The 1980 Cotton Bowl is perhaps the greatest bowl win in school history. The #8 Cougars beat #7 Nebraska on a fourth-down touchdown pass from Terry Elston to Eric Herring with 12 seconds left.
“I guess there was a little luck plus Eric had good concentration and came up with the ball,” Elston said in the locker room. The junior QB had driven the Coogs 66 yards for the final TD. For his part, Coach Bill Yeoman was dialed into the play-call but was unaware of the game situation.
“I didn’t know it was fourth down,” Coach Yeoman admitted in the postgame news conference. “Time got away from me but it wouldn’t have made any difference. That was as good a play as we could have called anyway.”
Nebraska had averaged 345 yards rushing on the season but the Mad Dogs held them to just 136 yards. UH ended the season 11-1 and finished #5 in both major polls.
The video below is from the CBS broadcast from pregame until just after kickoff. Afterward, a highlights package from a disinterested reporter from KXAS-TV in Fort Worth TV. Below that are various headlines from around Texas after the UH victory.
January 2, 1980 Headlines