The night's most significant play came with 1:23 left and the Huskers facing a third and eight on the LSU 37. If they hadn't made it, the Tigers would have gotten the ball and might have been able to move into position for Betanzos to boot a field goal for an LSU victory. But Gill called Weak Left 79, 9 Delay, Flare Right. Fryar slanted in and then cut toward the right sideline, and Gill hit him. First down on the 24. "I didn't even know it was third down," Fryar said. "But I do know that when the ball is in the air, it's mine."
Still, while the ball belonged to Fryar and the game to Nebraska, LSU wasn't too upset. After all, in 1981 the Tigers were 3-7-1, their worst record in 25 years, and Stovall seemed to be on the way out. Thanks to Risher (who ended his career with 22 school records, some of which had been held by Bert Jones and Y.A. Tittle), the Tiger Tykes ( Hilliard, who caught passes for 82 yards, and another freshman star who was troubled Saturday by a hamstring, Tailback Garry James) and few injuries (20 of 22 starters started all 12 games), LSU's 1982 souvenirs included an 8-3-1 record and a 20-10 thrashing of Alabama. And its near miss in Miami. Which isn't too shabby.
Meanwhile, Nebraska's Outland-and Lombardi trophy-winning Center Dave Rimington was admitting he hadn't had an award-winning night. "I've heard all these people tell me how good I am," he said. "Then people expect me to be as good as they said I was. And I'm not." He is, of course, plenty good enough, just like the Huskers, who proved that one man's junk is another man's treasure.