Nebraska, the defending national champion, had started the season atop the polls and remained there. Oklahoma averaged an unfathomable NCAA-record 472 rushing yards per game. The Cornhuskers were 10-0 and the Sooners were 9-0, with its final opponent of the season being a dismal Oklahoma State team. The winner would be Big 8 Champion and on its way to Miami to play for the national title in the Orange Bowl.
Nebraska jumped out to a 14-3 lead, thanks in part to a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown by Johnny Rodgers. The Sooners bounced back, as quarterback Jack Mildren rushed for a touchdown and passed for another, and headed into the locker room with a 17-14 halftime lead.
The Cornhuskers went ahead 28-17 with two strong scoring drives in the 3rd quarter. Again, Mildren threw and rushed for a touchdown and the Sooners led 31-28 with minutes left in the game. Nebraska made its game-winning drive with quarterback Jerry Tagge completing a crucial third-down pass to Rodgers. Running back Jeff Kinney ran into the end zone for the winning score with two minutes left. Legend has it that President Richard Nixon called both Nebraska head coach Bob Devaney and Oklahoma head coach Chuck Fairbanks after the game.
The Cornhuskers defeated Alabama 38-6 in the Orange Bowl to win the national title, while the Sooners beat Auburn 40-22 in the Sugar Bowl. So special is this game that even though Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten ended this rivalry, the two schools have scheduled a two game series starting in 2021 to commemorate its 50th anniversary.