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Media / bowl history
Date: Wednesday, December 28, 2005
If Nebraska returns to national prominence next season, the Cornhuskers will remember the MasterCard Alamo Bowl -- especially the frantic final play. Zac Taylor threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Nunn with 4:29 left, and Nebraska survived Michigan's lateral-filled, game-ending play to beat the No. 20 Wolverines 32-28 on Wednesday night.
The game ended on a bizarre play, with Michigan's Chad Henne throwing a short pass and his teammates lateraling eight times up and down the field before the play fizzled out with Titus Brothers shoving Tyler Ecker out of bounds at the Nebraska 13. Extra players and some coaches from both teams were on the field as the play finished.
Nebraska overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Huskers (8-4) won the Alamo for the third time in six years and finished a season with three straight victories for the first time since 1999.
Henne threw three touchdown passes and also ran for a score. His 7-yard scramble with 11:40 left gave the Wolverines a 28-17 lead. But Nebraska used a long punt return and a turnover to end Michigan's season with another disappointment.
The Wolverines, ranked as high as No. 3 in September, finished 7-5, with their losses coming by a combined 21 points.
Ross highlighted his night with a 31-yard touchdown that pulled Nebraska to 28-25 with 8:08 left. That score was set up by Cortney Grixby's 28-yard punt return to the Michigan 38.
The Huskers took the lead after Henne fumbled and Ola Dagundaro returned the ball to the Michigan 17. Three plays later, Taylor connected with Nunn for his third touchdown pass and second to Nunn. Michigan drove to the Nebraska 18, but Zackary Bowman tipped away Henne's fourth-down pass to Mario Manningham. Taylor was 14 of 31 for 167 yards, with two interceptions. He was sacked four times and hit hard on many other occasions.
Henne, 20-of-42 for 219 yards, erased a 17-14 deficit in the third quarter with a 21-yard pass to Manningham. Henne's touchdown run made it 28-17.
Nebraska, back at a bowl after having its NCAA-record run of 35 straight postseason appearances end last year, ran its record to 5-0 in games at the Alamodome. The Huskers have won three bowls in San Antonio and two Big 12 championships. The Huskers are 13-10 in Callahan's two seasons after beating Kansas State, Colorado and Michigan to finish the season. They haven't been in the Top 25 since the end of the 2003 season.
Hart, who was injured most of the season, led Michigan with 74 yards on 19 carries. The game was tied 14-14 at halftime, and Michigan benefited from a third-quarter video review that overturned a Nebraska touchdown and forced the Huskers to settle for Jordan Congdon's 20-yard field goal. Taylor's 3-yard pass to Nunn was disallowed when it was ruled that Nunn reeled in the ball after it hit the ground. The Wolverines then marched 58 yards in six plays to take a 21-17 lead. Henne completed passes of 12 and 18 yards, and got 15 more yards on Titus Adams' roughing-the-passer penalty, before Henne hit Manningham for a touchdown. -- Courtesy of ESPN
The national television broadcast of the 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl earned a 5.41 rating making it the most-watched college football game in ESPN history up until 2006. The rating translates into 4,875,554 households and 7.8 million viewers when considering ESPN's household base and a 1.6 viewers-per-viewing household factor. The mark exceeds ESPN's most-watched regular season college football game (a Florida State vs. Miami match-up with 4,486,000 households and 7.17 million viewers on October 8, 1994) and their most-watched bowl game (the 1998 Holiday Bowl between Nebraska and Arizona with 4,556,937 households and 7.29 million viewers).
The game ended on one of the most dramatic finishes in the 2005 bowl season: Michigan lateraled the ball eight times and was stopped 13 yards short of the end zone while the Nebraska team stormed the field, reminiscent of the historic 1982 Cal-Stanford game. With the win, Nebraska remains undefeated in the Alamodome, with a 3-0 record in the Alamo Bowl and a 2-0 record in 1997 and 1999 Big 12 Championship games.