MIAMI (Jan. 2, 1998) - A 21-point third quarter proved pivotal as No. 2 Nebraska took a 42-17 win over No. 3 Tennessee in the 1997 season's final bowl game and 64th Orange Bowl.
The win vaulted the Cornhuskers to the No. 1 spot in the Coaches' Poll with a 13-0 record. Tennessee finished 11-2, the sixth 11-win season in school history, and earned seventh (AP) and eighth (ESPN/USA Today) place finishes.
A crowd of 72,835 saw the contest, the first ever between the two teams. Peyton Manning and Tee Martin each threw TD passes for the Vols, Manning's a 5-yarder to Peerless Price and Martin's a 3-yarder to Andy McCullough. Jeff Hall added a 44-yard field goal and Travis Stephens caught a two-point conversion pass from Martin.
Tennessee fell behind 14-0 before Hall's fielder in the second quarter and saw the game get away when Nebraska cranked up the ground game in the third quarter en route to scores on drives of 80, 73 and 80 yards.
The Huskers' third score came after Manning's TD pass to Price cut the margin to 28-9 after a 72-yard, 9-play drive. Tailback Jamal Lewis concluded a stellar freshman season, carrying 14 times for 90 yards and being named his team's MVP.