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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nebraska Dominates Gators for Title

TEMPE, Arizona -- College football developed the Bowl Alliance in search of a Super Bowl, and that is what it got: a one-sided romp as devoid of suspense as a Little Golden Book. And with a plot about as complicated.


No. 1 Nebraska, too quick on offense and too strong on defense, beat No. 2 Florida, 62-24, in Tuesday's Fiesta Bowl and assured itself of a second consecutive national championship.


Behind unstoppable performances by quarterback Tommie Frazier and I-back Lawrence Phillips, the Cornhuskers (12-0) became the first team since Alabama in 1979 to successfully defend its title, and the first since the 1955-56 Oklahoma teams to finish an undefeated No. 1 in consecutive seasons. Frazier rushed for 199 yards, a career high and a Cornhuskers bowl record, and two touchdowns. He threw for another 105 yards to finish with 304 total yards.


Phillips rushed for 105 yards and scored two touchdowns -- in the first half alone. He finished with 165 yards on 25 carries, rushing for two scores and catching for a third.


The Gators did find a flaw in the Nebraska fabric: They blocked two Cornhuskers extra points. Of course, they got plenty of practice. Those who hate Florida coach Steve Spurrier -- and you know who you are, Tennessee -- took delight in Nebraska's point total. In September, when the Gators scored 48 unanswered points to defeat the Volunteers, 62-37, Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said, "If I can score 62 on him someday, I'll do it." One suspects Fulmer finds this an appropriate substitute.


"I think our team has great character," Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said. "I'm proud of what they did."


Nebraska set a school record with its 25th consecutive victory, pulling away from Florida (12-1) with a 29-point burst in the second quarter. The Cornhuskers front seven rushed through them and around them to pummel Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel. They sacked him seven times, once for a safety, and hit him untold times more. Florida finished with minus-28 yards rushing.


In Lincoln, more than 5,000 fans, some shirtless despite 21-degree (minus-6 Celsius) temperatures, jammed the downtown area to celebrate the win.


In Omaha, some 10,000 fans converged on 72nd and Dodge streets during the final minutes of the game, police said.


"I think this is the best behaved bunch of fans you'll ever see," said officer Dave Baker, as he stood next to his cruiser surrounded by a crowd of screaming fans. "We haven't had any problems. No cars being tipped over here."


Party-goer Steve Merriman said he had been waiting all year for this championship.


"It was awesome," he said. "Nebraska dominated from beginning to end. It's sort of what we live for here in Nebraska."


Cotton Bowl. In Dallas, Texas, Marcus Washington stunned Oregon with a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the second quarter, and John Hessler threw for two scores and ran for another as Colorado beat the Oregon 38-6 Monday in a chilly Cotton Bowl.


Citrus Bowl. In Orlando, Florida, Jay Graham outshined Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George and helped Tennessee to a 20-14 victory over Ohio State on Monday.


George rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown. But Graham had 154 yards on 26 carries, including a 69-yard touchdown run, and the Vols' defense came up with four big stops in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.


Outback Bowl. In Tampa, Florida, Wally Richardson threw four touchdown passes in the rain as 15th-ranked Penn State routed Auburn 43-14 Monday at soggy Tampa Stadium.


Sugar Bowl. In New Orleans, Louisiana, Virginia Tech blitzed Texas into submission and rode two long touchdowns by Bryan Still to a 28-10 victory Sunday night.


It was the 10th straight victory for No. 13 Virginia Tech (10-2), co-champion with Miami of the Big East. Tech secured the bowl berth when Miami was dropped from consideration because of NCAA sanctions.


(AP, Newsday)


(For other results, see Scorecard.)