1973 Orange Bowl

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1973 Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Notre Dame 0006 6
Nebraska 713200 40
DateJanuary 1, 1973
StadiumOrange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPJohnny Rodgers (IB, Nebraska)
FavoriteNebraska by 14 points[1]
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersJim Simpson and Kyle Rote
Orange Bowl
 < 1972  1974

The 1973 edition of the Orange Bowl was played on New Year's Day night in Miami, Florida. It featured Nebraska (8–2–1) of the Big Eight Conference and independent Notre Dame (8–2), led by their respective hall of fame coaches, Bob Devaney and Ara Parseghian.[2][3][4][5][6]


Notre Dame[edit]


Game summary[edit]

Ninth-ranked Nebraska was favored by two touchdowns.[1]

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers scored on an 8-yard touchdown run as Nebraska took the lead. 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.[3][6]

In the third quarter, Rodgers scored on runs of four and five 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 finally managed six points on a touchdown from Tom Clements to Pete Demmerle against the Husker reserves to avoid a shutout.[3][6]


Statistics    Notre   
First Downs 13 30
Rushes–Yards 44–124 64–300
Passing Yards 103 260
Passes 9–23–3 19–26–1
Total Yards 227 560
Punts-Average 6–37 4–38
Fumbles–Lost 3–0 1–1
Turnovers by 3 2
Penalties–Yards 1–15 5–68


Although 1972 was a letdown season after two consecutive national championships,[8] the Huskers were the first to three-peat in the Orange Bowl and finished fourth in the final AP poll at 9–2–1. Rodgers scored four touchdowns and threw for another in his final collegiate game, and sat out the final twenty minutes. The final UPI coaches poll was released in early December, prior to the bowls, and had the Huskers ninth.

The 1972 season also was the only three-loss season in Parseghian's eleven years at Notre Dame and they fell to fourteenth in the final AP poll; the Irish rebounded in 1973 to finish 11–0 and win the national championship.


  1. ^ a b "Notre Dame underdog in Orange". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 1, 1973. p. 62.
  2. ^ Langford, George (January 2, 1973). "Cornhuskers and Rodgers 'shuck' Notre Dame 40-6". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, sec. 3.
  3. ^ a b c "Devaney goes out in style as Nebraska pounds Irish". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. January 2, 1973. p. 11.
  4. ^ "Rodgers does it all in Orange Bowl". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 2, 1973. p. 29.
  5. ^ a b "What happened? asks Ara". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1973. p. 3B.
  6. ^ a b c Eidge, Frank (January 2, 1973). "Flu-ridden Rodgers leads Nebraska romp over Irish". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). UPI. p. 6B.
  7. ^ "Rodgers ruins Irish". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1973. p. 18.
  8. ^ Jenkins, Dan (January 8, 1973). "No doubt about who's champ". Sports Illustrated. p. 20.

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