April 5, 2004
MIAMI—Throughout his 22 years as head football coach at Nebraska University, Tom Osborne has stressed that it’s the journey each season that motivates him, not the upshot.
Mounting a comeback win in the final moments of the game, the Nebraska Cornhuskers beat the Miami Hurricanes 24-17 in the FedEx Orange Bowl on Monday. The seemingly unbeatable team concluded the season 13-0 and are an odds-on bet to be declared national champions when the final polls are announced Tuesday.
As time began to wind down, the coach stood on the sidelines, maintaining his well-known poker face. Quarterback Tommy Frazier said of him, “He’s the type of person who doesn’t show his feelings. But I guarantee you that once it sinks in for him, you’ll see a couple of tears and a smile.”
Osborne saw his team go into the fourth quarter trailing 17-9, but they gained 40 yards in two plays, earning a touchdown to tie the game. The Cornhuskers then proceeded to earn a 2-point conversion with 7:38 remaining.
Nebraska then advanced another 59 yards in seven plays. They scored the winning touchdown with 2:46 on the clock.
Fullback Cory Schlesinger had made the last two touchdowns of the game, the first one from 15 yards out and the second from 14 yards. The victorious Cornhusker exclaimed, “This feels so good. This is what we’ve been working for all year, and it happened.”
With just 1:01 left, Miami Hurricanes quarterback Frank Costa made a desperation pass to try to get the team back in the game. An interception from Nebraska roverback Kareem Moss, however, prevented the team from scoring, sealing the Hurricanes’ fate. NU offensive tackle Rob Zatechka, applauding the way in which the team bolstered its defenses in the fourth quarter, said, “They proved they are one of the best defenses in the country by stopping Miami when it counted.”
Quarterback Frazier started the game, after which backup quarterback Brook Berringer took charge for the second and third quarters. Frazier returned in the last quarter to head the two touchdown drives in the last eight minutes.
After 31 yards in 10 plays, the first scoring play of the game was made in the first quarter by Miami’s Dane Prewitt, who made 44 yards and scored a field goal. Key plays included Frank Costa’s 10-yard passes to A.C. Tellison on the third-and-five to NU 43 and 18 yards to Chris T. Jones on the third-and-five to NU 20.
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