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Husker History Highlights - December 2

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Heartbreaker: Missouri 35, Nebraska 31 | Nov. 18, 1978, Lincoln

Richard Berns had a banner day against the Colorado Buffaloes just days after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated. 

What are the most memorable Husker touchdowns for every yard on the field, from 1 to 100? HuskerExtra revisits The Journal Star's Touchdown Club series.

82 yards: SI jinx hits Huskers, but not Berns

Nov. 18, 1978 (Missouri 35, Huskers 31)

Rick Berns appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated after Nebraska’s upset of No. 1 Oklahoma the previous Saturday.

The SI jinx didn’t affect the Nebraska running back against Missouri. He ran for 255 yards for what was then a single-game school record. He also surpassed Tony Davis to become Nebraska’s all-time leading rusher at the time.

Berns set the tone early, scampering 82 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play. A sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium, which had been at an all-time fever pitch the week before, could sense it: The Huskers, ranked No. 2, would win and play for the national championship.

Except, they didn’t. Stupid SI jinx.

Nebraska tried everything but couldn’t stop sophomore running back James Wilder, who led the Tigers to a 35-31 upset.

“They just beat us,” Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said. “We were worried whether the players could play with the same intensity two weeks in a row. We didn’t. We weren’t as crisp, not as emotional as against Oklahoma last week.”

The worst news was yet to come: Not only would Nebraska, already Orange Bowl-bound, not play for the national championship, the Huskers would face a rematch with Oklahoma.

The Sooners won.

 

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