado, and Alabama.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Nebraska rips Tide, still No. 1". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1972. p. 1, sports. 
  2. ^ a b Jenkins, Dan (January 10, 1972). "All yours, Nebraska". Sports Illustrated: 8. 
  3. ^ "Huskers the greatest?". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 3, 1972. p. 2B. 
  4. ^ "Orange coaches cautious". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 1, 1972. p. 11. 
  5. ^ Grimsley, Will (January 3, 1972). "College grid power switches to Big 8". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. (Florida). Associated Press. p. 18. 
  6. ^ "Huskers solid No. 1". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. January 4, 1972. p. 20. 
  7. ^ 1970 College AP Poll cfbdatawarehouse.com

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