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Steven M. Sipple: You waited patiently for NU’s game week; 12 predictions are your reward | Column





NU_OU 1971 # 2 (copy)

Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers (20) weaves his way through Oklahoma defenders for a 72-yard point return in the first quarter of NU’s 35-31 victory over the Sooners in the “Century game.”


Julie Koch



Fans attending the “Game of the Century” in Norman, Oklahoma, had barely settled into their seats as No. 20 put a point on his 28-yard line.

And what Johnny Rodgers did next, yes, it continues to defy the description to this day. But we try.

After breaking a tackle at 30, he planted his hand on the ground to maintain his balance, pinballed himself up the field, shot right, then left, then right and then left again, leaving faster defenders, who seized nothing but air in his wake.

“Holy moly!” Nebraska play-by-play advertiser Lyell Bremser exclaimed after Rodgers crossed the finish line. “Man, woman and child made them put them in the hallways! Johnny ‘The Jet’ Rodgers just tore them loose from their shoes! ”

The points return gave the top-ranked Huskers an early 7-0 lead against No. 2 Sooners on their way to an exciting 35-31 victory. It also turned out to be the biggest of the game’s many great games, with Dan Jenkins of Sports Illustrated writing “Essentially, what won it was a gem of a point-return in the first 3 første minutes of the game. Everything else balances, more or less … ”


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