1974 Sugar Bowl
|1974 Sugar Bowl|
|Date||December 31, 1974|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|MVP||Tony Davis (RB, Nebraska)|
|Favorite||Nebraska by 13 points|
|Halftime show||Harold "Harry" Love Grimes|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Keith Jackson and Barry Switzer|
The 1974 Sugar Bowl was a college football bowl game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Florida Gators, held on December 31, 1974. Played on New Year's Eve in New Orleans, this was the last Sugar Bowl played in Tulane Stadium; it moved to the new Louisiana Superdome the next year, then returned to January 1 in 1977.
Despite tying for fourth in the Southeastern Conference, Florida was invited to the Sugar Bowl on the basis of their early success, starting 7–1 and ranked sixth in early Novembert. But the Gators lost two of their last three games and were only #18 by the time of the bowl, and also the only team ranked in the bottom of the top 20 to appear in a major bowl game that season. SEC champion Alabama played in the Orange Bowl.
Tony Green scored first for Florida on a touchdown run in the first quarter on fourth and goal from the one. Florida added in a field goal in the second quarter to have a 10–0 lead. Nebraska decided to bench QB David Humm in the second half after four interceptions in favor of a running attack behind reserve Terry Luck. Florida mounted a drive into Nebraska territory in the third quarter, and Green apparently scored another touchdown but was called out of bounds at the five yard line. Four plays later, the Cornhuskers stopped the Gators at the one, gaining possession inches from their own goal line.
As the fourth quarter began, freshman Monte Anthony scored on a touchdown run to make it 10–7 that culminated a 99-yard drive on 18 plays. Nebraska was given a chance on their next drive, but a critical moment happened on fourth and two on the 49. Nebraska coach Tom Osborne decided to go for it, and Anthony ran for three yards for the first down. A few plays later, Nebraska tied the game on a Mike Coyle field goal with 7:12 remaining.
Florida could not concoct a drive and had to punt the ball back to the Huskers at the 25 with four minutes remaining. Nebraska went to work on a drive that covered less than two minutes and set up Coyle's kick from the Florida 29. With 2:22 remaining, Coyle kicked what turned out to be the game winning points as Nebraska held on to win their first Sugar Bowl. The running attack was evident in Nebraska as Anthony went 64 yards on fifteen carries for one touchdown while Tony Davis gained 126 yards on seventeen attempts.
With the narrow win, Nebraska fell a spot in the final AP poll to ninth, while Florida moved up three spots to fifteenth.
Statistics Nebraska Florida First Downs 18 13 Rushes–Yards 60–304 55–178 Passing Yards 16 97 Passes 2–14–4 5–10–1 Total Yards 320 275 Punts–Average 4–37.0 6–32.5 Fumbles–Lost 3–1 3–1 Turnovers by 5 2 Penalties–Yards 1–17 5–41
- "Huskers tip Gators 13-10". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. January 1, 1975. p. 1B.
- Shearer, Ed (January 1, 1975). "Crunching 'Huskers rub out Gators". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. p. 1C.
- "Nebraska tips Florida with field goal". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. January 1, 1975. p. 1, part 2.
- "'Huskers tip Gators 13-10". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. January 1, 1975. p. 1B.