Tagge said, "It's funny. We don't all pal around with each other much. We have married guys and fraternity guys and we live all over town. My roommate isn't on the team. We see each other mostly at practice and then we go off to do other things. I think our success can be attributed to the fact that we just have a lot of good players and good coaches and great fans.
"You know, as a kid you dream about playing on a national championship team. Now here we are, this bunch of clowns you see around the room."
The Colorado game was never actually close because Nebraska did what it does best—make the enemy look bad. The defense provided a couple of fumbles at Colorado's 16 and 25, and these errors were turned into touchdowns. And the offense proved it could run and throw with a marvelous balance on two beautiful drives in the first half of 65 and 75 yards, which put the game out of Colorado's reach.
Unlike Oklahoma, which stays exclusively with the Wishbone T, Nebraska shows the opponent a variety of offensive sets out of Devaney's I formation. Tagge, who has finally shaken Van Brownson as a compatriot quarterback and clearly has held the job all season, calls most of the plays himself, and expertly.
Against Colorado he seemed always to know what would work, whether it was running his I-back, Jeff Kinney, over Rupert's left guard spot, or throwing to his ends and backs when least expected.
"The thing about Jerry," said Rupert, "is that he listens to you. He trusts you in the huddle to tell what might work. If I give him a nod, he knows I'm handling my guy and he can run there."
Tagge's leadership and certainly his passing arm are very much the key to Nebraska's success. He hit 10 of 17 for 144 yards and a touchdown on Colorado, and he had at least three perfect tosses dropped by usually dependable receivers such as the swift Johnny Rodgers and Jeff Kinney. His percentage is way up there—.615—and he has thrown only two interceptions in eight games. No other quarterback who has averaged 10 completions or more a game can match these figures.
"We think our balance is just as impressive as Oklahoma's rushing," said Jacobson, the tackle. "They might gain 700 yards but they give up 500. We don't give up much, and I think our offense might be able to keep the football on them. I hope it can, anyhow."
Statistically, it will surely seem as if blazing Oklahoma has won the first comparison of the two top teams now that Nebraska has also whipped Colorado. Against a Colorado team that was in far better health than it was against the Cornhuskers, the Sooners outcomputerized Nebraska in every department, despite losing five fumbles.
Oklahoma rushed for 498 yards on Colorado while Nebraska rushed for only 180. And even though Tagge passed for 144 yards, Oklahoma's Jack Mildren chose that day a few weeks ago to hit three of four passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.