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Husker History Highlights - October 21

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the lonely pylon

The visual evidence is no longer around, but this touchdown remains memorable in Husker lore. (LJS file photo)

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.

87 yards: Put some butter on it

Sept. 25, 1976 (Huskers 64, TCU 10)

When glancing at the final score of Nebraska’s 1976 win against TCU, one might wonder why any play from that game would be considered worth remembering all these years later.

Nebraska won 64-10 that day. It was such a blowout that 76 Huskers saw action in an effort to not make the final outcome more absurd.

But for about a quarter that day, the Horned Frogs believed. TCU actually led 10-7, a lead the Frogs thought they’d have heading into the second quarter.

Then they kicked to “Butter.”

That was what teammates called Dave Butterfield, a Colorado native who made a memory for life that day when he fielded a punt at his 13-yard line, picked up a wall of blockers and kept running until the band played the Husker fight song.

“That was the turning point in the game,” Tom Osborne told the reporters afterward. “It gave us a lift and hurt them psychologically.”

Some TCU players might still be hurt psychologically from what followed. Butterfield’s return started a 57-point scoring spree by Nebraska.

That's one reason to bring up this play. Another? Well, it was 87 yards. There aren't many 87-yard Husker touchdowns to choose from.

Anyway, it was a feel-good win for an offense that had sputtered just two weeks before, losing its No. 1 ranking after a 6-6 tie to an underwhelming LSU team.

That season would end up being a disappointment, given the high preseason expectations. Nebraska lost three games in the Big Eight that year, to Missouri, Iowa State and Oklahoma. The Huskers needed a three-point win against Texas Tech in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl to salvage a nine-win season.

Part of what made those nine wins possible? Playing an extra regular-season game at Hawai'i.

Hey, if someone offers you a chance to go to Hawai'i and pick up a free win, you nod your head and get on the plane. The Huskers saw some surf, got some sun, and a 68-3 win.

So that season wasn't all bad.

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