It was announced on Sunday night by director Eric Drath that ESPN will be airing a '30 for 30' special on the 1994-95 Nebraska football teams. The special will be airing this fall and here's what should be included in the documentary:
1. Tommie Frazier injury
Heading into the season, Tommie Frazier was already considered a preseason favorite for the Heisman Trophy. A starter since his freshman year, Frazier had a 20-3 record with 38 total touchdowns and only five interceptions during his first two seasons. Then in 1994, he was sidelined because of blood clots in his leg.
2. Brook Berringer
A homegrown favorite, Berringer became one of the most adored Huskers in history. Without the Tommie Frazier injury, we may not have known what he was capable of. Coming in as a backup, he led the Huskers to the 1995 Orange Bowl against Miami. Before the 1994 season, he only completed 17 passes in his career. His 1994 season on and off the field made his death in April 1996 even more unfortunate. A statue of he and Tom Osborne still stands in the Northwest corner of Memorial Stadium.
3. Matt Turman
Its sixth game of the season, Nebraska is still undefeated, facing 3-1 Oklahoma State . Brook Berringer is still adjusting to his starting role, but then almost halfway through the game, Berringer suffers a partially-collapsed lung. Then, in steps in Matt Turman from Wahoo, Nebraska. He comes into the game with a 9-3 lead and is able to extend it to a 32-3 win. Berringer is still questionable for the Huskers’ next game against Kansas State so Turman leads them for the first half, becoming the first walk-on quarterback to start for Nebraska since Travis Turner in 1985.
4. 1994 Colorado Game
Arguably the most important game of the regular season, the No. 3 Huskers host No. 2 Colorado. The Buffaloes are led by eventual Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam at running back, who was paired with Kordell Stewart at quarterback. Experience was on the Buffaloes side, but the Huskers won behind a huge performance by Brook Berringer. His ability to control the clock in the game earned the praise from his coaches and it brought Berringer and Nebraska to another level that season.
5. 1995 Orange Bowl
Nebraska is ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, facing a Miami team that’s No. 3. On the Hurricanes side you have Warren Sapp, who took almost every postseason award home with him. On Nebraska’s end you have Tommie Frazier back in the huddle, splitting time with a well-deserved Brook Berringer. Down 10-0 in the second quarter, Berringer hits Mark Gilman for a 19-yard touchdown. Entering the fourth quarter, the Huskers are still down 17-9. Cory Schlesinger scores to make it 17-15, which is followed by a two-point conversion to tie it up. With less than three minutes left, Schlesinger rolls into the endzone with for a go-ahead score that the Huskers hold onto. The Orange Bowl is coach Tom Osborne’s first National Championship and the “Unfinished Business” mindset for the team is satisfied.
6. Peters brothers
Some of the most intense players to play at Nebraska, Jason and Christian Peter were the guys who would yell at teammates in the locker room to get them fired up for a game. They combined for 280 total tackles in their career at Nebraska and both would go onto the NFL, but there’s more to it. Christian had eight accounts with the law for offenses that ranged from threatening a parking attendant and public urination to allegedly sexually assaulting women at the university. As for Jason, he struggled with a heroine and cocaine addiction in his life. Both brothers definitely had their highs and lows.
7. Lawrence Phillips
Phillips was one of the most gifted running backs to play at Nebraska, maybe even in college football. After a 1994 season where he went for 1,818 yards and 16 touchdowns, Phillips was considered a front-runner for the Heisman trophy. But after the Huskers’ 50-10 win against Nick Saban and Michigan State, Phillips was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. The arrest led to coach Osborne suspending him for six games before he came back for the Iowa State game where he went for 68 yards. Osborne named him the starter for the National Championship, despite some controversy. His performance boosted his stock in the NFL Draft, but Phillips still had trouble with law in his post-Nebraska career.
8. 1996 Fiesta Bowl
One of the most one-sided national championships in college football history, the Huskers rolled over the Florida Gators 62-24. At Halftime, they were already up 35-10 thanks to strong rushing performances from Tommie Frazier and Lawrence Phillips. The game broke many NCAA bowl records including most rushing yards by a team (524), most points scored in a second quarter (29) and most points scored in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game (62). After the game Florida coach Steve Spurrier said “We couldn’t match up with Nebraska. They’re too good for us.”
9. Pure Domination
It’s still debated amongst fans whether the 1995 Huskers were the best team to play college football and they made a stellar enough case for the bill, too. They scored 53.2 points per game, which was the best in college football. And they allowed 14.5 points per game, which was the fourth-best in college football. The Huskers averaged 49 points against the four top-ten teams they faced that season, too. An amazing season from top to bottom, to say the least. You can even have an entire segment dedicated to the triple option that they ran.
10. Young talent
When you talk about top to bottom talent, the Huskers in the mid-1990s fit that mold. During the national title runs they had young guys such as Ahman Green, Grant Wistrom, Mike Rucker and Kris Brown. All of those players played minor roles that season, but went on to have successful careers in the NFL. It’s hard not to mention when you have guys like that as freshmen and sophomores.