This year’s college football season has already gotten way, with Week Zero featuring a handful of games.
But let’s go back to the 2001 college football season, which had a series of memorable plays and games, all of which involved the Big Twelve Conference.
- Nebraska versus Missouri, September 29, 2001: with the Cornhuskers backed up against their own goal line, quarterback Eric Crouch managed to scramble from several defenders and in doing so, ran 95 yards for a touchdown, which was the longest touchdown in the school’s history, not to mention one of the longest touchdowns in college football. Nebraska would win the game 36-3.
- Oklahoma versus Texas, October 6, 2001: with a little over two minutes left in the game and down 7-3, the Longhorns found themselves backed up against their own goal line. On the ensuring snap, Texas’s quarterback Chris Sims attempted a pass, but safety Roy Williams had blitzed, going so far as to lead over the Longhorn blockers and thus collided with Sims. As a result, the pass became deflected and fell into the hands of Sooners linebacker Teddy Lehman, who practically walked into the end zone. This play, known as the Superman Play due to Williams’s leap, gave Oklahoma a 14-3 victory.
- Nebraska versus Oklahoma, October 27, 2001: with Nebraska leading 13-10 in the fourth quarter in a battle of undefeated teams, Cornhuskers quarterback Eric Crouch also became the receiver in a Black 41 flash reverse pass, in which Crouch pitched the ball to running back Thunder Collins, who then pitched a reverse to split end Mike Stuntz, who then passed the ball to Crouch for a 40-yard touchdown, thus giving the Cornhuskers a 20-10 over the Sooners.
- Colorado versus Nebraska, November 23, 2001: an undefeated Nebraska paid a visit to Colorado with the Big Twelve North Division on the line. There was speculation that Colorado would hand Nebraska its first loss of the season. Such speculation turned out to be true, as the Buffaloes jumped to a 28-3 lead in the first quarter, and would go on to defeat the Cornhuskers 62-36. Two of Colorado’s running backs, Bobby Purify and Chris Brown, would each rush for over 100 yards. In addition, Brown scored six touchdowns (a school record), while Purify scored two touchdowns.
Although Colorado would go on to win the Big Twelve Championship, Nebraska managed to stay ahead in the BCS rankings, and thus play Miami in the Rose Bowl for the national championship, thus setting off some controversy. However, such controversy came to an end due to Miami defeating Nebraska 37-14, while Colorado lost to Oregon 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl. As a result, the Miami Hurricanes became national champions.