Nebraska was the AP National Champion for the 1995 college football season. They picked up the #11 overall seed in The Greatest Tournament of all Time. The Cornhuskers cruised through five wins in Bracket #11 to earn the top spot in the Woody Region of the Bracket of Champions. Four wins later and the Huskers find themselves right where they expected to be all along - in the Final Four.
You can't ask for a better quarterback matchup than this one. Tommie Frazier vs Vince Young, two players that went out on top with super-human performances in championship games. Strangely, and somewhat telling of the status of the award, neither quarterback owns a Heisman Trophy.
On the opening drive of the game, Nebraska's Frazier showed why he is regarded as one of the greatest college football players of all time. After Lawrence Phillips carried for a 22 yard gain on the first play of the game, Frazier took an option keeper 21 yards. And on the third play of the drive Frazier popped back in the pocket after giving an option look and threw a 37 yard touchdown bomb to Reggie Baul to give Nebraska a 7-0 lead.
The Texas defense tightened up quickly, though. All American defensive tackle Rod Wright and defensive end Brian Robison got good penetration and kept Frazier from being able to get to the corner. Linebacker Aaron Harris and safety Michael Huff teamed up to slow down I-Backs Phillips and Ahman Green. Over the next 22 minutes they held one of the greatest offenses of all time to exactly zero points.
The Nebraska defense had Vince Young to contend with. Thanks to athletic linebacker Terrell Farley, used as a spy on Young for much of the first half, Texas didn't get on the score board until David Pino kicked a 46-yard field goal five minutes into the second quarter.
After finally putting the first quarter struggles behind them, Vince Young and the Longhorns went on a scoring binge. Young avoided the rush and hit Billy Pittman with a 27-yard touchdown pass, but Pino missed the extra point attempt. Young followed up another strong series by the defense with a 42 yard touchdown run. Just like that Texas was up on the favored Huskers 16-7.
Tommie Frazier answered (as he always did) by leading a methodical 13-play touchdown drive that nearly shaved the final four-and-a-half minutes entirely off the second quarter clock. He capped the drive with a 2-yard option keeper for the score. But Nebraska trailed 16-14 at the half.
Tommie Frazier was the story in the third quarter. The senior bookended a Ramonce Taylor touchdown and two point conversion with a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Gilman and a remarkable tackle-shredding 75-yard touchdown run as the clock expired on the third quarter.
The run not only gave Frazier over 100 yards rushing in the QUARTER, it also gave Nebraska the lead again, 28-24, and got the Nebraska fans in the crowd rocking.
But Vince Young answered with a remarkable drive of his own. Young was 3-for-3 using his favorite target, tight end David Thomas, for 47 yards on the drive. He also had two zone-read keepers for 27 yards to put the Longhorns in scoring position. The Blackshirts tightened up in the red zone and held Texas to 4th and 5 from the 9 yard line where Mack Brown made the gutsy call to go for it. Young came through by avoiding a Grant Wistrom sack and running it in for a touchdown and the lead.
The Nebraska offensive line, clearly starting to finally exert their dominance over a very good Texas defensive line, took over on the ensuing possession. Another 13-play drive saw Nebraska run the ball 12 times for 78 yards. Fullback Jeff Makovicka capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run as the Huskers wrestled the lead back again, 35-31.
From there Terrell Farley and the Nebraska defense took over. Everywhere Vince Young went, there was Farley. Farley batted down two passes and picked up two sacks on Texas' final three drives of the ball game as they only netted a long field goal by David Pino.
In a see-saw affair, that saw the two teams combine for nearly 1,000 yards of offense, it was Nebraska's defense in the final 7 minutes that won them the game. Vince Young finished with almost 100 yards rushing to go along with 277 yards passing, but Tommie Frazier out-shined VY with 201 rushing yards and 164 passing yards.
1995 Nebraska 35
2005 Texas 34