The cover of The World-Herald’s ‘Blue Streak’ sports section from Oct. 24, 1965. See the full pages below.
Quincy Enunwa’s 99-yard touchdown reception during the third quarter of Nebraska’s 24-19 Gator Bowl win was the longest in school history, edging a record that stood for more than 48 years. The play also marked Nebraska’s longest play from scrimmage, topping a 95-yard Eric Crouch touchdown run against Missouri in 2001.
When a record stands that long — 48 years! — fans tend to either: a) remember exactly who holds the mark, or b) need a refresher. Here’s that refresher, just in case.
On Oct. 23, 1965, the Huskers took on Colorado before what The World-Herald’s Wally Provost called a “jubilant homecoming throng of 54,110″ fans at Memorial Stadium.
During that “otherwise routine triumph,” a 95-yard touchdown pass from Fred Duda to Freeman White — what was described as a “master strike” — went straight to the top of the Huskers’ record books.
Until Enunwa’s Gator Bowl catch.
From that 1965 report:
“White, the towering senior end from Detroit, squeezed 139 yards out of four receptions to become the most productive receiver in Cornhusker history.
“In six games this season, he has shagged 22 passes for 388 yards, erasing the former school record of 21-339 set by Frank Simon of Burchard in 1951.
“White’s big day against the Buffs also put him one ahead of Simon’s three-year record of 40 catches.”
Staff writer Gregg McBride, in an article from the same Oct. 24, 1965, Blue Streak sports section headlined “Mystery: Who called that 95-yard pass play,” reported the following:
“Collaboration of Fred Duda and Freeman White on a 95-yard pass play Saturday broke the back of Colorado.
“Coaches Bob Devaney of Nebraska and Eddie Crowder of the Buffaloes agreed on this following Nebraska’s 38-to-13 victory, but in the dressing room of the winner there was disagreement over who called the play.
“Duda, who fired to White on third down and eight from the Husker five, said the pitch was called from the bench.
“Devaney, however, insisted that Duda could be slightly confused and claimed, ‘That is one I didn’t send in.’
“Neither Devaney nor Duda had any complaints as to execution, distance, and points harvested.”
Later in the report, Duda said the pass, off a bootleg maneuver, was easy.
“I saw Freeman was in the clear. Although the throw was into the wind it was no trouble to get the ball to him.”
“The pass was perfect. I was behind a couple of Colorado defenders, and the catch was easy,” said White. “All I had to do was head for the goal, and all the way back I knew I was going to make it.”
On the play, White “streaked down the east sidelines.”
In another World-Herald report, when told after the game he had rewritten the school season and career pass receiving records, White “grinned and chirped, ‘No kidding.’ ”
After the game, Devaney praised White. But he also frowned when he recalled a play in which White tried to lateral the ball to Tony Jeter.
“I know Freeman likes to give Tony a chance to run the ball, but the attempted lateral was in a pack of players and dangerous,” Devaney explained.
Devaney pulled White after the play.
Asked if the coach told him it was a dangerous play, the player offered some insight: “He certainly did.”
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