Today's full-play oldie is a REAL oldie. Following losses by No. 1 Texas (24-11 to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl) and No. 2 Ohio State (27-17 to Stanford in the Rose Bowl), Bob Devaney wrapped up his first national title at Nebraska with a 17-12 win over No. 5 LSU in the Orange Bowl.
Quarterbacks didn't know how to throw the ball away in 1971. Early in LSU's last-ditch drive, you see LSU quarterback Bert Jones' stats: 5-for-8 passing. That included at least four sacks, and not just "hurl yourself forward into the collapsing pocket and lose two yards" sacks; I'm talking "run backwards until three guys inevitably bring you down" sacks. Complete and utter drive-killers. If Jones had just thrown the damn ball away (because you could see every sack coming from a mile away), he'd have gone about 5-for-12, and LSU might have won. But quarterbacks just didn't do that.
(Nebraska quarterback Jerry Tagge, meanwhile, took a couple of the same types of sacks. Meanwhile, announcers late in the game say that Tagge has had "quite a night," going 11-for-22 for 127 yards.)
It's fun watching old games because of the random similarities -- the screens, the trick plays, etc. But quarterbacks were meant to be even-to-their-own-detriment heroes in 1971, and it caused so many awful, avoidable plays.
- The 1971 Orange Bowl logo (above) was terrifying. So was Lil' Red's predecessor.
- Two years after this game, Johnny Rodgers would win the Heisman Trophy. This was not one of his finest games. He was still in his out-of-control colt stage at this point, and he suffered a costly drop and an even costlier muffed punt in the first half. It's funny looking back and realizing that the "greats" weren't always great.
- LSU had one of the best run defenses in the country in 1970, and you can tell that Nebraska was a little cowed by it. They attempted to catch LSU off guard by passing quite a bit, only they weren't actually very good at it. They got away with the strategy because an early LSU turnover gave them a short field, easy touchdown drive, and a 10-0 lead. They milked that for all it was worth, eventually fell behind, 12-10, then pulled off a comfortable, plodding touchdown drive to take the lead for good.
- Watch the absolutely incredible play that wraps up the ballgame. In 2012, that would have been on SportsCenter 1,536 times.