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The acclaimed author of Duel in the Sun, hailed as "a perfect golf time machine" by USA Today, takes readers into the bleachers and onto the playing field for an inside look at the legendary face-off between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
On Thanksgiving Day 1971, a record fifty-five million homes tuned in to watch two powerhouse college football teams collide. Defending national champion University of Nebraska was squaring off against the country's second-ranked team, the Oklahoma Sooners. The Huskers were riding a twenty-nine-game unbeaten streak; the Sooners had the number one offense in the country. Both teams were loaded with All-Americans and future NFL stars.
The legend of the game that became known as the single finest ever played actually began a few years earlier in Texas, when coach Emory Bellard came up with an innovative plan of attack that would level defenses and give coaches sleepless nights for the next twenty years. The Texas wishbone offense became the talk of sporting America, and when Oklahoma coach Chuck Fairbanks adopted it for his team in 1970, the groundwork was laid for the epic confrontation with Nebraska. Combining a meticulously researched history of college football with in-depth interviews, author Michael Corcoran tells it all: the play-by-play strategies and techniques, the personalities of the players and coaches who conceived the plans and executed them, the formations and intricate blocking schemes that spelled victory or defeat. Highlights include: Heisman winner Johnny Rodgers's storied punt return, Rich Glover's incomparable twenty-two tackles, Oklahoma's furious comebacks each time they trailed in the game, and the poignant memories of the game after it was over. Nebraska radio play-by-play man Lyell Bremser echoed the nation when he proclaimed, "I never thought I would live this long to see this kind of a football game."
Filled with vivid details and nail-biting suspense, this book takes us behind the scenes and into the rich history of this practically mythical battle. From the roots of both football teams, to the players, coaches, reporters, spectators, and fans, The Game of the Century is a story that will resonate with football fans all across America.