Throwback Thursday: Back-to-Back Alabama vs. Nebraska Bowl Showdowns, Part 2

J. Bank

Alabama’s Paul W. "Bear: Bryant and Nebraska’s Bob Devaney met up in the 1967 Sugar Bowl, a year after the coaching legends faced off for the first time in the 1966 Orange Bowl. 

SEC champion Alabama (10-0) was a solid favorite over Big 8 champion Nebraska (9-1). The prediction proved accurate. Alabama scored on the first three possessions and led at halftime, 24-0.

The game was never close with the Crimson Tide winning 34-7. 

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Ken Stabler, with one passing touchdown and another on the ground,  was named the game's MVP.  He was 12-for-18 passing with 218 yards. Ray Perkins caught seven passes for 178 yards and a touchdown.

The Cornhuskers had lost to the Crimson Tide, 39-28, in the 1966 Orange Bowl. 

1967 Sugar Bowl program cover
Image courtesy of Jimmy Bank

“The Alabama team today is the best football team I’ve ever seen - they’re No. 1, all right," Devaney said after the game. 

Even with the perfect record, Alabama finished third in the polls.

Nebraska’s hopes for revenge ended abruptly — the first play of the game, to be exact.

Following the opening kickoff, Stabler hit Perkins at full speed at the NU 40, and he wasn't hauled down until reaching the Nebraska 27. Seven plays later, Alabama scored and launched the rout that was to see the Tide lead, 17-0 at the quarter, 24-0 at the half and 27-0 before the Huskers could muster a fourth-quarter touchdown to avert a shutout.

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Speed won out over size as the heavier Cornhuskers, unable to utilize their ball-control strategy against the lighter, swifter Crimson Tide, were forced to play catch-up from the start. 

Nebraska, led by quarterback Bob Churchich, made a valiant try — Churchich tied a pass attempt record (34), set a new completion record (21) and passed for 201 yards — but five interceptions (two against Churchich) dashed comeback hopes at every turn.

Alabama’s win was bolstered by out-rushing Nebraska 157-84, out-throwing the Cornhuskers 279- 213, and out-downed NU, 19-16.

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