1980 Cotton Bowl Classic

The 1980 Cotton Bowl Classic was played on January 1 in Dallas, Texas, and matched the Houston Cougars and Nebraska Cornhuskers.[4][5]

1980 Cotton Bowl Classic
Nebraska Cornhuskers Houston Cougars
(10–1) (10–1)
14 17
Head coach: 
Tom Osborne
Head coach: 
Bill Yeoman
1234 Total
Nebraska 7007 14
Houston 07010 17
DateJanuary 1, 1980
StadiumCotton Bowl
LocationDallas, Texas
MVPTerry Elston (QB, Houston)
David Hodge (LB, Houston)
FavoriteNebraska by 3½ points [1][2]
RefereeRobert Aillet (SEC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersLindsey Nelson (Play-by-play 1st qtr only),[3] Frank Glieber (Sideline 1st, then play-by-play), and Paul Hornung


The Cougars were co-champions of the Southwest Conference with Arkansas, who they beat midway through the season. While Arkansas was invited to the Sugar Bowl, the Cougars were invited to the Cotton Bowl Classic for the second straight year, their third in four seasons. Nebraska finished second in the Big Eight Conference for the fifth time in Tom Osborne's seventh season, after losing to Oklahoma to end the regular season. The Huskers were invited to their first Cotton Bowl in six years and eleventh straight bowl season.

Game summary

Halfback Jarvis Redwine put Nebraska on the scoreboard first with a 9-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter after an 85-yard drive. But Houston responded midway through the second quarter with their own drive, 71 yards in six plays which culminated with a touchdown run by quarterback Terry Elston that tied the score at seven each at halftime.[6]

The third quarter was scoreless and Kenny Hatfield kicked a field goal to give the Cougs a 10–7 lead with 8:25 remaining. But Nebraska recovered a Houston fumble at the 31 late in the quarter and scored six plays later on a six-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Quinn to tight end Jeff Finn to take the lead at 14–10. After the kickoff, Houston started at their own 34 with 3:48 remaining, and Elston drove his team to the Nebraska six with nineteen seconds left. It was fourth and one as Elston snapped the ball, scrambling and throwing through two defenders' hands to Eric Herring in the end zone, to give Houston the lead with twelve seconds left. Nebraska could not work a miracle of their own as the Cougars gained their second Cotton Bowl win in three years.[6][7]


First quarter

Second quarter

  • Houston - Terry Elston 8 run (Kenny Hatfield kick)

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter

  • Houston - Field goal, Hatfield 41
  • Nebraska - Jeff Finn 6 pass from Jeff Quinn (Sukup kick)
  • Houston - Eric Herring 6 pass from Elston (Hatfield kick), 0:12 remaining
Source: [4][5][6]


Statistics   Houston    Nebraska 
First Downs 18 13
Rushes–yards 61–206 41–136
Passing yards 119 91
Passes 9–19–0 11–22–1
Total yards 325 227
Punts–average 7–42.0 10–40.6
Fumbles–lost 7–3 1–1
Turnovers by 3 2
Penalties-yards 2–22 7–90
Source: [4][5][6]


Houston climbed to fifth in the final AP poll and Nebraska dropped to ninth. The Cornhuskers went to bowls for the next eighteen years under Osborne before his retirement, but not to the Cotton Bowl; they returned in 2007. The Cougars returned five years later but lost, and have not won a Cotton Bowl since this game.


  1. ^ "Latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 1, 1980. p. 22.
  2. ^ "Nebraska has edge in Cotton". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 1, 1980. p. 20.
  3. ^ "Laryngitis leaves Lindsey speechless". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1980. p. C2.
  4. ^ a b c "Houston can forget year-old nightmare". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. January 2, 1980. p. 3D.
  5. ^ a b c "Houston sub comes through to nip Huskers". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. January 2, 1980. p. 1, part 2.
  6. ^ a b c d "Tipped catch gives Cougars victory". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. January 2, 1980. p. 43.
  7. ^ http://media.attcottonbowl.com/resource/history/1980/rsrc/1980-Classic-Recap.pdf
1979 Houston Cougars football team

The 1979 Houston Cougars football team, also known as the Houston Cougars, Houston, or UH, represented the University of Houston in the 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cougars were led by 18th-year head coach Bill Yeoman and played their home games at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. They competed as members of the Southwest Conference, finishing as co-champions with Arkansas. This was Houston's second consecutive conference championship, and their third overall in their first four years as members of the conference.

The Cougars finished the season with a record of 11-1, their only loss was at home to the eighth-ranked Texas Longhorns 21-13. Houston was invited to the 1980 Cotton Bowl Classic, played on New Years' Day, where they defeated seventh-ranked Nebraska. Houston finished ranked fifth in both major final polls.

Bill Yeoman

Bill Yeoman (born December 26, 1927) is a former American football player and coach. Starting in 1962, he was the University of Houston's head coach, holding the position through 1986. In his tenure, he became the winningest coach in school history, with an overall record of 160–108–8. Yeoman revolutionized offensive football in 1964 by developing the Veer option offense. Yeoman also played a prominent role in the racial integration of collegiate athletics in the South by being the first coach at a predominantly white school in the State of Texas to sign a black player. Yeoman's Cougars finished the season ranked in the AP Top 10 four times and finished 11 times in the AP or UPI Top 20.

Don Todd

Don R. Todd is a former American football coach. He was the defensive line coach and defensive coordinator for the University of Houston from 1972 to 1985. He led the Cougars' "Mad Dog" defense to four top ten national ratings, while tutoring such talents as Lombardi Award winner, Wilson Whitley and All-Americans Hosea Taylor, Leonard Mitchell and Guy Brown. His defenses were instrumental in the Cougars' achieving national rankings and victories over both Maryland in the 1977 Cotton Bowl Classic and Nebraska in the 1980 Cotton Bowl Classic.

In 2012, Todd was inducted into the University of Houston Athletic Hall of Honor, making him the only assistant coach in school history to enter the Hall.

A native of Plains, Texas, Todd played his college football for Sammy Baugh at Hardin–Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where he excelled on both sides of the line.

Nebraska Cornhuskers football

The Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represents the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Among the 128 Division I-FBS teams, Nebraska is one of ten football programs to win 800 or more games. Nebraska has more victories against Power Five opponents than any other program, as well as the fifth most victories all-time, behind only Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, and Alabama. Two of Nebraska's national championship-winning teams, the 1971 and 1995 teams, are listed by many as the best college football teams of all time.Nebraska claims 46 conference championships and five national championships: 1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, and 1997. The titles in the 1990s marked the first time that a team won three national championships in four seasons since Notre Dame in 1946–49, and one of only three instances a team has won back-to-back consensus national titles. Nebraska has won nine other national championships that the school does not claim. They are the only school with five or more national championships to not have a loss in any of their title seasons.

Nebraska has had five undefeated seasons in which they were not national champions: 1902, 1903, 1913, 1914, and 1915. Between 1912 and 1916, the Cornhuskers played 34 consecutive games without suffering a loss.Famous Cornhuskers include Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier, and Eric Crouch. Rodgers was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and was voted the Nebraska "Player of the Century" in 1999. Rozier, who holds the all-time NCAA record for yards per carry, was likewise inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Other Cornhusker players and coaches who are Hall of Famers include: Forrest Behm, Bob Brown, Guy Chamberlin, Sam Francis, Tommie Frazier, Rich Glover, Wayne Meylan, Bobby Reynolds, Dave Rimington, George Sauer, Will Shields, Clarence Swanson, Ed Weir, Grant Wistrom, and coaches Gomer Jones, Pete Elliott, Francis Schmidt, Dana X. Bible, Bob Devaney, Biff Jones, Tom Osborne, Eddie N. Robinson and Fielding H. Yost.Since June 11, 2010 the University of Nebraska has been a member of the Big Ten Conference, previously affiliated with the Big 12. They are grouped in the Big Ten West Division, along with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

Tuloso-Midway High School

Tuloso-Midway High School is a public high school in Corpus Christi, Texas and is part of the Tuloso-Midway Independent School District.

1979–80 NCAA football bowl game season
History & conference tie-ins

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